For a brief 20 minutes we stopped by the beach in Mengalore to dip our toes in the Arabian Sea. The water was so warm, not very refreshing when its almost 100 degrees with full humidity. Still, we loved to see water, our first sighting since touching down in India almost two weeks ago.
The beach was packed with small carnival rides, vendors and restaurants, people selling jet ski rides and others offering to lead beach goers on horseback ride through the sand.
Almost no one was in the water, and we learned it’s because the beach is known for very strong rip tides. At one point, the lifeguard began frantically whistling for some kids to come back out of the water when they got just waste deep.
Unlike in America, where some of the most expensive real estate lines the beaches, few people build homes on the water. The beach’s only neighbors were some factory plants with tall smoke stacks and big gates. The city center is setback fairly far from the sea, and few downtown homes have any view of the water.
I’m not entirely sure why that is the case. But people in Mangalore seem to love the beach. At 6 p.m. on a Saturday it was packed with families. Most were seated outside restaurant stalls at plastic tables set up in the sand or walking up and down the beach. Only children were in bathing suits, and adults mostly wore typical dress. A few cows even wandered the sandy stretch, enjoying the sunset.