Mangalore, the headquarters of Dakshin Kannada district is an important seaport town and a major export centre of coffee and cashew nuts. The city flanked by Western Ghats and Arabian Sea has been a trading centre for many centuries. Today, it is famous for beaches, backwaters, seaside fortress, architecture and pleasant climate.
A maritime city and the capital of Dakshina Karnataka,Mangalore sheltered by the verdant Western Ghats on the east and the blue waters of the Arabian Sea on the west is named after the Goddess Mangaladevi. Engaged in Persian Gulf trade in the 14 century, it was occupied by the Portuguese in the 15 century. Mangalore was conquered by Hader Ali in the 18 century and became a major seaport and shipbuilding centre. The modern Panambur Port, 10km north of the main town now handles almost three fourth of India's coffee exports and bulk of its cashew nuts and spices.
Mangalore is a business and commercial hub and a big educational and healthcare center in Karnataka. It makes a pleasant and convenient shop between Goa and Kerala.
With its narrow winding streets fringed with coconut palms, quaint houses with terracotta-tiled roofs, long stretches of pristine beaches, exquisite temples, magnificent churches and the aroma of spicy coconut curries, Mangalore exudes a unique charm.
The city's fascinating cosmopolitan culture, open and tolerant altitude give it a unique identity. It is close to Coorg region and the coastal town of Hassan.
Ullal, 8 km from town centre is the pristine beach in the Kannada region. The great rock on which the Someshwara Temple stands is the main attraction. Ullal's claim to fame rests on the courageous quen Abbakka, who in the early 1600s repulsed a Portuguese attack killing two Commanders and two hundred Portuguese seamen. The ruined fort of Abbakka, 16th century Jain temples and the Ullal Dargah nearby are other attractions for the visitors. The Dargah built in the memory of the Saint Syed Mohammed Shariful Madani, is also famous. A mouth long fair held here every five years attracts many devotees.
Suratkal Beach is about 15km north of Ullal. Suratkal Beach is among the cleanest bits of coastline. The nearby temple of Lord Sadashiva and the huge lighthouse overlooking the Arabian Sea make it a favorite haunt of the visitor.
The Tannir Bhavi Beach, 12km north of Mangalore is from where you can also view the cargo ships docking into the port nearby. The main attraction at the Someshwara Beach is a temple perched on a rocky knoll that stretches into the sea. Panambur is a secluded beach with sensuously swaying casuarinas as a backdrop.
The St. Aloysium College Chapel on Lighthouse Hill Road built in1882 has stunning murals on the walls and ceilings painted byantonio Moscheni of Italy depict the lives of saints ranging from St. Thomas to St. John De Britto. Timings: 08.30 to 13.00, 14.00 ot 18.00.
Milagres Church at Hampankatta, rebuilt in 1911 has a façade with statues inspired from those in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. A miracle worker St. Antony of Pudua has a shrine dedicated to him in the church. Phone: 0824-2423522.
The oldest Rosario Cathedral at Pandeshwar built in 1568 by the Portuguese and the rebuilt by the British in 1813 has ornate wooden pulpit with breathtaking images of the evangelists, Mary and Jesus. The royal stone insignia of the King of Portugal can be seen at entrance. It has magnificent dome resembling St Peter's of Rome, and a belfry that has bells from Italy. Phone: 0824-2420942.
A belfry with three colossal bells and an electric organ are highlights of the Shanti Cathedral of the Basel Mission at Balmatta. Phone: 0824-2432728.
Mangalore boasts some attractive temples of which Kadri Manjunatha Temple situated on Kadri Hills is among the oldest Shiva temples in India. The elaborate entrance arch, gleaming gopurams, sanctum with carved silver doors, and silver worked chariot are the highlights. Dating back to 1058AD it houses the bronze statues of Lokeshwara, Manjushree and Buddha. Shrines dedicated to Goddess Durga and Lord Ganesha flank the main temple. Phone: 0824-2214176.
Mangaladevi Temple at Bolar, built in 10 century by King Kundavarma is the centre point of celebrations during the Navaratri days preceding Dussehra in October. Three silver doorway lead to the inner sanctum enshrined with the deity, Goddess Mangaladevi. Aspiring girls in their search for ideal grooms participate in the Swayamwara parvathi Puja at this temple praying for divine intervention. Timing: 06.00 to 12.30, 16.00 to 20.00.
The Sharavu Maha Ganapati Temple
The Sharavu Maha Ganapati Temple on K. S. Rao Road is one of theancient temples whose story of origin and importance is narrated in 'Skanda Purana'. The temple holds Yakshagana performances arranged by devotees who pay a fee reportedly equivalent to a boon. The temple is site of an elaborate Ganesha Chathurthi Festival every September and a Cr Festival that begins on Kannada New Year every year in April. Puja Timing: 07.30, 12.30 and 20.30.
Located at Kudroli, Gokarnath Temple built in 1912 is dedicated to Shiva as Gokarnatheshwar. It is known for its granite sanctum sanctorum and silver artwork.
