Dakshina Kannada

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Dakshina Kannada
ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಕನ್ನಡ
Tannirbhavi Beach
Karnataka-districts-Dakshina Kannada.png
Location of Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka,India
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Country  India
State Karnataka
Headquarters Mangalore
Talukas Mangalore, Sullia, Puttur, Belthangady, Bantwal
 • Total 4,559 km2 (1,760 sq mi)
Area rank 34
 • Total 2,083,625
 • Density 457/km2 (1,180/sq mi)
 • Official Tulu
 • Regional Konkani, Beary Bhashe, Are BhasheKannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 5750xx(Mangalore), 574xxx
Telephone code + 91 (082xx)
Vehicle registration KA 19, KA 21, KA 62
Website www.dk.nic.in

Dakshina Kannada is a coastal district in the state of Karnataka in India. Sheltered by the Western Ghats on the east and surrounded by the Arabian Sea on the west, Dakshina Kannada receives abundant rainfall during the monsoon.[2][3] It is bordered by Udupi District to the north, Chikkamagaluru district to the northeast, Hassan District to the east, Kodagu to the southeast, and Kasaragod District in Kerala to the south.[4] Mangalore city is the district headquarters of Dakshina Kannada.[5]

Map showing the taluks of Dakshina Kannada District

The district is divided into five talukas namely Mangalore, Bantwal, Puttur, Sullia, and Belthangady.[6] It used to include 4 northern talukas, Udupi, Kundapur, Karkala and Byndoor, but these were separated in August 1997 to form Udupi district.[7] Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kasaragod are often called Tulu Nadu, as Tulu is the majority language in the region.[8] The Alupas ruled this region between the 8th and 14th century CE as a feudatory of all the major Kannada empires of those times and it is for this reason that the Tulu speaking districts are a part of Karnataka.[9]

Important towns in Dakshina Kannada include Mangalore, Bantwal, Vittal, Puttur, Sullia, Surathkal, Moodabidri, Uppinangady, Venur, Mulki, Dharmasthala, Ujire, Belthangady and Subramanya.[10] The district is known for pristine beaches, red clay roof tiles (Mangalore tiles), cashew nut and its products, banking, education, healthcare and exotic cuisine.[11]


Before 1860, Dakshina Kannada was part of a district called Kanara, which was under a single administration in the Madras Presidency.[12] In 1860, the British split the area into South Kanara and North Kanara, the former being retained in the Madras Presidency, while the latter was made a part of Bombay Province in 1862.[13] Kundapura taluk was earlier included in North Kanara, but was re-included in South Kanara later.[14] During the Reorganisation of States in 1956, Kasaragod was split and transferred to the newly created Kerala state and Dakshina Kannada was transferred to Mysore state (present day Karnataka).[15]

South Canara was a district under the British empire which included the present Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Kasaragod districts and Aminidivi islands.[12][16] Canara district was bifurcated in 1859 to form North Canara and South Canara.[17] Dakshina Kannada became a district of Mysore State in 1956 which later was renamed Karnataka in 1973. Kasaragod became a district of Kerala during the Re-organization of States and Aminidivi islands later became a part of Lakshadweep.[18] The Udupi district was formed from the northern taluks of Dakshina Kannada in 1997.[19] Later, the Karnataka Government, for the purpose of administration, split the greater Dakshina Kannada district into Udupi and present day Dakshina Kannada districts on 15 August 1997.[7] Three taluks of the former district namely Udupi, Karkala and Kundapura formed the new Udupi district.[20]


Religions in Dakshina Kannada
Religion Percent

source: http://www.census2011.co.in/data/religion/district/252-dakshina-kannada.html

According to the 2011 census Dakshina Kannada has a population of 2,089,649,[21] roughly equal to the nation of Macedonia[22] or the US state of New Mexico.[23] This gives it a ranking of 220th in India (out of a total of 640).[21] The district has a population density of 457 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,180/sq mi).[24] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 9.8%.[21] Dakshina Kannada has a sex ratio of 1018 females for every 1000 males[21] and a literacy rate of 88.62%. The literacy rate of Mangalore city is 94%.[21]

Tuluvas, distributed among the Billava, Mogaveera, Bunt, Koraga, Kulala, and Devadiga communities, are the largest ethnic group in the district.[25] The Konkani people, Brahmins, Holeyas, Vokkaligas, the hill-tribes (Koragas), Muslims, Mangalorean Catholics and Arebhashe Gowdas comprise rest of the population.[26] The Brahmins belong chiefly to the Shivalli, Saraswat, Havyaka, and Kota sub-sections.[27] The major languages spoken in Dakshina Kannada are Tulu, Beary Bhashe, Kannada, Konkani and Are Bhashe.[28]


Lighthouse alongside Surathkal Beach

The district geography consists of seashore in the west and Western Ghats in the east. The soil is mostly lateritic type, characterised by high iron and aluminium content.[29] The major rivers are Netravathi, Kumaradhara, Gurupura (Phalguni), Shambhavi, Nandini or Pavanje and Payaswini which all join the Arabian sea.[30] At Uppinangadi, the Netravathi and Kumaradhara rivers rise during the monsoon and meet, this event is called "Sangam", which in Sanskrit means confluence.[31] Near Mangalore, an estuary is formed by the union of the rivers Netravathi and the Gurupura which merge into the Arabian Sea.[32]

