Mangalore lies between the ghats to the east and the sea to the west. It is lulled by the gentle breeze of the Arabian Sea in summer, but lashed by the furious rain-bearing winds during the monsoon (June to September). Mangalore is blessed with abundant rivers – Netravati, Gurpur, Gangolli, Sitanadi and Swarnanadi. The rich alluvial deposits on either side of the river banks provide fertile soil for paddy cultivation.
One of the strong points of the native Mangalorians has been their devotion to work and their penchant for trade and commerce. The city is the cradle of commercial banking and has excellent quality clay for production of quality tiles. Sheltered by the soaring Western Ghats on the east and bordered by the blue waters of the Arabian Sea, Mangalore is blessed with abundant rainfall, fertile soil, lush vegetation; pristine beaches and a ben rant culture. Mangalore is well known for Yakshagana (a costumed dance drama), Kambla (buffalo race), Korikatta (Rooster fights) and Boota Kola (Ghost quizaa).
Mangalore is the anglicized version of the name Mangaluru. Premilla, a queen of Malabar, renounced her kingdom and became a disciple of Matsyendranath of the Nath cult. She traveled with her guru towards Mangalore but had to settle near Bolar as she fell ill on the way. Eventually she died there and local people built a temple in reverence to her. The temple was renovated subsequently by an Alupa ruler, Kundavarma during the year 968 AD. Thus the town was known as Mangalapura.
The term Mangala means fort. In fact, the name Mangalapura is found in the inscriptions earlier to the period of installation of Mangaladevi temple. This Mangaladevi temple in the southern part of the city, reminds us that the city was named after goddess Mangaladevi. Thus Mangalapura later became Mangaluru during the Vijayanagar period. They called it Mangalur Rajya. It is believed that in the Sahyadri Mountains the great sages Kanva, Vysa, Vashista, Vishwamitra and others in the Loral past spent their days of meditation.
The old Mangalore port at Bunder has a glorious history. The Chinese, Arabs, Greeks and Europeans traded at this port buying pepper, areca and other coastal products. Mangalore was known as Mangalapuram in the early 7th century the name by which it is still popular even today in Kerala. The locals call the place “Kodial” in Konkani and “”Kudla” in Tulu. The name Kudla is a native geographic term indicating confluence of two rivers. The words Kood or Koodi (i.e. joined) + ala (i.e. rivers) have coined the term Koodala. This word Koodala has now become Kudla. In other words, Koodala or Kudla is the Tulu equivalent of the Sanskrit word ‘Sangam’. The word Koodala also exists in the Kannada language. The river confluence of Kudalasangama is famous since the time of Basaveswara, the social reformer.
Mangalore is between two preferred tourist destinations – Kerala to the South and Goa to the north.In the city of Mangalore one can find the narrow winding streets, lofty coconut trees, quaint gable-roofed houses, beautiful beaches, mosques, temples and churches which gives the city an old world charm. One can also experience the heady fragrance of the Mangalore Mallige, the aroma of spicy coconut curries, the rich unique folklore and people of various backgrounds. All this and more makes Mangalore a city of vivid contrasts. Mangalore is now an industrial hub with several leading industries, education, business and banking houses.
Mangalore is an important coastal city and commercial center in Karnataka. It is located at 12°-52’N latitude and 74°-49′ E longitude. The city is located in the confluence of Nethravathi and Gurupura rivers. It is bound in the east by the Western Ghats and in the west by the Arabian Sea. Three National Highways viz., NH-17 linking Panvel and Kanyakumari, NH-48 linking Mangalore and Bangalore, NH-13 linking Mangalore and Solapur pass through the city. The city is well connected with all the modes of transportation.