Mangalore is the gateway to Karnataka. It is one of the five talukas (other than Bantwal, Puttur, Sullia, Belthangady taluks) of the Dakshina Kannada District. This District formerly had 8 talukas, but these were split in August 1997 and the remaining talukas, namely Udupi, Kundapur and Karkala then formed a part of the Udupi district.
Mangalore is named after the Goddess Mangaladevi. Other names used by the locals are 'Mangalooru' (Kannada), 'Kudla' (Tulu), 'Kodial' (Konkani), 'Mikala' (Beary) and 'Mangalapuram (Malayalam).
Traditionally, it was an important trading port with ties with the Persian Gulf states dating back to the 14th century. With its strategic location, it was occupied by a number of dynasties and colonial rulers - namely the Portuguese in the mid-16th century. In the 18th century its control was contested by Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan on one hand and the British on the other. Under the Mysore sultans (1763) it became a strategic ship building base, which was ceded to the British in 1799 after numerous sieges.
Mangalore is one of the fastest developing cities in India. Many multi-national corporations and domestic corporations are opening their branches in Mangalore. Many reputed builders are bringing huge development projects. There is very good growth in the retail sector and many new shopping malls are being built. Infosys Technologies has 2 Development Centers in Mangalore with over 3000 employees. EDS has their India Training Center based near Mangalore Club. Corporation Bank and Karnataka Bank have their headquarters inside the city and Syndicate Bank HQ is in Manipal. Other industries are MRPL, MCF, KIOCL, Ultratech Cement Plant are some of the other industries in the city.
Mangalore is also known as the 'Cradle of Education' in Karnataka with 15 Engineering, 5 Medical, 14 Dental, 12 MBA, 11 Physiotherapy, 8 Hotel Management and 58 Graduation colleges in and around the city.
Mangalore is a blend of the new and the old! With the increasing influx of students from various states of India and different parts of the world, Mangalore has virtually become a 'melting pot' of cultures, given the various communities that make up the social framework of Mangalore - the Tuluvas (Bunts, Billawas, Brahmins,Jains,Devadigas, Mogaveeras), the Brahmins, the Konkani Catholics, the Bearys, the Goud-Saraswath Brahmins (Konkanas), etc.
The number of languages spoken around here reflects the cultural diversity of Mangalore - Tulu (the most popular and most widely spoken language here, with a slight variation spoken by the Brahmin community), Kannada (the official state language), Konkani (two different versions exist - the one spoken by the Konkani Catholics and another spoken by the Konkanas or the Goud-Saraswaths) and 'Beary' (a mixture of Tulu and Tamil and Malayalam) spoken by the local Muslim community. English and Hindi are also widely spoken, so communication shouldn't be much of a problem.
Mangalore International Airport (IATA: IXE) (ICAO: VOML), at Bajpe, about 20 km from the city centre. Currently there are daily flights to Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, Kochi and Calicut in the domestic segment and weekly/bi-weekly flights to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat (Oman), Doha (Qatar), Kuwait and Bahrain in the international segment.
Air India, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, and Air India Express currently operate flights to Mangalore.
Mangalore has two big railway stations.
Here is a list of useful trains to reach Mangalore:
Also see Rail travel in India
There are two bus-stands in Mangalore for long-distance bus services.
There are numerous bus services from Mangalore to all the nearby towns in Karnataka and Kerala. The long-distance bus services to major cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Hubli-Dharwad and Goa run along the National Highways radiating to the North (towards Goa and Mumbai) - NH-17, South (towards Kerala) and the East (towards Bangalore) - NH-48.
Mangalore is well connected to Goa, Mumbai, and Kerala via NH-17, to the state capital Bangalore via NH-48, and to Hyderabad via NH-13. Highways are only two-laned and very narrow, but make for extremely scenic drives as they all pass either through the Western Ghats or along the coastline. There is a lot of heavy traffic load on the highways owing to the increasing number of buses plying on these routes, as well as a lot of goods-transport trucks owing to the location of many plants and factories as well as New Mangalore Port on NH-17. So exercise caution while driving during periods of heavy traffic.
NH-48 from Sakleshpur to Mangalore, which had been completely unmotorable thanks to government apathy, is now repaired and somewhat motorable. Work is going on to convert NH-48 into a four-lane highway. Until they do this, one needs to go to Mangalore from Bangalore either through the potentially dangerous Charmadi Ghat road, or via the equally pathetic Mysore-Madikeri-Suliya route.
There are numerous private bus companies which run bus services within the city of Mangalore and its suburbs. They have names like Padmambika Bus Co. Ltd. emblazoned in large letters in English on the front windscreen of the bus and on its sides. These buses also connect to all the minor urban centres surrounding Mangalore. Most of them originate from the Central Bus Stand at Mangalore behind the Town Hall - the 'State Bank' bus-stand.
