Home to around 40,000 students, Manipal has carved a world with itself. From unforgettable memories to first experiences, this place has souvenirs to cherish for a lifetime. Leaving an indelible mark in the hearts of each and every student that has come and gone, this place witnessed kids metamorphose into adults.
Here are the 26 words that are bound to stay with you forever– one for every letter of the alphabet.
Welcome to Karnataka. Here, bhaiyya, didi, uncle or aunty will simply not do. From autowaalas to fruit vendors, and room cleaners to hostel caretakers, all the locals are referred to as either Akka or anna, (depending on whether it is a woman or a man respectively). Unless of course, it’s the fruit uncle at TC; it’s utterly blasphemous to call him Anna. Give it a semester, and you’ll find yourself using these appellatives back in your hometown too.
Manipal boasts some of the most blissfully beautiful beaches along the western coastline of India. Hop on a bus or rent a scooter, and head to either Malpe, Kaup (pronounced Kapu), Hoode or Delta, all of which aren’t further than a quarter hour’s drive away. Word of advice: avoid wading through the waters in the odd semesters- the rough tides can get terribly dangerous.
C: Canara Mall
Just a few steps away from the MIT gate, WGSHA and KMC, the first and only mall in Manipal serves as a quick shopping destination, or maybe to watch a movie without the trouble of going all the way to INOX; helping you save around 100 bucks. Maybe you could find some cute stuff from Ilahui or grab a pizza from Pizza Hut or Dominos. There are also a few sportswear and clothing shops here. New stores are on the way.
The holy temple of all distilled spirits, DeeTee has been a part of the Manipal legacy for several generations. Something about it is eerily attractive, though it’s hard to place what exactly. At least once in the years you spend studying here, DeeTee is bound to give you unforgettable (rather, hard to remember) memories with the wise Old Monk.
E: End Point
One of the best parts about being in a university amidst the Western Ghats is the complimentary scenic beauty that comes along with it. End Point provides a panoramic view of the Suvarna River that flows through here (you can even trek down to it) and is a blissful place to go for a walk/jog, or even an unconventionally romantic date.
As a fresher, Food Court (or FC, as it is commonly called) is most likely to be the place where you spend the majority of your mealtime, simultaneously complaining about the food served. The air conditioning, its co-ed nature, the additionally payable “better” food options upstairs, and its central location with respect to the hostel and the academic blocks tend to give it an edge over the respective hostel messes.
The KMC FC though smaller offers more variety. Also, if you observe you’ll realize that the MIT FC is built to resemble the shape of a spiral-bound notebook.
The closest getaway destination from Manipal boasts of pristine beaches and serene landscapes and is also known for its temples. Just a train ride away, for a third Saturday off, or even for a day trip, this sprinkles a bit of adventure into the standard beach experience. So pack your bags, grab your trekking boots and take a break. Moreover, it’s a win-win situation since Goa is just a few hours ahead – a beach dilemma indeed.
H: Haveli, aka Hostel
Staying in a hostel is mandatory in the first year, and if you don’t intend to shift out soon after, the hostel will shape a major part of who you are at the end of your four years of college. You’ll eventually realize that all you need to get through college is your roommate, hostel mates and a good plate of Maggi.
Even though it’ll leave you when you need it the most (exam time? See you later, i-On) and you’ll curse it forever, you can’t live without it, for it’s your only hope for Wi-Fi. Also, the only thing that’ll help you remember your application number.
J: Juice Junction
The small stall in the Student Plaza serves all varieties of freshly-squeezed juices and unpackaged milkshakes to quench your thirst. You can always hear catchy music blasting through the plaza, originating from this tiny spot. Though small in size, the stall offers all flavors of your choice and ice creams for just ₹40.
K: KMC Greens
Lying at the heart of Manipal at Tiger Circle, KMC Greens is host to some of the biggest college events – Utsav, Proshow, and multiple others. Its enormous size is to be attributed for its affluent use. Over the years, Greens has also become a hotspot for students to kick-back and relax, and get good pictures while they’re at it.
L: Lime Juice
A perfect solution for someone who is on the verge of dying of dehydration and short on cash is lime juice. For a price as low as ₹15, this juice is the ultimate savior. It’s not only refreshing, but also loaded with health benefits– so you can go ahead, and have it more than just a few times a day.
An endorphin-filled indoor sports complex in Manipal, Marena includes a gym, a basketball court, a squash court and much more. It has 6 levels, is centrally cooled and comes with a membership fee (₹1500/month, ₹9000/9 months and ₹12000/1 year). If you fancy swimming, you can learn and practice under the guidance of the coach in the state of art swimming pool also.
