A land of diverse cultures, serene and pristine beaches and great education institutes, Mangalore is a bustling city on the coastal belt of Karnataka. Located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, it is close to 350 km to the west of Bangalore, the state capital, and is a popular getaway from the city.
History of Mangalore
Ancient rulers Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan belonged to Mangalore and the town had been a source of contention between them and the British. Finally, the British took over this territory in 1799. Apart from the British, the Portuguese have also ruled Mangalore.
The name Mangalore is derived from a Hindu Goddess, Mangaladevi. Legend has it that sage Parashurama reclaimed the coastal region from the ocean king. During the late 1700s, Mangalore flourished under the rule of Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan. The historical relics of this era can still be seen at Sulthan Bathery.
Things to do in Mangalore
Mangalore is home to some of the most beautiful temples in India. Kadri Temple, dedicated to Lord Manjunath, has Hindu and Buddhist influences. The magnificent gopuram of Gokarnanatheshwara Kudroli Temple is breathtaking and travellers must visit the temple during Dasara, when the entire temple is bathed in lights and decorations. The grand final procession that marks the end of the nine-day festival must be experienced.
Other important temples, travellers can visit are the Mangaladevi Temple, Kateel Durga Parameshwari Temple, Sharavu Mahaganapathy Temple and Kukke Subrahmanaya Temple. Most of these temples can be visited in a single day by hiring a cab. The temples within the city are well connected by a network of buses. However, be cautious about using local autos. Fix a price beforehand or be ready to haggle.
Another must-visit is the Pilikula Nisarga Dhama located near Vamanjoor, just 15 km away from Mangalore. Pilikula means tiger pond in Tulu, the local dialect of Mangalore. This popular scenic picnic spot has a huge botanical garden, a zoo spread over several acres of land, a water park, a golf course and a lake where travellers can enjoy boating.
For travellers who like to enjoy a quiet holiday, visit St. Marys Island at Malpe, 64 km from Mangalore. A group of small islands, with large number of coconut grooves, it is the best place to relax, enjoy the cool, azure sea and spend some quality time with loved ones.
There are plenty of beaches around Mangalore, but Panambur Beach, located near Suratkal is a great holiday option as travellers can opt for beach activities like jet skiing, parasailing, horse and camel rides.
Food & Shopping
A vacation to Mangalore is not complete without savouring its delicious local cuisine, especially its fish curries. Fish forms the staple diet of the Bunt community in Mangalore. Iconic dishes like kori roti (dry rice flakes dipped in spicy chicken curry), patrode and neer dosa. The creation of many Mangalorean dishes is credited to the Tulu and Konkani community. The best places to taste local delicacies are New Tajmahal Café here do try the biscuit ambade with piping hot coffee - Kadal, Palkhi and Gajalee Sea Food restaurant, famous for their mouth-watering sea food spread. To add to the list, Ocean Pearl Restaurant, Village restaurant and Janatha Deluxe for its authentic Manglorean breakfast.
For those who love street food, small eateries at Carstreet near Venkataramana Temple are the best bet. The spicy churmuri, gobi manchurian, pani puri stalls and bajji as well as bonda counters will tantalise any travellers taste buds. A trip to Mangalore must culminate with a visit to Pabbas & Ideal Ice Cream Parlour. They serve the most scrumptious and delicious ice creams. In fact, Mangalore is almost synonymous with these ice cream parlours. Popular flavours are tiramisu, gadbad, fruit-salad, parfait, dilkush and chocolate dads. The cutlets served with pudina chutney are something that shouldnt be missed.
For travellers who love shopping, visit the Central City Market near Hampankatta, where one can shop for a whole range of items, right from electronic goods, footwear, clothes and cosmetics to handicraft items. Do haggle. For people who love shopping in malls, visit Bharath Mall (Lalbagh), City Centre Mall (K.S Rao Road), Saibeen Complex (Lalbagh) and Empire Mall (M.G. Road).
Travelling to Mangalore
Mangalore is well connected by a network of comfortable private and government Volvo buses and train services from major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bangalore. The Mangalore Bajpe Airport is just 10 km away from the city and has regular flights from all metro cities.
The best time to visit Mangalore would be during the months of October to January when the climate is pleasant. Mangalore, being a coastal region, has a tropical climate and the weather can be extremely humid, especially during summer. So if you are planning for a trip to Mangalore, dont forget to carry sun block, lots of light, comfortable clothes and a hat.
Rao, HolidayIQ.com Traveller