Alternating from a chilled out town to a hectic nightmare, Mangalore has a Jekyll and Hyde personality going. However, it is an important gateway for the Konkan coast and inland Kodagu region. While you may not have much to do in the town, you should visit it for the-beaten-path feel. This apart, the spicy seafood options are amazing. As far as things to do in Mangalore go, there is never a dull moment.
Mangalore is perched at the estuaries of the picturesque Netravathi and Gurupur Rivers on the Arabian Sea. It has been an important port of international trade routes since the 6th century. Listed below are some of the best things to do in Mangalore:
Enjoying the Sights and Sounds & Best Things to do in Mangalore
1. Enjoy a relaxed sip at Spindrift
While you may not want to chug down beer throughout your entire trip in Mangalore, it wouldn’t hurt to spend a few hours at Spindrift in the city. The first microbrewery in town comes with both indoor and outdoor seating.
The chilled out, weekend vibe never abates. The added attraction? Acoustic artists, indie bands and DJs create a relaxed vibe over the weekend. You and your gang of friends will enjoy sipping on beer and taking in the beauty of the place.
2. Seafood adventure at Lalith Bar and Gajalee
A trip to Mangalore is never complete without tasting their seafood fare. If you are craving these delicacies, a visit to Lalith Bar and Restaurant should definitely be on your ‘things to do in Mangalore’ list. The eatery-cum-watering hole specialises in authentic Mangalorean seafood delicacies like spicy masala fish fry smothered in saucy red coconut curry, as well as deep-fried calamari and the likes.
You also have the option of making your way to Gajalee. In a town renowned for its seafood, locals often cite Gajalee as the best. Their fish curries are prepared in a spicy coconut sauce, while the clam is succulent and to die for, figuratively of course. If your appetite for gastronomical adventures is large, Mangalore’s seafood will surely leave you satisfied.
3. A visit to Kadri Hill Park
Kadri Hill Park is the largest park within Mangalore and is frequently visited by families who are looking for a weekend escape. Adjacent to the park is an animal conservatory, home to reptiles, rare birds, spotted deer, and other animal species.
4. Trippin’ at Surfing Ashram
Has the name piqued your interest? Well, you should definitely visit this place. Started by an American guru, this Hare Krishna ashram is not a typical holiday retreat.
The ashram imparts surf lessons and also helps those staying on its premises practice yoga. Do not expect five-star services; a typical day starts with morning prayers followed by yoga, breakfast and surfing.
5. Go Mythological at Mangaladevi Temple
Mangalore owes its name to the Mangaladevi temple. Located about three kilometres from the city centre in Bolar, the Mangaladevi temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. Legend has it that maidens who come and pray here for a good husband are most often than not blessed with one. During Dussehra, one can expect to be witness to grand pujas.
6. When nature calls at Sammilan Shetty’s Butterfly Park
A visit to Sammilan Shetty’s butterfly park is another one of the things to do in Mangalore. Set up in 2011, the park is the only privately-run butterfly park in the state. It houses 114 species of butterflies.
It also aims to educate people about butterflies and the need for conservation, as well as undertaking scientific research on them. Shetty also wants to create a safe habitat for these butterflies in the Western Ghats. A visit here is surely among the best things to do in Mangalore. Opening hours: Sundays only from 8.30 am to 12 pm
7. Nature Calls at Pilikula Nisarga Dhama
If you are looking for things to do in Mangalore, you won’t have to look too far. A visit to Pilikula Nisarga Dhama is also a must. It is an eco-education and tourism development project in Mangalore. Spread over 350 acres, the park is a treat for nature lovers. The park has a botanical garden, golf course, mini aquarium and a lake with the facility for boating. One will also come across an open zoo which houses wild animals like rare wild cats and king cobras.
8. Sound of silence at Mangalore Beaches
If you’re looking for some alone time, head to Tannirbhavi beach. One of the cleanest Mangalorean beaches, a ferry ride across Gurupurra River from Sultan Battery is the only way to get there. It’s a five-minute walk once you cross the river. It is famous for its white sand and silence. However, swimming is not allowed here during the monsoon. Panambur
It is famous for its white sand and silence. However, swimming is not allowed here during the monsoon. Panambur beach is brimming with activity, including jet-skiing and camel rides. Wouldn’t a visit to the beach be on your top things to do in Mangalore?
9. Shop till you drop
For shopaholics, there are two famous malls one can visit. Make your way to City Centre and the biggest mall in the city, Forum. However, there are some who still prefer shopping at the local markets.
Hampanakatta is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Mangalore. You will probably find everything you’re looking for under one roof.
10. Bliss at St Aloysius Chapel
Situated on Lighthouse Hill, the beautiful St. Aloysius Chapel has magnificent Biblical frescoes on its walls and ceilings painted by Italian Jesuit Anthony Moscheni. The frescoes depict the lives of saints and the life and death of Jesus Christ.
Art lovers will enjoy their time spent there. It’s an architectural marvel and can be compared to the churches in Rome. Even if you’re not particularly interested in art, the chapel is worth a visit. It should definitely rank high on your list of top things to do in Mangalore.
11. Food Trail
If you are not a seafood lover, why not sink your teeth into the neer dosa and chicken curry, the chicken pulimunchi and kundapuri chicken. Pork-lovers can make their way to Mangala for delicious Mangalore pork. Vegetarians can head to Ayodhya for authentic Mangalorean vegetarian food. If you’re looking for a sweet fix, try the Dilkush and
Vegetarians can head to Ayodhya for authentic Mangalorean vegetarian food. If you’re looking for a sweet fix, try the Dilkush and gadbad ice cream at Pabbas or at Ideal Ice Cream Parlour.
There is never a dull moment in Mangalore. If you’ve recently visited the coastal town, share your recommendations on things to do when visiting Mangalore.