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Posts Tagged ‘Mangalore’

Wanted to end the year with one last post about our recent drive to Mangalore, the coastal capital of Karnataka.

Mangalore is located about 360kms from Bangalore and is well connected by road and rail to Kerala and Goa and has an international airport as well. This destination makes for a wonderful drive from Bangalore with two distinct route options. The first and shortest is via Hasan, Shakleshur via Shiradi Ghat (360kms – 7.5 hrs) and the second is via Mysore and Madikeri, Coorg (400kms – 8.5 hrs).

Unfortunately, about 20 – 30kms on both these routes are in terrible condition due to heavy rains and low quality of tarring. The only positive on the second route via Madikeri is that, there is road widening underway and we should expect top quality drive by the mid of 2014. Both these route are equally scenic as we go over the western ghats to get to the coastline.

Majestic Western Ghats

Mangalore being a quieter city as compared to Bangalore is growing rapidly. This is partly due to the student population making this city their temporary home. The city boasts a large number of educational institutions including popular medical and dental colleges. The city has seen a spurt of malls and multiplexes and the breaking down of old traditional residences to make way for newer apartment complexes. Regardless, this city is worth a visit for it mouthwatering seafood and pristine beaches.

Here is a quick list of things to do while you are in Mangalore:

Beaches: Someshwar and Ullal are the two popular beaches towards the south of Mangalore. Someshwar beach which is further away has a lot of character with rocks all around while Ullal is best enjoyed from Summer Sands beach resort or at the confluence of the river and the sea. (Note: Ullal beach is dangerous to venture into due to strong waves and undercurrents)Mangalore beaches

Towards the north of the city lies Tannirbavi beach which is again slightly unsafe for deep sea swimming but the adjacent Panambur beach is ideal for water sports. Further ahead is the less crowded Surathkal beach right opposite the NIT campus on the main Mangalore – Udupi highway. Continue driving on this route and you will hit another popular beach called Kapu close to Udupi. This beach is very popular among the youngsters and for its light house which makes for a good photo opportunity. The best time to visit Kapu is during sunset. Close by is the popular uninhabited St Mary’s Island which can be visited on government manned boats for a nominal fee during the day.

Back in Mangalore, you can do a bit of shopping at the many new malls such as City Centre or Bharat Mall or the local Hampankatta Market. But the best part of this city is its local cuisines and its Ice Cream parlors.Ideal Ice Cream Parlor

One must visit Ideals Ice Cream parlor to try out popular varieties such as Gudbad, Parfait, Banana Split, Tiramisu, Royal Falooda and many more. They have quite a few branches across the city and are priced between Rs 20 – Rs 75. We highly recommended this joint. Popular restaurants such as Maharaja, Goldfinch and Amanthran serve the best mangalorean cuisines. Kane Masala Fry, Crab Sukka, Prawn Chilli, Chicken Ghee Roast, Kori Roti and sannas (soft idlis) are popular among the locals and are priced between Rs 80 to Rs 350 for Kane fish. So the next time you happen to visit this sultry city, don’t forget to visit one of the local restaurants.

Pomfret Masala Fry

Pomfret Masala Fry

Cashews are very common in this region and are used liberally in many preparations. Sweets such as Cashew Macrons, Banana Halwa, Sweet Potato Sticks (Sonte), Rice laddoos and Plum cakes are popular in the region.Kanthi Church lit up for Christmas

The city is connected by private bus service which is clean, fast and cheap followed by Autorikshaws. The best time to visit is between October – February and don’t forget to carry your sunscreen lotion or an umbrella. If you do not wish to drive down, you can opt for the reliable KSRTC Volvo bus service or take the train from Bangalore which offers splendid views of the western ghats early in the morning. Mangalore offers many accommodation options from service apartments to hotels and are very decently priced.

If we have missed anything interesting in Mangalore, do comment below.

Greatescapes score for beach towns: 8/10

Your escapist,

Brian

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Marvanthe Beach Drive Dec 2008


Well it had been couple of months since I had been to Mangalore, so I thought I’ll do a short post on how my last weekend drive was.


It was a bleak Sunday evening when we decided to rid ourselves of boredom and make a trip to Mangalore. Though only 360 kms from Bangalore, somehow, it was time we went on a drive as a group indulging and enjoying the scenery and firmly believing in the drive rather than the destination.


