Nestled among the green hilltops of the Western Ghats and blue waters of the Arabian Sea, is the charming city of Mangalore. Renowned as ‘Gateway to Karnataka’, the city is a melting pot of several cultures. Not only this, but living in Mangalore also blesses you with the best weekend getaways. Be it a long holiday or a short one, travelling is the favourite pastime of the people living here. If you are from Mangalore or are thinking of travelling to Mangalore, these are a few places that you should explore over the weekend. Trust us, every place you visit will bring before you a new face of South India.
A serene beach town situated in Karnataka’s South Canara district which shouldn’t be missed. With Souparnika River on its left and the Arabian Sea to its right, the town is perfect for weekend breaks. The endless freshness of beach, soothing riverside and cluster of palms promise you an amazing experience during your weekend trip. Best suited for a family holiday, one can unwind and laze around in the comfort of the place. Located 108 km from Mangalore it takes only 2 hours to reach Maravanthe.
A picturesque monsoon getaway, Agumbe is the Cherrapunji to Southern India. This little hamlet in Shimoga is home to dense rainforests, mesmerizing waterfalls and unending nature’s beauty. If you are looking for an adventureful weekend over luxury travel, no place other than Agumbe should hit your mind. Famed for housing King Cobra and being India’s only Rainforest Research Station, this place is located just 100 km away from Mangalore, therefore travelling to this place is super easy. Adding to this, Agumbe is also one of the best offbeat destinations in India, so expect less crowd and more fun.
From hilltops to low flatlands, Chikmagalur offers you a taste of both. Literally meaning, ‘The Land of the Younger Daughter, it is believed to have been gifted as dowry to the legendary chieftain’s younger daughter. Situated at a distance of 151 km from Mangalore, the place is an abode for relaxing weekends. Lying on the foothills of Mullayanagiri peak, Chikmagalur is one of the best tourist destinations in the South. A short trip here acquaints you with beauty, adventure and peace in the best possible way.
An enchanting beach town, a significant fishing area of Karnataka’s coastline, and a beautiful picnic spot sums up why Malpe should be your weekend getaway. Sitting on the Udyavara River, the town is known for its volcanic rocks islands, especially St. Mary’s Islands which boasts of rocks made by basaltic lava. Owing to this, Malpe interests several geologists from around the country. With temples and forts around, it surely is a perfect getaway for escaping the bustling city life.
Known for magical sunsets and pretty beaches, Byndoor is situated in Udupi’s Kundapura. Being home to the ancient Lord Shiva’s Sri Someshwara temple, the place attracts several devotees from around the country. Owing to its spiritual background, Byndoor offers you a time full of peace and serenity. A weekend’s paradise, other attractions that you can visit are the Byndoor Beach, Sri Ramachandra Mandir, Kshitija Nesara Dhama, Belaka Theertha falls, and Mahakali Temple. Located at a driving distance of 124 km from Mangalore city, Byndoor is apt for people seeking a relaxing weekend.
White sands and historic temples are what Gokarna is famous for. A pilgrimage centre and beach lover’s heaven, the town finds itself located at the confluence of rivers Gangavali and Aganashini. The point where the rivers meet forms the shape of a cow’s ear, hence it is named as Gokarna, which means cow’s ear in the local language. Where on one hand Gokarna beach, Om Beach, Paradise Beach and Half-Moon Beach act as magnets for people looking forward to great weekend vibes, the Mahabaleshwara Shiva Temple, on the other, is a sacred spot for Hindus, hence visited by them, especially Shaivites, all round the year. The rocky shores being hit by roaring waves manage to calm your minds with a breath of purity and freshness in the air.
Coorg, or as locals call it, Kodagu, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern India. The lush green valleys, evergreen forests, sprawling tea estates, fresh coffee beans, free-flowing streams and lofty mountain peaks have led people to call Coorg as the Kashmir of Karnataka and Scotland of India. The old-world charm of this place is reflected in the town’s slow-paced life. With western and eastern ghats encircling the district, Coorg becomes a picturesque weekend destination for people residing in Mangalore and nearby areas. Abbey Falls, Mallalli Falls, Madikeri Palace, Nalknad Palace, Tala Kaveri, Tibetan Golden Temple, Kaveri Nisargadhama, Nagarhole National Park, and last but not the least, Nishani Motte, are a few attractions frequently visited by tourists in Coorg. Playing golf, getting a backwaters ride and trekking are also some activities that visitors love to indulge in.
