The city of Mangalore is often proclaimed as the gateway to Karnataka and lies nestled between the blue waters of the Arabian Sea and the green, towering hills of the Western Ghats. The 132.45 square km city is spread out over the backwaters of the two rivers, Netravati and Gurpura.This is topped by the green hills and the traditional houses with the red-tiled roofs.
Beaches: Mangalore is well-known for the beach, sun, and the golden sands.
Panambur beach: It is credited as one of the clean and neatly maintained beaches in India and attracts most number of tourists. Panambur beach has Jet ski rides, Boating, Dolphin viewing, Food stalls, besides Trained Beach Lifeguards and Patrol vehicles to ensure the safety of the visitors.
Thannirbhavi beach: This is second most crowded beach after Panambur Beach. Tannirbhavi beach has some basic facilities like life guards, proper toilets, a parking lot, a couple of small eateries and some concrete benches. One can take a Ferry ride across Gurupur river from Sultan Battery.
NITK beach: This beach is situated in Surathkal. This beach has a Lighthouse which is located almost on the beachfront & built of rocks offers amazing views from the top of the lighthouse, one can also witness the sunset from the lighthouse.
Someshwara beach: The beach located in Ullal with its endless golden sands are ideal for walking or sunbathing. Someshwara beach is famous for large rocks on the beach called Rudra Shile or Rudra Paadhe, Rudra is Lord Shiva and "Shile" or "Paadhe" means rock in Tulu language. During high tide, the sight of waves dashing against the rocks evokes a feeling of awe for the power of Nature.
Mukka beach: Situated 20 km from the heart of the Mangalore one can experience variety of shells on this beach. Mukka beach is covered with the golden sands and tall pine trees with an old light house situated on this beach.
Ullal beach: a beach in Ullal town 12 km south of the city of Mangalore. The beach with a stretch of coconut trees and the fishermen’s lane make it picturesque, creating a lovely coastal experience. The ruined fort of Abbakka Devi and Jain temples of 16th century are other attractions for tourists. The Dargah of Sayed Mohammed Shereful Madani, who is said to have come to Ullal from Madina 400 years ago, is a famous dargah in this region.
Places of worship: The numerous temples and religious buildings have given Mangalore its character.
Mangaladevi temple: The temple is dedicated to Hindu god Shakti in the form of Mangaladevi .The city is named after the presiding deity, Mangaladevi. As per another legend, the temple is believed to have been built by Parashurama, one of the ten avatars of Hindu god Vishnu and later expanded by Kundavarman.
Kadri Manjunatha temple: It is located at Kadri, It is said to be built during the 10th or 11th century and Buddhism was practised here till the 10th century AD. The idol of Lord Manjunathaswamy of the temple is called as oldest of the South Indian Temples. There is a natural spring at an elevated location at the back of the temple. It is called Gomukha. The water from this spring is let into 9 ponds of different sizes adjacent to it.
St Aloysius Chapel: The chapel built by Jesuit Missionaries in 1880 and its interiors painted by the Italian Jesuit Antonio Moscheni in 1899, is an architectural marvel that could stand comparison with the chapels of Rome.
Rosario Cathedral: Roman Catholic Diocese of Mangalore, dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary built by the Portuguese in 1568. Desecrated and destroyed by Mysorean ruler Tipu Sultan in 1784 the church was reconstruction of the church later began in 1813.
Gokarnanatheshwara Temple: This century old temple shimmers with golden glow during the Navaratri. This is the centre of attraction during the Mangalore Dasara celebration.
Church of Our Lady of Miracles: Also known as Milagres church is a historic Roman Catholic Church situated in the Hampankatta locality of Mangalore. The church was built in 1680 by Bishop Thomas de Castro, a Theatine from Divar, Goa. After Tipu was killed by the British during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War on 4 May 1799, the Mangalorean Catholics were freed from Captivity and most subsequently returned to Mangalore. Among the returnees was a baker Lawrence Bello, who built a chapel to replace the demolished church.
Dharmasthala Sri Manjunatha Temple: This is an 800-year-old religious institution in the temple town of Dharmasthala 75 km away from Mangalore. The deities of the temple are Shiva, who is referred to as Mañjunatha, Ammavaru, the tirthankara Chandraprabha and the protective gods of Jainism, Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumarasvami and Kanyakumari.
Kadri park: It is located in Kadri gudde (meaning hill in Tulu). It is the largest park within city limits of Mangalore.
Srimanthi Bai Memorial Government Museum: Established in 1960, this museum is located just a kilometer east of the KSRTC bus stand, also known as Bejai Museum which houses a variety of antiquities including wooden carvings of divinities such as Bhairava and Hanuman, stone sculptures dating back to 13th century, porcelain and an outstanding bronze bell with a miniature Lakshmi shrine. It also exhibits materials of art, archaeology, ethnology, palm leaf photographs, paper paintings, manuscripts, sculptures, oil paintings, metal objects and paper manuscripts.
