An ancient trading port, Mangalore, has over the years become an interesting blend of cultures and communities known for its beautiful churches, tiles and educational institutions. Wedged between the western ghats and the Arabian sea, Mangalore’s beaches are equally popular. Located within a radius of 20 Kms, the beaches stretch from the south of Mangalore near the Kerala border all the way up to Udupi district. While beaches such as Ullal and Panambur have become popular over the years, the beautiful Someshwar has remained secluded and serene. All the beaches are a detour off NH-17.
Away from the cosmopolitan city that Mangalore is slowly turning into, Someshwar beach in Ullal is a delight to visit in the evening. The golden sands and rocky outcrops welcome the waves, which are pretty strong here. It is an ideal place to angle and many people can be spotted trying their luck on this shore. The sand slopes to kiss the waters towards the left of the beach. To the right, the beach extends further past the smooth rocky surfaces. Further ahead, the beach extends into the Ullal beach.
One of the most popular city beaches, Ullal beach is a few kilometers north of Someshwar and to the south of Netravati river. The strong waves have forced the beach to be fenced with stones to avoid further encroachment by the sea. Surprisingly this is a small beach, probably because the boulders have reduced its sandy stretch. Frequented by the locals in the evening and weekends, Ullal beach has a bevy of stalls and pushcarts. There are a few 16th century Jain temples and a dargah near Ullal.
Located near the port trust, the road that leads to Tannirbhavi beach runs along the Gurupura river and is lined with gulmohar trees. The sands here are splendid and has an array of wooden seats beautifully arranged facing the sea. Ships can be spotted docked at the port as you walk along this long beach. Though it gets crowded during weekends, an evening walk during weekdays is an ideal time to soak in the lovely sunset here.
Panambur is the most frequented and popular beach in Mangalore. It has a host of activities from camel riding to dolphin sighting to water sports. A favourite with Mangaloreans, it gets quite crowded during evenings and weekends. The beach is also known for hosting various festivities and carnivals from time to time. If you are looking for serene beaches, Panambur can well be avoided.
Situated further north and closer to Udupi district, Surathkal beach is far less crowded and has a long sandy stretch. The lighthouse here built in 1972 offers panoramic views f the beautiful surroundings. The beach is usually lined with numerous boats and has rocks jutting out towards its right. Surathkal beach is also a favourite with avian fauna and birds such as storks and herons can be spotted. The nearby Sadashiva temple is quite a popular one.
All these beaches are within 10-20 kilometer radius from city centre. Mangalore is well connected to all major cities by trains (Mangalore Central) and a few cities by flights (Bajpe International airport). There are frequent buses plying between Mangalore and all major cities in Karnataka.
Being a major city, Mangalore offers a wide range of options to stay. Mangalore is known for its coastal cuisine, and apart from the sea food it is known for chicken ghee roast and kori roti. The popular Gadbad ice cream at Ideal ice cream parlour is a must try.