The campus town of Manipal is one of the most cosmopolitan towns of India with students over sixty countries studying here. But the true essence of Manipal lies in its rich tradition whilst simultaneously maintains a multicultural environment.

Located in the rocky localities of coastal Karnataka, Manipal serves as the prime destination for cultural exploration. Its location from the plateau commands a sweeping view of the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats to the east. There is plenty for visitors to discover in and around the area.

One of the main attractions is the beautiful beaches near Manipal. One can choose from more locally popular beaches like Malpe or Kaup (which also has a lighthouse with a breathtaking view), or take a boat to the quaint island of St. Mary’s. You can also try surf lessons at the striking Delta beach and share a meal with locals and experience the local lifestyle. The one thing that will catch your attention is the warm welcome that you will receive in these humble settlements. The hospitality of people in and around Manipal is unparalleled; they make you feel at home at all times.

One can also visit the temples around the area of Manipal, as they are preserves of traditions and values that date back many- many years. The Venugopal temple,  Kukke Subramanya Temple, Murudeshwar temple are just a handful of examples of temples that are located in the green landscapes in and around Manipal.

Sitting at the estuaries of the Netravathi and Gurupur rivers on the Arabian Sea coast, Mangalore is a laid back destination ideal for beach lovers. The slender winding streets, picturesque gable-roofed houses, lofty coconut trees, the exhilarating fragrance of the sea, the beautiful temples and churches, and the aroma of spicy curries, Mangalore offers an experience that will leave you amazed and spellbound.

While in South Canara, eat like the South Canarites. Be sure to try out some of the city’s popular delicacies. You can expect some scrumptious seafood here, like Fish Pulimunchi and Crab Ghee Roast. One of the best places for chicken ghee roast and crab ghee roast is Kudlas. Other dishes that are a hit in Mangalore are neer dosa and chicken curry, the chicken pulimunchi, and kundapuri chicken. Pork-lovers can head to Mangala for delicious Mangalore pork. Ayodhya offers some authentic Mangalorean food for the vegetarians.

Malpe Beach

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Apart from the numerous small shops, there is a beach resort serving good that hosts some spectacular beach dance parties. With the waters being safe enough to go into, except in the monsoons, the beach sees a large crowd. The turnout has also catalyzed the growth of several fun activities here, such as animal and boat rides.

Distance from campus: 13 km

Kaup Beach

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It is a popular weekend destination for Manipal University. The lighthouse here, built by the British in 1901, is open to visitors. The long climb to the top is rewarded by the splendid views.

Distance from campus: 22 km

Sri Krishna Temple

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The Krishna Matha was founded by the Vaishnavite saint Shri Madhwacharya in the 13th century. As told by Sri Madhwacharya in his Tantrasara Sangraha, all the murthis save one in the Ashta Mutts face the west, or are  Pashchimabhimukha. It is said that once, Kanakadasa, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, was denied entry to the Krishna Mutt, as he was an “untouchable”. However, pleased with Kanakadasa’s devoutness, the idol itself turned around to the east and a crack appeared in the wall, granting him a darshana of the idol. Even today, the devotees worship Lord Krishna through this window.

Distance from campus: 6 km

Jog Falls

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The Jog Falls is India’s highest waterfall, formed by the River Sharavati as it drops down from 875 feet. The best time to visit these falls is during the monsoons as the flow of water is restricted by the dam during the rest of the year. During summer, the water level is low enough to allow one to walk down right to the bottom of the falls.

Distance from campus: 164 km

End Point

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At one end of Manipal is End Point, which is a cliff overlooking the Swarna river. The place offers views of the Arabian sea in the west and the Western Ghats in the east horizon. With a park, jogging tracks, and sports grounds, End Point is the place to go for a refreshing evening in Nature’s lap.

Distance from campus: 3 km

Museum of Anatomy and Pathology

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The Museum of Anatomy and Pathology attracts college and school students from all over the state, apart from medical professionals and tourists. Listed as one of the largest of its kind in Asia, the museum boasts over three thousand specimens and samples.

Distance from campus: 1 km

Marena Sports complex

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Manipal University’s Sports Complex, named MARENA is an exciting state-of-the-art facility catering to every recreational and fitness need of students and staff. One of the biggest and best-equipped sports complexes in the country, the fully airconditioned building saves sports enthusiasts and fitness freaks from frustration in the long monsoon.

