Sightseeing places in Mangalore
St Mary's Island; Image credit: Tarique Hassan
Mangalore is the chief port city of Karnataka. The state of Karnataka has a coastline that stretches to 300 km from Mangalore in the Dakshina Kannada district to Karwar in the Uttar Kannada district. The entire coastline is dotted with beaches and beautiful destinations that make Mangalore sightseeing a wonderful experience.
[Travel around various temples and beautiful places. Travel for major famous places of South India]
Mangalore is home to the only major port of Karnataka. Furthermore, Mangalore also has great cultural importance. There are several monuments and buildings in the city which are evidences of the glorious past of the region.
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Here’s a list of some of the must-visit destinations in Mangalore:
1. Sulthan Battery
Image Credit: Spykster
Sulthan Battery is situated at a distance of about 4 km from the city of Mangalore. It is a watchtower which was built by the legendary Emperor Tipu Sultan in 1784. The fort is built of black stones and resembles a mini fortress. The walls all around the fortress have spaces for mounting cannons.
The fort was built by Tipu Sultan in order to prevent English warships from entering the River Gurupura. The church was constructed out of stones from churches destroyed by Tipu Sultan. This destruction happened during the 15 year imprisonment of Mangalorean Catholics and other Christians.
Mangalorean Catholics had flourished in Mangalore during the rule of Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan’s father. On succeeding the throne, Tipu Sultan ordered capture of Catholics in the region. They were to be transported from Canara to Serangipatam. As many as 20,000 Catholics died on their way from Canara to Serangipatam.
[Along with the Sulthan Battery, here is a place where you can enjoy Kayaking, awesome beach activities in Udupi Marwanthe Beach]
The reason for such a movement is considered to be more political than religious and it was triggered by the alliance of the Mangalorean Christians with the British. The Christians were kept in captivity for 15 years and the number of captives is estimated to be around 80,000. This captivity ended only with Tipu Sultan’s death during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.
The Sulthan Battery is a watchtower and is situated at an elevation of about 930 metres above mean sea level. It is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Due to poor maintenance, most parts of the fort are in ruins. The remaining structure is called Tipu’s Well. Tipu’s Well has been preserved so the tourists get a chance to explore and understand the history of this beautiful fortress.
2. Light House Hill Garden
Kapu Beach; Image Credit: Vivek Raj
The Light House Hill Garden is one of the most popular tourist places in Mangalore. The Light House Hill Garden is situated at a distance of just 1 km from the main bus stand of Mangalore. The light house and the surrounding garden were built by Hyder Ali in the 18th century.
The beautiful garden that surrounds the light house is the best place to view ships and boats bobbing up and down on the sea. A lot of tourists visit the Light House Hill Garden to view the sun set and rise. The sky in the background turns a beautiful red as the sun dips into the horizon and ships and boats can be seen silently sailing on the surface of the beautiful sea.
The garden surrounding the light house is also known as Tagore Gardens. This garden is also a very popular place for sightseeing in Mangalore. The beautiful layout of the garden and the wonderful ambience it is set in makes it very romantic. This attracts a lot of youngsters and families to the beach surrounding the light house and the garden.
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There is also a small artificial stream that flows through a rocky channel. For those who love to read, there is a public library at the base of the light house. The library has a reading room named after the famous freedom fighter Karnad Sadashiva Rao.
3. Mangalore Beach
Image Credits- Manoj Vasath- Flickr
The Karnataka coastline stretches to 300 km from Mangalore in the Dakshina Kannada district to Karwar in the Uttar Kannada district. There are several beautiful beaches along this coastline that attract tourists from all over the country and the world.
Mangalore has a number of beaches namely, the Ullal beach, the Panambur beach, the Taneerbhavi beach, the Kaupu beach and the Someshwara beach. The beaches of the city are the best places for sightseeing in Mangalore. Each beach has a unique experience to offer and this is what makes them so popular with tourists.
Surrounded by casuarina groves, the Ullal beach is a treat to the eyes. The Panambur and Taneerbhavi beaches are a delight to the eyes. The Kaupu beach is one of the best places to enjoy sunsets. The Someshwara beach will blow your mind away with its pristine beauty and deep blue sea.
