The town is closely related with the great Indian epic Ramayana. According to Hindu mythology Lord Ganesha placed a Shivling on the ground. This Shivling belonged to the demon king Ravana. Ravana tried hard to pull the Shivling from the ground but in vain.
Gokarna is the place where this incident occurred. During this effort by Ravana, a few pieces of the Shivling were scattered. One of these pieces fell in the place which is currently called Surathkal. The town got its name derived from “Shiradakal” meaning “Headstone” in Tulu language.
This place was a village panchayat in the beginning. Later it became a town Panchayat and municipality and now it has blended in with Mangalore city. Now it has one of India’s best Technical Institutes namely National Institute of Karnataka (NITK). Also a few major industries like Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Limited (MRPL), Mangalore Fertilizers limited (MFL) etc., are established here.
Being located on the shores of the Arabian sea, Surathkal has a few scenic beaches. The beach in front of Sadasiva temple is very tidy and picturesque. The private beach of NITK is also open to the public.
This place is just 5 km away from Surathkal. Here tourists can see the Arabian Sea welcoming the lower course of the Pavanje river. This place is seldom visited. So travelers can breathe in the coastal breeze in a calm environment.
This monastery (mutt) was established by Sri Madhwacharya head of the Vaishnavite sect. It houses an idol of Lord Kalingamardana Krishna. The mutt is just 3 km away from Surathkal. Travelers can also worship Lord Hanuman in the Mukyaprana temple inside this mutt. The mutt is entirely constructed of wood.
In Tulu language, Katipalla literally means “Wild Stream”. It is 5 km from Surathkal. Travelers can see an impressive stream originating in this place. From here it flows downwards till Krishnapura mutt and merges with other streams further down. Long ago this place was covered by dense green forest, with animals like tiger, fox, and hyena. Most of the residents of this place are from Panambur.
This place is famous for the Mahalingeshwara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located on the west side of NH-17.
Located on the banks of river Nandhini is a small hamlet named Chelairu. Kandige is situated in this village. Here tourists can visit the historical temple which houses a deity called Sree Dharmarasu Ullaya.
Uduppi is just 40 km from Surathkal. Here tourists can visit the well known Uduppi Sri Krishna temple which was established by Sri Madhwacharya in the 13th century. Also this city is famous for its Vedic vegetarian cuisine.
The nearest airport is at Mangalore city (15 km). Surathkal railhead is on the Konkan railway which links travelers with major points in India. It is well connected by roads to the nearby places.