To the south by the shores of Arabian Sea is located the port town of Mangaluru, a rambling, green, friendly town that is a serene getaway, a little off the beaten track and ideal for those who want a slightly laidback sort of vacation. The approach of Mangaluru by road or rail is as eye-filling as by air, with rolling hills, verdant vistas, sparkling streams gurgling to rendezvous with the sea, and the smell of salt water getting ever stronger as the coast draws nearer. The landscape is dotted with tiled-roof buildings, topped with the famous Mangaluru tiles made with the local hard red clay, and built with laterite, a soft rock easily sliced into large building blocks Some of the old houses even have elaborate wood-work.
The exceptionally fine location of Mangaluru on a narrow coastal strip between the towering Western Ghats on one side and the azure Arabian sea on the other has attracted settlers form afar. The city is virtually a Tower of Babel, with the sounds of several languages mingling on the streets. Mangaluru is known for the industriousness of its people and natural splendour. The place also has a history of maritime activities.
Tourist Attractions and Excursions in Mangaluru
Today, Mangaluru is the 2nd largest town in Karnataka. Yellow bananas hang in small, open-fronted shops; churches and temples dot the countryside; and most of the buildings are tiled and have a live in homely feel. The town has been built on sub-montane terrain. The sea, however, is never too far away. Some of the tourist sites and exursions are listed below.
Virtually all the famous buildings in Mangaluru are shrines. The Mangladevi temple and its deity reputedly gave Mangaluru its name. The four-armed idol gets all the reverence due to the Mother Goddess. Originally, however, she was a princess of Kerala named Premala. A large temple chariot stands on the road outside the temple..
Another fascinating shrine is the Kadri temple. This was originally a Buddhist vihara which was taken over by the Nath community because they have affiliations with Buddhism. The beautiful bronze idol enthroned in this temple does have some of the attributes of the icons of the Vajrayana Buddhism practiced by the people of the Himalayas. There ia a water spring in the Kadri temple which gushes out of a spout fashioned like the auspicious mouth of a cow: a gomukh. Devotees believe that it is connected with the sacred river Ganga. This holy water also flows into nine tanks which have soul-cleansing virtues.
Mausoleum of Seyyid Mohammed Shareeful Madani
The dargah (mausoleum) of Seyyid Mohammed Shareeful Madani has been painted in bright colours. It has risen around the tomb of a Muslim divine who had come to Mangaluru from the holy town of Medina. According to local belief, any animal dedicated to the saint and released anywhere in India will find its way back unescorted!
Abbakka Rani was a 16th century princess who hated the Portuguese, divorced her husband for accepting their impositions, fought him and eventually gave up her life rather than surrender to the Iberians. The reputation of the Someshwar temple centres around the fact that Abbakka Rani used to worship here five centuries ago.
The impressive Milagres Church had, apparently, been rebuilt in its present location because the original one had been destroyed by Tipu Sultan when he invaded the city.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary is the seat of the Catholic Bishop. Much has been made of the murals on the walls of the Chapel of St. Aloysius' College. They were reputedly painted by an Italian brother of the Jesuit order about a century ago.
Albuquerques' tile factory
Mangaluru is known to architects all over India for the quality of its terra-cotta tiles and Albuquerque tiles are reputedly the best of them all.
In spite of all the changes that have come about over the years, the chief characteristic of Mangaluru is still its tropical natural beauty. A popular destination for holidaymakers is the Ullal beach, which has a resort for long stays. There are several unspoiled places along the coast to the north and south of Mangaluru. A large safari park is being developed at Pilkula, jointly by the forest, horticulture and tourism departments.
About 60 km north of Mangaluru is the pilgrim centre of Udipi, with its famous Krishna temple. It was here that the saint Madhavacharya preached his philosophy of dualism 700 years ago. Udipi is also a household name in India for its famous cuisine spread all over the country by the ubiquitous "Udipi restaurants".
How to Reach Mangaluru
Mangaluru is connected to the rest of the country by the Bajpe airport. It is also connected by rail as well as road. We offer complete travel and tour packages to this beautiful cosmopolitan and tolerant coastal town. Our packages are inclusive of hotel booking, air booking services as well as cab and car hire services for the entire duration of your stay there. Our tour packages are convenient and cost effective travel options that will give you the opportunity to explore the fascinating fabric of diverse ethnic and cultural strands of Mangaluru.
Important Travel Information
A visit to Mangaluru is not complete without witnessing the traditional gorgeously costumed Yakshagana performance held all night. Generally based on mythological themes, the tempo builds up gradually in the pleasant night air, whipping up the enthusiasm of the audience.
For those with a sweet tooth Mangaluru has one of the largest chocolate factories in Asia that has been established in the hinterland of the city.
The development of Mangaluru has been spearheaded by the setting up of the new all-weather Mangaluru port. The harbour, with extensive mineral-handling facilities to export the rich iron ore excavated and processed in the Kudremukh area up in the hills, together with the newly completed Konkan railway along the West Coast, has made Mangaluru a transport hub.
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