3. Panambur Beach
Image Credits- Karuakar Rayker - Flickr
The Panambur beach is situated in the Dakshin Kannada district of Karnataka. It is one of the many beautiful beaches that line the coast of the state. The beach is the site of the New Mangalore Port and is one of the most popular places for sightseeing in Mangalore.
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Situated to the North of the River Gurupura, the Panambur beach is the site for many factories including the Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers, and Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited. The name of the beach is derived from two words of the Tulu language, Panam which means money and Ur which means home.
The Panambur beach is the city’s most visited beach. Innumerable tourists and locals visit the beach to enjoy the soothing sea breeze, take camel rides and enjoy the extremely beautiful sunsets. The most attractive feature of the beach is the carnival that is organised by the district authorities.
Activities such as boat races, sand art contests and air shows are conducted and these attract a large number of tourists from all over the country and the world. Furthermore, there is a kite festival which is organised on the beach every year during summers, which is also quite popular with the locals of the town as well as with tourists from around the globe.
The Nandaneshwara temple is also situated on the Panambur beach. There is also a chapel situated on the beach which is quite popular for sightseeing in Mangalore. The chapel is dedicated to St Aloysius Gonzaga, who was a wealthy young man who gave up all his luxuries and dedicated his life to serving the needy.
The walls of the chapel are decorated with a number of beautiful frescoes and oil paintings. The ceiling of the chapel too has a number of beautiful paintings and portraits of several saints, and the Crowing of the Cock.
4. Ullal Beach
Image Credits- Antony Pratap- Flickr
Ullal beach is one of the best beaches in Mangalore. Set in about 14 acres of casuarina groves, the Ullal beach is one of the major places for sightseeing in Mangalore. Ullal is a small fishing village and is situated at a distance of about 12 km from Mangalore and 360 km from Bangalore.
The village has several 16th century cathedrals and churches, making the Ullal beach a very popular tourist destination. The place boasts of tremendous natural beauty with a sea of green and blue hues stretching to the horizon, while the beach is dotted with slender and beautiful casuarina groves.
There are several historical monuments near the Ullal beach namely the Someshwara Temple, the St Sebastian Church, the Queen Abbakka’s Fort at Ranipura, and others. The Summer Sands beach resort is one of the popular tourist destinations at the Ullal beach.
The beautiful beach is complemented by cosy and comfortable cottages that are situated on the beach. The beach is ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Water sports activities are also organised on the beach. If you are a foodie, you must try the local cuisine. The seafood is amazingly delicious and a must-try during a visit. The beach town of Ullal is an important trading centre of fish manure and fish.
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Ullal was the capital of the Tulu Kingdom and was ruled by Rani Abbakka Devi. In the 15th century, it came under the control of the Portuguese and the remains of its glorious history can still be seen in the monuments and beaches. Most people residing in this town belong either to the Beary or Mogaveera ethnic groups.
Situated along the shore of the Arabian Sea, the Ullal beach is a calm and tranquil beach. It has been well maintained by the district authorities and hence attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world.
5. Kadri Hill Park
The Kadri Hill Park is the largest park within the city limits of Mangalore. It is situated adjacent to NH 17 and about 4 km from Hampankatta. The Kadri Hill Park is the highest and largest park in Mangalore and abounds in flora and fauna.
The park is maintained by the Department of Horticulture of the Government of Karnataka. This park is meant for children and there are a number of rides, a toy train and other facilities for children. A number of animals including monkeys, jackals, crocodiles, leopards, spotted deer, anteaters, and sambar can be seen at the park.
The park is a very popular destination for sightseeing in Mangalore. It is well maintained and has been kept clean by the authorities. It is extremely popular with children due to the availability of playing area and a number of exciting rides and the toy train. There are eight tanks inside the park.
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According to popular belief, the water in these tanks has medicinal properties and can cure a number of skin ailments. This fact along with the beauty of the Kadri Hill Park draws in innumerable tourists from all over the country and the world. Another park called the Pilikula Nisargadhama is also situated near the Kadri Hill Park.
