Mangalore city, particularly its beaches, found new fans in the participants of the National Youth Festival. Many participants told The Hindu that they liked the city, its people and, particularly, its beaches, very much. Some of them said they were seeing the sea for the first time.
The Panambur beach was a favourite destination for many participants. Many of them visited the beach in the first few days before the stress of competing set in. Some others waited for their event to get over and then relaxed on the beach. Some visited the beach in Tannirbavi as well.
Sohan Singh, team leader from Punjab, said that his team had visited Panambur before their event. Staying in Srinivas College, Mukka, Naveen, another team member, said that the city was “bahut badhiya”.
Ambala, member from the Rajasthan dance troupe, said his team members had visited the beach and it was a different scene from the sands of their home state.
A girl from Chattisgarh said she was crestfallen because when she reached the beach with her teammates, she got a headache because of the heat and she was unable to enjoy herself.
Dilraj Alva, who operates city buses in Mangalore and whose buses took people from the main venue to various sightseeing spots, said that Panambur was the most popular spot with the participants. He said that in the first three or four days, 250 to 300 participants had visited the beach.
“The West Bengal team particularly enjoyed themselves,” he said.
Other places the participants visited were Pilikula, to which eight trips were made with 30 to 35 participants each time, on the fourth day. Four vehicles with 25 people had left for Jeppina Mogaru on day four of the festival. Participants went there both to participate and to simply watch the water, he said. The same day, a group of 20 participants visited Mangaladevi temple.
Shwetha Naik from Goa was seated with the rest of her State's team in a bus to Panambur. She told The Hindu that since she was from Goa the sea was not new to her. But she was headed there as someone had told them that they should try the adventure sports on Panambur beach.