I had the opportunity to See Manipal University in the most unexpected manner and what happened after that was sheer coincidence and an experience of a lifetime. My cousin had asked me to check out Manipal University in Karnataka due to my blogging background and check the facilities and details about the same, so that he could get his daughter admitted in one of their Programs. Parents are skeptical when it comes to sending girls to hostels due to the so many incidents getting reported in the Print media every now and then. I chalked out a plan to go there and visit the campus myself and figure out the whole thing before making any further progress on the admissions. Since we bloggers are in constant touch with each other, I declared it in all my friends groups that I would be visiting Manipal in January 2016. I was glad to know that my Blogger friends Rajeesh, Pankaj, Manpreet, Nikhil and Shwetha were planning to visit the nearby area in the same month. I requested them all to pre-pone or postpone their dates in such a fashion that we could catch up for 2 days in Manipal. I was happy when they not only responded positively to my request but also came up with a brilliant Idea. They suggested that we all actually go on a day long trip to see most of the Manipal University campus, the various streams and learn as much as possible about the same and then write individually, one post based on our experience at Manipal. The plan seemed good and we finalized the dates for meeting up at Mangalore on 18th Jan.
Since I am more concerned of the Hygiene and making of Food wherever I go, as a Food Blogger I wanted to see how the Food at Manipal is and how Manipal University takes care of that. We met Mr. Rahul from the Marketing Division along with Ms. Archana who first gave us valuable information and a brief history of the University and took us to Mr. Prasanna Kailaje – Director, Alumni Relations, Industry Liaison and Placements. A thorough gentleman and a fine human being that he is, he went out of the way to show us some unique features the Manipal University portal has in it and also gave a brief about the University campus as a whole which is spread over an area of 3 kms. He also directed us to check the “Life at Manipal” Theatre experience at Destination Manipal.
(Video credit – Anusha M K)
This presentation theatre is a state of the art experience which shows and interests both the parent and the child alike.Manipal University has one of the finest Museum in the country which has showcased not only the archeological evidences but also many Human and Animal body related anatomical parts in various stages which are helpful for a layman to understand Life cycle better. The management was kind enough to allow us to click snaps.We then met Dr. G K Prabhu – Director,Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) and he gave a good overview of the activities and changes he has brought about in the student life at Manipal after he had joined the college. We got the chance to see some fantastic projects like the Formula Manipal which is a world record holder, the Solar Car Prototype, Mars Rover, Quad-copter and the prestigious 2U Nano satellite project by Parikshit which is approved by ISRO and will be launched in space next year. We also had the pleasure of meeting a student of Manipal University who went on to become the Director, Admissions at Manipal, Dr.D. Srikanth Rao. A humble person with great knowledge and a soft spoken personality. He told us about a lot about the University in details and with honesty. We also met Dr. Narayana Sabahit who is the Registrar of Manipal University.
We then met Dr. Nandini Lakshmikantha who told us about the various events done all over the year for Fundraising to support NGO’s around. She also allowed us to see the Radio Manipal – a Radio station run by the students focusing on the problems of the poor in nearby areas. Mr.Padmakumar also showed us an advanced sound recording studio for voice overs. We got some useful information on a student’s future in communication there. We also saw the Library, which has a section dedicated to the Legend. Overall the School of Communication, Manipal University is a must watch. We saw the general Library too, and the Simulation center which is noteworthy.
Then came the time to see the most awaited faculty of mine, a topic which has always inspired me to learn, write and Review as and when I can. Welcome Group Graduate School of Hotel Administration’s Department of Culinary Arts led by Principal and Head of the Institution- Ms. Parvadhavardhini Gopalakrishnan. She told us briefly about the courses offered and of course about Michelin Chef Vikas Khanna. We were later directed to meet Chef Thirugnanasambantham popularly known as Chef Thiru who gave valuable insights on Food at Manipal. This fine gentleman doesn’t only take out time to show me the entire facility, but also gives a brief on the culinary arts looking at my interest in Food. We met Naresh Nayak who again was very helpful and Keith Nigli along with Paritosh Dabral who explained us the various stages of Studies in Foods and Condiments, Baking, Hospitality Management, Barware, Drinks. The advantage of this School is that they are the only school in India to have a license to procure wine from across the Globe and they spend around 35 Lac INR annually to get all varieties of wines to show them to the students. Every year Students from Universities all over the globe come to this college to take special lessons and exchange culinary know-how. The ambience of the place-awesome. Most importantly, in the Vice-Principal Chef Thiru, I found a Friend.
Finally, this interesting journey took us to one of the College Mess which has the capacity to house 1800 students for a single meal. The Mess is huge and I got my plate ready in some minutes. The food is hygienically made and definitely has a good taste unlike typical mess food. What I liked was the some Items like Chapati came every 10 mins made fresh and this added more excitement to my food tasting. I was also told that there are some select non-veg and healthy dishes served on select days of a week, which makes the Mess food even more liked by the masses. I was tempted to see the Kitchen and requested Mr.Kailaje. A generous person that he is, he took me to the Kitchen where I was introduced to the Chef. The Chef showed me the entire process of cooking and I was surprised to know that a total of 6000 meals a day on an average are made in the same mess in an entire day. I was shown the types of Gravies prepared, chopping section, Grinding section, the huge chapati maker, which makes 2500 chapati /hour, the bread and cake section and also the Huge fridge where the Vegetables and the non-veg stuff is stocked in separate fridges. These large fridges can accommodate 25 people inside them and are HUGE. One thing I noticed was these kitchens were very clean and everything appeared to be in place. Since I am a food blogger, I keep visiting various Hotel Kitchens which cater to almost 1000 customers per day, but when compared to this Kitchen which caters to 6000 meals a day, the cleanliness was awesome. I was impressed. Every day the number of people going to have a meal is sounded out to the Mess management. The Mess then prepares the quantity accordingly so that there is no wastage. The entire team is friendly, professional and nutrition conscious, which I saw from the chart put up in the mess so that every individual could keep his/her intake in check.
Since I had seen the Mess and typically my food experience was over, I still decided to check the surrounding area for the Restaurants in Manipal and ended up at Karavali Seafood Restaurant at Udipi for a meal. The owner came personally once he was told I was a food blogger and showed me the fresh catch he had for us. I asked him to take us on a Karavali cuisine journey and he did an awesome job. We ordered almost all the dishes and he brought us Yetti Sukka or Prawns Sukka, Meen Pollichattu a similar version of the Parsi Patra ni machchi, Nadan Fish Curry, Fish Bezule or Fish fry and one of the softest Neer Dosa I had tasted in a long while. The food was just awesome and I was convinced that my niece would not go hungry at Manipal while studying hard for her future.
Keep watching https://fashionablefoodz.com for more detailed reviews on #DiscoverManipal in my coming posts.
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