Before I get on to what the weekend drive to maravnthe was let me introduce my travel mates. Starting from the top left is Anjali, Ramya, Sridhar, Shalini, Silky, myself, Shenoy, Subbu, Jo, Sirish and Shyamoly (missing)

The Gang

It all started when a bunch of us sat to decide on what the weekend plans should be like. I was not too keen when “Mangalore drive” popped out as an option…being from Mangalore myself…thought Mangalore wouldn’t show the charm it once had, there wasn’t much to Mangalore except those dirty looking beeches with whole lot of construction work, pathetic roads, thought all this on a steaming day was a waste of time. But there stood shenoy… I remember the smile and the look on his face when he said “ill show u the Mangalore uve never seen before”… for one thing I was very sure…if it was shenoy planning it would undoubtedly be good…


So we left on Saturday morning at 3.30 AM…3 cars (a Zen Estilo, a Swift and a Honda city) 11 people were ready to hit NH-48 from Nelmangala circle which goes straight to Mangalore, this circle is 16km from Bangalore on Tumkur Road (NH-4). NH-48 goes straight to Mangalore via Hassan (190km from Bangalore) and Sakleshpur. We didn’t take the straight road. Instead we took the Bangalore-tumkur road with some pit stops in between until we reached Jog falls through shimoga and Sagar – a total distance from Bangalore of about 380kms.

The great jog had lost all its appeal since there was little water than we had expected. After Jog, we took the Honnavar road, and the drive was good with exceptional scenic beauty with ghats all around and kishore kumar playing. It was wonderful.


Rejuvenated, we continued along the highway and soon entered Honnavar and took NH-17 towards Murudeshwar. It was turning out to be a Mangalore via North Kanara trip. Once on NH-17, we drove on for 25kms till we reached Murdeshwar. With the skies clearing, the beauty of the surrounding seaside was a sight to behold.


Since we started early in the morning, by the time we reached Murdeshwar, it was almost 5PM – we had already been on the road for over 13-odd hours. And at this time with the approaching twilight, the beauty of the beach was beyond description

Temple

Many people are aware of the temple’s existence, so you are not alone to pray and spend some peaceful and serene moments all by yourself. Even before you see the temple, you are welcomed by a prominent restaurant by the beachside.

Largest Shiva statue in the country
Largest Shiva statue in the country

But by the time we were through marvelling over the place, the sky was darkening and we had to be content with a few glimpses in passing by these sites. Reluctantly, we made up our minds to stroll down the beach to capture the sunset.

Sunset at Maravanthe
Sunset at Murdeshwar

Next stop was Trasi beach at Maravanthe (in Udupi dist., 45 kms from Murdeshwar on NH-17), where all three – beach, road and river – run parallel!! Situated a short 5 minute-drive from this beach is the Turtle Bay resort we spent the night at. It’s easy to miss Turtle Bay if you don’t know where to look. Since we did have the expert, who had been there before, we were given the right directions.

Sunset

An evening at the beach with friends and some chilled beer and some vodka was simply what I had dreamt off! At 9pm the resort attendants offered us some beach refreshment. We ordered Pomfret rava fry, Surmai masala fry, Prawns dry and Prawns Masala and Chicken. A little on the spicy side, but we loved it.….. After refreshments we again went to the beach and stayed there till 1am.

Beach at Turtle Bay

We woke up at 6.30 in the morning the next day. It was a fine sunny morning. Had some fun at the beach. On a Sunday morning life seemed to be at a standstill in the even otherwise quiet town. Got back to the resort and had our breakfast and set out for Bangalore at 11.

Driving down NH 17 is a truly blue trip… A view of the Arabian Sea on one side of the road glistening in the sun and the serene Souparnika River on the other side. A few resorts dot this virgin beach.

Turtle Bay Beach

On the way back stopped at Kapu and went to see the lighthouse. Its quiet a different experience! We were spellbound to see the beauty of this place from the foot of the lighthouse, on top of the rocks. Rocks + coconut trees + a nice beach made this place a visitor’s delight. It can’t be explained by words one has to be there to relish its beauty.

The day was sunny and bright and we were enjoying driving under the warm sun leisurely. But the drive back was a bit of a pain in the arse, Sridhar was driving and ive never heard the number of s***’s and F***’s ever on a single day… You will curse yourself for having decided to drive through that road…on a long drive, with pothole strewn roads, we settled at roadside stall for a cup of chai... The roads were a mess we agreed and subbu warned us, “Just wait till you see the roads until you reach sakleshpur”.

If I ever complained about the roads in Bangalore, I take back all my complaints. One must be happy with what one gets. What used to be a 45 minute drive has stretched into a neat 2 hr ordeal. Those manganese and iron ore laden over loaded bloody trucks ought to be taken off these roads! Never again will I crib about the state of bad roads in this city.


This is probably my nth trip to Mangalore. But this time, it had been a city in transit and never quite the destination. It is a city that I’ve seen in bits and pieces and this time it was no exception.


Next time you are in and around Mangalore do make it a point to visit Maravanthe and Kapu, and stay at Turtle Bay. If not for anything just to experience stillness, you can do that peacefully without being pushed around...Spend as much time as you want in peaceful surroundings listening to the some nice music, read a book and admiring nature. You will realize how miniscule we are compared to what else is there in the Universe. I am glad I made the trip. It was a wonderful experience will love to repeat the same trip once again. At the end of the trip our cars Odo reading was 1065km and now back to the grind of everyday life.

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Flavia Leedya Pereira

flavialpereira@gmail.com

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