Mangalore- Beaches,Temples & Wild Life

Mangalore is one of the biggest ports of India and a great holiday destination. Mangalore boasts of some of the best beaches like Malpe, Kaup, Penambur and Someshwar. Even Dolphins love the waters around Mangalore.  For pilgrims, Mangalore and the surrounding areas abound with ancient and famous temples. Mangalore is where one can experience the unique Dakshin Kannada culture. For a taste of high octane sports, witness Kadri Kambala where Buffaloes are raced by well muscled ryots across paddy fields! 

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Bangalore to Mangalore

Mangalore is well connected by Air, Road and Rail to other parts of India.

While driving from Bangalore, Mangalore is around 350 KMS away and you need to take the NH 48 covering Nelamangala – Hassan – Shiradi – Uppinangadi.  Day time there are KSRTC buses to Mangalore. Last bus departs at 230 PM. A more convenient mode is to take the overnight bus which takes about 7 hours.

Train to Mangalore 

There are two trains also available from Bangalore. The morning train leaves Yeshwanthpura at 7.30 AM and takes the Tumkur – Arisikere route. The day journey along the Shiradi ghat is really picturesque.  The train runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The evening train leaves at 8.30PM from Yeshwanthpur and goes via Mysore and Hassan. The train runs daily and takes 12 hours.

There are four flights daily from Bangalore to Mangalore. The New International airport is around 20 KMS from Mangalore City. Mangalore is around 450 KMS from the city of Cochin. There are several trains and buses available on this route.

Mangalore is around 365 KMS from Goa. Those driving down can take the Karwar – Bhatkal – Udupi route via NH17.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Mumbai to Mangalore

Mangalore is 970 KMs away from Mumbai. The road journey takes 14.5 hours from Mumbai to Mangalore.   

Train from Mumbai to Mangalore

Netravaty Express leaves Mumbai daily at 1140am from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and arrives in Mangalore at 6am. Matsyagandha Express also leaves daily from LTT at 320pm and reached Managlore at 1015 am. Garibrath Exp departs from LTT on Mon & Fri at 455pm and arrives in Mangalore at 1015am. Mangalore Exp starts from CST daily at 1015pm and reaches Mangalore at 315pm.

Mangalore Hotel

Mangalore has plenty of hotels to suit the budget at every range in the city. There are also beach side resorts and home stay options available in Mangalore. We had stayed at the Jungle Lodges run resort inside Pilikula. It was fun to stay inside the biological reserve away from the city. You can make an online reservation at

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Gold Finch Hotel is in the city centre neat Jyoti Circle with rates of Rs 2500 onwards. Contact no is 0824 4245678. Kumar Internatonal is a Budget Hotel with tariff of Rs 700 for non AC single room. Located on Bendoor Main Road, its contact no is 0824 2225871. Moti Mahal Hotel is on Falnir road and charges Rs 2000 onwards. Contact no is 0824-2441411

Pilikula Nisargadhama

Pilikula is an integrated theme park spread over 37 acres comprising a tropical forest, Biological Park, Arboretum, a Science Centre, a Lake Park with Boating Centre, a Water Amusement Park and a Golf Course. It is situated in one of the 18 globally recognized bio-diversity hot spots. The Pilikula biological park is dedicated to wild life species of Western Ghats. Most of the enclosures resemble the animal’s natural habitat. The park also doubles up as a rescue centre for orphaned animals in the region.   

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The Arboretum is a garden comprising of woody species of plants and has 60000 seedlings of flowering plants of Western Ghats. There are regular training programs held here for farmers especially about organic farming and other ways of sustainable usage of bio-diversity.

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Artisan Village is an interesting destination at Pilikula. It showcases aspects of Dakshina Kannada’s cultural heritage in the form of exhibits and live demos. You can get a good glimpse of the several forms of art, architecture, folk arts, folk sports, popular rituals and practices prevalent in this region like Yakshagana, Kambala, Bhoota Kola and Naga Mandala.

Pilikula is located in Moodushedde, Vamanjoor. You can contact (0824) 2263565 or 2263562 to get in touch with the Pilikula society.

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Dolphin Safari

The Penumbur beach is a hit among Dolphins and hence the best place around Mangalore for spotting them. Boats leave Mangalore in the morning from 7am till noon and take you 14 KMs into the mid sea to catch a glimpse of the Dolphins. Their abundance has encouraged the tourist authorities to offer a 50% refund in case of a no-show! The contact number for booking Dolphin Safari at Penumbur Beach is 94490 35570.

Malpe is another beach that is very popular in these parts. Located 6 kms west of Udupi, Malpe is great for boating, bathing, fishing and angling. You can visit St Mary’s Island by taking a boat from Malpe Beach. The island is full of intriguing volcanic rocks. Make sure to visit Balaram Temple, Island of Darya Bahadurgarh and an old tile factory while at Malpe. 

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Temple Circuit

Mangaladevi temple is located in Bolar, 3 KMs from the city centre. The Shrine of Mangaladevi was discovered by Tulu King Kundaverma after being guided by two saints Machendranatha and Gorakanatha from Nepal. It is a belief that pious maidens who worship the Goddess Mangaladevi are guaranteed to get best-fit husbands! Make it a point to visit this temple during Navratri when the whole place takes a festive look all through the nine days.

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Manjunatha Kadri temple is located in a beautiful Hill and surrounded by several ponds. The idol of Manjunatha is supposed to be the oldest among all of South India. This 10th century temple has its origins during the age of Parasurama. Parasurama after killing all the Kshatriyas has prayed to lord Shiva who later descended as Manjunatha and stayed at Kadri with Goddess Parvathi. Look for a few stone caves on top of this hill which were supposed to have been inhabited by the Pandavas during Mahabharata. Kadri temple is located 4 kms from Nehru Maidan Bus Stand.

The Durga Parmeswari Temple at Kateel is scenically located in the middle of the River Nandini. The Annual Festival of the temple is celebrated on the previous night of Mesha Sankramana day which falls in the month of April. The festivities are spread over a period of 8 days. Laksha Deepotsava or the Festival of lights is celebrated on the day of Kartika Bahula Panchami. The temple is 25 KMs north of Mangalore. From B.C. Road one can reach Kateel by taking turn towards Kaikamba on the Mangalore-Bangalore national highway

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Buffalo Race

The historically famous Kadri Kambala race is held annually at Kadri Kambalaguthu. Kadri Kambala is a traditional sport of the farmers in this region. Buffaloes are brought to paddy fields in a procession accompanied by drums. Well muscled ryots race them through the fields in a derby with a difference. Every year close to 50 such events are organized throughout Dakshin Kannada district between November and March. The electrifying atmosphere is no different than what you will find at Super bowl or the IPL!

A Discovery

The temple trust of Kateel encourages various forms of traditional art like Yakshagana. Yakshagana is a traditional theatre form combining dance, music, spoken word, costume and makeup. There are 4 performing troupes active in this area and so it would be a great idea to visit Kateel between November & May to get an audience. The shows are usually an all night affair from 9pm to 6am!

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For a travelogue on the famed Durga Parameswari Temple near Mangalore visit Kateel.