Mangaluru, also known as Mangalore, is a stunning Arabian Sea port that makes for a perfect holiday destination. The coastal city is the district headquarters of Dakshina Kannada and is situated at the estuaries of Netravathi and Gurupura rivers. The places to visit in Mangaluru are a mixed bag of beaches, temples, churches, parks, etc. that attract tourists looking for a relaxing vacation.

Here are some of the popular places to visit in Mangalore that you simply cannot miss including in your itinerary.

1. Panambur Beach, Mangaluru

PanamburBeach, Mangaluru

Panambur Beach | #1 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

One of the best places to visit in Mangaluru is the beautiful Panambur Beach, which is among the cleanest and well-maintained beaches in India. Its name is derived from two words – ‘panam’ which means ‘money’ and ‘ur’ which means ‘place’.

Panambur Beach is famous for its International Kite Festival, enchanting sunset and colourful carnivals, including boat races, sand sculpture-making competitions and air shows. You can also indulge in a number of fun activities here, such as dolphin sighting, horse and camel rides, boating and jet skiing. There are even a number of eateries at the beach that makes it easy for you to refuel yourself before you hit the beach again.

  • Location: Panambur, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 10 am to 6 pm

2. Kadri Sri Manjunatha Temple, Mangaluru

Kadri Sri Manjunatha Temple, Mangaluru

Kadri Sri Manjunatha Temple | #2 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Kadri Sri Manjunatha Temple, situated on Kadri Hills, is considered to be the oldest of all South Indian temples. This ancient religious site was initially constructed by Vajrayana Buddhist, but after the decline of Buddhism and rise of Natha Prantha in the region, it was converted into a Hindu temple and was called Jogimutt by the locals.

Lord Manjunatha – a form of Lord Shiva – is the main deity of this square-shaped temple with pyramidal structure and surrounding ponds. The main highlights of this temple include Tri Lokeshwara idol which is over 1000 years old and the Ashtottara Sahasra Brahmakalashabhisheka and Mahadanda Rudrabhisheka that are held once every 12 years.

  • Location: Kadri, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 6 am to 1 pm & 4 pm to 9 pm

3. Kudroli Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, Mangaluru

Kudroli Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, Mangaluru

Kudroli Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple | #3 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Kudroli Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, also known as Shree Gokarnanatha Kshetra, is a unique religious site that was sanctified and consecrated in 1912 by the renowned social reformer Sri Narayana Guru, under whose guidance the construction began in 1908. Guided by the great saint’s message – One Caste, One Religion and One God – the temple was built for the Billawa community who were treated as untouchables by the privileged caste and denied entry in temples.

The shrine of the temple’s main deity – Lord Gokarnanatha or Lord Shiva – is surrounded by smaller shrines of various other gods and goddesses. The temple receives high footfall of devotees, especially during the Navratri festival (Mangaluru Dasara) that is celebrated with great religious fervour.

  • Location: Kudroli, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 6 am to 9 pm

4. Rosario Cathedral, Mangaluru

Rosario Cathedral, Mangaluru

Rosario Cathedral | #4 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Among the popular places to visit in Mangaluru is Rosario Cathedral, which is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Canara region. Also known as Church of Our Lady of Rosary of Mangalore, the cathedral is popular for its beautiful architecture and interiors, especially the miraculous wooden statue of Mother Mary.

Originally built in 1568, the church was destroyed by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century, but was rebuilt in the 19th century and renovated in the 20th century. The cross and the dome of the present-day church is visible from miles away and when lit in the evening, acts a point of reference for fishermen returning to the harbour after dark.

