Located on the picturesque Kanara coast, Mangalore is a fast-growing, laid-back destination that’s perfect for beach lovers. It’s the most important port city in Karnataka and is also known as the biggest centre for education, commerce, and healthcare in the state only second to Bangalore. It’s also one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the state with people of various religions, tongues, cultures, and castes living together in harmony. It is also one of the fastest developing economies in Karnataka with large IT and outsourcing companies like Infosys, Cognizant, Endurance, and Mphasis setting up offices in the city. The best time to visit Mangalore comes during the months of October to February when temperatures remain pleasant.
The city of Mangalore has been given the name of “Gateway of Karnataka”, thanks to its amazing connectivity via road, rail, air, and sea. The city brings in thousands of tourists every year with a wide range of attractions to visit. If you’re planning to visit the city, choose comfortable accommodation to keep you well rested. Treebo Hotels in Mangalore are an ideal choice for travellers who are looking for comfort on a budget.
Mangalore offers plenty in terms of sightseeing, entertainment, and food, including temples, churches, beaches, parks and more. Here are few excellent places to visit in Mangalore.
- Mangaladevi Temple
Located 3 km away from the heart of the city, the Mangaladevi Temple houses the deity Shakti in the form of Mangaladevi. The city of Mangalore gets its name from this proud goddess. The temple is regarded an antique treasure in the city, said to be constructed in the 9th Century BC by the King Kundavaram of the Alupa Dynasty. Dussera is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in this temple with the Goddess Mangaladevi being worshipped on the 9th day. Many devotees from around the district visit the temple at this time to witness the Rathotsava procession. You can visit the temple on any day during the week from 6am to around 8pm.
- Panambur Beach
Arguably one of the prettiest beaches in Mangalore, the Panambur Beach is the site of the city’s annual Kite Festival. The beach is about 13 km from the main city but is considered one of the safest, cleanest and best maintained beaches in the town. It is safe to take a refreshing swim in these waters, thanks to the number of alert, trained lifeguards who patrol the beach. You can also enjoy a number of activities like jet skiing, boat rides, dolphin spotting, horse or camel rides, ATV rides and surfing here. You can also enjoy some of the freshest seafood in the city at the many beach shacks put up here.
- Gokarnanatheshwara Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Gokarnanatheshwara Temple is one the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It is a relatively new temple in Mangalore, being built in 1912 by Adhyaksha Hoige Koragappa and is 2 km away from the centre of the city. This beautiful temple 60 foot, gold hued gopuram that is decorated with the stucco figures of scenes from Hindu mythology. A number of festivals are celebrated here, the biggest of which are Maha Shivratri, Navratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Dasara.
- Pilikula Nisargadhama
If you’re ever in the mood for a picnic while in Mangalore, the best place to visit is Pilikula Nisargadhama. Located 15 km away from the city, this is the perfect escape for people looking for some scenic beauty. This garden houses a lake, a small zoological and botanical park, a golf course, and a water park. This is a great place to visit if you ever just want to play a game of golf, take a boat ride, and relax on green lawns.
- St. Aloysius Chapel
Built in 1880 by Jesuit missionaries, St. Aloysius Church is one of the most stunning works of European architecture in the city. The insides of the church is covered in beautiful paintings by Antonio Moscheni depicting the lives of Jesus Christ and several Catholic saints including St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Thomas, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John de Britto. This beautiful chapel is located on lighthouse hill and offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea.
- Tannirbhavi Beach
Tannirbhavi Beach is the second most popular beach in Mangalore. This beach is equipped with good facilities, including clean bathrooms, alert lifeguards, a parking lot, a few restaurants and beach shacks, and concrete benches. The beach also boasts an adjoining tree park over 15 hectares. The park is home to many botanical species found in the Western Ghats and has a number of sculptures showcasing the city’s rich culture.
- Sultan Battery
For a blast to the past, it’s a great idea to visit Sultan Battery about 4km away from the city centre. This structure was a watch tower built by Tipu Sultan in 1784 and was said to be built using the stones from 23 churches destroyed by the Sultan himself. The tower was built much like a fort with slots in the wall to mount cannons, a storage room for gunpowder, and a watch station. You can enjoy a lovely, panoramic view of the sea from the top of the watchtower.
- Light House Hill Garden
Located in the heart of the city is the Light House Hill Garden in Hampankatta. This 18th Century lighthouse was built by Haider Ali as a watchtower for the the Mysore Navy. It also served as a base for the British Navy to monitor passing ships. Today, it boasts a beautiful garden offering gorgeous views of the sea. It is one of the best places to witness the sunset. At the base of the lighthouse hill is a library named after a freedom fighter Karnad Sadashiv Rao.
- Milagres Church
Built in 1680 by Bishop Thomas de Castro, the Milagres Church is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in Dakshina Kannada. The original structure of this church was destroyed by Tipu Sultan in 1784. The church was rebuilt in 1811 and today houses an ornate altar with a French painting of St. Augustine and St. Monica. It is located in the heart of the city and is a lovely place to visit for some peace and quiet.
If you’re in Mangalore for a few days, you can choose to spend a day at Ullal, a small sea town located about 10 km south of Mangalore. This town was once the subsidiary capital of the Chowta rulers in the 16th Century and has plenty to see. A few popular attractions, including the Someshwara Temple, Sayyid Madani Dargah, and Queen Abbakka’s Fort.
These attractions are only a small list of what marvellous things the city of Mangalore has to offer. The next time you’re in the city, try and give all of these beautiful places a visit and take in the city’s colourful culture, delicious food and warm weather.