Respecting patients’ rights is a fundamental aspect of providing quality healthcare. The present investigation attempts to explore the awareness among patients about their rights in a coastal township in India. A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was carried out among 215 patients admitted to the wards of a tertiary care teaching hospital in Mangalore. Awareness among patients regarding their rights varied for various issues and ranged between 48.4 and 87.4 %. Awareness about patients’ rights was independent of gender, socio-economic and educational status. Doctors were found to be the most common source of information for patient’s about their rights in the study. Doctors must conform to the relevant legislations and involve patients in all aspects of healthcare. There is a need to increase awareness among patients about their rights to ensure informed decisions and better health care services.