Nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, the port city of Mangalore (now Mangaluru) is one of the prime tourist spot of the state of Karnataka and is known for its swaying coconut palms, serene beaches, and temple architecture. Mangalore is also one of the significant commercial, industrial, educational, and healthcare hubs of Karnataka. If you want to explore the entire western coastline of Karnataka, Mangalore is a great base for you to unwind while its own beauty as well.
The city has a rich history, having been ruled by several dynasties and empires over the centuries, include the Vijayanagar empire, the Kadambas, and the British. The city preserves its traditions and culture to offer a tranquil getaway to its visitors yet keeping the urban glitter intact. Major attractions in Mangalore are its ancient temples, churches, mosques, and beaches along with big shopping malls where you can shop from all international brands and devour delectable Mangalorean cuisine. The climate is tropical here with bearable mornings and pleasant evenings to enjoy in the beach. Yaksha Gana is the folk dance of Mangalore which is a visual treat to your eyes and adds color to your trip.
History and Culture
The city of Mangalore finds its mention in many historical accounts by great travelers that offer testimony to its rich past. During the 3rd century, the city was under the rule of King Ashoka of the Mauryan empire and was under the reign of Vijayanagara when the European traders came in around the 14th century, then known as Canara. It then came under the rule of Portuguese, then Hyder Ali, and finally got conquered by the Britishers. Following India’s independence and the launch of New Mangalore Port, the city witnessed significant progress in the 1970s and 1980s.
Mangalore has a diverse population, with people from various communities and religions livingin the city. The official language is Kannada, but Tulu, Konkani, and BearyBashe are also spoken by significant portions of the population.The traditional attire of Mangaloreans is diverse, with women wearing sarees, salwar kameez, and men wearing traditional dhoti and kurta. The traditional jewelry of the region includes gold bangles, earrings, and necklaces, which are often adorned with precious stones.The cultural festivals of Mangalore reflect the region's diversity such as Kambala, Dusara, Yakshagna.
Places to Visit
- St. Aloysius Chapel: This is a stunning chapel located in the heart of Mangalore city. The chapel is known for its beautiful frescoes and intricate paintings that adorn its walls and ceilings. It was built in the late 19th century and is a must-visit for anyone interested in art and history.
- Kadri Manjunath Temple: This is an ancient temple located on top of a hill in Mangalore. It is dedicated to Lord Manjunatha, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and is one of the most visited temples in the city. The temple has a unique architecture that is a blend of Hindu and Buddhist styles.
- Panambur Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches in Mangalore and is located about 10 kilometers from the city. The beach is known for its clean and pristine waters and is a great place to relax and unwind. You can also indulge in water sports such as jet skiing, banana boat rides, and parasailing.
- Tannirbhavi Beach: This is another beautiful beach located near Mangalore, about 12 kilometers from the city. It is relatively less crowded compared to Panamburbeach and is a great place to watch the sunset. The beach is also home to a small fishing village, and you can witness the local fishermen in action.
- Ullal Beach: This is a scenic beach located about 12 kilometers from Mangalore city. The beach is known for its tranquil surroundings and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The beach is also home to the Ullal Darga, a famous shrine dedicated to the Sufi saint Syed Mohammed Shareefuddin.
- Kateel Durga Parameshwari Temple:This is a famous temple located about 30 kilometers from Mangalore city. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is believed to have been built over 800 years ago. The temple is located on an island in the middle of the Nandini River and is accessible by a small bridge.
- Mangaladevi Temple: This is an ancient temple located in the heart of Mangalore city. It is dedicated to Goddess Mangaladevi and is believed to have been built in the 9th century. The temple has a unique architecture that is a blend of Hindu and Muslim styles.
Beaches in Mangalore
Mangalore is located on the west coast of India and is home to some beautiful beaches. Some of the popular beaches in and around Mangalore are:
- Panambur Beach: Located just 13 kilometers from the city center, Panambur Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It is known for its clean and serene surroundings and is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunset. The beach is also famous for its many adventure games and sports such as banana boat ride, parasailing, jet skiing.
