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Mangalore, Port of many colours

by on September 7, 2007

Mangalore a weekend destination from Bangalore draws its name from the goddess Mangaladevi in whose name a temple was built here in the ninth century by King Kundavarma. What I came to know about this place was that religion dominates society and economy. Exquisite temples like the Manjunatha, Mangaladevi and sharavu Ganapathi are a part of the religious circuit in the city. Located right in the centre of the city, on the campus of St. Aloysius College on Light house hill road, this chapel is an architectural gem. It was built in 1900, has a series of paintings that cover every inch of its roof and walls. On the Kadri Hills within Mangalore city lies the Kadri Manjunatha Temple, it is among the oldest Shiva temple in India. The caves atop Kadri Hill on which the temple is made are popularly known as the caves of Pandava. The Pandmasanastha Loke shwara, a bronze statue within the temple is among the oldest bronze sculptures in the country.

About 6km from the Mangalore, lays the ruin of an important 18th centaury watch tower built by Tipu Sultan near the scenic Gurpura River. And in the city in Hampankatta on G.S Road near the State Bank, there is Sharavu Maha Ganapathi temple is both a temple and a cultural centre which dates back almost eight centuries. It hosts a range of Yakshagana performances.

Then there was Milagres Church which was razed by Tipu Sultan who suspected the Catholics of Mangalore of being secretly affiliated to the British army. However it was rebuilt after Tipu’s death. And then Sri Mangaladevi Temple on the southern tip of Mangalore city is fairly humming with myth and legend. It is built as a mark of piety by King Kundavarma on the advice of two Nepalese sages, this temple and the Kadri Manjunatha Swamy Temple are closely interlinked in the rituals and practices they perform. On the nine days of Navratri or Dussehra in October, this temple comes alive in a grand celebration of the Devi. The Swayamwara Parvati puja in the temple is one that draws a lot of aspiring girls who look to divine intervention in their search for ideal mates. The ritual involves the young maiden dong a special fast and also receiving sanctified holy sandalwood paste from the priest after the ritual puja.

Then there was Kadri Hills where we went for Lighthouse Hill Garden for a look at snakes, deer and other such animal’s friends. The city’s oldest cathedral Rosario Cathedral built by Portuguese is a reminiscent of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It was very simple stained glass windows with the main altar of Jesus and Mary created with mosaic tiles.

Mangalore is famous for cashew nut so we purchased lots of them and we had the famous cashew drink kajucho which was amazing. We stayed at The Taj Manjarum Hotel however there many more like Hotel Mangalore International, Hotel Manorma and many more.

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