Mangalore, a hidden gem on the Malabar Coast

Chhavi Agarwal takes a trip to the coastal town of Mangalore and briefs us on its wonders.

Mangalore may be an undersold tourist destination in Karnataka but it is the perfect tropical city on the Malabar Coast for travellers at heart.

A city wedged between the prolific Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea (yes, you can imagine the beauty!), Mangalore has everything a traveller hopes for - pristine beaches, rich history and culture, delectable cuisine and oodles of fun.

All packed and trip meter reset, Daaku (my hubby) and I started out our road trip from Bangalore.

We took the Hassan - Sakleshwar - Shiradighat route. With lush greenery surrounding the twisted roads and winds blowing, Mangalore took away my heart before I even reached there.

Once we arrived, we quickly freshened up and started exploring.

1. St. Aloysius Chapel

Situated at the Lighthouse hill and built in 1885, St. Aloysius Chapel is no less than the Sistine Chapel in Rome. While I have been to many churches around India, I haven’t experienced such grandeur before. Adorned with beautiful frescoes on the ceilings, oil paintings and panel paintings on every inch of the walls, this chapel is a gem. We weren’t allowed to take our camera inside (to preserve the paintings) so no pictures for you. Oops!

2. Someshwara Beach

Approximately 10 km drive from Mangalore, we arrived at a golden sanded beach which is guarded by coconut palms and large rocks (known as the Rudra Shile).

Overlooking the confluence of the Nethravathi River and the Arabian Sea, Someshwara beach gives you a pristine view of the sunset. A must visit for travellers and photography enthusiasts. This beach hasn’t as yet been commercialized which makes it the perfect place for sunbathing in peace or enjoying the translucent waters nibbling at your feet. You can also climb onto the Ottinene hillock for a panoramic view of the beach.

When you visit this beach in Ullal, you cannot miss the Somnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Don’t forget to carry water and some food because there are absolutely no shops around this beach.

3. Kaup beach and light house

If you like to drive (or ride) across cities to explore them, this is the perfect destination for you.

Situated approximately 40 kms away from Mangalore, Kaup beach hosts a 110-year old lighthouse. It is recognisable from various Bollywood movies and tops the list of favourite spot for garrulous locals who sit by the beauty and share the stories of the day.

Sit back, treat your ears to the music of the waves, watch the sunset as it casts a dwindling glow on the waters and you will realize paradise.

You can also climb up the lighthouse for a minimal fee and enjoy the breathtaking view of the beach. You won’t realize how time flies!

This is not all. The city hosts a number of beautiful beaches and historic temples. There was so much more to experience in Mangalore but we didn’t have adequate time to see it all. While you are here, you cannot miss the food. Trust me, just the food is a good enough reason for any food lover to visit the Karavali coast.

With a noticeable taste of tamarind and coconut, spiced with their locally growncinnamon and red chilli (or ooramunchi); the food cooked by the Bunt community exemplifies coastal cuisine. Lip smacking chicken ghee roast with neerdosa, Kori roti and Anjal fry masala will leave you longing for more (forever!).

Close your eyes and head to Gajalee for the most delicious meal of your trip. As you reach there, you will notice that the restaurant is hosted in a colonial bungalow. The ambiance is relaxed and the French windows along with the warm lights and the whitewashed walls make the dining experience a memorable one.

We were busy savouring the delicious traditional food but if you have time (and the mood to leave the ghee roast!), try out Pabba’s ice cream which host hundreds of different ice creams.

If you are a chaat lover (or loves nibbling on something all the time), try charamburi, ambulipacchodi at Carsstreet and Balli’sBhajji. Yum!

Mangalore has a special charm that makes it different from other destinations in Karnataka. If you haven’t visited this mesmerizing city yet, you must plan something.

Oh, yeah. Don’t forget to buy yourself a box of cashews, palm jaggery and Mangalore halwa.

A traveller at heart, Chhavi (or @Mrs_Daaku) along with Amit Khare (or @daaku) loves to travel across India and document their experiences on Mrs. Daaku Studio ( Apart from this, she is a freelance tech and marketing writer/blogger and co-founder at Content Writer Guru. You can reach out to her at

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.