- Tannirbhavi Beach: Located 12 kilometers from Mangalore, Tannirbhavi Beach is known for its scenic beauty and tranquil atmosphere. It is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing.
- Someshwara Beach: This beach is located 9 kilometers south of Mangalore and is known for its beautiful rock formations and lush green surroundings. It is a popular spot for picnics and beach activities.
- Ullal Beach: Located 12 kilometers south of Mangalore, Ullal Beach is a popular spot for surfing and swimming. The beach is known for its stunning sunset views.
- Surathkal Beach: Located 20 kilometers north of Mangalore, Surathkal Beach is known for its long stretch of golden sand and clear waters. It is a popular destination for beach sports like volleyball and frisbee.
Along with the famous seafood of the region, the street food of Mangalore is also undeniably delectable. Here are some of the best food of Mangalore that you must try to experience the gastronomic delight.
- Gassi – It is a thick coconut-based delicacy that can be enjoyed with roti, rice or traditional neer dosa (wafer like flattened bread made from rice and water batter). Gassi can prepared with several ingredients as its primary ingredient such as kori (chicken) gassi, paneer gassi, chana dal (chickpea) gassi, meen (fish) gassi, etc.
- Korri Roti– Translating to chicken curry and fried wafers, Korri Roti is a mainstream yet delectable dish where the chicken curry is made from red chili base and is quite spicy. The roti is a crispy, flattened wafer kind of bread used to dip in the curry.
- Mandakki – It is a popular tangy, spicy, and crunchy street food of Mangalore made with veggies, cooked puffed rice, masala, boiled potatoes, and peanuts. It is a delicious snack to enjoy with a hot cup of tea especially on a rainy day.
- Seer Fish Masala Fry – Fish marinated with a spicy and sour masala paste and then fried to perfection to get a crispy coating. The flesh inside the fish is soft and moist and burst with flavors in your mouth.
- Mangalore Biryani – Mangalore has its own version of biryani which is given a twist with coconut milk, lots of green chilies, saffron, and caramelized onions. Versions of biryani such as Shahi biryani, Prawn biryani, and Beary chicken biryani are available in the city.
- Ghee Roast – Ghee roast is a type of gravy in which you can cook anything from chicken to prawns to even paneer. The main ingredients in this are red chilies, spices roasted in ghee, and some other dry roasted spices. Any ingredient added to this paste enhances its flavor and bursts in your mouth like a dream.
- Mangalore Buns – These are a popular breakfast or evening snack which are made from a fermented dough whose main element is over-ripe bananas along with some spices and is deep fried.
- Neer Dosa and Chicken Sukka– Neer dosa is a very thin dosa made from watery batter of rice and best goes with a spicy non-veg dish. Neer dosa and chicken sukka is a great combination in Mangalore cuisine where chicken sukka is a dry chicken dish which contains grated coconut and a variety of spices.
- Bangude Pulimunchi– Bangude means mackerel, puli means tamarind, and munchi means chili. It is a tangy and spicy dish where the curry consists of roasted spices, onions, garlic, and tamarind and is a prepared in a clay vessel which enhances the flavors. It can be enjoyed with rice or roti.
- Machali – Machali is a popular seafood restaurant in Mangalore where you can devour some authentic and delicious Mangalorean seafood. The restaurant is small with limited staff but worth all the waits. Their fish curry and rice combo prepared in ghee is a must try here.
- Pallkhi Restaurant – It is a traditional restaurant with authentic Indian cuisines and flavors and with a comforting ambiance to match the Indianness of the food. The restaurant also offers you the option to have alfresco dining and hall dining.
- Sagar Ratna – A restaurant for a hardcore vegetarian, Sagar Ratna offers numerous delectable vegetarian dishes like Paneer Ghee Roast and other local and regional cuisines. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable too.
- Shetty Lunch Home: Shetty Lunch Home, located in Kadri, is a famous restaurant that serves authentic Mangalorean cuisine. The restaurant is known for its fish curry, prawn fry, and chicken ghee roast.
- Giri Manja's: Giri Manja's, located in Attavar, is a legendary eatery that has been serving authentic Mangalorean food for over 60 years. The restaurant is known for its fish fry, chicken sukka, and neer dosa.