Aloyseum: The museum houses several items with historic significance including the first car of Mangalore and Mangalore’s first electric generator dating back to 1930, the Old Missal with the size of a broadsheet newspaper, animal and fish bones, skulls, horns and skins, mineral specimen, old radios, telegraphic equipment, antique telephone sets, manuscripts on palm leaves, Portuguese statues, an old pulpit from Cordel Church, copies of paintings by old European masters, swords, daggers and other weapons, postal stamps, coins and medals, priestly vestments dating back to 1878.
Manjusha Car Museum: Located to the south of the Dharmasthala Temple, it houses a vast collection of objects, antiques, paintings, artifacts, temple chariots collected from temples across Karnataka, and also vintage and classic cars. Terracotta coins from the Mauryan period are still preserved in the museum, which dates around 1st century BC.
Sultan Battery: The Sultan Battery watch tower, constructed in 1784 by Tipu Sultan is situated in Boloor, 4 km from the centre of Mangalore city. If one climbs to the top of the watch tower by stairs, he can get a panoramic view of Arabian Sea which leaves nature lovers in boundless joy. One can take the ferry ride by paying small amount across the Gurupur river and reach Tannirbhavi Beach.
Saavira Kambada Basadi: Built by the ruler of Vijayanagar, Devaraya Wodeyar in 1430 this historical temple is situated 34 km northeast of Mangalore in the town of Moodabidri. Moodabidri is noted for its eighteen Jain temples but Saavira Kambada Temple is considered the finest among them.
Manasa Amusement & Water Park: Manasa Amusement & Water Park is located within a 450-acre tourism project of Dakshina Kannada administration “Pilikula Nisarga Dhama” at Vamanjoor, just 12 km from Mangalore City. It is a 15 minutes drive from city centre.
Pilikula Theme Park: Pilikula has a theme park which attempts to showcase the rich native heritage and coastal culture of the people of Dakshina Kannada district and is one of the one-stop educational and recreational destinations in India.
Adyar falls: Adyar waterfalls at the outskirts at about 12 km drive from the city. There are two waterfalls here at a distance of about 200 meters on two extreme ends of the hillock. These waterfalls can be enjoyed only up to October–November.
Karinja Cliff: Karinja Cliff is a popular tourist spot in Bantwal 40 km away from Mangalore with people visiting this cliff to enjoy the fresh air, lush green. During night, watching the electric lamps of the nearby towns, specify like stars, from the top of the cliff is a feast for eyes.
Pavoor Uliya: It is an Island, located just 12 km away from Mangalore. The island has 35 houses with a chapel. Netravathi River has been surrounded by four sides. During Summer a temporary wooden bridge connects to the outer world.
Pilikula Arboretum: An arboretum (a garden comprising woody species of plants, i.e. trees and shrubs) extending over an area of 35 hectares has been established at Pilikula Nisarga Dhama where about 60,000 seedlings belonging to 236 taxa of flowering plants of Western Ghats, spread over 60 families have been planted randomly as well as family clusters. They include 70 taxa endemic to the Western Ghats region. The arboretum has a focus on the conservation of the plants of the Western Ghats. It not only contains a number of threatened species, but also a few Re-discovered species that were considered to be extinct earlier. The arboretum also includes 6 acres devoted to medicinal plants with more than 460 varieties, often visited by students of botany and Ayurvedic medicine.
Pilikula Zoo: Pilikula zoo features several wild animals. The specialty of this zoo is that the wild animals are not kept in cages. They are in the open. However, there are partitions like wide trenches or wire mesh, in order to avoid direct contact with visitors. There are tigers, leopards, bears and other wild animals inside the park.
Hampankatta: This place is the heart of the city, as most of the public utilities are located here the locality boasts the most buzzing commercial activity in the city.
City Centre Mall: City Centre encompasses over 850,000 sq ft of retail space. The mall boasts a wide diversity of outlets spreading across five floors with over 149 retail stores and services.
Forum Fiza Mall: It is the largest mall in Mangalore, located on Pandeshwar road in Mangalore, 1 km away from the Mangalore Central railway station. Many of the Indian and international brands are available and have outlets in this mall.
A short distance from the city are various tourist places likes of Karkala, Kundapur, Kasaragod and the temple town Udupi. The neighbouring town of Udupi, is an important Teerthasthal (pilgrimage place) with its historical Krishna Temple is the cultural center of Karnataka. Mangalore shares its border with Kerala in the south. A distance of 50 km away from Mangalore is Kasaragod, a town in Kerala which still shares cultural links with Mangalore and is often named as land of Lords and Forts.