Even though the buses are operated by different private companies, the bus numbering scheme is unified and quite useful. The destinations and routes are, however, all written in Kannada. The best way to use these buses is to ask around - the people are most helpful. If you are armed with a city map, one can get the hang of things within a day or so. The minimum bus fare is Rs. 3.25 If you are a student then you can avail concession on bus fares,that is, you just have ot pay half the bus fare. In addition city bus service, there is limited stop (usually called express) bus service (the majority of these are run by various private bus companies) for inter-town/city travelling to neighbouring places. You may find these useful to visit places like Udupi, Manipal, Kaup, Karkala etc. Bus fare ranges between Rs. 14 to Rs. 35 for a distance up to 65 km.
White Ambassador Cabs / Indicas are available - usually used by passengers on long-haul routes. Shared cabs are also available for travel between the city and other talukas viz. Bantwal (BC Road), etc. Prepaid cabs are available from the airport to the city - this is generally at a flat rate of Rs. 350-400.
Car-Rent facilities are also available in Mangalore.
They are available all throughout Mangalore City - starting fare is Rs.13. Pre-paid autos were available from the City Railway Station and the KSRTC bus stand at Bejai, but not any more. Autos also ply to far-off destinations, the outskirts, for one-and-a-half times the actual fare; this is roughly around Rs.150, depending on the amount of money you have to spare, although one would prefer using buses to reach these areas as a cheaper mode of transport. Call 9845548140 for maxicabs for sightseeing.
Venkataramana Temple, Gokarnanatha, Kadri, Mangaladevi
St. Aloysious, Milagris
Mangalore has many clean and beautiful beaches:
1. There are a lot of temples and churches to visit, or if that doesn't interest you, relaxing at the beach is a good idea. 2. For the adventurous, the western ghats near Mangalore provide an ideal location to get lost in the dense jungles. 3. Pilikula nisarga dhama is about 12 km from city and is a tourist spot with "manasa" water theme park, animal park, boating, science centre, arboretum,golf course etc., all in one place.
There is no dearth of malls and shopping complexes in Mangalore. Apart from Hampankatta , Balmatta, Kankanady and posh Falnir, most of the new malls are coming up on MG Road which is a dual carriageway. The "Empire Mall" has the Nilgiris supermarket, Coffee Day, Pizza Corner, Dollar store and a few other retail chains. It also houses Combinations, a good store for artificial jewelry and cosmetic requirements, not as big as, but similar to Claire's.
The "Bharath Mall" has an Adlabs 4 screen Multiplex, Big Bazaar,Food Bazaar, PlanetM, Pizza Hut, Pantaloons, Coffee Day, Subway, Adidas, Reebok, Provogue, Planet Sports, Swawroski, Lewis etc. just to name a few. The Saibeen complex is also located on MG Road. Another mall, the "Mohtisham City Centre Mall", is coming up on K S Rao road. It has a retail space of almost 800,000 square feet. Spencers, McDonalds, Westside, Reliance Fresh, Landmark, Shoppers Stop have already booked their spaces. This mall will also feature a 6 screen multiplex called 'Fun Cinemas'.
The Bangalore based Prestige group is investing about 300 crores for their upcoming 625,000 sq feet mall 'Forum' near AB Shetty Circle and it is targeted to be fully functional by November 2010. Another mall is expected to be built opposite the TMA Pai International convention centre on MG Road.
'Excel Mall', 'Mischief Mega Mall', 'Mak-mall', 'Spectrum','Times Square', 'Pio Mall', 'Golden Harvest Mall','Mangalore Central Mall'and 'City Center' are the upcoming malls in Mangalore.
Like in Bangalore and Mumbai, you can find a huge crowd in the malls of Mangalore. During the end of the season, retailers like 'Pantaloons Retail India Ltd.' offer huge sales discounts like that which is done in Bangalore and Mumbai. People in Mangalore are also crazy about shopping.
Small fashion stores like 'Signature Shoppping', 'Saree House', 'Envy' etc. are also present in Mangalore.
There are various supermarkets across the city where you can get groceries & other daily items. A few of them are:
Apart from these, a few more supermarkets such as Spencer's, Mark & Spencers, Reliance Fresh etc., are expected to open their outlets in Mangalore.
There are numerous small restaurants where one can gorge on cheap food as long as one likes South Indian food. The most typical ones are the Udupi-style restaurants which serve the staple fare of idli, wada and a variety of dosas. You can wash them down with some home-grown filter coffee or tea.
One of the more famous Udupi-style restaurants is the Woodlands situated on Bunts Hostel Road which has preserved its old-world quaintness. The gentry of Mangalore drive into its courtyard and remain seated in their cars. Nimble-footed waiters with their white mundus hitched up scamper around to serve them their food which is eaten inside the cars.