6. Kudroli Gokarnath Temple
The Kudroli Sri Gokarnatheswara Kshetra is also known as the Gokarnatheswara Temple and is situated in Kudroli in Mangalore. The temple was consecrated by Narayana Guru, who is regarded as the uplifter of the downtrodden and a social servant.
The temple is dedicated to Gokarnath, a form of Lord Shiva. Centuries earlier, the Billava community of the region faced suppression at the hands of the upper castes. The community found their saviour in Narayana Guru who had led campaigns against caste oppression in Kerala.
A delegation comprising of Billava members met Narayana Guru and apprised him of their problems. The guru visited Mangalore and asked the Billava members to choose a site for the temple. The temple was built around a Shiva linga which the guru had brought with him. It was formally consecrated by Narayana Guru in February 1912 and all people were allowed to worship at the temple, irrespective of caste and creed.
Several festivals are held at the Sri Gokarnatheswara Kshetra. Some of the important festivals that are held at the temple include Shivaratri, Navaratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, Krishnasthami, Diwali, Nagara Panchami, Sri Narayana Jayanthi, and Dasara nvaratri festival. These festivals are celebrated with much gaiety and this attracts a large number of devotees and tourists from all over the world.
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The Gokarnatheswara temple has branches in Katpadi, Mulki and Udupi. One of the most important festivals of the Sri Gokarnatheswara Temple is the Sri Narayana Jayanthi. The temple also undertakes a number of charity activities such as free meals to devotees and pilgrims, conducting free mass marriages and distribution of scholarships to deserving students.
During Navaratri and Dasara, the celebrations are grand and hundreds and thousands of devotees throng the temple during this time.
7. Kadri Manjunatha Temple
The Kadri Manjunatha Temple is one of the best places for sightseeing in Mangalore. The temple was originally made by the Vajrayana Buddhist. However, due to the decline of the Buddhist culture in the region, it was later taken on by the Hindus and dedicated to Lord Manjunatha. Buddhism was practised in the temple in the 10th century.
However, the popularity of Buddhism fell but the popularity of Manjusri and Avalokiteswara continued in the region. As a result, several Buddhist sites came under the Hindu vortex. Today, the chief deity of the temple is of Manjunatha. The statue is in a seated position and has a Shiva linga on him. It has three faces and six arms and has been hailed as the best bronze statue in India.
The temple is noted for its incredible architecture. It has a middle sized structure with a pyramid shaped roof. The time of construction is estimated around the 10th and 11th century. There is a Balipitha Temple which confirms the time of construction of the Kadri Manjunatha Temple around 10th century.
Within the temple complex, there is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Durga and Lord Ganesha. There is also a beautiful natural spring situated at the back of the Manjunatha Temple. The water from this spring is channelised to nine tanks of different sizes. These tanks provide water to devotees to wash and bathe before entering the temple.
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There is a very beautiful garden surrounding the ponds. There is also a huge lightpole where the deepotsava is held during Karthika Maasa. Several festivals are celebrated in the Kadri Manjunatha Temple throughout the year. Some of the festivals celebrated in the temple include Navaratri, Karthika Maasa, Ganesha Chaturthi, and Deepavali.
Some places of interest near the Kadri Manjunatha Temple include the Deepasthambha, the statue of Trilokeshwara, and Akshaya Pond.
8. Milagres Church
The Milagres Church is a beautiful Roman Catholic Church situated in Hampankatta in Mangalore. The name of the church, which is called the Igreja Nossa Senhora do Milagres in Portuguese, means Church of Our Lady of Miracles. The church was built by Bishop Thomas de Castro, who was a Theatine from Goa, in 1680.
The original church was built on the place where a cemetery stands today. The Milagres Church is one of the oldest churches in the Dakshin Kannada district of Karnataka. According to belief, parts of the church were destroyed by Tipu Sultan’s soldiers and the stones that fell apart from the church were used to build the Idgah mosque in Mangalore.
During the 17th century, Mangalore was a prominent place for the Roman Catholic population. It was also the administrative headquarters of the church in India during the time. The Goan Catholics who had migrated to Canara did not have a priestly leadership.
