What is Manipal?

Manipal: of thunderous showers, extensive dry spells, and memories to treasure for a lifetime. And everything in between.

Here, you’ll get lost and find yourself in ways you never thought you could. You’ll learn the value of time, money, and umbrellas. In this town, one can develop the unlikeliest yet sturdiest friendships, and yet learn to find joy in solitude. Here you’ll hustle like you’ve never hustled before; all for an unparalleled sense of accomplishment. In this town cozily nested amidst the woods, and the hills, you will redefine your boundaries. Before we end up sounding too melodramatic, let’s back up a bit.

What really is Manipal?

It’s a sequestered suburb within the district of Udupi, Karnataka, and now a campus town. Manipal mesmerises with its lush greenery, calm backwaters (in close proximity) and clear starlit night skies. Dismiss any concerns you may have of it essentially being a small town – we’ve got KFC, INOX, Reliance, quality eateries, expertly maintained gyms, and a full health coverage under MediCare. We have state-of-art infrastructure to stand in stark contrast to the natural scenic beauty. Though, one can’t be warned enough about the erratic climate; an umbrella here amounts to a fundamental extension of your arm.

A single visit to the beach, or End Point, or even fleeting moments spent whimsically stargazing will suffice in making you fall in love with the place. We have the bragging rights. Only few campuses around the country can rival the environment (both natural, and artificial) that this town provides.

Photo of a torrential night, in front of the old basketball court

The real charm of Manipal, however, lies in the diversity of its inhabitants. We may be divided by cities and heritage, but we’re united by our eternal hunger and insomnia. Somewhere along those all-nighters, end-minute rehearsals, Maggi breaks and heart-to-heart talks, you’ll make plenty of friends, each one-of-a-kind.

Be it Eid, Onam, Diwali, Gudi Padwa or Vaisakhi, everything is celebrated with equal fervour. Religion and beliefs stand forsaken for a while as we all partake in each other’s festivities. You’ll be surprised just how many cultures are, and will continue to be assimilated into this seemingly small, home-like town.

Soon enough, you’ll be pulling in two tables at the mess to accommodate your friends’ circle. You’ll see the class genius, the class jester, the athlete extraordinaire, the quiet girl, the Potterhead, the Chelsea fan, and yourself, all sitting together. Sharing a part of your daily lives with the only other family you know. Although different, you all have one thing in common – you all left your prejudices, egos, reservations, and insecurities back home, and wholeheartedly allowed yourself to be seen as you are. In return, you found not one, but six friends who accept you wholeheartedly.

Photo of Kamath Circle at sunset, from the KC Gate

Each resident of this multif‍aceted town houses an ocean of talent and interests waiting to be showcased.The transition from unassuming freshers to assertive seniors is not essentially perceptible at first. Yet, it hits you out of nowhere when you find yourself subconsciously managing the weekly expenses and working past your customary bedtime to reach that unavoidable deadline. The independence and diversity you’ll find here is quite unlike anything elsewhere, but it comes at a price. You must be responsible, cooperative and treat the city well. In return, the city will give you all you expect from it, and so much more.

So, there you have it. Manipal is the very first time you’ve gotten away from home and not just survived, but thrived. It will probably be the last stop, before you head out to take on life. Manipal is a rucksack full of incredulous stories you can’t wait to get home and tell your family about. Manipal is an assortment of myriad emotions. And soon, you’ll come to realize, it is the release you’ve been waiting for.

 

 

Campus Facilities: https://manipal.edu/mu/campus-life/around-campus/campus-facilities.html
Student Welfare: https://manipal.edu/mu/admission/student-welfare.html

– photographs by Manan Dhuri, Anmol Rathi, Nishant Sahoo

Ananya Roy

Klutz Lord/ Pun enthusiast. Puppies over hoomans. Classical pianist who may sometimes get difficult to Handel, Vivaldi inbuilt sarcasm. Firm believer in all-goblin string quartets and the jabberwocky.

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