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Neelavara: A sanctified village

Neelavara or Nilavara is a quite and tranquil village in Udupi district, 3 km from Kunjal. As if torn from the pages of Malgudi Days, the village is rich with lush green landscapes, gushing Sita river, paddy fields, small and big old houses, bylanes and of course old schools.

Places to visit:

A visit to the ancient Shri Mahishamardini Temple situated close by the river Sita, is a divine experience. The place is also serene and beautiful.

Visit Panchami Kanu, associated with the snake God, Lord Subrahmanya, situated next to river Sita on the eastern side of the temple.

Towards the west of the temple, one can see the ancient village, Yallampalli or Yajnampalli, very mush with its Yajnakunda and Yajna Vedike. The place is divine with ancient temples Mahalingeshwara Temple, Shree Mahaganapathi, Shree Vishnumoorthi Temple and Shree MahishaMardinee Temple.

Enjoy the unique art form of Neelavara, Yakshagana Bayalata which is for promoting religious upliftment and societal prosperity, at the annual Dashavatara Yakshagana Bayalata Mela organized by Shree Neelvara Mahisha Mardinee Temple Management in the Month of November.

Under the patronage of Pejavara Mutt, a Goshale or cattle farm is run to shelter the old and homeless cows.

The Neelavara Dam built across the river Sita, to hedge the sea water from entering it, is a paradise for fun, picnicking and water adventures.


Bavali Kudru meaning Island of Bats is an island surrounded by river Sita. True to its name, the place is the habitat for large number of bats that ca be seen hanging from the trees.

Visit St. Paul’s church is a chapel, which is under Holy Family Church Brahmavara.

How to reach:

Tourists can take Konkan local trains from Bangalore to reach Neelavara through the nearest railway station at Barkur and for far away trains it is Indrali railway station in Udupi.

There are plenty of buses from Brahmavar to Neelavara stopping at the Mahishamardini Temple.

For air travelers, the easiest airport is located 75 km away at Mangalore (Bajpe) Airport.