The topography of the district is plain up to 30 km (18.64 mi) inside the coast and changes to undulating hilly terrain sharply towards the east in the Western Ghats.[33] Teak, bamboo and rosewood trees are found in the hilly areas towards the east.[34] The Geological Survey of India has identified this district as a moderately earthquake-prone region and categorised it in the Seismic III Zone.[35] In rural Dakshina Kannada, houses are in the midst of a farm field or plantations of coconut or arecanut, separated by a few hundred metres.[36]

Mangalore skyline from Kadri

Education and research

In Dakshina Kannada, primary and secondary education have reached every section of the society.[37][38] A host of educational institutes offering courses in Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy, Nursing, Hotel and Catering, Law and Management are located in this district.[11] Dakshina Kannada is home to the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) Surathkal, one of India's top Engineering colleges.[39] The College of Fisheries is located at Yekkur near Kankanady.[40][41] Mangalore University is a public university in Konaje near Mangalore. It has jurisdiction over the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kodagu.[42] The district is home to many research institutes such as the Directorate of Cashew Research at Puttur.[43] The Central Plantation Crops Research Institute is situated at Vitla in the Bantwal taluk.[44]

The various Engineering colleges in the district include St. Joseph Engineering College, KVG College of Engineering, Mangalore Institute of Technology & Engineering, Canara Engineering College, P A College of Engineering, Srinivas Institute of Technology, Srinivas School of Engineering, Vivekananda College of Engineering & Technology, Shree Devi Institute of Technology, Alvas Institute of Engineering & Technology, Karavali Institute of Technology, Sahyadri College of Engineering & Management, M.V.Shetty Institute of Technology, SDM Institute of Technology, Bearys Institute of Technology and Prasanna College of Engineering & Technology.[45]

The various Medical colleges in the district include A J Institute of Medical Science, Father Muller Medical College, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Kasturba Medical College, Srinivas Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Yenepoya Medical College & Research Institute and KVG Medical College. Manipal College of Dental Sciences Mangalore, A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, A J Institute of Dental Sciences, Yenepoya Dental College & Research Institute and Srinivas Institute of Dental Sciences are some of the Dental colleges.[46]

Cultures, traditions and rituals

Yakshagana stage
Traditional House in Dakshina Kannada

Even today, most people of the district follow the traditions, customs and rituals.[47] The district has many temples of Hindu gods and goddesses, which are ancient and have deep spiritualism attached to them.[28] The people of Dakshina Kannada worship the serpent god (Subramanya).[48] According to legend, the district was reclaimed by Parashurama from the sea.[49] Nagaradhane or Snake worship is practiced according to the popular belief of the Naga Devatha to go underground and guard the species on the top.[50] Rituals such as Bhuta Kola are performed to satisfy the spirits.[28] Kambla, a form of buffalo race on muddy track in the paddy field, is organised in the 16 sites across the district.[51] Cock fight (Kori Katta in Tulu) is another past time of the rural agrarian people.[52]

Yakshagana is the popular folk art of this district.[53] The Yakshagana is a night-long dance and drama performance practiced in Tulu Nadu with great fanfare.[54][55] Pilivesha (Tiger dance) is a unique form of folk dance in the region fascinating the young and the old alike, which is performed during Dasara and Krishna Janmashtami.[56] Karadi Vesha (Bear Dance) is another popular dance performed during Dasara.[57][58] The people of Dakshina Kannada also celebrate traditional Hindu festivals like Yugadi (Ugadi), Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesha Chaturthi, Navaratri (Dasara), Deepavali, Ati Hunime etc.[28]


In Dakshina Kannada bus services are run by private players and the state-run KSRTC.[59] The district had public limited (public listed) companies running transport business even before the independence of India in 1947.[60]

The district has four national highways connecting parts of Karnataka and India. NH-17 (now NH-66) connects the district with Udupi, Karwar, Mumbai, Goa and Kochi. NH-13 (now NH-169) connects Sholapur in Maharashtra with Dakshina Kannada. NH-48 (now NH-75) connects the district with Bengaluru, Kunigal, Hassan and Sakleshpura.[61] Recently the state highway connecting Mangalore to Mudigere was declared as National Highway-234. The NH-234 connects Mangalore to Viluppuram in Tamil Nadu via Charmadi, Mudigere, Belur, Halebeedu, Chintamani and Vellore. Major ghat sections in Dakshina Kannada include Shiradi Ghat (Nelyadi to Sakleshpura), Charmadi Ghat (Charmadi to Kottigehara), Sampaje Ghat (Sampaje to Madikeri) and Bisle Ghat (Subramanya to Sakleshpura, popularly known as Green Route by trekkers).[62] State Highway 88 (SH-88) connects Dakshina Kannada to Mysore. It starts at Mani and passes through the towns of Puttur, Sullia, Madikeri, Kushalnagar and Hunsur.[63] It ends at Mysore spanning a total length of 220 kilometres (140 mi).[64]

