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.