Academic Block-3, or NLH as it is more popularly known, is the only one with a Wi-Fi connection (apart from the Innovation Centre). All MIT freshmen have classes here, something you will miss terribly if you have to walk till AB-5 next year onward.
O: Oreo Shake
Hungry, thirsty and don’t have the time? Have an Oreo Shake– you can grab it on the go. It’s priced at a minimum fee of ₹35 and is available at every cafe, restaurant, and even mess. This thick drink is almost every student’s staple beverage, and definitely a delightful one to have.
Payohima is an ice cream parlour, among the few that provide ice cream that’s worth its price. It’s one of the best places to enjoy with friends, especially since you can have a pizza or pasta to go with it as well. With the new store right in front of the MIT gate, Payohima has made a name for itself with its unique taste and cozy ambiance.
This quadrangle-shaped ground in the middle of AB-1 is the prime hub of various major events hosted by MIT, including the ProShow events (during Revels), Battle of the Bands, the Annual Day, and several others.
Revels is the four-day cultural fest of MIT, and definitely one of the most happening times of the year. You’re bound to make some of the best memories during this time (with artists like Nucleya and Ritviz performing), and also end up spending a lot more than you’d be able to explain to your parents.
S: Student Plaza
The colosseum-like structure is the new buzzing hub in Manipal, especially for the freshers, taking care of their daily amends with the fruit and vegetable stall, grocery stores, and food outlets. More amenities like the laundry services, beauty parlor are on their way. The Student Plaza also features event promotions, club activities and other student activities. Moreover, you can also find seniors cribbing and being nostalgic of their old KC; aka Kamath Circle.
T: Tiger Circle
The central area for shopping, eating or even specifying directions, Tiger Circle (referred to as TC) is an unforgettable landmark for all Manipalites. Here, you can find everything (no exaggeration) — from repair shops, eye care stores, and flower and gift shops to paan shops, Pangala (your pocket-friendly stop for the best South Indian food) and the more popular eating joints like Dollops, Snack Shack and Hadiqa(a.k.a Egg Factory).
If there is one thing you simply cannot forget to carry as you get out of your hostel— it’s your umbrella. Manipal is known for its utterly unexpected rain (we’re talking about heavy downpour, mind you, and not a mere drizzle) in the odd semester months, and your umbrella is the messiah you can’t afford to forget/misplace. In the even semesters, it works well to deflect the terrible heat too.
Venugopal Temple, or VGT (we Manipalites tend to find acronyms for everything), is located near the rear end of the campus (close to blocks 11 and 12) and is the only temple within campus confines (you now know where to go when praying is your only hope to pass). It even has a beautiful park in front of it, perfect for an evening stroll.
W: The Wall (of Fests)
Each year, the walls outside block 13 (in front of Campus Stores) are painted twice in accordance with the theme of each of MIT’s two fests, TechTatva and Revels (held in the odd and even semester respectively) and a brand new wall featuring the theme of MSAP’s ‘Avant’. An absolute delight to look at, these walls are painted by the Printing and Publicity (PnP) team of the college and students respectively.
Om Xerox is an immensely important shop located in the academic area. It has stationary, study material related to all years and all branches (photocopies of previous year notes, important tables, and everything else you need to pass), and the place you land up in when you need a last-minute printout or Xerox.
For those who don’t know, “Mighty, mighty M-I-T” is a slogan MITians have been chanting from time immemorial (slight exaggeration there). It’s a catchy phrase we love deeply, but what makes it special is the South Indian accent that creeps in when the faculty members repeat it, making the “M-I-T” sound like “Yum-I-T”. Taking pride in the Kannada culture prevalent here, the latter phrase stuck with the students. So now when you hear the director yell “Mighty, mighty”, you’ll know what to yell back.
Manipal’s very own rooftop bar is a one-of-a-kind destination for Manipalites. With a compelling ambiance, friendly staff and great music out of an unusual blue car, Zeal is a popular hang-out place for those who enjoy spending their Saturday nights partying. Wednesday Ladies night and Sunday Bollywood nights should help fill up your schedules as well.
These 26 words are only a pocket-size version of the Manipal that the students have come to know and love. These words stay with you on your process of rediscovering and rekindling with the adult you, and you may realize that these 4 or 5 years of independent heaven just quickly faded by.
Manipal is home; a place where your feet may leave, but your heart will always remain.
Image credits: Pruthvin Batham, Anmol Rathi and Sudarshan
Originally written by Aishwarya Sanjay and Tejal Khullar for MTTN
Updated by Amal Humayoon for MTTN