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10 Best Places to See and Top Things to Do in Mangalore, Karnataka

Sitting at the estuaries of the picturesque Netravathi and Gurupur Rivers on the Arabian Sea coast in the Indian state of Karnataka, Mangalore is a laid back destination, ideal for beach lovers. Though officially known as Mangalore, it encompasses a busy city, but as soon as one reaches the shore line, everything bad seems to fade away and all one sees is a vast stretch of golden sand and azure sea. For those who like to savour seafood, Mangalore has unbelievable varieties on offer. Moreover, there are numerous hill stations situated in close vicinity of the city and one can easily plan a trip to visit them on weekends. Not only this, like other cities of South India, Mangalore has a spiritual feel to it making it all the more interesting destinations to visit. Here are some of the best places to see and things to do in Mangalore.

Important Quick Travel & Tourism Information About Mangalore

Location of Mangalore Karnataka, Dakshina Kannada District
Nearest Railway Station Mangalore Railway Junction
Nearest International Airport Mangalore International Airport, 15 kilometres from the city
Cities which are connected to Mangalore through the Konkan Railway Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Karwar, Bhatkal, Surat, Ajmer and Margao
Some Pristine Beaches in Mangalore Panambur, Tannirbhavi, Ullal and Surathkal
Popular Temples to Visit in Mangalore Kudroli Gokarnath Temple, Kadri Manjunatha Temple, Mangaladevi Temple, Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple, Shri Sharavu Mahaganapathi Temple, Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple, Thousand Pillars Jain Temple
Other Spiritual Places to Visit in Mangalore St. Aloysius Chapel, Rosario Cathedral, Milagres Church
Nearby Hill Stations to Mangalore Chikmagalur, Agumbe, Kemmangundi, Sakleshpur, Kudremukh
Historic Attractions in Mangalore Sultan Battery, Jamalabad Fort, Bejai Museum
Must-try Dishes in Mangalore Gassi, Goli Baji, Korri Roti, Gujje Podi, Mandakki, Kadale Manoli, Seer Fish Masala Fry, Mangalore Biryani

List of Top Places to See in Mangalore, Karnataka

  • Mangaladevi Temple
  • Gokarnanatheshwara Temple
  • Panambur Beach
  • Surathkal Beach
  • Pilikula Nisargadhama
  • Aloysius Church
  • Sultan’s Battery

Top Things to Do in Mangalore

  • Try the Delectable Mangalorean Cuisine
  • Go Shopping in Mangalore
  • Surfing in Mulki

Recommended Tour Packages

Mangaladevi Temple

Mangaladevi Temple Mangalore

Mangalore was previously known as Mangalapur due to the deity and temple of Mangala Devi situated here. Located in Bolar, this 19th century temple was established by the King of the Ahepa dynasty and is one of the most popular places to see in Mangalore. Even if you are not a religious soul, you can visit this shrine to admire its architectural beauty and the immense faith of the people with which they come here.

  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the temple is during the Navratri before Dussehra when the festivities at the temple are at their peak.
  • Timings: The temple remains open from 6 AM to 1 PM and then again from 4 PM to 8:30 PM. On Fridays, it closes at 9 PM.

Also Read: Best Places to Visit in Coorg

Gokarnanatheshwara Temple

Gokarnanatheshwara Temple Mangalore

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Gokarnanatheshwara Temple is yet another must see destination in Mangalore. Built in the Dravidian style, this temple is located in Kudroli, Kodailbail. Also known as Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatha Kshetra, the temple boasts of golden coloured gopuram which is 60 feet high and is decorated with stucco figures. The temple also flaunts some exquisite rock carving and sculptures that add to the beauty of this temple. The gopuram or the tower of the temple is decorated with murals depicting scenes from Hindu legends.

  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is during Navratri as the dasara festival is celebrated here with much enthusiasm. The celebration is referred to as Mangalore Dasara.
  • Timings: The temple remains open from 6 AM to 2 PM and from 4:30 PM to 9 PM.

