Posted 14 December 2022

Why Christmas should be celebrated in Mangaluru, the Rome of the East

Mangaluru, often known as the 'Rome of the East,' decks up for the celebrations of two back-to-back festivals: Christmas and New Year. With a sizable Christian population in the coastal districts of Udupi and Mangaluru and some of the most stunning and majestic historic churches, Christmas celebrations in this section of Karnataka's coastal area hold a unique charm. The city is engulfed in Christmas fever and flavor for the whole month of December and only rests after the New Year's celebrations.

Let’s take a sneak peek into how people gear up to celebrate in Mangaluru so that you can plan a trip to Mangaluru during Christmas.

Mangaluru’s churches

Christmas celebration is incomplete without seeking God's blessings at the Church.

So, here are some of the best Churches in Mangaluru to visit during Christmas:

1. Milagres Church

This Church was constructed in the late sixteenth century. The Milagres Church is also one of Dakshina Karnataka's most beautiful and oldest Roman Catholic churches. It is named after Our Lady of Miracles. After being demolished by Tipu Sultan, the old Milagres Church was replaced with a magnificently constructed cemetery and church in recent years.

On Christmas Eve, Milagres choir sings Christmas carols, followed by Eucharistic celebration in open church grounds where thousands flocked to join in the festive ceremony. Following the mass, people exchanged greetings, expressing their delight and happiness while welcoming the Lord Jesus. Children celebrate this event with enthusiasm and excitement as Santa Claus brings them sweets and gifts. People can also participate in activities such as housie-housie and an American auction of Christmas kuswar baskets.

2. Redeemer Church

The Redeemer Church is located in Mangaluru's Belthangady neighborhood, Karnataka's retreat. It is also well-known as one of the most historically significant Roman Catholic churches in the area. The Redeemer Church is devoted to the Christians who have remained faithful despite Tipu Sultan's horrors. The Redeemer Church's Christmas celebrations begin with Christmas carols, followed by holy mass. A live crib, dance, and housie-housie game are also part of the Christmas festivities. After the event, everyone is filled with excitement and delight till late at night.

3. Rosario Cathedral

Rosario Cathedral is the Canara region's first Romantic Catholic Church. The Church of the Rosary is Mangaluru's oldest and only parish church. It is just for Mangaluruan Catholics of high caste. It is one of the most well-known religious sites in a city famed for its rich history and architecture. This Church's Christmas celebration begins with carol singing, followed by a Christmas mass gathering. People play games, exchange pleasantries, eat sweets and dance. The Christmas decorations are so beautiful that you would want to spend time clicking pictures with your loved ones at the end of the event.

Christmas delicacies - Kuswar and Plum Cakes

When the fragrance of freshly made cakes and delicacies such as cookies, chips, and others, known as kuswar, wafted from the kitchens of Christian houses, everyone in the Mangaluru neighborhood knows that Christmas is around the corner.

The typical kuswar comprises kidiyos, guliyos or marble balls, nivris—a hybrid between gujiyas and samosas with coconut filling, laddu or rice laddus, naan khatai, banana chips and rose kokkisan. Kuswar is an umbrella name for one-of-a-kind Christmas treats that are part of the Mangalorean Catholic community's cuisine. Each family customizes the contents of the kuswar basket, which contains a variety of sweets and savory items. You would want that basket for yourself!

Christmas Vibes and Decorations

Mangaluru, which has a significant Christian community, organizes some of the most opulent Christmas events in the city. Churches and shopping centers decked out for the holidays with gigantic X-Mas trees and beautifully lighted decorations. Bakeries and restaurants refresh their menus with Christmas specialities and delicacies to entice customers' taste buds. Throughout December, Mangaluruans experience Christmas fever, which culminates with the New Year's Eve celebration.

About Mangaluru City

With the enormous Arabian Sea on one side and the towering hills of the Western Ghats on the other, Karnataka's Mangaluru city is a superb holiday spot that practically every visitor enjoys visiting. This dynamic city has it all: exotic beaches, historic seaports, gorgeous mountains, and historical structures and temples. A few days would not be enough to enjoy Mangaluru's rich culture and natural beauty endowed with several attractions. A week-long vacation is required to arrange a trip to Mangaluru and seek tranquility in the comfort of this city. Mangaluru, named after the deity Mangaladevi, is commonly referred to as the "Gateway to Karnataka." It is a prominent port city in India that goes back to the 14th century.

