Mangalore: A Port City of India
Mangalore is the chief port city in the Indian State of Karnataka and is not to be confused with Bangalore which is the capital of Karnataka. Situated on the west coast of India, Mangalore is bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats on the eastern side. The city is the fourth largest in the State and is critical since it gives access to the Arabian Sea. The best months to visit this city are between December and February when the humidity and heat are at their lowest.
The culture of this city is a mix of the many religions and races that punctuate the traditions that are followed here. The linguistic diversity and rich history of the city is remarkable and is perhaps a result of the Portuguese invasion, migration of many people during the Goa Inquisition, and the rule of the British Empire. The effect of this is most palpable during the religious festivals that are held in the city when processions and night long traditional dances are a common occurrence.
Places of interest in Mangalore
Situated in Boloor some four miles from the city this place is witness to historical events involving the struggle between Tippu Sultan and the British Empire. Tippu was a Mughal who managed to defeat the British in the first war but subsequently lost in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war and the reign of the British Empire began. Although this is just a watch tower, it gives the impression of a fort and the stone walled structure still stands; however it is now a deserted place.
Kadri Manjunath Temple
Kadri is one more ancient historic place in Mangalore. The Kadri Temple dates backs to approximately 1068 A.D. has nine tanks, a square temple, is located at the foot of the highest hill, and draws to Mangalore numerous visitors every year. The Lokeshwara bronze statue of the Kadri Manjunatha Temple is said to be the finest bronze statue in India. There are seven sacred ponds here and the presence of caves that date back to the reign of Pandavas draws many pilgrims to this place from all over the country.
Light House-Hill Garden
The light house hill garden is located about a mile from the city and provides a spectacular view of the sea. The sailing ships and the sunset is a sight to behold and the garden has been renovated recently which adds to the splendor of the place.
The city derives its name from goddess Mangaladevi and a temple dedicated to her was built after her death. Dating back to the ninth century, this temple gives hope to pilgrims who worship the goddess who is said to bestow happiness and prosperity on her devotees. Located near the banks of the river Nertavati, the place is also said to be the hermitage of the great sage Kapila and a great education center in those times.
This is a small recreational park with a zoo and a toy train that runs through this beautiful garden. Located approximately three miles from the city, this park is a good place to unwind and relax; especially in summers when the heat is stifling and the humidity, high.
St. Aloysius Church
Located half a mile from the Nehru Bus stand, this church has paintings from an Italian artist named Antony Moshiani. The church is more than a hundred years old and is believed to be built in the year 1900. This church has a chapel which is sometimes compared to the Sistine Chapel in Rome and every inch of the interior roofs and walls is covered with paintings by Antony Moshiani.
The Manglorean cuisine is heavily influenced by South-Indian culinary delights; coconuts and curry leaves being omnipresent in almost all the palatable food that is available here. As this is a sea port, fish is also a part of most of the Mangloreans diet and the most famous type of sea food here is the fish curry. However the presence of so many religions has brought about a mouth watering revolution in the history of local cooking. There is always something unique to every religion from Catholic gastronomic answers to Hindu and Islamic culinary amusements.
The city is connected by road through three major National Highways namely NH-13, NH-48, NH-17. National highway 17 runs from Panvel (near Mumbai) to Kerala. The other highways are being upgraded by the National Highway Authority of India from two lanes to four lanes for about twenty miles from the city. The city is also well connected by rail and has two railway stations – Mangalore Central (at Hampankatta) and Mangalore Junction (at Kankanadi). The nearest International airport is in Bajpe which is about 13 miles NE of the city center. This is one of the few “table-top” runways in the country and was witness to a horrendous accident recently that killed almost 160 people as a plane overshot the runway and dropped in the valley.