As I opened the car gates and took my first step at Udipi, the first encounter of air — unlike from dusty air of the National Capital Delhi where I come from — refreshed me and rebooted my energy level.
The air filled with light moisture though was bit troubling but the smooth flow of the wind when touched my skin was having a magical effect on my body, mind and soul.
I never felt so energetic and enthusiastic before as I was feeling with every step I took to discover the town in Southern India. The best part of the town was sight of young mini world.
I am stating Manipal as mini-World because as we were entering the core area of the city I could see people (majorly students) of all creed, caste, culture, color from different nations.
Manipal is a beautiful coastal town located in the state of Karnataka. It is a suburb within Udupi city and comes under the administration of Udupi City Municipality. Manipal’s natural beauty comes from its location amidst the rocky, yet mesmerizingly green surroundings of the Malabar Coast in south-west India, about 8 km (5.0 mi) east of the Arabian Sea. As it is ideally located on a plateau, the town provides a spectacular view of the neighboring region, the scenic beauty of the Arabian Sea in the west and the majestic Western Ghats in the east.
In earlier times, Manipal was part of the Shivalli village panchayat.The name, ‘Manipal’, comes from a combination of two words – ‘Mannu’ which means mud and ‘palla’ which means lake in Kannada and Tulu Languages. This lake is the center point of the town and is popular for its beautiful environs and boating facilities.
The best time to visit Manipal would probably be from September to February, when weather conditions are most favorable, with average daily temperature at around 27 °C (81 °F).It’s hot and humid in the months of March to May, when average daily temperature peaks at around 35 °C (95 °F). During June to August, monsoons come to rule this part of the world, with annual precipitation ranging from 500–560 cm (200–220 in).
Significance of Manipal University in the development of the area
Manipal was once a sleepy coastal town and it would have remained so even today had it not been for the visionary greatness of Dr. T.M.A. Pai. Manipal came into the limelight during the mid-1950s, when Dr. T.M.A. Pai founded the Kasturba Medical College in 1953 and subsequently the Manipal Institute of Technology in 1957. Over the years, Dr. Pai established 21 other colleges. Manipal received the University status in 1993 and at that time, 5 institutions became part of the University. In later years, other institutions also became part of Manipal University. Dr. Pai’s legacy continues even today, as the University has been consistently adding new colleges and courses, as well as expanding operations to other parts of India and abroad.
The development of Manipal and nearby areas has run parallel to the gradual expansion of Manipal University since the 1950s. As more and more students joined the educational revolution taking place at Manipal, the town witnessed significant growth over the years. Add to that the faculty members and support staff, and you have the right numbers to create a small, vibrant township with a flourishing local economy. Manipal University has been instrumental in creating thousands of jobs, which has been a boon to the local community and has attracted talent from all corners of the world including India. Manipal University is now a sub-city in itself, having hotels, hospitals, canteens, food courts, multi-cuisine cafes and eateries, indoor and outdoor sports complexes, hostels, etc.
Life in Manipal
The calm, peaceful, noise & pollution free, and secure environs of Manipal and surrounding areas provide the perfect setting to enhance your learning and explore your creative potential. You can live a good life here, and expect a bright future ahead.With around 28,000(approx.) students from 53 nationalities, Manipal is a melting pot of various cultures and thinking, which will help expand your horizons and transform you into a true global professional.With a mostly young crowd, the town has a cosmopolitan culture and a relaxed environment, which is perfectly suited to help you focus on your studies.
Apart from world-class classroom teaching, Manipal University also has a strong tradition of clubs and student bodies that bring students together to share their ideas and showcase their talent. These fraternities provide an opportunity to students to look beyond the learning limitations of their respective colleges, courses and nationalities. Students can join clubs for music and fine arts, literary pursuits, meditation, yoga, debating and photography. Some prominent student activities at Manipal University include:
Gunjan – This is a forum for lovers of Indian music, where music aficionados can come together to enjoy and appreciate music as well as showcase their talent. The various genres of Indian Music that this forum promotes include Hindustani Classical Music Carnatic Classical Music, Semi-classical Music, Ghazal, Sufi, Quawaali, Devotional Music and Light Music.
Manipal Film Study Center – Here, students can come to improve their learning of world cinema through the study of film language, film theory and film criticism.
Manipal University Literary Club – Activities such as book reading sessions and workshops/seminars on literature writing are regularly organized by this club. Any student or teaching staff can become a member of this club to share their ideas or to showcase their literary work.
Popular Restaurants in Manipal
With so much to do and learn, one is bound to get enormously hungry, but that’s not a problem because food stalls, canteens and restaurants are aplenty in and around Manipal University. There are plenty of options to choose from including Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Malaysian, Indian, Arabian and other kinds of food. You can easily find the best fit forevery occasion, budget and taste preferences. Some of the popular eateries in Manipal include:
Dollops – Dollops is popular with students for its amazing food, great ambience and pocket-friendly prices. Most patrons vouch for its lip-smacking Chinese and North Indian dishes. The music that is played is unique and adds to the overall appeal of this restaurant.
Karavali–This is a paradise for sea-food lovers, as there is a wide variety of options to choose from and taste is superb. There’s fish, prawns, lobsters and plenty of other exotic stuff, cooked to perfection in authentic Udupi style that will tantalize your taste buds.
KMC Food Court – This has students’ mess as well as outlets for Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Thai cuisines. It’s basically a one-stop shop for your hunger needs. It comes with the guarantee of safe, tasty, and hygienic food. And last but not least, everything is available at student-friendly prices.
Attil restaurant – Here, you can choose from a wide variety of fish, which the restaurant claims to be the freshest in the area. However, this restaurant is most famous for its authentic Hyderabadi Biryanis, which are cooked over firewood flame, the only way to bring out the true taste of ‘dum’ biryani. The restaurant’s ambience is also much liked by its patrons. Mocktails served here are also worth trying.
Places to visit near Manipal
There are plenty of places in and around Manipal that provide students a refreshing break from their challenging academic pursuits. Here, students can relax and rejuvenate their mind, body and soul. Some of the most popular destinations include:
Krishna Temple - Udupi Sri Krishna Matha. According to locals the temple is dedicated to Hindu lord Krishna and it was built around 13th century. The main temple is surrounded by several small temples and in the center there is a bathing place which is exclusively for temple priests. Famous festival of Krishna Temple is Prayaya, a 3 day festival.
Malpe beach – This is a popular beach resort, located just 10 kms from Manipal. Here, you can spend quality time with your friends, as the beach is remarkably clean, peaceful and beautiful. Spectacular beach dance parties are organized regularly on this famous beach resort. Top quality accommodation is available for visitors.
Kapu beach – This beach is located around 15 kms from Manipal. One of the popular attractions on this beach is the lighthouse, which was built by the British in 1901. This is a popular weekend destination.
End Point – At one end of Manipal is End Point, which is a cliff overlooking the Swarna river. From this point, one can experience the scenic beauty of the Arabian Sea in the western horizon and the magnificent Western Ghats in the eastern horizon.
St. Mary’s Island – This mesmerizing island is located near to Malpe beach. You can travel to this destination in a ferry and spend some time exploring this pristine and beautiful island.
Jog Falls – Experience nature in its true splendor at Jog Falls, the highest waterfall in India, located at just 3 hours’ drive from Manipal. The best time of the year to visit these falls is during monsoons, preferably July and August.