Mangalore, one of the fast growing cities in South India is the headquarters of Dakshina Kannada District. The city is a mixture of the old world charm and modern sophistication. The town has the history of marine trade, and at present fully equipped port has helped the town to develop into a commercial and trading centre of the Southern part of the country.
It is a beautiful strip of land situated between Western Ghats and Arabian Sea in the west coast. The city is a centre for business, trade, banking, education and healthcare. The culturally rich town has rich scenic beauty in the suburbs and attracts the visitors by its beaches, temples, Islands, resorts, hotels, backwaters, water falls etc. The old tile roofed buildings, coconut groves and ocean breeze with the sweet smell of Mangalore Jasmine create a wonderful combination.
Mangalore is called by different names - Kudla, Kudaala, Kodiyala in local Tulu language. The word means the meeting place of Netravathi and Gurupura rivers because the city has developed at the confluence of these two rivers that merge with the sea at Alive kodi here.
It is said that the Mangaluru (Mangalore is the Portuguese corruption of the word) city has got its name due to the historical Mangaladevi temple situated in the town. There is an interesting story behind this. Matsyendranath, a great protagonist of Natha - pantha cult, which is thought to be an outgrowth of Vajrayana Buddhism, a divergent branch of Hinduism, had gone to Kerala to preach his religion in and around 10th century. There he converted the Queen Parimala to his cult and she became his follower. He called her Mangale. On the way back to Naasik to participate in the national conference of Jogis of Natha cult along with Mangale, they crossed Nethravathi river and stayed on a rock Goreya Bande near Bolar. Mangale fell ill here and was constrained to stay here. Later she died as a Jogini and the place received spiritual significance. After her death Kundaverma Alupendra II, an Alupa King built a temple in her memory and she became the deity, Mangaladevi.
There are many historical references regarding to the town. Cosninos Indigo Plsustes referred to the port of Mangarouth. Pliny, a Roman historian made references of River Nithrias, a Greek historian Ptolemy referred to Nitre. Both the references probably referred to River Netravathi. A Roman writer Arien called Mangalore Mandegora. A copper inscription belonging to 7th century called Mangalore Mangalapura. The ancient history proved that Mangalore had been the capital of Alupa dynasty till 14th century. A traveler, Ibn Batuta who had visited the town in 1342 stated that he arrived at a place named Manjurun or Mandjaur situated on a large estuary. He had mentioned that the town was trading centre and Persian and Yemen merchants were involved in trading activities. In 1448, Abdul Razak, a Persian Ambassador passed via this route to Vijayanagar. He said that he had seen a glorious temple here. The inscriptions at Moodabidri stated a king Mangaras Odeya was the governor of Mangaluru Raajya during the reign of Vira Harihararaya II of Vijayanagar dynasty. Another inscription stated that Deeva Raaja Odeya ruled the Mangalura Raajya in 1429 A D during the reign of Vijayanagara King Veera Devaraya II.
The major dynasties ruled the town till the arrival of Portuguese were Kadambas, the Western Chalukyas, Rastrakuthas, Alupas and Hoysalas. The history makes references that Vijayanagar Kings allowed Portuguese to build a port at Mangalore in 1505. In 1520 Portuguese took over Mangalore from Vijayanagara rulers. When the Portuguese stopped Arab merchants from entering Mangalore coast, they burnt Mangalore town in 1695. Portuguese built the port again in 1714. But Hyderali conquered Mangalore and it was under his administration till 1768. Then it had gone to British. Later in 1794 Hyderali's son Tippu Sultan again took over Mangalore and with the fall of Srirangapatana in 1799, it had gone to British permanently. Since then it was with Madras Presidency and in 1956 it was merged with unified Karnataka.
Mangalore is the fast growing commercial centre in the west coast and is situated at around 360 kms far from Bangalore and 650 kms from Mumbai.
Mangalore, a bustling city, is well connected to others parts of the country by road, water, air and railways. The Bajpe Airport is just 16 kms from the town and all the major air services of the country are flying here.
Even through Railway line the Mangalore is well connected. The Konkan Railway passes through Mangalore and Mangalore - Kerala railways have been functioning well. The Mangalore -Hassan Railway was a successful venture by the railways but at present it is halted due to up-gradation works. But with the recommencement of the service, this railway route will be one of the attractive routes, as travelling over this route would provide panorama of scenic beauty.
The bus service in Mangalore is satisfactory. The City is passed through two National Highways - NH 66 and NH 17. Both the Government and private buses are providing good services and help the people to reach their places. Long route services, luxury, semi luxury services, tour conductors, travel services have been functioning here. In addition the city buses are helping the people to move within the city. The Auto services, taxies etc are satisfactory.