  • Location: Pandeshwar, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 9 am to 6 pm

5. Nisarga Dhama, Mangaluru

Nisarga Dhama, Mangaluru

Nisarga Dhama | #5 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Dr. Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisarga Dhama is an integrated theme park that promotes eco-education and tourism. The biggest attraction here is Pilikula Lake along with Biological Park, Heritage Village/Artisan Village Complex, Arboretum preserving more than 235 endangered plant species and a Golf Club – the first in Mangalore. Lake garden, children’s park, walking and jogging paths, boating facility, etc. are also available here, apart from the famous Manasa Amusement and Water Park that make for an ideal picnic spot.

  • Location: Mudushedde, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 9 am to 6 pm

6. Surathkal Beach, Mangaluru

Surathkal Beach, Mangaluru

Surathkal Beach | #6 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

If you are looking for a serene place to escape the hectic city life, head straight to the beautiful Surathkal Beach that has an unspoiled shoreline embracing the Arabian Sea. You can even climb up to the lighthouse amidst rocks to capture the stunning views of the surroundings, providing a perfect backdrop for memorable photographs. There are food stalls and accommodation facilities available so you that can prolong your stay here without any hassle. In its vicinity lies the ancient Sadashiva Temple which is visited by thousands of devotees and tourists to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings.

  • Location: Surathkal, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 6 am to 10 pm (Avoid staying after dark)

7. Tannirbhavi Beach, Mangaluru

Tannirbhavi Beach, Mangaluru

Tannirbhavi Beach | #7 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Tannirbhavi Beach with golden sand and azure blue waters makes for a paradisiacal retreat that is ideal for relaxation. This place looks surreal during sunrise and sunset, and a lot of visitors come to the beach at dawn and dusk to enjoy the magnificent views.

You can plan a picnic with loved ones to this beach that is divided into two parts – one can be reached by road and the other by ferry. Furthermore, you can indulge in a number of fun activities such as boating, surfing and jet skiing or just take a stroll along the shore with the cool breeze caressing your cheek.

  • Location: Kasba Bengre, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 6 am to 10 pm (Avoid staying after dark)

8. Sultan Bathery, Mangaluru

Sultan Bathery, Mangaluru

Sultan Bathery | #8 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Sultan Bathery or Sultan’s Battery in Mangalore is one of the monumental watchtowers built by Tipu Sultan in order to keep an eye on enemies and warships. Resembling a mini-fort, the entire structure was built using black stones, including the chambers in the basement that were used as an arsenal to store canyons, guns and other weapons.

From the top of this historical lookout, you can enjoy amazing views of the Arabian Sea and the surrounding lush green spaces. Banana boat riding, canoeing, windsurfing and numerous other fun activities also keep you entertained during your visit to this historical site.

  • Location: Boloor, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 9:30 am to 7 pm

9. Mangaladevi Temple, Mangaluru

Mangaladevi Temple, Mangaluru

Mangaladevi Temple | #9 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Prior to getting anglicised by the British, the city of Mangalore was known as Mangalapur – named after the presiding deity of this temple – Goddess Mangaladevi. The temple with Kerala-style architecture is said to have been built by the 10th century King Kundavarma of the Alupa dynasty on the advice of two sages – Machhendranatha and Gorakanatha – who came here from Nepal.

The temple is visited by thousands of devotees to get their wishes fulfilled, especially maidens observing Mangaladharavrata for getting the most suited husbands.

  • Location: Bolar, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 6 am to 9:30 am, 11 am to 1 pm & 4 pm to 8:30 pm (till 9 pm on Fridays)

10. Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple, Mangaluru

Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple, Mangaluru

Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple | #10 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple, situated on an islet in the middle of the holy river Nandini, is considered to be one of the most sacred sites in Mangaluru. The presiding deity of this stunning Kerala-style temple is Goddess Durga Parameshwari, also known as Bhramari. Within the premises, there are many other smaller temples dedicated to different gods and goddesses.

As you enter the main temple, you will see a huge rock at the entrance, known as Raktheshwari, which is a form of Goddess Durga who appeared as a bee and killed Arunasura (demon). Thousands of devotees and vacationers visit this temple due to its religious fervour as well as its natural setup and serene environs.

