Mangalore, also known as “Kudla” by the locals, is a vibrant coastal city in India that offers a plethora of experiences for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in its rich culture and natural beauty. From ancient temples to serene beaches, from delicious local cuisine to thrilling adventure activities, Mangalore has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey through the top things to do in Mangalore, ensuring that you make the most of your visit to this enchanting city.
Here we bring you the list of 8 top things to do in Mangalore in 2023
1. Discover the Spiritual Side: Explore Temples, Mosques, and Churches
Mangalore is a melting pot of different religions, and a visit to the city is incomplete without exploring its diverse spiritual landmarks. Start your spiritual journey by visiting the Gokarnanatheshwara Temple at Kudroli, an exquisite temple adorned with intricate carvings and statues of Hindu deities. Marvel at the grandeur of Lord Shri Krishna and Arjuna on a horse-drawn carriage, depicting the iconic scene “Vishwaroopa Darshana” from the Bhagavad Gita.
Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere of the Kadri Manjunatheswara Temple, believed to have been built in the 10th or 11th century by the Alupa dynasty. Admire the ancient Lord Lokeshwar statue, dating back to 968 A.D., making it the oldest known sculpture in South Indian temples.
For a glimpse into the city’s vibrant cultural mosaic, visit the Milagres Church, a beautiful Roman Catholic church with stunning architecture. Explore the Jami Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Mangalore, known for its intricate design and peaceful ambiance. The city’s diverse religious landmarks offer a unique opportunity to experience the harmony and coexistence of different faiths.
2. Embark on a Scenic Hike in the Western Ghats
Escape the bustling city and venture into the breathtaking Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which surrounds Mangalore. With its lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna, the Western Ghats provide a perfect backdrop for an adventurous hike.
Head to Kudremukh National Park, located approximately 95 kilometers from Mangalore, and embark on a trek to the mesmerizing Kudremukh Peak. As you ascend through the dense forests and mist-covered trails, be prepared to be awestruck by the panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. For a less strenuous hike, explore the enchanting waterfalls of the Western Ghats. Soak in the beauty of places like Abbey Falls, Jog Falls, and Sirimane Falls, where the gushing water creates a soothing symphony amidst the verdant surroundings. The Western Ghats offer nature lovers a chance to connect with the pristine beauty of Mangalore’s hinterland.
3. Experience the Thrill of a Boat Ride at New Mangalore Port
Indulge in a unique experience by taking a boat ride at the New Mangalore Port, one of the major ports in India. Witness the bustling activity of cargo ships and fishing vessels as you cruise through the serene waters of the Arabian Sea. Feel the cool breeze on your face and marvel at the panoramic views of the coastline.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins frolicking in the sea. Dolphin-watching excursions are available, allowing you to witness these playful creatures in their natural habitat. The boat ride at New Mangalore Port promises an unforgettable experience, combining the serenity of the sea with the vibrancy of the port.
4. Indulge in the Culinary Delights of Mangalore
No visit to Mangalore is complete without savoring its delectable cuisine. Known for its rich seafood, aromatic spices, and unique flavors, Mangalore offers a gastronomic experience like no other. Begin your culinary journey by trying the local specialty, fish curry. Whether it’s the tangy and spicy Kundapura Fish Curry or the coconut-infused Bangude Pulimunchi, the seafood in Mangalore is a true delight for the taste buds.
For a vegetarian delight, indulge in the famous Mangalorean dish, Goli Baje, a crispy and fluffy snack made from maida (all-purpose flour) and yogurt. Pair it with coconut chutney for an explosion of flavors. Don’t miss out on the iconic Mangalorean ice cream, Gadbad. This heavenly dessert consists of layers of strawberry jelly, fruits, and nuts sandwiched between three scoops of different flavored ice creams. Ideal’s and Pabba’s are renowned ice cream parlors where you can relish this local favorite.
5. Unwind on the Serene Beaches of Mangalore
Mangalore boasts a coastline dotted with pristine beaches, each with its unique charm. Whether you’re seeking a lively atmosphere or a tranquil retreat, Mangalore has a beach to suit every mood. Panambur Beach is a popular choice, known for its vibrant ambiance and a plethora of beach activities. Enjoy a stroll along the golden sands, indulge in thrilling water sports, or simply bask in the sun while savoring the cool sea breeze.
For a quieter beach experience, head to Sasihithlu Beach, Tannir Bavi Beach, or Someshwara Beach. These hidden gems offer a serene escape from the crowds, allowing you to unwind in a tranquil setting. However, exercise caution and visit these beaches with the company, as some incidents of unsavory activities have been reported in the vicinity.
6. Immerse Yourself in Nature at Pilikula
Pilikula, a nature lover’s paradise, is a must-visit destination in Mangalore. This sprawling eco-education and tourism complex offers a wide range of attractions for the whole family. Start your exploration at the Pilikula Biological Park, home to a diverse array of animals, including tigers, lions, and elephants. Witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitats and learn about their conservation efforts.
Visit the Dr. Shivaram Karanth Biological Research Center, where you can delve into the world of scientific research and environmental studies. Discover the rich biodiversity of the Western Ghats and gain insights into sustainable living practices. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the captivating planetarium show at Pilikula. Through an immersive 3D experience, learn about the mysteries of the universe and the wonders of astronomy. Hop-on-hop-off rides are available to explore the various attractions within Pilikula, ensuring a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.
7. Immerse Yourself in Festivities: Attend the Jathra Mahothsava at Kadri Temple
Experience the vibrant culture of Mangalore by attending the Jathra Mahothsava at the Shri Manjunatheswara Temple in Kadri. This annual festival celebrated during Makara Sankranti (from January 14th to January 21st), is a grand procession filled with music, dance, and religious fervor.
Marvel at the beautifully decorated chariot, which carries the deity through the streets of Mangalore, accompanied by enthusiastic devotees. Immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere as you witness traditional rituals and cultural performances. The Jathra Mahothsava offers a unique opportunity to witness the rich cultural heritage of Mangalore.
8. Go on a Shopping Spree in Hampankatta Market
No visit to Mangalore is complete without exploring the vibrant markets of the city. Head to Hampankatta Market, a bustling hub where you can find a myriad of local treasures. Indulge in retail therapy as you browse through the shops offering traditional Mangalorean apparel, including sarees and dress materials. Discover intricately designed jewelry, perfect for adding a touch of Mangalorean elegance to your collection.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the market as you witness the local vendors selling an array of spices, fruits, and vegetables. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the local seasonal fruits, such as jackfruit, jamun fruit, kokum fruit, mangoes, and custard apples.
Sometimes visiting a destination where you can have a great time with your friends and family is surely going to be a good decision.