Also Read: Top Nature Weekend Getaways in Karnataka

Panambur Beach

Panambur Beach Mangalore

Mangalore undoubtedly has some of the finest beaches in and around it. One of the most popular of them is Panambur Beach, which is located 13 kilometres from Mangalore. It is indeed one of the pretty beaches as it is one of the perfect places to watch breathtaking sunsets. Crystal clear water, golden sand, less crowded and safe for secluded swimming, Panambur is an ideal place for beach lovers. Moreover, if you are a water sports enthusiast, opt for parasailing, jet skiing, banana boat rides and others while visiting this beach.

  • Best Time to Visit: Early mornings or late afternoons between the months of September and March is the best time to visit Panambur Beach.
  • Timings: Open for 24 hours.

Also Read: Top Tourist Places to Explore in Bangalore

Surathkal Beach

Surathkal Beach Mangalore

Another place for beach goers to explore is the Surathkal Beach. Known for its pristine surroundings, Surathkal is located 18 kilometres from the main city. The beach is famed for its unique powdery sand that invites people to enjoy a barefeet stroll on it. Moreover, it remains unspoilt by tourists so if someone wants to spend some alone time, the beach is perfect for them. Another attraction here is a lighthouse on the beach, which is located on a hillock and provides some great views of the ocean and the countryside.

  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this beach is between November and February.
  • Timings: The beach remains open for 24 hours but the lighthouse opens only between 4 PM and 5 PM.

Also Read: Best Places to Visit in Mysore

Pilikula Nisargadhama

Pilikula Nisargadhama Mangalore

The surroundings of Mangalore are quite ideal for picnics and one such perfect location is Pilikula Nisargadhama, which is some 15 kilometres away. Spread over an area of 370 acres, Pilikula Nisargadhama or Pilikula, is one of the most preferred picnic spots near the city as it is a picturesque hamlet of Vamanjoor where rich wildlife can be experienced. One can find scads of wildlife species here and there is a botanical garden, a cageless zoo, where Tigers, Leopards, Bears and a variety of reptiles and snakes can be seen. A golf course within premises can also be found.

  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the place is between October and February.
  • Timings: Pilikula Nisargadhama remains open from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM every day except on Mondays.

Also Read: Popular Hill Stations in Karnataka

St. Aloysius Church

St. Aloysius Church Mangalore

St. Aloysius Church in Mangalore is known for its marvellous architecture and interiors. Located in Kodailbail, on the Lighthouse Hill, the church was built in 1880 and features unique paintings by the Italian artist Antonio Moscheni covering most of the walls. The paintings depict Aloysius’s life to whom the chapel and adjacent college are dedicated. One can see several ceiling frescoes of various saints in Christianity and of course spend some time in quietude here. Another attraction of the place is its location as it allows one to get a picturesque view of the Arabian Sea.

  • Best Time to Visit: Winter season is the best time to visit St. Aloysius Church.
  • Timings: The church remains open from 9 AM to 1 PM and from 2:30 PM to 5 PM.

Also Read: Top Tourist Destinations of Karnataka

Sultan’s Battery

Sultans Battery Mangalore

Do not confuse this Sultan’s Battery with the one in Wayanad District of Kerala. This Sultan’s Battery is a watch tower which is located some 4 kilometres from Mangalore at a place called Boloor. The watch tower was constructed in the era of the emperor Tipu Sultan in 1784 AD and is said to be built with the same stones of 23 churches destroyed by Tipu Sultan. Though it is a watch tower but it looks much like a fort with mounting places for cannon. There is an underground storage area under the tower which was once used for storing gunpowder. If one climbs up to the top, he is guaranteed a panoramic view of Arabian Sea. This place is a blend of natural and manmade beauty. It is now a nearly deserted place with a few shacks and a boating club nearby, but is gathering popularity among tourists because of the pervading eternal bliss of nature. However, as the location is somewhat secluded, it is recommended to take security measures.

  • Best Time to Visit: Evening is the best time to visit this place to witness a stunning sunset.
  • Timings: The place remains open from 9 AM to 7:30 PM.

