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Sunday 26 January 2014

An evening at Tannirbavi Beach

In Mangalore, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka

One fine evening, a couple of weeks ago, we headed out to Tannirbavi Beach, one of the popular beaches in Mangalore city, along the Karavali coast of Karnataka, facing the Arabian Sea.

A couple, photographing the sunset at Tannirbavi Beach, Mangalore, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka, India
A couple, photographing the sunset at Tannirbavi Beach, Mangalore.

Tannirbavi Beach is one of the popular beaches of Mangaluru city (formerly named in its anglicised form Mangalore) in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. This is one of the popular beaches along the Karavali coast of Karnataka or Coastal Karnataka, facing the Arabian Sea. Tannirbavi is the anglicised form of Thanneeru Baavi, which literally means "cool water well" in Kannada.

"The evening sings in a voice of amber, the dawn is surely coming."
- Al Stewart

Tannirbavi beach, Mangalore

Tannirbavi beach (also written as, Tannirbhavi, Tannir Bavi, or Tanneeru Bavi, etc.) which was always a quiet beach earlier, now attracts more people with the introduction of some basic facilities.

Note: The city of Mangalore is officially renamed as Mangaluru, since 01 November, 2014.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Tannirbavi comes second in popularity to the nearby Panambur beach (the most popular one in Mangalore), and New Mangalore Port, the major sea port of Karnataka. Tannirbavi is one of the beaches you can visit, when you travel to Mangalore, or Dakshina Kannada.

An evening at Tannirbavi Beach

A plain, straight beach, as most of the other beaches in the region, Tannirbavi offers blissful evenings and beautiful sunsets. Opposite to the sea, the land is lined by tall trees, which add to the natural ambience of this place.

The beach receives more people on weekends, locals and tourists, with fewer people on weekdays. But, the crowd is always far less than that at Panambur, making Tannirbavi much serene and peaceful. You can see many fishermen at sea in their boats, ships entering and exiting the harbor from here.

While getting there, we passed by the picturesque Gurupur River banks lined with trees, on a wide concrete road for the most part. Then, a little further on a narrow tar road brought us to Tannirbhavi.

A view of Gurupur River on the way to Tannirbavi Beach, Mangalore, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka, India
A view of Gurupura River on the way to Tannirbavi Beach in Mangalore.

What once used to be a plain beach with just a couple of small stalls, now has some basic facilities like life guards, proper toilets, a parking lot, a couple of small eateries and some concrete benches. This was a joint effort undertaken by the district tourism department and a private company.

High mast lights are also installed between the beach and the parking lot. These are appreciable measures, as it makes the beach much safer now than what it was earlier. There are a couple of small joints of food here, and one opposite to the parking lot, across the road.

Lifeguards, people, and the sunset at Tannirbavi Beach, Mangalore, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka, India
Lifeguards, people, and the sunset at Tannirbavi Beach.

However, the parking is atrociously priced. (Rs. 20 for a four wheeler! Seriously, that is too much for that beach). One could simply park the vehicle elsewhere nearby, and take a little walk till there! But, if you are going as a group of people, that wouldn’t bother you much as the price would get shared.

Future plans are being made by the tourism department for the kilometer long beach to be turned into a tourist attraction with many state of the art facilities, but we don’t know when they will get completed.

Lifeguards, people, and the sunset at Tannirbavi Beach, Mangalore, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka, India
A serene sunset at Tannirbavi Beach of Mangalore.

It’s a very long beach, and there are many other accesses to the beach, southwards along the same road, through where you can reach the seaside (see location map below). But these places will not have the lifeguards or security personnel, and can be isolated at times.

We read about Water sports here, but didn't see any there that day.

A few years ago, you could see the remains of two Merchant Vessels, Den Den of Eritria and Cheng Le Men from St. Vincent Island, which was bound for China. These turned Tannirbavi turned into a crowd puller back then, as many people came to see these abandoned ships by the shore. Right now, there is no sign of these ships. Den Den was salvaged in 2009, after almost two years after it had sunk. The other one is probably salvaged or sunk.

Tannirbavi beach in Mangalore, Karnataka, India
A Fishing boat, as the reddish sky fades post sunset

All in all, we had a pleasant evening, and took some nice snaps. Had some tea at the shop opposite to the parking lot, across the road before heading back to our destinations. In our previous visits too, we witnessed great sunsets and enjoyed beautiful evenings in these shores of Tannirbavi.

A monsoon evening at Tannirbavi beach

Updated: 11 September, 2016

We visited Tannirbavi again some days ago, during a long weekend. This time, there was no sun or sunset for us, which is no surprise as monsoon clouds were hovering over all over. For beautiful sunsets, visit during winter as there will lesser or no clouds. You can come during summer if you don't mind sweating a lot. Here are some pictures from our recent visit.

Tannirbavi beach during monsoon in Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Tannirbavi beach during monsoon.

Tannirbavi beach during monsoon in Mangalore, Karnataka, India
A gloomy monsoon evening.

There were more benches installed this time, but had lesser people on the beach - which can be attributed to the gloomy cloudy weather. We took a walk along the beach, coming across a rusting machinery with long iron cables and chains. This was probably used to salvage the sunken ships.

Tannirbavi beach during monsoon in Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Abandoned machinery.

Would you visit a beach only on a sunny day for beautiful sunsets, or would you visit on a cloudy day too? Let us know!

Tips for Travellers

Warning: Swimming is always dangerous in the beach. There are several instances of people drowning, and getting carried away by the strong water currents of the sea. Even though there are a couple of lifeguards, better not to swim. Do not get into deep waters, or go too forward in the water. Enjoy safely in shallow waters along the beach.

Getting There & Transportation:

Tannirbavi is well connected by road, and easily reachable in own vehicle or a hired one. Use the map below for driving directions.

You can also reach Tannirbavi by bus numbered 1A, from Statebank, the main city bus stop in Mangalore city.

Alternatively, you can take a ferry ride across Gurupur river from Sulthan Battery (Take Bus No. 16, 16A to Sulthan Batthery , from Statebank). After crossing the river with the ferry, you can find a way between trees and reach the beach. This would be about 1 kilometer south of the beach with the parking lot and amenities.

Food & Accomodations:

There a couple of joints for food at the beach, and one opposite to the parking lot, across the road. There are plenty of good hotels and resorts to stay at Mangalore.

Best Times to visit

The best time to visit Mangalore or any other coastal place in India is during the winter. That is, from late September or from October to end of February or early March. As March begins, summer is at the doorsteps, and this place like any other tropical coastline, gets extremely hot and humid. Keep away during rainy days.

Location Maps for Tannirbavi Beach in Mangalore

Location Map of Tannirbavi Beach, Mangalore
View Tannirbavi Beach in a larger map

Driving Directions to Tannirbavi Beach from Mangalore

View Driving drirections to Tannirbavi Beach in a larger map
Get Directions to Tannirbavi Beach, in Mangaluru from your place of choice
Note: The directions will open up with Google Maps in a new tab.

Other beaches in and around Mangalore

  • Panambur beach, the most well-known and popular beach of Mangalore, just ~7 kms north.
  • Surathkal Beach, in Surathkal
  • Mukka beach, near Surathkal
  • Someshwar Beach, featuring huge rocks and the Someshwara Temple, near Ullal.
  • Ullal Beach, in Ullal.
  • Batapady Beach, at Thalapady, near Ullal – a more isolated one

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