Mangalore and the Coast
Church of the Most Holy Rosary, Udipi, Mutts, Gokarna, Mahabaleshwar Temple, festival of Shivaratri...
A benevolent and powerful goddess called Mangala Devi has given her name to Mangalore. Set near palm-fringed backwaters formed by the confluence of the Netravathi and Gurupur rivers, Mangalore has a pleasant climate all year round. Its importance as a seaport is increasing, continuing a tradition dating back to when Mangalore are used all over India and the manufacture of bidis, cigarettes rolled from a single tobacco leaf, is a popular cottage industry; it is also an important center of the cashew and coffee trade. Although the city is named after a Hindu goddess, it has one of India's largest Christian communities, and several churches date from the 16th century; the earliest, the Church of the Most Holy Rosary, was founded in 1526. But Mangalore has little to offer of architectural or historic interest; its attractions are its relaxed atmosphere, lush greenness and location as a good starting point for the journey up the coast to Karwar.
Between the waves of the Arabian Sea and the rising grandeur of the Western Ghats lies a strip of land - no more than 65 kilometers (40 miles) wide at its broadest - which runs for almost 600 kilometers (350 miles). Only when the rivers that rise in the Western Ghats rush towards the Arabian Sea during the monsoon (July to September) does travel become, if not difficult, uncomfortable. This is not a place to hurry. Rather, one should just drift up the coast, enjoying the scenic beauty of some of the best and least-known beaches in India, as well as the wonderful cuisine.
There is little to distinguish one seaside village from another. Only at Udipi, 58 kilometers (36 miles) from Mangalore and slightly inland, and at Gokarna, 55 kilometers (34 miles) from journey's end at Karwar, does the atmosphere change. Udipi is one of South India's most important Hindu centers and the seat of Dwaita, a system of Hindu philosophy. The 13th-century exponent of this philosophy, Sri Madhava-Acharya, installed the beautiful idol of Krishna in Udipi's famous temple. As the town is also the home of eight mutts, or Hindu monasteries, the streets are always bustling with devout pilgrims. All over India Udipi Hotels are a familiar sight and a byword for inexpensive, strictly vegetarian, no-frills restaurants whose proprietors and staff hail from this small town.
Gokarna is one of India's most sacred places. Overlooking the sea, the temple dedicated to Shiva, the Mahabaleshwar, is said to be second in sanctity only to the Viswanath Temple in Varanasi. After the death of a close relative, Hindus come here to perform their obsequies. A belief held by the people of Kerala is that the Nagas, the underworld snake gods, spend part of the year here. The festival of Shivaratri in late February/ early March draws large crowds.
The Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore declared that Karwar had the loveliest beach in the world, but the truth is that the whole coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches and the traveler can choose his favourite for himself.
Mangalore, manufacture of bidis, cottage industry, Christian communities, Church of the Most Holy Rosary, Arabian Sea, Udipi, Sri Madhava-Acharya, Udipi's famous temple, Gokarna, Mahabaleshwar, Viswanath Temple, festival of Shivaratri, Rabindranath Tagore
Kadri: Kadri is another ancient historic spot in Mangalore. The Kadri Temple dating back to about 1068 A.D. with its nine tanks, its square temple, nestling at the foot of the highest hill, draws to Mangalore hundreds of visitors annually. The Lokeshwara bronze statue of the Kadri Manjunatha Temple is tipped to be the best bronze statue in India. On top of the hill King Kundavarma Bhupendra built a mutt, which came to be called 'Jogimutt'. There are some stone caves on top of the hill, which are known as the caves of the Pandavas.
St. Aloysius Church is situated 1 km away from the city's main center. The walls of the church are covered with the paintings of the artist Antony Moshaini of Italy. The church was built in the year 1899-1900. St. Aloysius College Chapel, an architectural gem, comparable with the Sistine chapel in Rome, is situated on lighthouse hill. The special beauty of the chapel is the wonderful series of paintings that virtually cover every inch of the interior roof and walls.
Shri Sharavu Mahaganapathi Temple of Mangalore is known as a pilgrim center and boasts of many sacred temples like Sharavu, Kadri, Mangaladevi, and Kudroli etc. Out of these Sri Sharavu Sharabeshwara - Sri Mahaganapathi Kshetra is an outstanding, pious center of great illustrious history of marathon 800 years.
Kudroli Gokarnath Temple is situated 3 km away from main city area. Recently, this temple has been renovated and now it is one of the tourist attraction places in Mangalore.
Sultan Battery is situated in Boloor 4 km away from Mangalore City. It was built in Black stones by Tipu Sultan to prevent warships to enter Gurupur river. Now the remaining part of the fort is called as Tipu's Well. It is today a deserted spot but its construction is bafflingly exquisite. Although it is a watchtower, it gives the impression of a miniature fortress with its arrangements for mounting cannons all round.
Weekend Trips / Excursions: Mangalore offers some excellent spots for daylong excursions. Dharmastala, situated 75 km east of Mangalore, has a number of Jain bastis including the famous Manjunatha Temple. There's also a 14-m-high Bahubali statue, which was erected in 1973. There is also a museum visiting which will give the visitor some idea of the place. Situated approximately 50 km northeast of Mangalore city is the Venur town. This small town is famous for its eight Jain bastis and the ruins of the Mahadeva temple. An 11-m-high Bahubali statue dating back to 1604 stands on the southern bank of the Gurupur River. Mudabidri has 18 Jain bastis. Situated 35 km northeast of Mangalore, this place is famous for its 15th-century Chandranatha temple, known colloquially as the 1000-pillar hall. Situated 20 km north of Mudabidri is Karkal, famous for its several important temples and a 13 km high Bahubali statue. The Bahubali statue is said to have been completed in the year 1432. The statue is on a small serene hillock on the outskirts of the town. One can get a good view of the Western Ghats from here.
The Indian city of Mangalore is easily accessible through air, road and rail from the other major Indian cities and states.
By Air : Mangalore city is accessible by almost all the transportation systems. The airport is 20 km from the city center. One can take the locally available road transport medium to reach the airport to catch a flight.
By Rail: The Mangalore train station is on the southern fringe of the city center. However, some of the trains stop at the Kankanadi Station situated 5 km east of the Mangalore main city.
By Road : The road network is well maintained in the state, which connects it with the nearby places of importance.
Four Star Hotel: Manjarur-Lodge