With so much pleasure….
Let’s time travel a bit.
“There are 2 seasons in this city: Summer with rain and summer without rain.”
It was the first piece of particulars I was given when it was decided that I’m moving to the chief port city of Karnataka. Located conveniently between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghat mountain ranges, this gorgeous city is known as Kudla in Tulu, Kodial in Konkani, Maikāla in Beary and Mangaluru in Kannada.
One fine October morning I reach “Mangalore Central” railway station from Mysore. Well obviously, it was raining. But hey, rain is beautiful and I’m a big fan. I hired an auto from the railway station to reach my workplace which is 20 km away.
Journeys are the midwives of thought. So, in a matter in a matter of 45 minutes-1 hour, I got my first glimpses of the city. Let me just summarize my first 3 impressions:
- The city had crazy curvy roads characterized by rolling hills, coconut palms, freshwater streams and hard red-clay tiled-roof buildings.
- I could smell Fish every now and then. That could easily be the single most important, “love-at-first-smell” for this city. (NOTE: I am an Odiya. I get massive “rice-fish curry” cravings when hungry.)
- The city had a perfect concoction of conflicting characters. Vintage houses alongside modern apartments, old street establishment v/s big malls, temples, churches and mosques coexisting at such close proximities. Very countryside yet very cosmopolitan. Interesting, I thought!
To be honest, I was totally in a state of psychological pleasure throughout the journey. The eye attempts to match what it can see with what the mind knows should be there, like a reader trying to decipher a familiar book in a different language. That was Mangalore for me!
The rest of my days followed major lifestyle changes that included the following:
- My almost every day lunch at the workplace and out included a humble “Fish Thali”. Although I preferred the local tiny food outlets over expensive restaurants because they never could go wrong when it comes to authentic staple food.
- Tip: Giri Manja’s, Machali and Gajalee serve some of the best seafood here. So highly recommended!
- Ice cream found its way into our little and large celebrations. Gosh! This city has some incomparable craze for ice cream, I tell you.
- Tip: Pabbas and Ideals are the “Local House of Worship” for Ice cream lovers. Never miss it! Tiramisu is my favourite…well, just saying!
- My weekends were spent at the nearest beaches which mostly were empty, thus, beautiful.
- Tip: Tannirbhavi beach was my go-to place for the most stunning sunsets and picturesque evening strolls. Although Panambur beach is the main beach, I liked to give it a skip for the crowd.
- Eventually I started enjoying the local bus rides (private ones) that were rickety yet funny at the same time. With multi coloured lights and loud music, those were basically thug rides!
The tropical weather might tire you out here but the local experiences are worth every drop of sweat. Secluded beaches, age-old monuments, cityscapes, food, beach sports…you name it, you get it!
I’ll just list out my other favourites from the city which you just MUST try, okay?
- Kaup beach: It has got white sands, a light house and views to die for. Regular buses ply from the city bus stand to this beach.
- Someshwar beach– The best thing about this beach is, close to this beach there is a hill called ‘Ottinene hill’. On reaching the top of this hill we can see and enjoy the beautiful scenery of river Netravati river merging and disappearing in Arabian Sea. WOW!
- Malpe Beach and St. Mary’s Islands– Located to the west of Udupi, this is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to. Also, the St. Mary’s island is accessible through Malpe beach through Ferry services. Look how gorgeous this place is:
- Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, Kadri Manjunath Temple and Mangaladevi Temple– Beautiful, neat, peaceful and oh-so-spiritual. Enough said!
- The Taj-Mahal cafe– Filter coffee, Banana halwa, Tuppa Dosa here are just legendary!*drools
- Milagres Church and St. Aloysius Chapel– For their historical significance and all the beauty they hold.
Its silly how easily I fall for things and places, they say. May be that is how I chase my happiness. I’m so grateful that fate had signed up Mangalore and so it happened to me. Because I just didn’t stay here, I called this city HOME for a good 10 months…I still do! Do you sense the pride+joy here?
Err… Nostalgia just hit me! I must end the post here.
Note: I hope this post helps you in planning your next trip to this incredible city (which you MUST)!
See you soon!
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