Manipal the Harvard of India

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Report and Pictures by Victor D’Souza, Doha
Bellevision Media Network

Doha, 15 June 2010: When we think of Manipal first thing that comes to our mind is Hospital and then education. Truly, Manipal is just our neighborhood town which stands out among all the places for various needs and reasons. Manipal is also a beautiful and comfortable place to live. The township in Manipal has some of the finest houses and custom built apartments with recreation and lush green landscape that provides all the luxury and comfort.

I always spend some time in Manipal, at least a couple of times during my every vacation, because I visit my brother Wilfred and his family who live there. I also have some fond memories of Manipal as I used to often visit and live there during my younger days. During my recent vacation when I went there along with my family, I had my camera with me and here are some pictures to describe Manipal.

Manipal is a university town situated in the state of Karnataka in India. It is located in the rocky hinterland of the Malabar Coast of southwest India, about 8 km from the Arabian Sea. From its location on a plateau, it commands a stunning view of the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats range to the east.

It is also situated about 3 km from the temple city of Udupi, and is about 65 km north of Mangalore. Parkala is one of its residential areas. Manipal was previously under Shivalli village panchayat. The name is derived from Mannu palla, anglicised to Manipal. Mannu means mud and Palla means lake in Tulu Language. This lake due to which Manipal owes its name still has a pride of place in this university town and it offers boating facilities.

Manipal is often described as the Harvard of India. This city is home to Manipal University (formerly known as MAHE) comprising of esteemed educational institutions, Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), Manipal Institute of Management (MIM), T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal Life Sciences Center (MLSC), Manipal campus of Melaka Manipal Medical College (also known as International Centre for Health Sciences or ICHS), Manipal College Of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MCOPS), the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) and Dr. T.M.A. Pai Polytechnic.

It is amongst the first institutions in the private sector to be recognized as a Deemed University by the Government of India. It has over 20 constituent institutions that provide over 180 courses across 13 streams - Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, Nursing, Allied Health, Pharmacy, Life Sciences, Management, Mass Communication, Information Sciences, Hotel Managementand Regenerative Medicine etc.

The spectrum of educational institutions covers everything from elementary schools to professional and graduate level colleges. It is also home to headquarters of Syndicate Bank. The Manipal Press Ltd (Udayavani) is also located in Manipal. Manipal Institute of Communication is a constituent college of Manipal University. It is one of the premier journalism and communication colleges in India.

Manipal University currently has an enrollment of over 15,000 students each year and has a strong alumni base of over 120,000 students worldwide. Today, Manipal has the largest concentration of foreign students in India doing professional courses, in effect the student body of Manipal represents 52 countries who live, work and study together.

The town gained prominence in the 1950s, when Dr. Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai (1898 – 1979), doctor, banker, educator, industrialist and philanthropist transformed a barren hillock into what is today a renowned university town. Dr. T.M.A. Pai first established the Kasturba Medical College in 1953 and Manipal Institute of Technology in 1957. He, along with his brother Mr. Upendra Pai, also established Syndicate Bank originally in Udupi, which has its headquarters now in Manipal and Bangalore. He was responsible for its popular Pigmy Deposit Scheme.

Dr. T.M.A. Pai the founder of modern Manipal, was conferred the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1972. He was awarded the degree of D. Litt. by the Karnataka University in 1973 and the Andhra University in 1975. The Posts and Telegraph department of the Government of India brought out a stamp commemorating Pai on October 9, 1999. Dr. Pai has also been recognized by Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the person who has established the most number of educational institutions in his lifetime.

A place one must see in Manipal is Manipal End Point which is at the northwest outskirt and is one of the most beautiful places now with so many developments. I will write a separate report on this soon.


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Comments on this Article
Neel, New Delhi Fri, July-13-2012, 10:49
Rajiv, you don t get the point! Victor talks about the town of Manipal which houses the Manipal University. By the way IIT and IIM are colleges and not town. Harvard is another town situated in Worcester City, Massachusetts, United States that houses the Harvard University among others and is best know to be an educational town. On the other hand cities like Mumbai/Calcutta or Ahmedabad housing the top IITs and IIMs can not be called Harvard since they are better known for other things apart from educational institutes like IIT or IIM. Just so you know, Mumbai is one of the top 10 megacities of the world and that s certainly not because it houses IIT,Bombay but because of it s growth in other fields. I hope you understand now why Manipal is called the Harvard of India, being the only educational town, such a giant of its kind in India. Nobody would think of Manipal as a city first without thinking of the Manipal University whose constitutional institutes are ranked among the top in the country. You clearly show the authenticity of Manipal as the Harvard of India by misunderstanding Manipal and talking about IIT and IIM where we were actually talking about an educational town hub.
rajiv, india/new york Tue, January-11-2011, 5:33
People would laugh if you tell Manipal is harvard of India (not just abroad but also in India). IIT/IIMs are the ones which are considered as real MIT/Harvards of India
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Sat, June-19-2010, 6:23
Victor, your camera has beautifully captured the graphics that my eyes have etched within me, from my last trip to Manipal six months ago. I had spent a day meeting and talking to students and teachers at the international cafeteria opposite, and of course, half a day taking in the view from the end point. Do update us on the progress of the Udipi District HQ bldg that is coming up at the approach to End Point.
Avith Lobo, Moodubelle/Doha Wed, June-16-2010, 7:28
Nice report Victor.We are fortunate to have such a good educaional city near to our place.
Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle Tue, June-15-2010, 11:27
Quite interesting to read about and see the pictures of Manipal-the temple of learning very close to the temple city of Udupi. Thanks to Victor for his enlightening write up and classy pictures.
Stany D Souza, Dubai Tue, June-15-2010, 3:22
The Manipal has seen the marvelous growth in terms education, commerce, health and real estate sectors. The buildings, roads and landscaping gave this place a different look than any other place of our district. Living in manipal is become a status symbol for many of us friends. Thank you Victor for expresing views and also for nice photographs.
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