Manipal is a lovely coastal town situated near Mangalore in Karnataka. The town enjoys a blessed location as it stands off the shores and the rocky surroundings of the Malabar Coast in south India. Its pristine beauty and ideal weather conditions make it one of the most attractive places to visit in Karnataka.
Manipal is famous for being the education hub of south India, largely due to the presence of the world famous Manipal University. Being one of the finest educational institutions in India, this deemed university attracts students from all over the world to pursue various courses here. Apart from the educational institutions the town is also well known for various other attractions that draw people from all corners of the country and beyond.
History of Manipal
Manipal was a sleepy coastal town that was not widely known or noticed before 1950. It was once a part of the Shivalli village panchayat. However, all that changed when the town was selected by Dr. Tonse Madhava Anantha Pai as the location to set up an institution for imparting medical education.
Dr. T. M. A. Pai was an educator, doctor, philanthropist and industrialist who dreamt of creating a centre of higher learning in the beautiful locales of Manipal. With the establishment of India’s first private medical college, Kasturba Medical College, in Manipal in the year 1953 this sleepy town started getting attention and within a few years it became one of the most well-known places in Karnataka.
Location of Manipal
Manipal is located at a distance of 65 km north of Mangalore. It stands at a distance of just 3 km to the west of the temple city of Udupi. The town derives its name from a huge lake covering 400 metres that stands in the middle of the town
Beauty of Manipal
Manipal is a place with captivating beauty. The enchanting views of the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west enhance the beauty of the town by many folds. Blessed with hills and river, the place is adorned with unspoiled scenic beauty. This centre of learning has a lot to offer in terms of natural visual delights.
Major attractions in Manipal
The small town of Manipal is dotted with several tourist attractions that leave visitors mesmerized. Among the main attractions of the town are:
End Point – A centre of attraction for nature lovers, this place perfectly justifies the name “End Point.” The spot is situated atop a hill that overlooks the valley below and presents an amazing view of the surroundings. The river Swarna flowing in the valley below the hill presents a sight to behold.
Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village – It is a unique house that is made up of antiques collected from ancient houses. This house of Vijayanath Shenoy has been turned into a museum that preserves and showcases the beauty of ancient culture and heritage. Exhibits depicting ancient arts, crafts, textiles and paintings can be seen here. It is also a literature and documentation centre. The Heritage Village is a treasure trove of monumental beauty and visual delight that transforms visitors to the bygone eras of glorious past.
Planetarium – It is the second planetarium in Karnataka after the Nehru Planetarium in Bangalore and is spread across an area of 3000 sq ft. The planetarium is dedicated to Dr. T. M. A. Pai and is a part of the Manipal Heritage Park. The motto of the planetarium is to increase awareness about astronomy and to arouse interest in stargazing among the general people and students.
Smrithi Bhavan – It is the former residence of the architect of Manipal, Late Dr. T. M. A. Pai and has been turned into a museum. The place is dedicated to the memory of the educator and holds on display several memorabilia belonging to him.
Anatomy Museum – It is one of the largest anatomy museums of the country. The museum was started in the year 1960 under the initiative of Dr. S. S. Godole, a well known anatomist. It is a part of the Manipal University and has on display an amazing collection of specimens of human anatomy.
Brindavan Garden and Sri Venu Gopalakrishna Temple – Sri Venu Gopalakrishna Temple is a magnificent temple that attracts visitors for its unique architecture. It showcases a combination of openness of landscaped space and religious harmony. The Brindavan Garden stands opposite to the temple and attracts visitors for its colourful fountains of water.
The most famous place in Manipal
Manipal University – The most famous attraction of Manipal is the Manipal University. One cannot visit Manipal and miss visiting the university that has been instrumental in drawing the attention of the world towards this sleepy hamlet. The main campus of Manipal University is located here and is spread across 313 acres. The campus is home to more than 25,000 students representing over 50 countries of the world and is a place of cultural congregation. The university has 20 constituent institutions.
Best time to visit Manipal
The best time to visit the town of Manipal is between the months of October to March. During this period it is winter in this part of the country and the weather is ideal for planning a trip to the beautiful town. The pleasant weather makes sightseeing a wonderful experience for the visitors.
How to reach Manipal
Manipal is well connected by various modes of transport to different parts of the country. The two cities close to Manipal are Udupi and Mangalore and they serve as entry points to the town.
By Air – Manipal can be reached by taking a flight to Bajpe Airport in Mangalore, the nearest airport to reach Manipal. The airport is an international flying destination that has flights connecting it to various parts of the country and abroad. The town of Manipal takes just one and half hours drive to reach from the airport.
By Road – Manipal is well connected to the major cities of Karnataka and the neighbouring states of Goa, Kerala, etc. through a network of roads. Frequent and direct bus services are available for Manipal from various cities and towns like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Mumbai, Mangalore, Bhadravati, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Sringeri, Koppa, Someshwara, Koteshwar and several other places. Buses under Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and some private travel services connect Manipal to these places.
By Train – The nearest railway station to reach Manipal is the Udupi Railway Station that lies at a distance of 5 km from the town. The Udupi station is linked to several towns and cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Goa, Calicut, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Pune, Ajmer, Bikaner, Chandigarh and various other places through a number of trains. There is a train that connects Mangalore to Jammu once every week.
Where to stay in Manipal
Manipal has several hotels that offer accommodation to guests. The place has several luxury hotels for visitors who want to stay in a grand manner. There are a number of hotels and home-stays in the medium budget range that offer comfortable accommodation for the budget conscious travelers. The hotels and home-stays are equipped with all the modern facilities that are necessary for a relaxing and comfortable stay.
Hotels and home-stays in Manipal
Fortune Inn Valley View
Manipal – 576104,
Phone: +91 820 2571101
Fax: +91 820 2571327
Hotel Madhuvan Serai
Next to Syndicate Bank Head Office,
Manipal – 576107
Phones: +91 7829 901 250 / 51,
Fax: +91 820 2571670
E-mails: For General Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Reservations: email@example.com
Manish Serviced Apartment
Behind Manipal University Building
Manipal – 576104
Phone: +91 820 4299996 / 7 / 8
Fax: +91 820 4299990