The Kadri Hill is famous for the 11th century Kadri Manjunatha Temple, with the surrounding tanks with natural springs and laterite caves, also known as the Pandava Caves. The bronze image of Lokeshawara and Lord Buddha in the Dhyani posture point to its Buddhist origins. The Kadri Kambala (Buffalo race) takes place here in December.
Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara Temple is set by Shri Narayana Guru, the great Philosopher, Saint and social reformer from Kerala. The temple is built in the Chola Gopuram Style. The main deity of this temple is Lord Shiva
Seventy five Kms east of Mangalore, set in sylvan surroundings on the lower slopes of the Western Ghats mountain range, the Dharmasthala Manjunatha temple is a well known pilgrimage centre and an interesting amalgam of faiths. The Manjunatha Temple is a prominent Shaivaite Center that has Madhwa Vaishnavaite priests and is administered by a hereditary Jain family, the Heggades.
The Jain influence can be seen in the 39 ft. statue of Bahubali, erected in 1980 on the hill near the temple. Opposite the temple is the Manjusha Museum which houses a wide rage of objects, including ancient scripts on palm leaves, silver jewellery and religious statuary. Charity is a way of life here and pilgrims that throng the temple are given free food and lodging for three days. During the annual festival, Laksha Deepotsava held in November-December, one lakh lamps are lit and literary and religious discourses are held.
Nestled between hills, this pilgrim centre, 104 Kms. from Mangalore is the famous temple of Kukke Sri Subrahmanya. The epics narrate how the divine serpent Vasuki and other snakes took refuge under God Subrahmanya, in the caves. Here God Subrahmanya is worshipped as a snake, which is the god's divine power. A ritual dance called Nagamandala is performed during the worship, where the dancer wears the attire of Ardhanarishwara (half man, half woman), symbolising the concept of female (prakruthi) and male (purusha) forces being one. The Nagamandala dance form is a distinct feature of the state of Karnataka.
The Durga Parameswari Temple, located on an island in Nandini River is situated twenty Kms East of Mangalore. The chief deity is in the form of an udhbhava (naturally formed) linga. The pillars of the temple bear beautiful sculptures.
Apart from the above mentioned temples, there are a number of other temples in the district such as Kodiadka Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple, Southadka Sri Ganapathy temple, Sri Durga Parameshwari Temple, Sri Rajarajeswari Temple, Sri Mahalingeswara temple, Sri Karinjeshwara Temple, Sri Sahasralingeshwara Temple and Narahari Parvatha Sadashiva Temple. Also found here are places of worship belonging to other religions such as the St Aloysius church and the Ullal Darga.
St. Aloysius Church was built in the year 1899-1900, and is situated just 1 km from the heart of the city. The walls and ceilings of the church are covered by paintings of Antonio Moscheni of Italy.
The Ullal Darga is a famous darga in the region. It is the Darga of Sayed Mohammed Shereful Madani who is said to have come to Ullal from Madina 400 years ago. Thousands of people from various states visit the mosque to participate in the Urs festival which is celebrated once in every five years.
Located in Moodabidri, 35 Kms North East of Mangalore, the Holy shrine of the Jains, Thousand Pillar Basadi is dedicated to Shri Chandranath, a Jain saint. The temple is intricately carved and has Nepalese style of architecture. The 1000 pillar temple is around 560 years old and was build over a century. The history of the temple is carved on the walls and pillars of the Temple. No two pillars in the temple are alike. The Basadi is a treasure house of art and architecture.