It wasn’t a planned trip, but then again most of my trips are never planned anyway, those happen because I cannot continue with my everyday routine for a long time and break is required. Actually, we were planning to visit Pondicherry for that weekend but due to some emergencies we had to cancel it and since we had a long weekend with a holiday on Gandhi Jayanti (2nd Oct), I didn’t want to spend it watching movies and sleep. I called up my sister immediately, who is in Mangalore for the past couple of years and decided to visit her for this weekend. It served two purposes at the same time. My sister was happy since I was going to see her and I got to visit a new place…Win-win situation!!! There are various ways by which you can reach the place. You can take a train to Mangalore, a flight, a bus (plenty of private buses and KSRTC buses are there every day which you can avail) or you can drive up to the place.
It’s a small yet sufficiently developed city. It is truly, as my friend calls, it “A Tiny little fairy land”. But let’s start from the beginning. Since it’s me, something or other will get messed up, not everything can go as per the “plan”, it’s just impossible with me, but I’ll come to that. So we decided to book the Airavat Club Service from KSRTC website and boarded the bus at 9 PM in the evening from Majestic Bus Terminal. The bus was fine, though I would personally recommend people to book either an AC Sleeper or a Non-AC Sleeper, be it a private travel or a government bus service, but a sleeper class nevertheless, otherwise your legs may get cramped up by sitting continuously for 5-6 hrs. I would suggest people to stretch their legs and travel at ease. There are numerous options available. Either you can book a bus online from KSRTC or redbus is always there at our service. The bus ride itself went very smooth and infact what went wrong in the whole trip was that the bus reached its destination way too early. We were supposed to reach Mangalore at 7 A.M. in the morning but we reached the Mangalore Bus Terminal exactly at 4:30 A.M. I didn’t know the exact location of my sister’s place because she was supposed to pick us up from the terminal. But who could’ve guessed that we’d reach there so early and she’ll be sleeping like a log at such an early morning, which is an obvious fact. As we reached the bus station way before the expected time of arrival and we didn’t know the place at all and since my sister was fast asleep and didn’t pick up her phone, I decided to look for a temporary accommodation just till the sun rises and my sister awakes.
I’m sure you guys remember “Hotel Decent” of Jab We Met…!!! There was this small dingy lodge which Shaheed and Kareena went to, so that they can avoid spending the entire night on the streets. Well, my situation was something similar to this. Thanks to the over-efficient bus which reached 4 hours early of scheduled time and my sister who was too asleep to pick up the phone, my friend and I had to spend the night in a hotel which reminded me of Hotel Decent. I don’t remember the name of the lodge but it gave temporary shelter to the travellers who reach early to the bus station and thus have to wait for hours in order to board their buses. The guy at the reception jut asked us,” how many hours?” Funny, how things we imagine can only happen in movies can actually happen to us in real life as well. Anyway, we asked accommodation for 4 hours and took a room and started waiting for the sun to rise up and my sister open her eyes.
After almost three and half hours later, my sister called me and asked my location. I told her and she arrived after half an hour more to take us home. We finally reached home, took a long nap had our meal and went out to explore the town.
The 1st place we went was the Udupi beach. It takes approximately 3 hours to reach Udupi from Mangalore and all the buses going to Manipal would take you there. You have to get down at Udupi bus station and take an auto from there to reach the destination. The beach was nice enough, though I didn’t see many people taking a bath there. Mostly people come to visit the St. Mary’s Island here, which was our objective as well. Local boats are there to take you to the island. They charge Rs. 200/person and it takes approximately an hour to reach the island from the Udupi beach. The beach itself is not so extravagant. The primary attraction is the island itself. St. Mary’s island gives you an impressionimpression of Goa. Mangalore itself looked like a blend of Pondicherry and Goa to me. Anyway, the island doesn’t have much to offer you in case you’re looking for a gala time there, though there are a few water sports which you can enjoy. But in case you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful time, you can sit on the top of the little hill there and spend hours looking at the sea and listen to the sound of the rolling waves. I would request, to everyone visiting Mangalore, not miss the chance of visiting this island. Anyway, the last ride back to Udupi beach was at 5 P.M. and thus we had to return back. We spent some time at the beach and then returned back to Mangalore, otherwise it would’ve been pretty late. We reached Mangalore at around 8 P.M. and my sister took us to the famous ice-cream parlour there. There are two famous ice-cream parlours in Mangalore. Pabba’s and Ideals Café. Pabba’s is an artisanal ice cream parlour serving a range of ice cream sundaes made using fresh ingredients. The sundaes were just amazing, made with fresh cream and fruits and that too at such low prices. And it’ll be a crime if you visit Mangalore and fail to try out the famous “Machine Gun” of Ideals Café. It’s a veg-sandwich, stuffed with fresh veggies, French fries and a thick layer of mayonnaise which is enough to fill up your hungry stomach for at least half a day. It’s definitely a must-try there. Another food that you should never miss if you are visiting there is the seafood, but we’ll come to that. For now, the wonderful ice-cream and Machine Gun made our day. It was a perfect finish to an almost perfect day (I’m choosing to ignore the “Hotel Decent” incident). Next day, we woke up a little late, so we had to drop the plan of visiting Bekel Fort. Instead we chose to visit the Panambur Beach. We took a bus from Kottara and it didn’t take more than 20 minutes to reach the place from where we’d take an auto to the beach. People can either take an auto or can take a walk till the beach which would take approximately 20 minutes. Anyway, I really loved this beach. Not only because of the fact that I generally love beaches, but also because the beach was not that crowded and people can sit there for hours and do nothing, which is exactly what we did. You can also take a bath there. There are changing rooms available. I really liked the walk from the beach to the bus stand. It was refreshing. After that, it was time for seafood for which Mangalore is famous. We went to a small restaurant known as Sizzler’s Ranch at Lalbagh. There, all we ordered were different types of fish sizzlers. The ambience was also nice. It wasn’t a large restaurant but then my sister told me almost all the restaurants and pubs in Mangalore are like this. Not too big, not too loud yet cosy and sophisticated. Above all, the food was also yummy, which made it worthy of the price. That night, we boarded the bus back to Bangalore and that was the end of another short trip.
I loved Mangalore and that’s it. I love beaches…I love nice and quiet places and Mangalore offered me all those things. As usual, I didn’t get a chance to explore every nook and corner of the city but whatever I saw filled me with peace and a desire to visit the place again. To all the travel enthusiasts, looking for a budget weekend getaway, I request you to visit Mangalore at least once if not more. The place can no way be taken too lightly just for its geographical area. The small city has much to offer you. So visit the place and get to the tiny little fairy land waiting to be explored on a large scale.