Have you ever gone to a place and instantly fell in love with it? Have you ever dreamt about never leaving it? You must have. But, have you ever gone to a place and thought, wait; this would be a perfect location to study? Mostly not but I did.
This was when I went to Manipal, a sudden trip planned with a couple of other blogger friends from across the country. The trip’s main purpose was to get Utpalji’s niece an admit in Manipal University, but this purpose led all of us to discover bits and parts of this place from our own points of view.
All of us landed in Mangalore at different times and met over at the hotel for lunch. Once we finished, all of us decided to relax and visit the Kaup beach, which is about 25 minutes away from the hotel. The beach is a view in itself; calm, clean and mesmerizing. We stayed there until dawn and for dinner we headed for a “Foodwalk” to discover some really famous youth joints in the hub of Manipal. A couple of them we went to were “Saiba”, “Dollops” and local seafood joint “Karavalli” for a stomach full of dinner.
Next morning we checked out the university and all of the verticals. The wide variety of courses offered by the university complemented by their erudite faculty and highly advanced infrastructure left all of us in awe. No wonder students here at Manipal love building their own Formula Circuit cars, mind you, they MAKE it themselves, no assembling business done here.
We also had an insightful talk with the Director of Manipal University, who told us about how Manipal has gone green and it has almost nil pollution owing to initiatives like a ban on vehicles inside the campus. Students either walk or cycle to their classes from their hostels. They have some very unique events happening in the campus as well, like the National Conference on Management of Modern Libraries, the Manipal Research Colloquium 2015 and the New Year Awards for Dr. H Sudarshan Ballal, Dr M Prabhakara Joshy, Mr Allen C.A. Pereira and Dr G. Shankar.
The university is very well connected with their alumni on different portals that help them stay in touch with each other. This contact has now brought to life a new event called the Startup meet that will showcase all the startups founded in Manipal. In 3 days they received more than 50+ registrations for the same, quite impressive! The college is well known for its diversity, which means students here come from all parts of the country particularly Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka itself.
The undergraduate students are expected to reside in the hostel all through their course and are eat at the hostel mess for their everyday meals. For some people this is not less than a nightmare because hostel messes are usually associated with tasteless bland food. Well, bad food is not even available here. I have never seen such high standards of food at any hostel mess. The food court can accommodate more than 1800 students! Can you imagine the size and scale of this? Not until you look at it yourself.
We all were absolutely amazed at how large the area really was. The view from this building is an added asset. Since we had heard a lot about the food at the mess we decided to be the “judges” for the day. We all picked up plates and put in generous amounts of food on our plate, the cuisine ranging from south to the north of India.
We had Rice, Dal, Rajma, Rasam, Puliyogare, Salad, Pickle and beans subzi (known as “palya” in South India), all of which was not only lip smacking but also healthy and nourishing. To our surprise, we noticed a lot of other stalls in the same food court that served some really tasty veg and nonveg fast food. This means the student need not go anywhere else for a “change” and it’s all under one roof!
Noticing the quantity in which food is made and still maintaining the quality of food we decided to take a tour of their kitchen where all this edible goodness is brought to life. The university officials were kind enough to guide us through the kitchen and helped us talk to chefs there. That is where we realized how beautifully organized their entire food management system is.
They have an automated chapathi maker that can shell out 25002800 chapathis in an hour! The kitchen is spread out in an area of 4000 odd square feet and also includes their own bakery where they freshly prepare cakes, rusks, puffs, pastries, breads and many other baked good for snack time.
What I personally appreciate is their outlook towards keeping the students in the university happy and at home. Hence, the concentration of food is not only south Indian but north Indian dishes are also included to maintain a balance. This way, there is never a feeling of homesickness after vacations!
Since I am a food enthusiast and Manipal University offers a commendable Hotel Management course I couldn’t resist going there and checking it out. After all Vikas Khanna is an alumnus, how could I not go there, right?
We reached there in no time, as the college was located right beside our hotel. We received a warm welcome from the staff and headed to see the entire setup for Hotel Management students. Apart from the discipline in cooking and attention to minute details taught to students, we realized how highly qualified and knowledgeable the faculty is. The students there are very lucky to be bestowed with such amazing teachers. I say this because they had an answer to every little question we asked them.
Be it about the cuisines, methods by which they are prepared, why and how of different cuisines and even what different glasses are used for what purpose; they truly are the jacks of all. Also, talking to the students in the campus, it was revealed that this college is truly the best as they said “We would never want to change anything about it!”. This made me very happy as not many students react this positively about their place of study.
We also visited the School of Communication, the library (which is one of the biggest in Asia), simulation centers’ and the Manipal University museum, which enlightened us to a great extent. Overall, I will say this trip was truly an eye opener insofar as we realized how well a massive institution could be run. Moreover, it is a perfect blend of a place where one can mingle education and fun.