Distance from campus: 500 m

Kollur Mookambika Temple

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Mookambika, in Kollur village of Udupi is among the most important shrines for Hindus in India. Sri Mookambika is unique among the other Hindu gods and goddesses as she embodies the powers of Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswathi and Mahakali combined into one as Adiparashakthi-Mookambika. The Udbhava Linga (self manifested phallus) of Mookambika Temple represents both Purusha (male) and Shakthi (female).

Distance from campus: 76 km

Karkala

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Karkala gets its name from the black stones found here. The city has a number of natural and historical landmarks, such as the Ramasamudra Lake.  Karkala also has a gigantic statue of Bahubali, the second largest of its kind.

Distance from campus: 33 km

Shringeri

Sringeri, in the Chikmagalur district, is the site of the first matha established in the eighth century by Adi Shankaracharya, a Hindu theologian and exponent of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, in the 8th century C.E. The Sharada temple, dedicated to the goddess of learning and wisdom, has grown from a simple shrine dating back to the time of Adi Shankaracharya. In the fourteenth century, Vidyaranya is said to have replaced the old sandalwood image with a stone and gold image.

Distance from campus: 76 km

Kundadri hills (Jain Temple)

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Kundadri is a densely forested hill at a height of 826 metres in the Western Ghats. This hill is known for its 17th century Jain temple dedicated to Thirthankara. More than two thousand years ago, a Jain sage named Kundakunda Acharya stayed here and prompted the birth of this Jain holy place. Thirthahalli is easily accessible by bus from Udupi.

Distance from campus: 67 km

Panambur and Surathkal beaches

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Surathkal

The Panambur and Surathkal beaches are known for their pristine surroundings. Take a rejuvenating barefoot stroll on the powdery sand, or visit the lighthouse on the beach for some great views of the ocean and the countryside.

Distances from campus: 54 km and 48 km respectively

Pilikula

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Pilikula, with its biological park, arboretum, science centre, lake park with a boating centre, and water park is a popular picnic spot.

Distance from campus:69.1 km

Temples and Churches

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For the more religious, the city is graced by the beautiful Kudroli Gokarnath and Kadri Manjunath temples. St. Aloysius Church is known for its marvelous architecture and features paintings by the Italian artist Antonio Moscheni, along with ceiling frescoes of various saints in Christianity.

Distance from campus: 

Kudroli Gokarnath Temple-63 km

Kadri Manjunath Temple-63 km

St. Aloysius Chapel-66 km

The Seemanthi Bai Government Museum

The Seemanthi Bai Government Museum, located in the heart of the city, is worth a visit. With its collection of ancient coins, paintings, statues, and inscriptions, you can get a good link into India’s rich heritage

Distance from campus: 63 km

Murdeshwar

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The sea is an intrinsic part of the temple that towers on the Kanduka Giri hill, surrounding it on three sides. Two life-sized concrete elephants stand guard at the steps leading up to the temple. One of the attractions here is the Lord Shiva idol that rises up 123 feet, making it the tallest Shiva idol in the world.

Distance from campus: 141 km

Horanadu

Horanadu is a hindu holy city located in Chickmagalur district, Karnataka, India. The deity at the Annapoorneshwari Temple at Horanadu is Annapurneshwari. The idol of goddess Annapurneshwari was established in 1973 in the temple.

Distance from campus: 112 km

Dharmasthala

Dharmasthala is a temple village on the banks of the Nethravathi River. The temple is devoted to Shiva and houses a linga made of gold. The unusual thing here is that it is run by a Jain administration and the poojas are conducted by Hindu priests of the Madhva order. The place hosts lakshadeepa– the annual festival of lights in November-December. The temple sees a flow of around ten thousand people on a daily basis and provides free food through a mechanised kitchen.

Distance from campus: 98 km

Coorg

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Coorg, in the Western Ghats in Karnataka, is an absolute treat for the outdoor and nature lovers, with trekking, golfing, and angling. Religious trips abound on Hindu and Buddhist circuits. Family getaways can be easily arranged.  

Distance from campus: 209 km

Goa

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This popular destination with its splendid beaches is just a five hour train ride away from Manipal. The best time to visit these places is from the middle of November to the end of March, after which the weather gets hot. 

 Distance from campus: 303 km