The Changing Rhythm Of My Hometown

All change is not growth,
as all movement is not forward.
~Ellen Glasgow

Change in Mangalore

Little heed has been paid to the preservation of the traditional tile roofed structures of my once charming hometown in its race to ‘big-townhood’. Their distinctive profiles are fast being replaced by characterless concrete high-rises. And malls! What is it with Asians and malls? How many malls does a town really need? How many generic chain stores can one shop in?

Our visit to Mangalore last week marked the passing of yet another elder of the family, and the changing rhythm of the place echoed our sadness. We felt an urgency to ‘experience’ what is left of its slow cultural landscape, as we walked past its once beautiful narrow lanes, lined with countless terracotta roofed buildings, desultorily awaiting their turn to be sacrificed at the altar of progress.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

54 thoughts on “The Changing Rhythm Of My Hometown

  1. Having lived in India on and off over twenty plus years have watched the changes, especially in the cities. Much of the countryside though still has that sweet India India-ness. shanti….

  2. The pics are amazing! I could not believe my hometown is so beautiful. I have seen similar places countless times, but never like this! Ordinary places, Extraordinary photos.

  3. My condolence to you for the passing of one of your family elders.
    I agree with you about “Asians and malls!” When I visited the Philippines last year, all I saw were malls, bigger, bigger than the last one; renovated to compete with the last biggest one. To have a great mall was like a mark of progress. And you are so right, to have those big spanking new buildings, old ones – character-filled ones – were being demolished.

    My husband had a theory – we Asians (especially those in the hot climed ones) have turned the malls into our own living rooms where we play, eat, and generally escape the heat.

  4. Beautiful collage Madhu.
    I too cant understand the rush to pull down the old historical charming buildings and replace them with ugly highrises and malls. When we were in South Africa two years ago (good grief already!) I was shocked to see how mall disease has infected their cities – Johannesburg airport has one of the largest malls I’ve ever seen!

  5. I go to Mangalore quite often,yet the M’lore in these pictures is quite new to me.Much more beautiful than the commercialized places I’ve been to.

  6. Condolences to you and your family, Madhu. Your photos are really lovely. What a pity that such charm has to make way for so-called progress.

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