A drive from Bangalore to Mangalore cuts across the heart of Karnataka and also offers travellers glimpses of the state’s many layers. The 350-km journey via the NH75 takes one through interesting stops like Hassan, gateway to the Hoysala temples of Belur, and Kunigal, a historic horse breeding centre. Upon reaching Mangalore, the town can be the base for further excursions into the Western shores.
Enjoy driving around Mangalore and visiting its many landmarks. The port city is nestled between the peaks of the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, and the route from Bangalore is a scenic affair. Mangalore has been under many dynasties and this mix of cultures reflects in its customs and architecture. One of the main attractions here is the Rosario Cathedral, the oldest church in Karnataka. The highlights of the cathedral are the Vatican inspired dome and the matching arches across the 440-year-old structure. The Mangaladevi Temple is another famous religious building of Mangalore, and it is a fine example of Kerala-style architecture. Navratri is the biggest festival celebrated at the temple.
Those who visit Mangalore will be smitten by the coastal scenery. Drive around the outskirts and explore its many beaches. Some of the popular ones are Panambur, where one can enjoy a jetski session and go dolphin watching, Someshwara Beach, and Ullal Beach.
Mangalore is seafood heaven. Some of the popular dishes here include anjal fry (seer fry) and pomfret which one can sample at the Narayana restaurant. Dig into the prawn masala at Gajalee. Of course, foodies cannot miss the chicken ghee roast, a dish synonymous with Mangalore, at Shetty Lunch Home.
A short drive along the coast north of Mangalore will lead to Udupi, another seaside getaway that is still untouched. Udupi is an important pilgrimage centre, and here one can witness some of the most glorious temples on the West Coast. The most famous is the Krishna Temple, part of a larger complex of temples and religious structures in the area. This 13th-century temple features the dominant Dravidian style of architecture, and highlights here include the ornately designed chariots.
The world-famous Udupi cuisine has its origins in this region. Some of the signature dishes include Udupi style dosa, laddus, and neerdosa.
Close to Udupi, is Manipal, a town famous for its educational campuses, which have also made it an IT hub.Tourists can unwind at Malpe Beach or visit the town’s planetarium. These travails along the coast can come to a dramatic climax at the End Point, a cliff which gives the adventurer splendid panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, the geographical formations that have defined this region.
The best way to experience a road trip is by choosing self drive cars over chauffeured transport. Zoomcar is a popular car rental in Bangalore which offers a large range of cars – hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs at very affordable prices. Soak in the beauty and history of Karnataka’s vibrant coastal communities. Start planning the trip.