The New Mangalore Deep Sea All Weather Port is the ninth major port of the country, is involved in export and import activities to and from neighbouring countries. Major items exported are coffee, cocoa, jasmine, marine products, cashew etc.
The city houses many temples, chapels, mosques, many tourist spots, and picnic spots. The famous tenth - century Kadri Manjunath Temple situated on the top of Kadri Hills is an important shiva temple just 4 km to the east of Mangalore Railway station. This is Manjunatha Swamy temple belonging to 10th century. There is also a jogi math belong to natha cult. 9 tanks with natural springs surrounded the temple here. There are also laterite caves called Pandava caves. The Lokeshwara idol made up of bronze in Kadri Sri Manjunatha temple is very unique and is considered the finest southern bronze. The historical references prove that Matsyendranath and his followers built the temple in 1068. This itself is a proof that there was nath cult in Mangalore. The jogi matts and two statues of Budda could also be seen. As the top portion of Manjunath Swamy idol had been taken to Dharmasthala, only basement of Shivalinga is worshipped here. The annual car festival of the temple falls on Makarasankramana. Mangaladevi Temple, Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, Kudroli are other famous temples in the town.
St Aloysius Chapel in the city is another attraction. The chapel built in 1885 on Lighthouse hill is famous for the attractive painting on the walls painted by Reverend Antonio Moscheni of Italy. The dome of the St Rozario Cathedrel built in 1910 based on St Peter's Basilica in Rome. The church of the Most Holy Rosary, the Milagres church and the Shanthi Cathedrel of the Basel Mission are some of the fine Christian monuments of the city. Light house hill has the Idgah built by Tippu Sultan. The Zumma Masjid Zeenat Baksh built by the Arab saint Malik Deenar has got exquisite carvings on its wooden pillars and pulpit. Sultan's Battery, a watch tower built of rough blocks of laterite, is the last remaining bastion of Tipu Sultan's Fort built by him to stop the entry of British warships through Gurupura river. The Panambur beach, Surathkal beach, Someshwar beach, Summer Sands Beach Resort in Ullal beach are the lovely beaches in the town that attract visitors.
Ullal is situated on the south bank of the Netravathi river. Abbakkadevi , a brave queen of 17th century is said to have defeated Portuguese was ruling from here and Uchil Fort was her stronghold. The Somanatha Temple, here has beautiful sculptures. The Durgah of Syed Mohammed Shereeful Madani is very famous and an urus is held once in five years .
Pilikula Nisarga Dhama in the city suburbs is an integrated park for tourists and becoming tourist attraction now a days. . Located 2 km from Mangalore, the park is spread in over 300 acres of land and it has a lake with boating facilities, a wild life safari, a mini aquarium and science centre.
The town is the center for many educational institutions. The Mangalore University, centre for higher education for the coastal districts has been encouraging the students to pursue higher education. Mangalagangothiri, the University is situated at Konaje just 12 kms to the south east of Mangalore town. The Fisheries College in the town has been initiating research activities in fishing related subjects. The National Institute of Technology, Karnataka is in Surathkal, 20 kms to the north of the City .The famous Kasturba Medical College is also in the heart of the city.
The city of Mangalore is small with its population not more than 7 lakhs. People belonging to all castes, religion, creed, sects live together here. Tulu is the mother tongue of the people here but they are well versed in Kannada, Konkani etc. Malayalam and Beary languages are also being used here by some sections of the society. It is said that people from various places have migrated here for trade and settled here and one could see people from all parts of the country and neighbourings countries here. More than 60 percent of the people here are Hindus. Around 12 percent of the population is Christians. Muslims constitute around 18 per cent of the total populations. The town has contributed immensely to the field literature, journalism etc. The First Kannada Newspaper Mangalore Samachar was started here by Hermon Mogling.
The town houses around 176 commercial banks. All the National Level Banks have their branches in Mangalore. The head offices of two major Banks, Corporation Bank (nationalised) and Karnataka Bank are in the city. The famous banks like Vijaya Bank, Canara Bank have also been started their functioning from this place but later shifted their headquarters to Bangalore. The consumers here get all the banking facility as major banks have started ATM services too.
As the town is the district headquarters, it shelters DC office, SP office and all other district level offices. Mangalore City Corporation is administering the City. The city has good water, electricity and postal services. Telecommunication department has done miracles here. Many flats, housing areas, residential colonies are coming up to meet the needs of the people migrating towards Mangalore from various parts of the country. The city has good hotels providing rich cuisine of coastal belt, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Restaurant and lodges are in plenty providing accommodation for the visitors.