Panambur Beach is located 10 kms away from Mangalore city and belongs to the New Mangalore Port. ‘Panam’ means money and ‘Ur’ means village in the local dialect-Tulu and hence the term Panambur. This beach has been popular for its picturesque sunsets, the beautiful port area and of course, a picnic spot for tourists and locals alike. When one talks about the places one must see in Mangalore, Panambur Beach tops the list.
What makes it different from my old childhood memories of the beach is that, now it has been modernised. The beach is maintained by a private enterprise – Panambur Beach Tourism Development. They ensure that the beach is well maintained, it is clean and people are monitored all the while. The access to the beach is limited.
Earlier people could walk about and go from one corner of the beach to another as far as one could gaze. But now the area of use is restricted, probably done for the safety of the tourists and the locals visiting the beach. There are security guards who stop you from crossing the restricted area and coast guards patrol all the while keeping an eye on the people swimming.
The beach has activities like Jet Skiing, boating, camel rides, horse rides, chariot rides and many more. There are a lot of food stalls as well. Children can be entertained by joy riders that are plenty in number. The beach warms up during the carnivals. The festivity includes boat races, air shows, and sand sculpture contests. The kite festival is also organized every year during the summer season; this attracts people from all over the world.
For me as a child going to Panambur Beach meant playing in the water and sand, and if our parents permit then may be buy an ice cream or some ground nuts. But today the beach has jumped a wave and has more to offer than one can imagine for Mangloreans and for people around the world.
*Pamela Tina Dias is a former English teacher and a freelance writer based in Mangalore
*Photos by Ahmed Anwar