The lunch menu in Woodlands is particularly tasty if you like typical South Indian food. Lunch includes two varieties of rice - Normal rice and Boiled rice (Kerala style). The tiffin menu (evening) also is delicious with several choices. The dinner menu is very plain and contains many repeat dishes.
Dont miss out on Wheat Halwa from Taj Mahal Hotel in hampankatta, its mouth watering.
Try such dishes as Kane Rava fry, Anjal Masala fry and Manji Masala fry.
Another category of small eateries is the Malayali joints. As Mangalore is adjacent to Kerala, it has a fair share of Malayalis who patronize these places. You will see that these eateries have their names written in large letters in the Malayalam script. They provide a selection of non-vegetarian food prepared in typical Kerala-style. A famous place to cite in this category would be Kairali Restaurant - near the Railway Station behind Milagres Church.
If you're ready to spend a little more money to give yourself and your family that perfect tummy treat while in Mangalore, visit the various restaurants around which offer varied cuisines of your choice and taste - at a price! The 'Chicken Ghee Roast', which is a delicacy specifically of Dakshina Kannada is available at many of the premium restaurants.
Some of the famous restaurants:
Ice cream and Snacks
If you scream for ice cream and other snacks - the usual fare of junk food, look no further than Mangalore. This is often labelled 'ice cream town' for the boom in the number of parlours in and around the city. Some of the most famous ones include:
If you're in for the other famous & international eating places, try:
Fruit Juice and Cold Drinks
An array of mini fruit juice stalls dot every nook and cranny of Mangalore City - at bus stops, near shopping areas, etc. that serve the usual fare of juices and milkshakes - name it and it's all there for you. Although, this is not recommended if your gut is not immune to such juices! Normal restaurants would definitely be a hygienic alternative!
Aerated cold drinks like Coke & Pepsi are also available - just as in any other part of the world. Try out the local varieties, such as 'Zaffa' or 'Joy' for taste. If you want to have hygienically flavored sugarcane juice, then you will find a joint in Bharath Mall. You will wonder how much technology has changed these days!
Another must visit place is the Temple Square (Car street). The juice shop to check out is the one located between School book company & an Ayurvedic medicine shop.This juice shop specialises in dishing out concoctions made up of locally grown berries.Famous flavours include "Nannari", "Jaljeera", "Hingastak", "Birinda", and the rest is upto you to explore.The juice shop perfectly complements the fried delicacies served at "Ballu's podi" located right across the street.
Well there's the usual Cafe Coffee Day with its main outlet at Balmatta and four others at Deralakatte bang opposite the A.B. Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences campus, at the ONGC-MRPL Complex at Katipalla - Surathkal (near Infant Mary Church) and two new outlets opened recently - at the Empire Mega Mall (MG Road) and at Bharath Mall (Opposite KSRTC Bus Stand, Bejai). The outlets offer the youth a good hangout and a place to chill.
Or if you're game for just plain filter coffee without the extra hype, try out any of the Udupi cafes. Like the Taj Mahal hotels at Car Street, Hampankatta and Town Hall areas.
And yes... if you're looking for that perfect night out with friends over a couple of beers or vodka, you can either buy your liquor from the many wineshops around - for example, HI-SPIRITS (Bendoorwell-Kankanady) or you can check out the various resto-bars/lounge bars in the city. Some of the famous ones include:
There is no shortage of budget hotels in Mangalore. K S Rao road has many affordable hotels. Note that the old favorite of budget travellers, Woodside, has closed down and the property has been sold.
There are many midrange hotels in Mangalore.
Malaria is endemic in Mangalore. So, don't forget to carry your mosquito repellant creams, mosquito mats, coils, liquidators, etc. along with you (let that be your first priority on your list of things to pack!). Consult your doctor for advice on malaria prophylaxis before you arrive in Mangalore. If you have the slightest idea of a fever with chills, rush yourself to a nearby hospital to get yourself checked.
Also, it is advisable to get yourself vaccinated for Hepatitis A (food-borne Hepatitis) in case you haven't been vaccinated already.
Three things will do more to prevent an upset stomach or other traveling aliments than anything else:
Many restaurants in Mangalore use Ajinomoto/MSG(a.k.a. tasting powder) and food colouring in dangerous amounts. If you are health conscious or are allergic to food colouring and additives you are advised to inform the chef while ordering. Among the hotels listed above Palkhi, Maharaj, Madhuvan/Village, Chicken Tikka Halal and Shetty's Kori Roti use MSG and food colouring. Almost all Fast Food joints in Mangalore and road side chinese stall use MSG and Food colouring.