Best places to visit in Mangaluru

  • Panambur Beach: Panambur Beach is most renowned for its spectacular sunset views, photography, and exhilarating water sports. Beach strolls and sunbathing can be enjoyed, while those interested in adventure sports can partake in jet skiing, water scooter rides, camel riding, buggy and horse riding, and banana boat rides. Also, every year, Panambur Beach hosts the International Kite Festival.
  • Kudroli Gokarnath Temple: Kudroli Gokarnath Temple, also known as Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, is one of the most famous family attractions in Mangaluru. This Mangaluru temple, dedicated to Gokarnanatha, a form of Lord Shiva, was established by Sri Narayana Guru, who was barred from joining other temples in the vicinity. The temple is built in the Dravidian style and has a 60-foot-high gilded Gopuram.
  • Pilikula Park: Pilikula Park is one of the most exciting and interesting locations to visit in Mangaluru. This site attracts travelers with families and children since it has a zoo, a lake, a heritage town, an amusement park, and a vast golf course. It is ideal for a family outing since it allows for leisurely strolls, day picnics, and boating.
  • Bejai Museum: The Seemanthi Bai Government Museum is popularly known as the Bejai Museum, located in the center of Mangaluru City. The two-story structure is shaped like a ship. The museum houses outstanding collections of ancient coins, artifacts, weaponry, everyday things, paintings, and sculptures. The Bejai Museum, built-in 1955 by Col. V.R. MIrajkar, is the city's only museum and a visual feast for history fans and archaeologists.
  • Ullal Beach: Ullal Beach is an ideal location for sitting, unwinding, relaxing, and watching the sunset. Ullal Beach's beachfront is studded with unique and attractive palm plantations, and the unrivalled view of the turquoise sea from here is just breathtaking. Ullal Beach, one of the most beautiful spots to visit near Mangaluru, is around 12 kilometres away. This area is filled with little shacks and cafés, and people come here on weekends to swim, surf, and participate in other water activities.

Read more about - The best Indian cities to visit in December for a Merry Christmas

Travel tips

  • Try any of the Udupi cafés if you want just simple filter coffee without the added hype.
  • Language is not an issue here. Tulu, Kannada, Konkani, Beary, and English are the main languages spoken by the locals.
  • This seaside village has a shallow crime rate. However, keeping your eyes and ears alert will assist you in avoiding unfavourable circumstances.
  • Flashing significant quantities of cash may not be a good idea, especially when travelling. Using credit cards to pay your payments is a much better solution.
  • If you need to hire a tour guide, always go with a reputable firm or agency.
  • Because it is a new location, don't forget to activate your GPS. The people in the area are pretty friendly. However, if you find yourself lost, do not be afraid to contact the locals.

How to reach Mangaluru?

  • By Air: Mangaluru International Airport, located 6 kilometres from the city, is the closest airport. IndiGo provides non-stop IndiGo flights to Mangaluru, from Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
  • By Road: Bus services from Mangaluru to all neighbouring towns in Karnataka and Kerala are provided by the state government transport agency (KSRTC) and various private operators. Long-distance buses connect important cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Hubli-Dharwar, Goa, and Kerala.
  • By Train: Mangaluru Central is located in the city's centre, Hampankata. It is a terminus and is only used by trains that end in Mangaluru. Most long-distance trains connecting to other cities stop here at Mangaluru Junction. Yesvantpur-Karwar Express and KSR Bengaluru City-Kannur Express are two significant trains linking Mangaluru with Bangalore's city capital.
  • Getting Around: Mangaluru has a comprehensive bus network that connects different sections of the city and is managed by both the government and private companies. Various accessible modes of transportation include auto-rickshaws, local taxis, and other app-based services.

Weather

  • Winter: Mangaluru's winter season is the ideal time for a visit. The weather is generally temperate and dry, making it the perfect time to explore the city and engage in festive activities during Christmas. Temperatures vary between 15°C and 31°C.
  • Summer: During the summer, the entire region is exposed to intense heat waves. The weather has been hot and humid, with daily highs above 40 degrees. However, during this season, you might discover significant savings on hotels.
  • Monsoon: Mangaluru has severe and regular rains from July to September, making it unsuitable for outdoor activities. However, the weather stays good, and the rain enhances the natural Mangaluru attractions throughout this season.

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