Proclaimed as the 'Gateway to Karnataka', the picturesque city of Mangalore lies nestled between the blue waters of the Arabian Sea and the green, towering hills of the Western Ghats. Named after the deity; Mangaladevi, Mangalore has always been a bustling port with the first references to this place dating back to the 14th century.
Given its strategic location, this city has been ruled by many kings over time. Its different rulers have left their mark on this charming city, and it is today, an amalgamation of various cultures. In addition to this, the city has retained its importance as one of the leading ports in India and handles a major portion of India's coffee and cashew exports.
Mangalore also boasts of many weekend getaways around itself where travellers can head to for relaxing. Be it the many beaches of Malpe, the hilly regions of Agumbe or a touch of heritage at Gokarna, it has it all. With a long weekend just round the corner and the New Year Blues still riding high, set out on an adventurous journey to these places and refresh yourself. Here is a guide to the ten weekend getaway destinations around Mangalore.
Malpe is a beautiful beach town located just 59.5 km from Mangalore and is a natural port and important fishing area of theKarnatakacoastline. It sits on the estuary of the Udyavara River and is a breathtakingly beautiful picnic spot. The main attraction in Malpe are it unique islands that are made of volcanic rocks, just off the coastline. Of these, St. Mary's Islands consists of uniquely shaped rocks made of columnar basalticlava, as a result of a volcanic eruption that occurred eons ago. Malpe is one of the main geo-tourism attractions of India and this place is of particular interest to geologists. Other major attractions in this region include the temples of Balarama and Anantheswara. There is also an old fort on one of the islands where tourists can head to and explore. It is a perfect getaway for those wanting to escape from the bustling city.
Photo Courtesy: Phaneesh N
Maravanthe is a beautiful beach town located in the South Canara district of Karnataka. The town has the Arabian Sea to its right and the Souparnika River to its left. Being one of the most favored tourist destinations, it is located nearKollurand the Kodachadri Hills. The endless sand on the beach, the soothing sea by the side and the palm trees around the region can calm you down and make your visit to this beach an amazing experience. It is a perfect place to unwind yourself and relax during the weekend. It is 108 km away from the city of Mangalore and will take nearly two hours on road.
Photo Courtesy: Riju K
Byndoor is famous for its beautiful beaches and the glorious sunset. Located in Kundapura, in the Udupi district of Karnataka, this village is home to the Sri Someshwara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and is present right on the seashore, giving it a truly unique setting. Byndoor is a weekenders' paradise as it has many other tourist attractions namely the Byndoor beach, Belaka Theerthe falls, Kshitija Nesara Dhama, Seneshwara Temple, Mahakali Temple and Sri Ramachandra Mandir. Located just 124 km from Mangalore, it is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the view of the sunrise and sunset from the beach.
Photo Courtesy: Native Planet
There are scenic places and then there is Agumbe. Situated 100 km from Mangalore it is famously known as the Cherrapunji of the South. This small village in the Shimoga district of Karnataka is home to dense rainforests, thunderous waterfalls and also boasts of being part of the World Heritage Site by virtue of belonging in the famed Western Ghats. Thanks to its density of rainforests, Agumbe is also home to the venomous King Cobra and also finds scientific appeal as home to India's only rainforest research station. So, if you can brave the jungle trails and not expect any kind of luxury travel experience, you will enjoy heading here for the weekend.
Photo Courtesy: Magiceye
Coorg or Kodagu is a major tourist destination in Karnataka situated in the south-western part of the Malnad area of Western Ghats and is 151 km from Mangalore. Also known as the 'Scotland of India' and the 'Kashmir of Karnataka', it is famous for its evergreen forests, lush green valleys, misty hills, sprawling coffee plantations, tea estates, orange groves, lofty peaks and fast flowing streams. Coorg also offers an old world charm that is very well-reflected in its sleepy towns. For those wanting to escape from the city into the arms of nature, Coorg is the ideal getaway for the weekend.
Photo Courtesy: Sooraj Shajahan
Chikmagalur literally means 'The Land of the Younger Daughter'. It is said to have been gifted as dowry to the younger daughter of a legendary chieftain here. Although the town of Chikmagalur is a very quaint one and can be best described as an abode for relaxation, the surrounding region has a varied landscape - from the low flatlands to the hilly regions. Located at a distance of 151 km from Mangalore, it is a perfect place to head to for a relaxing break during the weekends.
Photo Courtesy: Riju K
The forests of Dubare is famous for its elephant camps where visitors get to see these beautiful gigantic animal. Located on the banks of river Cauvery, this place is an elephant training ground and is also reserve for these gentle giants. Today visitors coming here can see these giants in their natural habitat and if they are up for it can also take a ride atop them. It is a perfect place to head to with your family this weekend for a wonderful time and is situated at a distance of 164 km from Mangalore.
Photo Courtesy: Manigandan Selvarajan
Located 1343 mt above sea level, Kodachadri is known to house one of the most famous temples in India, theKollurMookambika temple. The Kodachadri mountain peak rises from amidst the dense forest and this place is situated in the middle of the Mookambika National Forest. It is also home to some of the most endangered flora and fauna namely Malabar Langurs, King Cobras, Hyenas, Bison, and Pythons. The forest also offers a great trekking track that is ideal for beginners. The best time to visit is typically around October-March and travelling by Jeep on these rough terrains would be the best way to travel.
Photo Courtesy: alexrudd
A pleasant little hill station tucked away in the Western Ghats, Sakleshwar offers a refreshing getaway located at a distance of 156 km from Mangalore. The town lies at an elevation of 949 mt and is easily accessible as it is located on the Bangalore-Mysore highway. It was under the rule of theMysorekings and before that it had seen the reign of the Hoysalas as well as the Chalukyas. It was during the time of the Hoysalas that the town received its name. Legends claim that the Hoysalas found a broken Shiva Linga when they arrived here and promptly named it Sakleshpur. It has rich biodiversity and one of the popular activities for tourists here is trekking. The Bisle Reserve Forest trek as well as the Kumara Parvatha trek can be rewarding for they give a glimpse into the varied ecology of the area. Even if you are not an enthusiastic trekker, a walk around the picturesque town can be exciting.
Photo Courtesy: L. Shyamal
Gokarna, located in the Uttara Kannada district ofKarnataka,is a pilgrimage center and also a major tourist spot because of its beautiful beaches. It is located at the confluence of two rivers Aganashini and Gangavali, and the place where the rivers converge forms a shape that's similar to the ear of a cow, hence the name, Gokarna. The Mahabaleshwara Shiva Temple in Gokarna makes this place a holy center for Hindus especially Shaivites from all over the country. Rumours have it the the Shiva Linga here is considered to have been brought by Ravana. Gokarna is fast becoming a favored tourist destination and it has several wonderful beaches that could easily rival the beaches of Goa. The Kudle Beach,Gokarna Beach, Half Moon Beach, Paradise Beach and Om Beach are the five main seaside attractions here. It is a perfect getaway spot for the weekend as you can either head to the sun kissed beaches and relax or go exploring through the rich heritage that the town has to offer.
Photo Courtesy: Abhijit Shylanath