Mangaluru, or Mangalore, is one of India’s top tourist attractions. From being a major pit stop for international trade centuries ago to being a place filled with pristine beaches and parks, it will take your breath away. Here’s what you need to do or see when you land in Mangalore.
Kadri Hill Park is the largest park within the city limits of Mangalore, and is full of families having a great time during weekends. Adjacent to it is an animal conservatory which falls under the government’s department of horticulture, where can be found numerous kinds of reptiles, rare birds, spotted deer, sambar, anteaters and other animal species.
Constructed in 1784, Sultan’s Battery is last remnant of the fierce and majestic Tipu Sultan. The place was built using black stones to obstruct warships from entering the river, a major route for the English during their invasion. It gives an impression of being a miniature fortress with the ability to mount cannons all around. It also has an underground storage area to store gunpowder. Today, it wears a deserted look but if you climb to the top, a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea awaits along with the lush greenery surrounding the fort. It’s a real treat for nature lovers.
Situated in the heart of the city is the iconic St. Aloysius Chapel, a part of St. Aloysius College. It was built by Jesuit missionaries in 1880 and painted by the Italian Jesuit Antonio Mocsheni in 1899. It has stunning frescos on its walls and ceilings which depict the lives of saints and the life and death of Jesus Christ. The architecture is such that it can be compared to the churches in Rome. A visual treat for art lovers and a must visit place in Mangalore not only for its art but the peaceful feel it gives to anyone who visits.
Yes, the name is exactly what it sounds. Opened by an American guru, this Hare Krishna ashram located around 30km north of Mangalore is not a typical holiday retreat. The ashram imparts surf lessons and also helps its guests practice yoga and lead a simple life. There are no five-star services; a typical day would include morning prayers followed by yoga, breakfast (vegetarian cuisine only) and surfing. It’s a relaxed place to unwind from urban life. Accommodation may be a bit pricey, but it is worth it. The surfing is all year long, but the best waves are May to June and September to October.
The city of Mangalore owes its name to the Mangaladevi temple. Situated around three kilometres from the city centre in the region of Bolar, the Mangaladevi temple is dedicated to the goddess Parvati. This temple traces its roots back to the 9th century. A very holy temple, it is believed maidens who come and pray here for a good husband are blessed with one. During the festival of Dussehra, grand and elaborate pujas are held which are a sight to watch.
In a coastal town when seafood is the staple food, Gajalee is the place to go. It is often counted in the top 100 restaurants in India. Located upon a hilltop with beautiful surroundings, you can feel the charm of an old British bungalow coupled with exceptional views of the city while munching on the most delicious seafood in town.
Located in the heart of Mangalore city, this lighthouse also known as Tagore Park was built in the 18th century by the emperor Haider Ali. During the British rule in India, the lighthouse was used by officers in the British army to monitor incoming ships. Today, it’s a beautiful garden enjoyed by people of all ages with children running around, adults jogging and old couples rediscovering love as they gaze upon the marvellous view of the sea. The base of the lighthouse has a public library with a reading room named after the Karnad Sadashiv Rao, a freedom fighter.
Set up in 2011, this butterfly park is the only privately-run butterfly park in the state. It is home to 114 species of butterflies and the aim, according to its owner Sammilan Shetty, is to educate people about butterflies and the need for their conservation along with undertaking scientific research on them. Shetty also wants to provide people an elevating experience through the beauty of butterflies which would eventually lead to more exposure about these creatures and help to create a safe habitat for them in the Western Ghats. This place is not only educational but a brilliant treat for nature lovers.
Kateel is a small temple town located around 30km from Mangalore; it’s one of the most sacred places in Hinduism. The most important temple dedicated to the goddess Durga Parmeshwari, Kateel is located in middle of the river Nandani, and is surrounded by spectacular views and lush greenery; during the monsoons, the flow of the river Nandani is a sight to watch. It’s a must visit for photography and nature lovers.
Pilikula Nisarga Dhama is a major eco-education and tourism development project in Mangalore. Spread over 350 acres of land, the park is an ideal place for nature lovers. The park houses a botanical garden, golf course, science centre, mini aquarium and a lake with boating facilities. There is an open zoo which houses wild animals like tigers, rare wild cats and king cobras.