Home to one of the most famous temples in India, the Kollur Mookambika temple, Kodachadri is a natural heritage site as declared by the government of Karnataka. Thriving amidst the Mookambika National Forest, it offers great trekking trails that’ll tickle your eyes and make you fall in love with nature all over again. The best time to visit Kodachadri is from October to March, and it’s the best option to travel via Jeep to keep your adventurous spirit high and physical spirit safe. The rough terrains can be dangerous, and is hence best avoided in monsoons.
Is the elephant your favourite animal? Then this place is perfect for turning your weekend into a series of eventful days. Situated on the banks of Cauvery, Dubare is a reserve for India’s biggest animal. Though people come here to ride atop the elephants, it’s best if you observe their activities in their natural habitats from a distance and not go for a ride on them. After all, these gentle creatures are wonderful and mustn’t be used as a part of your recreation. The place is ideal for family road trips and guarantees you a fun time.
Tucked away in the vicinity of the Western Ghats, Sakleshpur is a pleasant hill station serving as a great weekend getaway from Mangalore. The town can be easily accessed by the Bangalore-Mysore highway. The place has been under the reign of several powerful kingdoms such as Hoysalas, Chalukyas and Mysore. It was during the rule of Hoysalas that Sakleshpur received its name. The place is popular for treks and is rich in biodiversity. Kumara Parvatha trek and the Bisle Reserve Forest trek are two of the most famous treks offering glimpses of Sakleshpur’s varied ecology. Located 156km away from Mangalore, it is an exciting site for adventure and photography lovers.
A busy market town, Madikeri is surrounded by green hills serving it with a pleasant climate needed for unwinding oneself. This little town is perfect for family picnics and also for putting your trekking plans to action. Raja Seat, Madikeri Fort, Omkareshwara Temple, Iruppu Falls, and Chiklihole Dam are a few places to visit if you are not looking forward to an adventurous weekend but a relaxing one. On the other side, if your adventurous spirits are flowing out of your hand, Madikeri has a few trekking trails leading to some spellbinding views. Chomakund, Kote Betta, and Thadiyandamol are three of them.
Widely known for its cashew trade and traditional weaving industry, Kannur is a scenic city with a lot of colonial history behind it. The famous traveller and explorer Marco Polo described Kannur as the ‘great emporium of the spice trade.’ The Kannur that stands today has undergone development at the hands of Dutch, British and Portuguese. The town is a haven for people interested in offbeat experiences. Old shrines, pretty beaches, historical forts, and several unexplored spots, Kannur has a lot to offer. Choosing Kannur as a weekend getaway will surely get you a sack full of unimaginable and memorable experiences.
Located 171 km away from Mangalore, Hassan is often visited by people having a love for monuments and ancient structures. The city gets its name from the deity in charge, Goddess Hasanamba, which means ‘Smiling Mother’ in Kannada. Also, it underwent major development during the Hoysala rule. Owing to the number of ancient structures present in the city, it is known as temple architecture capital of the state. It is quite popular for housing Hasanamba temple and numerous Jain Temples.
Promising a blissful view of a horse face-shaped mountain, Kudremukh is famous for its beautiful landscapes and biodiversity. In fact, it is a common weekend getaway among the Bangalore as well as Mangalore crowd. With its dense forests, high grasslands, and rolling meadows, it is a biodiversity hotspot. Standing at a height of 1,894 m above sea level, Kudremukh peak is the most preferred destination for naturists and trekkers. Someone who wishes to spend their weekend in the laps of nature, these mountainous paths and peak’s rich flora and fauna are perfect for them.
Call it the adventure capital of Karnataka, Dandeli is home to one of the state’s largest wildlife sanctuary. It has several options for nature walks. Interested ones can also go for tribal village tours so to get acquainted with how old Karnataka worked and lived. It is also known for being a major destination for river rafting. Once here, you are sure to get a great adrenaline rush. Sip a masala soda as you sit beside the river waiting for your raft to arrive! With so much going on, it is a photographer’s paradise.
With so many options to choose from, your weekends for the year are sorted! Plan a visit to each of it and you’ll complete the list in a few months. Happy travelling!