The complete travel guide to Mangalore

With its rolling hills, coconut trees and freshwater streams, a cool coastal vibe conquers the soul of Mangalore. Meanwhile, the city manages to attract IT professionals, entrepreneurs and thousands of tourists from across the world who enter the country through its famous port. The next time you’re there, this is what you should do:


What to see and do

When you’re holidaying in this seaside paradise, start your journey by ticking off the most important element: the beach. Karnataka’s coast is home to some of India’s finest, pristine beaches, so expect to be pleasantly surprised in Mangalore, too. Head to Panambur Beach, popular for the many attractions on offer—from jet ski and horse riding to boating and dolphin viewing. The beach is currently managed by a private enterprise with a skilled lifeguard service on patrol. In January, the place hosts the International Kite Festival where participants from France, Germany, Australia and several other countries fly specialty kites designed in line with the theme of the event.

From here, head to Tannirbhavi beach, which is a short ferry ride away from Sultan Battery watch tower, built by Tipu Sultan in 1784. Take in its quiet, laidback atmosphere, and treat yourself to an ice gola as you watch the sun melt into the horizon. Other famous beaches to bookmark include NITK Beach, which derives its name from National Institute of Technology (Karnataka) and boasts a lighthouse nestled at its rocky shore; Someshwar Beach, although unsafe for swimming, is also worth a trip for its sun-kissed golden sand and Lord Somanatha temple where the beach gets its name from.

Places of worship play a significant role in Mangalore. The city itself derives its name from Mangaladevi Temple at Bolara, dedicated to the incarnation of Hindu goddess Shakti. Like many temples in Kerala and along the Western Ghats, the temple is mostly made of wood, with the presiding deity at the centre and smaller shrines surrounding it. Watch it come alive during the festival of Navaratri, when devotees come in large numbers to witness the annual celebrations. A ten-minute drive away stands another historic landmark, Milagres Church, a Roman Catholic church built by Bishop Thomas de Castro in 1680.

Where to eat

A heavenly mix of South Indian and Konkan, Mangalorean cuisine is what dreams are made of. Think Neer Dosa, Chicken Ghee Roast, Anjal Fry, and plenty of vegetarian options to choose from the Udupi fare.

  • Gajalee Sea Food

    Mumbai’s much-loved seafood restaurant has an outpost in Mangalore. A British-style circuit house-turned-restaurant, Gajalee’s old-warm charm transports you back in time. Dig into its sumptuous Crab Tandoor Masala, Prawn Ghee Roast or the signature Bombil Fry, and wash it down with a glassful of soothing solkadi.
  • Giri Manja’s

    Locals swear by this little eatery for their delicious fish preparations. Giri Manja’s no-frills, humble setup is what makes the food take the spotlight. Pick from their ‘catch of the day’ menu where the fish is made two ways—masala fry and sukha; or go for the thali menu that comes with a fish dish, a veg curry, pickle, and unlimited rice.
  • New Tajmahal Café

    A popular vegetarian breakfast joint, New Tajmahal is known for its set dosas, ghee uthappam and filter coffee. Head here for a quick, easy-on-the-pocket meal after your trip to Milagres Church.
  • Shetty Lunch Home

    When you’re on the lookout for the best chicken ghee roast, a dish where chicken pieces are marinated in fiery spices and roasted in ghee, all roads lead to Shetty Lunch Home in Mangalore. Their mutton and fish preparations—sukka, chilly, pepper fry are also worth a try.
  • Pabbas

    By all means eat your heart out across the city, but keep some room for dessert. At Pabbas, over 50 different verities of ice creams, milk shakes and fresh fruit juices await to hit your sweet spot. Try the Dilkhush, Tiramisu and Gadbad, three flavours favourite among the regulars.

Where to stay

From beachside luxury retreats to budget hotels, Mangalore gives you a range of accommodation options to choose from.

  • The Gateway Hotel Mangalore

    This business hotel from Taj spoils you with all modern comforts: well-appointed rooms, a 24/7 fitness centre and a thoughtfully designed spa. Make sure to dine at its specialty Mangalorean restaurant, Cardamom, which serves a variety of sea food delicacies. Call it a wrap with a drink at the in-house lounge, High Tide Bar.
  • River Roost Resorts

    Around 15km from the heart of Mangalore city lies River Roost, a resort set amidst coconut and areca plantations. There’s plenty to do to soak in the beauty of nature: relax in a hammock by the river, visit the organic garden or go fishing by the river. For stay, choose their wood cabin dorm and rooms, or the spacious Deluxe and Luxury rooms.
  • Summer Sands Beach Resort

    Located on the popular Ullal-Someshwar beach, the 15-acre Summer Sands offers two- and three-bedroom private villas with a 1,000ft beach front, and access to a range of outdoor activities—from jet ski to badminton.
  • The Ocean Pearl

    Located in the heart of Mangalore city, Ocean Pearl is a convenient option for stay if you wish to be in the heart of action. Owned by the parent company of the popular restaurants ‘Sagar Ratna’ and ‘Swagat’, naturally, there are numerous F&B options to choose from: Coral for multi-cuisine, The Jazz for cocktails and the Tide Coffee Shop for bakes.

Where to shop

Although Mangalore is no street shopper’s paradise, there are a few stores that are sure to make you halt during the trip. Hit the Hampanakatta Market, one of the oldest and busiest markets in the city, for buying silk sarees, traditional fabrics and jewellery. Forum, Bharat and Empire Malls are among the largest shopping complexes in the city, with several national and international brands on offer. If you’re planning to take back a food souvenir for your family and friends, shop for the Mangalorean Halwa from New Taj Mahal Café in Kodialbail and a pack of cashews from Phalguni Cashew Centre in Hampanakatta.


6E and Cheeky

On your trip to the Meenakshi Amman Temple, make sure to halt at Prithu Mandapam, an old pillared hall near the eastern entrance. It is known to be the best place for your cotton fabric loot in Maduri. For hand-woven silk and batik textiles, head to East Masi street, South Avani Moola Street and Town Hall Road. And since you’re in Madurai, don’t forget to pick a gorgeous silk saree from any of these shopping hubs. From bell-metal lamps to bronze idols, bookmark the government-run Poompuhar handicraft store, and the Cottage Arts Emporium if you’re looking for traditional handicrafts

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Kenjar, Bajpe, Mangaluru, Karnataka 574142 IXE
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