The Manipal Drugs Culture – Busting the Manipal Myth


While Sudhir (Mythical Manipal) and Tanmay (Top 5 Manipal Myths) have written articles on Manipal Mythbusters before, we still get queries about the Manipal Drugs culture.

If you go to Urban Dictionary and click up the term Manipal, you’ll get two definitions. The second one put up in April 08, 2007 by Balu G reads, “A small town in Karnataka, India. Has a university where rich parents send their spoilt kids to, so that they can booze, smoke weed and get laid, and maybe get a degree in the process. A bloody hot place to be in, esp. from March to August. Manipal’s the easiest place to get a professional degree from, in India.” 

In this, I would like to talk more about it and try to rationalize why Manipal drugs culture is one of the most commonly searched for terms by students and parents alike when they decide to enroll in Manipal.

Wherever students, there is curiosity. Manipal has about 20000 students during peak college season. There is going to be a huge amount of curiosity in the atmosphere. And then there are the elements in society, looking for a quick buck. That is how drugs happen! So you see, wherever there are students (especially ones staying away from home), there is bound to be a component of experimentation.

According to a United Nations report, With estimated annual prevalence of cannabis use in 2010 ranging from 2.6 to 5 per cent of the adult population (between 119 million and 224 million estimated users aged 15-64), cannabis remains the world’s most widely used illicit substance. Indian studies have shown that Punjab, Delhi and Haryana followed by Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar have the highest number of substance abusers in the country.

Manipal? Well it is not even a blip on this radar. Karnataka, is lying at the bottom of this report even behind neighbouring Kerala! In fact, the police here is very strict as compared to other states in similar situations. The fact that more number of seizure of illicit substances happens in Manipal, should put your fears to rest. The University has strict rules against substance abuse and carries out raids in association with police authorities to nip this drug culture in the bud.

Manipal Drugs Culture
Manipal University is very proactive in curbing the Drugs menace in Manipal in close cooperation with the local police.

Manipal drugs culture

When did this term originate? I guess, probably when India started its liberalization policies and we had more number of NRI’s and students from abroad coming to study here. Is there such a thing as a Manipal Drugs culture? The answer is a big No!

There is no such thing as a University where people are not into drugs. It doesn’t matter whether you are in India, US, China or Australia; Manipal, Punjab, Vellore or Benares… If there are students, they are doing drugs. Not all mind you! For every one student on drugs, there are 1000 who are not. So fussing about that 1 student is not going to help!

Weed alias Ganja and also known locally as ‘stuff’, ‘maal’, ‘pot’, ‘grass’ etc. But more commercially known as Marijuana or Cannabis. I’ve heard decade-old stories of how ‘ganjaful’ Manipal used to be compared to the situation now. But, having lived here for close to 9 years now (first as a student and now as a teaching faculty), I’ve never come across one drug peddler! Maybe I’m too naïve or I’ve not been looking for them actively!

You are NOT coming to Manipal for the social aspects of the school. If you do not want to party and do not want to do drugs, you do not have to party and do not have to do drugs! If you can say “Hey! I’ve to study tonight, so I cannot make it to the party, do continue without me”, then you can go to any University in any part of the world and you can do just fine!

What matters more is, whether Manipal University has high standards for the department and line of study you want to take? And that is an answer that is very easy. Yes. They have some of the best colleges and best faculty, especially at MIT Manipal. University is where you find yourself and truly develop your adult personality, you go to study, to find your limits and learn to interact with your colleagues and not just guys or girls of your age. Study Study Study but don’t neglect the social development that comes from finding friends and having fun.


  1. There is a reason why Manipal famous for its drug culture. Its not just a made up story. Every third guy at least is involved in weed and stuff.

  2. Hello Vishaal. I’m the Balu G your article refers to. That “definition” has directed a considerable amount of flak my way, and I wish to clarify that it was not meant to be disparaging in the least, and not to instigate debate either. I spent the best years of my life in that place (and I may or may not have been a part of the lifestyle mentioned in my definition, and your article), and I’ve tried taking it down after finding it a bit too harsh, in hindsight. But the process is apparently rather complicated, so no luck.
    Just clearing the air. Cheers.

    • Hey!

      Thank you for dropping by and leaving your valuable thoughts. I never intended to use your “definition” of Manipal in a disparaging way and neither did I want to debate it.

      I was talking in general in the article, because we were getting a lot of questions on ManipalBlog FB page as well as search terms being used to reach our website.

      Thanks once again for dropping by 🙂


      • wow!!! awesome display of camaraderie 🙂

        One of the many things we should be famous for but aren’t.

  3. This article comes out at just the right time, when the freshers are
    starting to explore the place and learning about this and other manipal
    related blogs. This university is too good at playing these diplomatic
    games with minds of parents and then the students. To say the truth, its
    not even on the radar because police is well paid by university to keep
    such cases under wraps to portray clean image of this shitty
    university. They will catch students in some of these acts, but never
    will catch the locals from where the students acquire these things. This
    place may have been a heaven earlier, but today its just a money making
    machine filled with sadistic blokes.

    • For whoever you are..blaming the university the police and everyone else for not taking an action. I would like to tell u there were many of my friends who were directly contacted by police to give the names of the students who are involved in such acts. Everyone has their own ways of doing things. Not necessarily everyone would like to update you for every move.And who are you?? A student who dint get through MIT??? **LAUGHS**

  4. lol.y not, they still think of weed as a drug and are fine with getting sloshed over tons of alcohol,

    lets go deetee..
    its college,go experiment!! or you can just get old complaining!

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