Mangalore in the western coast of Karnataka, is known to be a port city. It’s a very laid back town where people are never in a hurry. Being a mangalorean, i have spent most of my summer vacations here although, Mangalorean summer is harsh and is not the best time to visit the place.
The city gets it’s name from the goddess Mangladevi. Mangalore is known for its culture, traditions, food , temples and beaches. Locally, Mangalore is known as Kudla. Tulu and Kannada languages are widely spoken here. You will find that various communities namely, Tulu, kannadigas, konkanis, Christians, Muslims, malayali’s all live in harmony. Mangalore has now become a melting pot of culture , thanks to the number of students coming here from different parts of the world for education. The city is known for its medical and engineering institutions.
Mangalore lies on the backwaters of Netravati and Gurupura rivers. It was once declared as the eight cleanest city in India. Lying between Arabian Sea and Western Ghats , Mangalore still remains as an important port of India. Its also one of the main pilgrimage centres with many important temples , church and mosques situated here. Some major ones being Mangladevi temple , Kadri Manjunatha Temple, Gokarnatha Temple and many more.
Kateel Shree Durga Parmeshwari :-This temple is the most important pilgrimage centre of Hindus and attracts thousands of visitors from everywhere. It is situated on the banks of Nandini river and is 30kms from Mangalore. It is believed that Goddess Durga came on earth to save the people from the cluthes of the devil Arunasara. It is at this place that she took birth as the daughter of river Nandini after killing the devil, hence, this place is worshipped as the Temple of the Goddess Durga Parmeshwari. The deity here is very powerful and I strongly believe in her. I personally make it a point to visit the temple everytime I am in the city.
Kudroli temple :- Kudre in Tulu language means horses and the land where this temple was built is where horses were used to graze during Tipu Sultans time , hence the name Kudroli. The Chola style architecture of Kudroli temple is something to marvel about. It’s one of the most popular and beautiful temple of Mangalore. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva , and is situated in the main centre of the city. It was built by an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva called H.Koraggappa in 1912 and was renovated by his son in 1990. The temple looks beautiful in the evening when it is lit up. The gold plated walls and ceilings come alive once the sun sets and the temple lights are on. Kudroli temple has a Gopuram of 60 feet high which is carved out beautifully. It also has a temple dedicated to Lord hanuman and the idol is something to look for. The place is popular with locals and visitors , who throng the place in the evenings.
St. Alloysius church :- This beautiful chapel built in 1899-1900 is known as an architectural gem. The paintings of Italian artist Antony Moshaini adorn the walls of this church. The church is compared to Sistine chapel in rome and the painting cover a major portion of its ceilings and walls. If in Mangalore, don’t miss an opportunity to visit this church.
Ullal Durgah :- Ullal Durgah or Ullal mosque built in 1958 is the main mosque in the region. The Ullal fair or Ullal uroos , celebrated once in every 5 years is grand affair here. Thousand of visitors throng this place to be a part of this fair.
Kukke Subramanya temple :- The people of Dakshin Kannada or South Canara worship snakes or Nagaradhane as known in Tulu. Snake worship along with Bhoota Kola ritual practised in Tulu Nadu are quite unique. Kukke Subramanyam Temple just 100kms from Mangalore is dedicated to Lord Subramanyam who is associated with snakes. This beautifully designed temples is surrounded by lush green vegetation, hills and river. The temple situated in Subhramanya village of Sullia taluk is also one of the most popular religious destination.
Udupi Lord Krishna temple :- One of the most well known temples in India, Lord Krishna Temple at Udupi dates back to 13th century. The temple has a very interesting history. It is said that Kanakadasa a ardent devotee and worshipper of Lord Krishna wanted to see the idol and seek blessings of the Lord but was not let in. He stayed in a makeshift hermitage in front of the temple. One day there was a earthquake and the outer wall of the temple cracked in such a way that Kanakadasa could see the Lord. Even today, devotees worship the Lord from this very window. It is one of most popular temples and a visit here is a must when in Mangalore.
Mangalore is also known for its culture and dance forms. Pilivesha (tiger dance), Yakshagana are all unique dance forms performed during dassera or Janmashtami. Buta Kola and Nagaradhana are popular forms of worship usually performed by the Tuluva community. Monti fest , Mangalorean Catholics unique festival is a grand affair.
KoriKatta (cockfight) although legally banned is a popular sport here in Mangalore along with Kamabala (Buffalo Race). Buffalo Race usually held in paddy fields filled with water is a major event here. Its an annual event held between November to March.I have fond memories of this race as a child. Earlier, the prize money was coconuts but silver and gold coins have replaced them. I dont know if these are held frequently now but i have seen lots of them when i was kid. It was a means of entertainment for the local people.
Although the old Mangalore tiled houses has made way for high rises and malls, the city still retains the old world charm. Mangalore is slowly but surely making its presence felt among tourists . It has everything for everyone,backwaters, city life, forts, cultures, religious sites, for a food lover its a foodies paradise and for a beach lover it has beaches that are unexplored and untouched.