- New Tajmahal Café: New Tajmahal Café, located in Hampankatta, is a popular vegetarian restaurant that serves South Indian and North Indian cuisine. The restaurant is known for its dosas, idlis, and puri bhaji.
- Ideal Café: Ideal Café, located in Hampankatta, is a famous restaurant that serves traditional Mangalorean snacks and breakfast items. The restaurant is known for its golibaje, Mangalore buns, and idli sambar.
Festivals in Mangalore
- Kambala: Kambala is a traditional buffalo race that takes place in various parts of Mangalore from November to March. It is a popular sport in rural Karnataka and is a must-see for anyone interested in local culture.
- Mangaluru Dasara: Mangaluru Dasara is a ten-day festival that takes place during the months of September or October. The festival is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and is marked by grand processions, cultural programs, and fireworks.
- Yakshagana: Yakshagana is a traditional dance drama that is performed in various parts of Mangalore throughout the year. The dance drama is a blend of music, dance, and drama and is a must-see for anyone interested in traditional art forms.
- Karavali Utsav: Karavali Utsav is a three-day festival that takes place in December. The festival celebrates the rich culture and traditions of coastal Karnataka and features traditional music, dance, and food.
- Kudubi Festival: The Kudubi Festival is a celebration of the Kudubi tribe, an indigenous community that lives in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. The festival is marked by traditional dance performances, music, and food.
- Mangalore International Kite Festival: The Mangalore International Kite Festival takes place in January and is a celebration of kite flying. The festival attracts kite enthusiasts from all over the world and features kite-flying competitions, music, and food.
- The Gateway Hotel Mangalore – prices start from INR7,000
- The Saffron Boutique Hotel – prices start from INR5,000
- The Verda Saffron – prices start from INR5,500
- Goldfinch Mangalore - prices start from INR 4,500
- The Ocean Pearl Mangalore - prices start from INR 3,500
- Hotel Deepa Comforts - prices start from INR 2,500
- Hotel BMS - prices start from INR 1,500
- Ginger Mangalore - prices start from INR 2,000
- Treebo Trend Pappilon Palace - prices start from INR 1,800
- Hotel Navaratna Palace - prices start from INR 2,000
Best Time to Visit
The winter season, from November to February, is the best time to visit Mangalore if you prefer mild temperatures and less humidity. The temperature during this time ranges from 22°C to 32°C, making it ideal for outdoor activities like sightseeing and exploring the beaches. The weather is generally dry, with occasional rain, making it a great time for water sports and beach activities.
The summer season, from March to May, is the hottest time in Mangalore, with temperatures soaring up to 38°C. The humidity is high, making it uncomfortable for outdoor activities during the daytime. However, if you are interested in experiencing the local culture and festivals like Kambala and Yakshagana, this is a great time to visit.
The monsoon season, from June to September, is characterized by heavy rainfall and high humidity. If you are a nature lover and enjoy the lush greenery, this is the best time to visit. The rain brings the waterfalls to life, and the Western Ghats surrounding the city become a scenic paradise. However, it is not recommended to visit during this season if you plan on engaging in outdoor activities due to the heavy rainfall and waterlogging.
How to Reach
- By Air: Mangalore has a domestic airport at 15km from the city center and regular flights from all major cities board here. Cabs and buses are available from the airport to the city.
- By Train: Mangalore is served by Mangalore Junction Railway Station which is connected by trains from several cities across India. Bus and taxis from outside the station are available to the city.
- By Road: Direct buses are available from different parts of Karnataka and nearby states and cities to Mangalore. Taking a bus is the cheapest option to Mangalore.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Why Is Mangalore So Famous?
Mangalore is known for its amazing beaches, seaports, local seafood cuisine, temples, and a diverse culture. it has been ruled by several dynasties that is depicted by its culture and ancient artefacts.
Is Mangalore Part Of Bangalore?
No, Mangalore is a different city with deeper culture and traditions. It is located 352km from Bangalore.
Which Language Is Spoken In Mangalore?
Konkani is spoken in Mangalore along with Tulu and Kannada as well.