  • Location: Kateel, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 5:30 am to 9:30 pm

11. Shri Sharavu Mahaganapathi Temple, Mangaluru

One of the most popular places to visit in Mangaluru is Shri Sharavu Mahaganapathi Temple that was constructed more than 800 years ago. The name of the temple Sharavu is derived from ‘shara’ meaning an arrow and is associated with an interesting legend.

It is believed that Kshatriya King Veerabahu of Tulu dynasty mistakenly killed the cow by an arrow, instead of the tiger, presuming that the latter was going to kill the former. For atonement, he installed the Shivalinga at the spot where the arrow fell and built the temple around it, as suggested by Sage Bharadhwaja, who also said that Lord Ganapathi will manifest himself at this temple and fulfil all the wishes of devotees.

  • Location: Hampankatta, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 6 am to 9 pm

12. Kadri Hill Park, Mangaluru

Kadri Hill Park, Mangaluru

Kadri Hill Park | #12 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Experience the beauty of nature at Kadri Hill Park, which is the highest as well as the largest park in Mangaluru that encompasses a zoo, a garden and a nature park. You can relax with your friends and family in the garden or meet a number of wild animals at the zoo, such as spotted deer, jackal, leopard, etc. Rare winged animals and reptiles also inhabit the park, which even has a well-maintained animal conservatory. There are a few tanks in this park whose water is believed to have medicinal properties that can cure skin diseases, as per locals.

While you enjoy picnicking in the lap of nature, children can enjoy toy train rides and other fun activities in the children play zone.

  • Location: Kadri, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 11 am to 7 pm

13. Milagres Church, Mangaluru

Milagres Church, Mangaluru

Milagres Church | #13 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

Our lady of Miracles, popularly known as Milagres Church, is one of the oldest churches in Dakshina Kannada. This Roman Catholic church was built in the late 17th century by Bishop Thomas de Castro, a Theatine Priest of Salcette, who was buried in Milagres cemetery after his death in 1684.

The majority of the original structure was destroyed by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century and was rebuilt in the 19th century and various alterations were done in the early 20th century. Counted amongst the most beautiful places of worship in Mangalore, the church is popular for the captivating painting of St Monica and St Augustine at the altar, apart from its soothing atmosphere that will effortlessly calm your senses.

  • Location: Hampankatta, Mangaluru
  • Timings: 6 am to 7 pm

14. St. Aloysius Chapel, Mangaluru

St. Aloysius Chapel, Mangaluru

St. Aloysius Chapel | #14 of 14 Places to Visit in Mangaluru

If you are on a spiritual vacation in Mangalore, you must visit the 19th-century St. Aloysius Chapel atop the Light House Hill that has a soulful charm and impressive architecture, which resembles the famous Sistine Chapel of Rome.

Highlights of this 46-feet high chapel are the stunning frescos, sculptures, wall paintings and oil paintings that depict the life of Aloysius Gonzaga and Jesus Christ, from birth to crucifixion. These spectacular paintings were painted more than a century ago in 1899 by an Italian Jesuit Antonio Moscheni, whose masterpiece is the rear wall painting of Jesus Christ shown as a friend of kids.

  • Location: Kodialbail, Mangaluru
  • Timings:
    • 9:30 am to 1:30 pm & 3 pm to 5:30 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays)
    • 9 am to 12:30 pm & 2 pm to 4 pm (Mondays)

Other places to visit in Mangaluru include Mangalore Beach that is ideal for picnicking and the nearby Ullal Beach that is perfect for water sports and other fun activities. You can also visit the beautiful Someshwara Beach that too is located in Ullal and is dotted with huge rock boulders, known as Rudra Shile. This beach is home to the famous Someshwara Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Bejai Museum (also known as Seemanthi Bai Government Museum), Sasihithlu Beach and Sammilan Shetty’s Butterfly Park, among others, are also worth visiting.