IT was our first anniversary and we wanted to relive our honeymoon days. With beaches, local food, culture, crazy shopping and amazing nightlife “Thailand” was an ideal choice was us. Our first tsop in Thailand was the beautiful Phuket. Thailand being a popular tourist destination is so full of tourists. Phuket as compared to Pattaya was less crowded.
We stayed at a beautiful resort called Duangjit Resort and spa , close to Patong Beach.Patong is famous for its beaches and nightlife. Just outside the resort we had hordes of restaurants and bar, the Patong Night market and a few kms away the famous Bangla road. Bangla road is famous for its night activities, bars, pubs etc and is thronged by tourists and local’s pressurising you to watch the “Ping pong show” errr. It was a bit overwhelming in the beginning but then we got used to it later. Bangla road is the most happening place is Patong. You will find lady boys asking you if u want to take a picture with them , ofcourse for a price. But this place comes alive only at night, if you go there in the day time you will see a quiet place with locals doing their day to day activities.
We visited a beautiful Thai temple on the second day. I forgot the name (my bad) , its been 3 years. But the temple was the most beautiful thing i have ever seen. The gold colored buddha statues, unique Thai architecture and extremely peaceful interiors. I coudnt stop admiring it.Patong beach was just a few minutes away from our resort. Fine white sand and lots of water activites was the highlight of this beach. Patong is famous for its beaches, freedom beach, Kalim beach and Patong beach. Patong is a foodie’s paradise. Its the best place to binge on local food. You have pubs, restaurants, roadside stalls , beach stalls and international food chains like Starbucks, KFC etc , You will be spoilt for choice. Once your done with binging , dancing and walking , you can head straight to one of the Thai massage parlours for a Foot Spa. The place is full of massage parlours. Phuket is also famous for shopping, you will have an amazing time shopping for clothes, shoes, souvenirs etc.
Next day we took a tour to Karon view point . Karon view point is the most frequented point by tourists. Its from here you can see three beaches of Phuket ; Kata Yai, Kata Noi and Karon beaches. The view is spectacular and breathtaking. Its called the “Three Beaches Hill” or Khao Saam Haad.The viewpoint is about 10 min drive from Kata beach. We were then taken to an activity centre just a few kms from Karon View point. We tried our hands at shooting. It was the most thrilling experience ever.
Third day we wanted to go to Phi phi and so we opted for a day cruise. The cruise passed through beautiful islands, mountains and we were constantly surrounded by picture perfect landscapes on either sides. Finally we were at Phi Phi islands , it was mindbogglingly beautiful. But the place is so full of tourists that you cant get a single picture without somebody photo-bombing. Phi Phi islands is full of souvenir shops where you can go crazy shopping. After a relaxing day at Phi Phi we were back to Patong.
Embraced by lush green hills , sparkling blue ocean and white sandy beaches Phuket is like a tropical dream. Its a place to let go. Its a place to go with your BFF’s and have the time of your life.
20 Years…20,000 workers thats what it took to built this massive symbol of love. Taj Mahal, A Unesco World Heritage Site that has always been on my list of places to visit. A detour to Agra from Rajasthan was just made so that I could see this beautiful Mughal Architecture.
Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor, ShahJahan in memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal when she passed away while giving birth to his 14th child. Maharaj Jai Singhji was provided with a huge palace in the centre of Agra in exchange of the land in which the Taj Mahal now stands. The construction of Taj Mahal started in the year 1632 and went for 20 years. After the completion of this magnificient structure, ShahJahan was put under house arrest by his son Aurangzeb at Agra Fort. It is from here, ShahJahan used to look at Taj Mahal from his bedroom window and remember his wife. Upon his death, Aurangzeb laid his fathers tomb next to Mumtaz Mahal’s.
Special Makrana Marble was bought in from Rajasthan especially for the construction of Taj Mahal. You can also see Red Stone being extensively used .The structure has influences of Persian, Islamic, Indian and Turkish Art. Various materials were bought in from different places to built this massive structure. Precious Gems , Jade, Jasper, sapphire, turquoise was bought from Punjab, China, Tibet, Srilanka and other countries. 1000 elephants, 20,000 workers and the amount of hard work gone into making this masterpiece is commendable. Delicate inlay works, the symmetry, the colors, the architecture, efforts and craftsmanship is salute worthy.
The main garden has a water tank in the middle with fountains and gardens on each side. Taj Mahal stands exactly in the middle. Everything is symmetrically made except for the 4 minarets (40 mtrs tall) that lean slightly outwards. This was purposefully done so that if theres an earthquake or any kind of natural calamity, the minarets dont directly fall on the structure causing minimal damage. Throughout the complex , passages from the Quran have been carved beautifully all over. The complex houses a mosque, big gate or Darwaza , Char bagh’s or gardens, tombs, attendant accommodations etc. Inside the Taj Mahal you can see the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and ShahJahan next to each other with visitors paying their respects. The beautiful artwork on the walls, the paintings, the lattice work and the inlay work makes you stop and take notice of the craftsmanship.
With Yamuna river flowing in the background , the Taj Mahal stands tall as a promise of Love. Its a universally recognised architecture and also one of the wonders of the world.
The colors change as the evening sun sets in and you just cant stop staring at this jewel of love in awe.