Bishop de Castro was appointed as the Vicar Apostolic of Canara and Malabar in 1674 and he lived in the church. After his death his remains were buried in the cemetery adjoining the church. His tomb can be identified by the bronze slab next to the St Monica Chapel.
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After Tipu Sultan was killed in the Fourth Anglo Mysore War, all the Catholics imprisoned by him were freed. Many of the Christians returned to Mangalore. One of them built a chapel in the place of the original church for Rs 400. The then-Vicar Apostolic secured Rs 600 from the government for the reconstruction of the church.
The Vicar laid the foundation of the new church in 1811. A portico was added to the structure later on. The Milagres Church is known for its beautiful interiors and is often called one of the most beautiful churches in Mangalore. The altar of the church has an extremely beautiful painting of St Monica and St Augustine.
9. New Mangalore Port
Kapu Beach; Image Credit: Hari Prasad Nadig
The coastline of Karnataka stretched to about 300 km from Mangalore in the Dakshina Kannada district and Karwar in the Uttar Kannada district. The entire coastline has only one major port and nine minor ports.
The New Mangalore Port is the only major port of Karnataka and is the ninth largest port in India. It is situated at a distance of 6 km from the Surathkal Railway Station and is about 170 nautical miles away from the Mormugao Port and 191 nautical miles from the Kochi Port.
The New Mangalore Port was inaugurated by former Prime Minister of India Mrs Indira Gandhi. Panambur is the site of the New Mangalore Port.
The port is operated by the New Mangalore Port Trust. The New Mangalore Port is a deep water all weather port. The construction of the port began in 1962. It is situated at the mouth of the River Gurupur and is so called because of the presence of an old port or harbour in the city.
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The old port is called the Mangalore Bunder or the Hale Bunder. It is now used for fishing and ferrying small goods. The New Mangalore Port is an important place for Mangalore sightseeing. It is used for exporting a number of goods including containerised cargo, cashew, coffee, granite stones, manganese, iron ore fines, iron ore concentrates and pellets.
The major imports of the port include liquid chemicals, phosphoric acid, liquid ammonia, finished fertilisers, timber logs, wood pulp, LPG and crude and petroleum products.
National Highway 17 passes very close to the port. Although the nearest railway station is Thokur, passengers will have to alight at the Surathkal Railway Station to reach the port, as it lies in the Konkan Railway route. The New Mangalore port is not only important for its economic value but also for tourism as it attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world.
10. Bejai Museum (Seemanthi Bai Government Museum)
The Bejai Museum, also known as the Seemanthi Bai Government Museum, is situated on the Bejai Hill in Mangalore. It is one of the most important tourist places for Mangalore sightseeing. It is shaped in the form of a boat and houses a number of invaluable art and artefacts.
The museum is a huge two storeyed bungalow which was built by Colonel VR Mirajkar in memory of his mother Sree Manthi Bai who died in 1944. The building was later handed over to the Indian Government by the Colonel. The architecture of the building is unique and shows great influence of the architectural style of Lahore.
The Bejai Museum is the city’s only museum and is a true delight for those interested in history and heritage. It houses a number of artefacts which link the present Indian history with the 16th century.
It provides great insight into Indian history and heritage through the collection of foreign and ancient coins, some even belonging to the British era and Pakistan, with beautiful paintings from ancient times.
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The museum also has a number of precious artefacts, inscriptions in copper, lamps, statues and icons. The museum which was built in 1955 also has an impressive collection of swords, scythes, pistols, rifles and axes.
The staircase that leads to the second floor of the museum is lined with photographs of various places in Karnataka. Black and white pictures of the Mysore Palace, the Cathedral in Mangalore, the Krishna Raja Sagar and the Lighthouse at Kapu have been put up on display for visitors and tourists.
On the second floor of the museum, items such as wooden screens from China, beautifully carved teapoys, objects made by blind boys in Jerusalem, etc have been exhibited. There is also a very impressive and huge collection of porcelain articles from countries such as England, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Persia, Japan and China.
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