Cross posted here
To explore more of Karnataka I set off to Mangalore with colleagues for a team member’s wedding on the evening of the 25th of January, 2011. We took a sleeper bus (from Bangalore) that was so not what was portrayed on the website but was just about decent. After a long night’s bus ride in the cold with no bed sheet (I had forgotten to carry one) and bad roads after Hassan we reached Mangalore at 7a.m on the next morning (republic day). Our colleague, the groom received us at the bus stop and took us home. His family was rather warm and welcoming – very simple yet sweet people.
The place where we stayed was calm, serene, quaint and beautiful. After a shower we explored the city as suggested by our hosts. We visited the store Parampara, that sold local handicraft articles, followed by the Phalguni Cashew Centre where we all picked up cashews of different kinds (cheese coated, honey sweet, pepper roasted) and then headed to the ‘Ideal Place‘ – the best ice cream parlor at Mangalore where we dug in on flavors like – Gudbud, Falooda, etc (weren’t as enticing as expected). Our next stop was the St.Aloysius Chapel built in 1884 and is an architectural marvel. All the walls and ceiling are painted in two techniques: Fresco (fresh lime walls are painted and the colors get embedded into the wall itself) and Oil based. Artist Anthony Moscheni from Italy takes credit for this marvelous creation. The central row of paintings on the ceiling depicts the life of Aloysius Gonzaga to whom the College and Chapel are dedicated. The floor is made up of brick that gives a 3-dimensional effect.
Next on the agenda was the Gokarnatha temple built in 1912 for the Billava community, who were not permitted to enter other temples. The area is dotted with temples of Shiva.
It was a hot and sultry afternoon and by 2p.m we were hungry and so decided to try Mangalorean food (vegetarian) at a restaurant by name Ocean Pearl. After trying the Neer Dosa, we went back to relax for a bit before leaving for the wedding at the church followed by the reception. Cake and wine in hand, all those present at the venue raised a toast to the newly wed and set off to fill their stomachs again. There was a separate counter for us vegetarians set up by Mangala caterers, fortunately.
We hit the sack by midnight and set out the next morning to St.Mary’s Islands, Malpe at Udupi in a hired SUV. En route we stopped to pack lunch at Diana (a local restaurant) and after a comfortable drive for about two hours we reached the Malpe beach and took the ferry (half an hour) to the island. Nature at it’s best once again, we had a fun time jumping the rocks (while I slipped, fell and bruised my back), playing in the water, collecting shells and screeching at the site of an approaching crab, not to forget clicking away at each other. How we all wished we had carried a change of clothes!
On our way back we stopped to visit the Krishnamata temple (the idol is dressed in diamonds from head to toe and can be viewed only through a window) at Udupi and the surrounding temples. Rafting and Canoeing had to be dropped due to time constraint. A quick adieu to the groom’s family before an even quicker bite of chaat at a local stall, just to make it in time (thanks to Allen the groom’s younger brother) for our bus back to Bangalore.
I had always wanted to go on an all-women trip with my best buddies. Though that is yet to happen, this trip with my women-colleagues was indeed pleasant and fun!