Also Read: Must Visit Historical Places in Karnataka

Try the Delectable Mangalorean Cuisine

Delicious food is one thing that is guaranteed in Mangalore. Since the city is a coastal city, you can expect some really scrumptious seafood here. A must try here is Fish Pulimunchi and Crab Ghee Roast. One of the best places for chicken ghee roast and crab ghee roast, is Kudlas. Other dishes that are a hit in Mangalore are neer dosa and chicken curry, the chicken pulimunchi and kundapuri chicken. Pork-lovers can head to Mangala for delicious Mangalore pork and vegetarians can head to Ayodhya for authentic Mangalorean vegetarian food. Mangalorean Catholics’ Sanna Dukra Maas (pork meat), Mutton Biryani, Pork Bafat, Sorpotel are some of the other must-try dishes in Mangalore.

Places to Eat Mangalorean Food

  • Machali
  • Pallkhi Restaurant
  • Sagar Ratna
  • Kudla Family Restaurant
  • Sizzler Ranch
  • Thyme Family Restaurant
  • Giri Manja’s
  • Maharaja
  • Gajalee

Go Shopping in Mangalore

Being a coastal city, Mangalore is certainly famous for its beaches, seafood and historic places. But, the city is also famous for its silk sarees, spices, cashews, ayurvedic medicine and jewellery. There are two famous malls that shopaholics could head to City Centre and the biggest mall in Mangalore, Forum. But for a better shopping experience in Mangalore, it is ideal to shop in traditional markets like Hampanakatta, which by the way is the oldest and busiest markets in Mangalore and where you can find almost everything. The Dubai Market is yet another place where one can get innumerable options to buy toys, utensils, electronic and stationary items.

Famous Markets in Mangalore

  • Central Market
  • Hampankatta Market
  • Badangpet Market
  • Seafood Market
  • Dubai Market
  • Empire Mall

Surfing in Mulki

The Surfing Ashram at Mulki is surfers’ paradise. Situated some 30 kilometres north of Mangalore, this place is quite different from other surfing schools and centres. At this Hare Krishna ashram, which was established by its American guru who’s been surfing since 1963, devotees follow a daily ritual of puja (prayers), chanting, meditation and vegetarian diet in between catching barrels. Although one can surf all year round, the best time would be May to June and September to October. All are welcome to visit and try their hands at surfing but it’s important to be aware that it’s strictly a place of worship and there are guidelines to abide by, including abstinence from meat, alcohol, tobacco and sex during the stay.

Other Surfing Centres in Mulki

  • Surfing India – Mantra Surf Club
  • Aquatic Indica Surf School
  • Alai Surf Camp

This short list may not be enough to praise Mangalore, so best is to visit and check this lovely place on your own. If you liked our blog, make sure you give it a THUMBS UP and share it with your friends. And if you think we are the right people to help you plan the trip to Mangalore, then give us a call at +91-9212777225 or drop us an email at We at Tour My India have been catering to all the needs of the travellers and promise to do the same for you as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top tourist attractions in Mangalore?

Mangalore offers a variety of attractions, including the beautiful beaches of Panambur and Tannirbhavi, the historic Mangaladevi Temple, and the iconic St. Aloysius Chapel known for its stunning frescoes.

Which water activities can you enjoy in Mangalore?

You can indulge in water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, and boating at Panambur Beach. Surfing and stand-up paddleboarding are also popular activities along the coastline.

Are there any historic sites to explore in Mangalore?

Yes, Mangalore boasts several historical sites, including the Sultan Battery, a watchtower built by Tipu Sultan, and the Bejai Museum showcasing artefacts from the region's history.

What are the best places to savour Mangalorean cuisine?

To enjoy authentic Mangalorean cuisine, visit local eateries like Machali, Sagar Ratna, where you can try delicious seafood dishes, or Ideal Ice Cream for their famous ice creams and desserts.

What's the best time to visit Mangalore?

The best time to visit Mangalore is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities.

Published: 12 Oct, 2023

About the author

Nidhi Singh

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.