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 becoming more cosmopolitan and you will find many languages are spoken here. Any person coming to Mangalore won't have any difficulty speaking a number of languages because of the mixed culture. Here you can find all types of people from across India. There are many people from North India who speak Gujarathi, Marwadi, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Bihari, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Bengali etc. In addition, there are many students from East India (Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland etc.). Many people from Mangalore are working abroad. Mangaloreans are famous for their generosity.
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 bring their huge development projects. There is very good growth in the retail sector, and many new shopping malls are being built.
Mangalore is a blend of new and 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.
Mangalore has an international airport situated at Bajpe, about 30 kms from the city centre. Currently there are daily flights to Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai (with a stop in Bangalore), Goa, Kochi and Calicut in the domestic segment and weekly/bi-weekly flights to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat (Oman), Doha (Qatar) and Bahrain in the international segment. Alliance Air (a subsidiary airline of Indian - one of the national carriers), Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Air Deccan and Air India Express currently operate flights to Mangalore.
Mangalore has two big railway stations. The Mangalore station is at Hampankatta, in the heart of the city. It is a terminus.
Kankanady is the other station. It is situated about 5 to 10 kilometres from the centre of the city. It is on the Konkan railway track and connects Mangalore to Goa and Mumbai in the north and to Kerala in the south. Trains from Mangalore going north have to pass through Kankanady.
Surathkal is a suburb of Mangalore, about 20 kilometres from the heart of the city along the National Highway 17. It has a railway station that is about 0.5 kilometres from the Surathkal bus-stand. Passengers arriving from north of Mangalore usually prefer to alight at Surathkal and take a bus to the city. This is because trains usually get held up in traffic between Surathkal and Mangalore.
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. The thumb-rule for bus fares is about 60% of the distance in kilometres. For example, it would cost Rs. 60 to travel a distance of 100 kilometres.
Mangalore is well connected to the rest of North India (Goa, Mumbai, etc.) and Kerala via National Highway-17 (Mumbai-Kerala highway) and the state capital Bangalore (via National Highway-48 which traverses a considerable amount of the Western Ghats). Highways are only two-laned - very narrow. 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 period of heavy traffic. Take it for granted that only the toughest vehicles will survive, as the kind of pot holes you will see will make the surface of Mars seem like a picnic.
NH-17 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-17 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 kms.
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.11. Pre-paid autos are available from the City Railway Station and the KSRTC bus stand at Bejai. Autos also ply to far-off destinations, the outskirts, for a one-and-a-half fare; this is roughly around Rs.150, depending on the amount of money you have spare to blow. Although, one would prefer using buses to reach these areas as a cheaper mode of transport.call 9845548140 for maxicabs for site seeing.
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. 3. For the adventurous, the western ghats near Mangalore provide an ideal location to get lost in the dense jungles. 4. Pilikula nisarga dhama is about 12 km from city and is a tourist spot with "manasa" water theme park, mini zoo, 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, Kankannady and posh Falnir , most of the new malls are coming up on the MG Road which is a dual carriageway. The "Empire Mall" has the Nilgiris supermarket, Coffee Day, Pizza Corner, Dollar store and few other retail chains .
The "Bharath Mall" has Adlabs 4 screen Multiplex, Big Bazaar,Food Bazaar, PlanetM, Pizza Hut, Pantaloons, Coffee Day, Subway, Adidas, Reebok, Provogue, Planet Sports, Swawroski, Lewis 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. The 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 is targeted to be fully functional by November 2008. Another mall is expected to be built opposite to the TMA Pai International convention centre on MG Road.
'Excel Mall', 'Mischief Mega Mall', 'Time Square', 'Pio Mall', 'Golden Harvest Mall','Mangalore Central Mall' are the upcoming malls 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.
Also , be sure to visit the restaurant Taj Mahal, located in three different locations in Mangalore (Car Street, Hampankatta & Town hall). The Coffee served in Taj Mahal is regarded by many to be the best coffee available anywhere-the exact contents of the coffee powder used are kept a secret, Taj Mahal has a lot of patrons who visit the restaurant almost ritualistically thrice a day. Apart from the coffee there are a wide variety of dishes available including the dosas.
Hotel Ayodya is famous for authentic Mangalore style food items. Try appa, ghee dose, vastad roti, parota/tingalavare song.
For the seafood lovers, Mangalore has many options. Narayana Hotel at Bunder is famous for delicious Mangalore style fish fry with fish curry rice. Other joints, such as Anupama (Bunts Hostel), Maharaja (near Jyoti), Kings Court (highway near Kottara Chowki), Madhuvan Village (Yeyyadi), Phalki (Jyothi circle) also provide Mangalore style seafood. 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 joints. 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.
Kairali hotel is good for staying at also.
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' for taste. If you want to have hygienically flavoured sugarcane juice, then you will find a joint in the Bharath Mall. You will wonder how much technology has changed these days!
Another must visit place is the Temple Square (carstreet). 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.
Tender Coconut Juice
One thing that you should not miss when you're in Mangalore is the coconut juice (the Bonda) - that'll drive you crazy and you'll be asking for more! Try out chilled coconut juice in case you happen to visit Jimmy's Supermarket (Falnir Road) - there's a tea/coffee/juice stand next to it which serves awesome chilled coconut juice! this shop is known is R B juice corner
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.
There is also a private beach nearby, owned by NITK - the National Institute of Technology Karnataka - one of the few universities in the world to own a beach! Gates usually open after 4.30 pm.
At Kollur, The Sri Mookambika Devi Temple is situated - many pilgrims from all over visit the temple.
If you are looking out for a performace or a quiet evening in an airconditioned atmosphere, then Dr TMA Pai International convention centre is the place. It is one of the largest convention centres in India. In terms of indoor capacity, it might be the second largest in India, closely followed by the Hyderabad International convention centre. The seating capacity, all indoors, is about 3000. There are parking spaces for 400 cars and 200 two wheelers. About 50 crores was spent on this project.
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:
- Always choose water from filters (Aquaguard water) or bottled mineral water, just to be on the safe side. - Carrying water free hand sanitizer is a must (Germ-X, Purell, etc.) Go ahead and eat with your hands like everyone else! Once you use your hand sanitizer your hands are cleaner than the silverware that was washed with water you don't want to drink. - Always choose foods that are steaming hot. Food is often prepared ahead of time so you want to see it cooked or see the steam coming of the food.
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 Phalki, 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.