Is life in Manipal Over Rated?

Manipal. The word draws up much acclamation from students who pass out through its hallowed gates. The town itself has that exotic appeal, once upon a time there was nothing but a few buildings of the university and a few shops maintained by enterprising local people. Then the middle class boom happened across the country, people were able to spend more and slowly but surely, the town began losing its charm.

Yet, the students continue to sing praises of the place. It’s no longer in the hinterlands of the country, it no longer is in one of the far reaches of this great country, you can reach it as easily from Dubai as from any place in India. Yet, students continue to be mesmerized by this 3 mile town. Manipal overrated

Is life in Manipal over rated?

This was a question that popped up a few days ago when I was discussing how the place has changed over the past couple of years. The amount of traffic you see on its roads, at least during the peak hours, can be compared to any bustling B category city in India. The number of high rises that have come up here, can easily put to shame some of the B category cities. Yet, there is something about this place that still appeals to the students who enter these hallowed gates.

Does Manipal create a sense of Inertia? People stay there for 4 yrs (engineering), some 5-6 yrs (medical) but the kind of attachment they get with the place cannot be described in words. The attachment is sometimes so strong, people forget to leave the place and settle down in the now, not so, tiny town.

One thing I do question though is why aren’t similar questions asked about other colleges in India? Is it because as a University township, it generates a cult following? Or is it because, like a black hole, Manipal creates a sense of belonging? I completed my Medical studies from Belgaum, but I do not have the same attachment as Manipal created.

Whatever the phenomenon is, Manipal life is in a different way altogether. This quote I read somewhere sums the experience in Manipal…

“There are 3 times in my life when I’ve cried. Once was when my grandmother died, the other was when my grandfather died, the last was when I left Manipal” – Unknown


  1. Being an outsider I can tell you that Manipal really gives the students a sense of belonging. I spoke to one of my friend in Manipal just a month after he joined and I could feel the love and connect he had with the University. That doesn’t come easy, and now I’m waiting to call myself a Manipalite soon!

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