The most remarkable Juma Masjid built in 644 AD by the Arab Saint Malik Deenar in the Bunder area has wooden pillars and pulpit with exquisite carvings. This marked the arrival of Islam in the region and Tipu Sultan renovated the mosque in the 18 century. The Idgah Mosque at Lighthouse Hill whose construction is attributed to Tipu Sultan is actually an elaborate stone wall but visited for its link to the past as by religious fervor.
St Aloyseum College Museum has a collection that includes mounted skeletons of wild animals, old telephones, radios and cameras etc.
The highlight of the place is the vintage 1906 De Dion, the first car to have graced the city of Mangalore The Srimanthi Bai Memorial Museum is the bungalow of Colonel V R Miraskar converted into a museum with a collection of antiques, ancient coins, brass images, porcelain, pottery, palm leaf manuscripts and wooden carvings.
Next to St Aloysius College, the Lighthouse Hill Park, also known as Tagore Park is a garden full with flowering trees and shrubs together with a little artificial stream. The building at the base of the lighthouse is a public library. The landscaped gardens of Kadri Park at Kadri Hills entice the visitors throughout the year. It is a good place to relax and there is a toy train around it.
The Sultan’s Battery
Ruins of Tipu’s fort which once guarded the Naval station. This watchtower built by Tipu Sultan to keep vigil at Bolur, 6km from city center is built of rough blocks of laterite. It is the last remaining bastion of Tipu Sultan's Fort, built to block the entry of boats carrying British battalions through the Gurpura River.
This spacious square shaped temple complex is modern in layout and has unique seven tnks surrounded by swaying palm trees. The bronze statue of Lokeshwara is said to have been cast in 968 and is one of the finest bronzes in India.
St. Aloysius College Chapel
This relic of colonial past is known for the fine murals, painted by Rev. Antonio Moscheni in early 20th century. Other attractions include, Mangladevi Temple and Rosario Cathedral etc.
Ullal Beach (11km)
The sea-side village set on the mouths of two river is famous for the Summer Sands Beach Resort. Other beaches around are Panambul (10km) and Suratakal (25km).
Mudabidri ( Modabidri)
Mudabidri is also referred as ‘Jain Varanasi’ and has 18 Jain Bastis or monasteries. The most famous beig the 1000 pillared Chandranatha Basti built in 1429. Moodabidri is located 39km northeast of Mangalore, Modabidri is known for thearchitecturally wonderful Jain basadis built between the 14-16 centuries. Known as Kshemavenupra earlier, Moodabidri was the centre of Jain religion, culture, art, and architecture. Today it is famed for its most ornate 18 Jain basadis.
Near Savira Kambada Basadi is a library containing several 12 and 13 century leaf manuscripts with sacred texts of the Jainism. These shifted from Sravanabalegola are revered as the oldest written Jain material. A collection of three ancient manuscripts called the Siddantha is its treasures along with manuscripts on Jain Puranas. Opposite the Basadi Road is the birthplace of Kanada Medieval poet Ratnakara Varnis. Jain Nishidis, the unique burial sites of Jain sages are located close by. The 17-century Chautas Palace known for its beautifully carved ceilings and wooden pillars is worth a visit. On the Naravi Road, one can visit the Stone Age structures called Konaje Kallu.
Nearby in Mijar is a private garden, Shobhavana, having more than two thousand varieties of valuable ayurvedic medicinal plant. About 20km north of Moodabidri is Karkala.
Karkal is located about 20 km from Mudabidri has a number of important temples and a 13m high statue of Lord Bahubali, which was completed in 1432. Karkala is about 52km northeast of Mangalore. Karkala is an important pilgrimage center of Jains after Sravanabelagola. It has a 13m high statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshwara), consecrated in 1432AD located on a tranquil bullock, Gommatabetta, on the outskirts of the town.
About one km from Karkala the Sri Neminath Basadi at Hiriangadi has an impressive 20m tall pillar, Manasthambha. The graceful Shri Venkatarama Temple with its intricately sculpted four pillar is two km from Karkala. 8km from Karkala is the St. Lawrence Church at Attur, built in 1839. The miracle stone of St Lawrence is one the left side. The village also has a fine Mahalingeshwara Temple with copper plated sanctum. 12km from the town of Karkala is another Jain center, Varanga. The Neminath Basadi here is said to be 1000 years old. The Chandra Swamy Basadi has an image of Padmavathy. Nearby is a lake in the middle of which the Kere Basadi is reached by a boat.
Dharmasthala or the ‘place of religion of faith’ is an important pilgrim centre and a shining example of communal harmony and cultural tolerance. The main attractions here are Majunatha Temple and a 14m high Gomateshwara statue. The road from Mangalore to Chikmagalur passes through the dense tropical forest where the wildlife abounds. A district road leads to Belthangady, 45km before Mudigere. From here, a journey of 14km via Ujre will take you to Dharmasthala, an important pilgrimage centre. The town is known for its captivating hillocks, rivulets, temples, basadis, several charitable institutions, and the famous Manjunatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
For Tourists interested in heritage, temple rituals, and history, the Mansusha Museum has manuscripts on palm leaves in Thulu, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Kanada etc. The other exhibitis include artifacts raging from paintings to old coins.
There is also a Vintage Car Museum with an amazing collection of old car from across the world. During the annual festival week long Laksha Deepotsava held during the festival of Deepavali I October/ Novemer, 100,000 lamps are lit and religious discourses held. Other festivities at the temple include Rathothasava (car festival) on the occasion of Shivaratri in March/April, the jatra called Pattanaaje in May, and the Navratri Utsava in the month of October.
The beautiful town on thebanks of river Tungabhadra, amidst the lush hills of Chikmagalur is one most important pilgrim centres of Karnataka. The Sringeri Mutt here was founded in 9th century by saint Sri Adi Shankara, the propagator of Advaitha philosophy. The 12th century Vidyashankara temple was built here with the help of Vijayanagar rulers. It is a fine blend of Hoysala and Dravidian style of architecture. The sanctum Sanctorum enshrines a linga, called as Vidyashankara, in the memory of Guru Vidyatheerth. A 14th century shrine of Lord Janardhan is located nearby. Sringeri also has an old Jain Basadi (monastery).
This important Vaishnavite pilgrim and cultural centre is also famous for delicious South Indian cuisine. The Udupi Krishna Temple here is famous for ‘Paryaya’ festival held once in two years.
Relics of a fort built during the Vijayanagara period and shrines of Kenchamma, Veerbhadra, Mahalingeshwara and Ganapathi.
Tranquil beach resort. The beautiful St. Mary’s Island cab be reached by boat from here.
The sacred site is well known for an 11 metres high statue of Lord Bahubali, which was erected in 1604, on the southern banks of Gurupur River. Venur 50km from Mangalore or 19km southeast of Moodabidri is where 12m high monolith of Bahubali built in 1605 by Veera Thimmana IV is located. The town on the south bank of the Gurpura River has eight Jain basadis and the ruins of the Mahadeva Temple.
This 8 km long and half a km wide land has Arabian Sea on one side and the river Gurupur on the other. The Kudru Isle in the middle of the Gurupur Sanctuary and close by natural harbor of Panambur are favorite haunt of locals and visitors. Motorboats from the ferry points at bunder, and the other at Sultan Battery cross the river all day.
Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the Pilikula Nisagardhama, a sprawling 350 acre biological park with a zoo, 12km from Mangalore. It encompasses a wide variety of attractions of cultural, scientific, educational and recreational interest. The park is made up of a large lake surrounded by landscaped gardens and wooded pockets. Phone: 0824-2263300; Timing: 09.30 to 17.30, Closed on Mondays.
Kateel is 27km east of Mangalore. It has the famed Durga Parameshwari Temple situated on an island in Nandini River. The deity associated with many legends and folklores is venerated all over south Karnataka. The pillars of this temple bear beautiful sculptures. the Yakshagana Dasavathra Fair held here is famous among the devotees.
A small town on the bank of the river Netravathi is known for the temples of Narahari Sadashiva and Odiyoor Dathaguru Veeranjaneya. Narahari Betta is an enchanting spot with a temple known for its ponds, which are the shape of Shanka, chakra gadha and padma the weapons of Lord Vishnu.
It is 10km from Bantwala through the winding Ghat roads you reach Polali Shree Rajarajeshwari Temple. It is the site of an annual festival in March-April of Bant community, which culminates in a 'Polali Chendu', a football match in which the ball offered at the feet of the Goddess is used as football. This offering of the ball commemorates the Goddess's feat of annihilating the demon by stamping on his head. The idol of the main deity, Goddess Rajarajeshwari made of clay (about 3m high) is the biggest clay idol in India.
Puttur is about 50km southeast of Mangalore it is the famous Mahalingeshwara Temple dating from 1353.2km from Puttur is the scenic Balavana at Parladka associated with Dr. Kota Shivarama Karanth. It has an open-air theatre, a museum, a library and children's play area with number of rides, and toys.
Bendre Teertha is about 15km from Puttur. Bendre Teertha is a scenic spot on the banks of the river Seerehole. It has natural hot water springs that are believed to have curative powers. At a distance of 32km from Puttur is Karinjeshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort. Standing high on the hill it is the venue of the popular Shivaratri festival.
Other places of interest around Mangalore include 48km west of Mangalore at the confluence of the rivers Netravathi and Kumaradhara rivers is the Saharsa Lingam at Uppinangady having thousand lingams. It is popular for its Makhi Fair when thousands gather here to make offerings to their ancestors. Mulki is about 29km south of Mangalore is known for its temples of Durga Parameshwari, Venkataramana and the twin temples of Somnatha and Narayana. It is also the site of Kambala (Buffalo Race) in December.
Mangalore Distance Guide