Highways passing through Dakshina Kannada


Starting Point

Ending Point

National Highway 66 (previously NH 17) Panvel, Maharashtra Edapally, Kerala
National Highway 75 (previously NH 48) Mangaluru Bengaluru
National Highway 169 (previously NH 13) Mangaluru Sholapur, Maharashtra
National Highway 234 Mangaluru Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu
State Highway 88 Mani Mysuru

In 1907, the Southern Railway connected Mangalore with Calicut (Kozhikode) along the coastline.[65] This railway line helped connect the district with other places of the Madras presidency during the colonial rule.[66] The Konkan Railway (1998) connects Dakshina Kannada with Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan and Kerala by train.[67] There are direct trains from Mangalore to Mumbai, Thane, Chennai, Goa and Trivandrum.[68] Train services operate daily to Bangalore via Hassan and Kukke Subramanya after the conversion from metre gauge to broad gauge track.[69]

The Dakshina Kannada district has a seaport at Panambur. The seaport managed by New Mangalore Port Trust handles cargo, timber, petroleum and coffee exports.[70] It is one of the major seaports of India.[71]

The district is connected by air through the Mangalore Airport at Bajpe. Airlines such as Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet offer daily flights to national and international destinations near the Persian Gulf.[72]

Historic sites

The following are the historic places to visit in Dakshina Kannada:[73][74]

Sri Manjunatha Temple at Dharmasthala
Masjid Thaqwa Pumpwell at Mangaluru


Dakshina Kannada features a Tropical Monsoon climate (Am) according to the Köppen climate classification.[78] The average annual rainfall in Dakshina Kannada is 4,030 millimetres (159 in).[73] The rainfall varies from 3,796.9 millimetres (149 in) at the Mangalore coast, 4,530 millimetres (178 in) at Moodabidri and 4,329 millimetres (170 in) at Puttur near the Western Ghats.[79] The average humidity is 75% and peaks in July at 89%.[80]

Climate data for Mangalore, India
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36.3
Average high °C (°F) 32.8
Average low °C (°F) 20.8
Record low °C (°F) 16.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1.1
Average rainy days 0.2 0 0.3 1.6 7 23.5 27.4 24.9 13.7 9.1 3.6 0.6 111.9
Average relative humidity (%) 62 66 68 71 71 87 89 88 85 79 73 65 75.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 313 296 299 292 276 119 94 133 178 226 271 292 2,789
Source #1: India Meteorological Department - Monthly mean maximum & minimum temperature and total rainfall[81][82]
Source #2: Weather-And-Climate (Humidity and Sunshine hours)[80][83]
Climate data for 1994 rainfall in Mangalore, India
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average rainfall mm (inches) 2.5
Source #1: India Meteorological Department - Mangalore climate summary from 1957-2000
Source #2: TuTiempo - Mangalore climate from 1973-2014

Climate data for Puttur, India
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.3
Average low °C (°F) 20.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0
Source: Climate-Data.org - Climate Table of Puttur, Karnataka, India[79]


Paddy cultivation in Dakshina Kannada
Arecanut plantation of rural Dakshina Kannada

Agriculture which was once a major occupation of the people of Dakshina Kannada, has now taken a back seat because of the influx of money from natives settled in other cities, states and countries.[86] Significant number of people from this district work in the Gulf (Middle East) countries and other states of India.[87] Farms and fields are being converted into residential plots and commercial (shopping) complexes.[88] Horticulture though has made some strides, and measures have been taken to improve the fruit plantation sector.[89] The main crops of Dakshina Kannada are Paddy, Coconut, Arecanut, Black Pepper, Cashew and Cocoa. Rubber, Banana and Vanilla crops are also cultivated in the Sullia taluk.[90] Rice is generally cultivated three seasons in a year, Karthika or Yenel (May–October), Suggi (October to January) and Kolake (January to April).[91] Urad or Black gram is grown in some areas during the season of Suggi.[92] The Karnataka Milk Federation has a milk processing plant at Kulshekar in Mangalore. This plant processes milk procured from the cattle owned by farmers of the district.[86]


Main article: Mangalorean cuisine
Mangalorean Parfait Ice cream
Malpuri, a sweet from Dakshina Kannada

Some of the well known dishes in this district include Kori Rotti (dry rice flakes dipped in chicken gravy), Bangude Pulimunchi (spicy sour silver-grey mackerels), Beeja-Manoli Upkari, Neer dosa, Boothai Gasi, Kadubu, Malpuri and Patrode.[93] In coastal Karnataka, the Mangalorean Fish Curry is a popular dish.[94] The Konkani community's specialities include Daali thoy, Bibbe-upkari (cashew based), Val val, Avnas ambe sasam, Kadgi chakko, Paagila podi, and Chane gashi.[95] Mangalore bajji, also known as Golibaje is a popular snack made from maida, curd, rice flour, chopped onion, coriander leaves, coconut, jeera, green chillies, and salt.[96] Vegetarian cuisine in Mangalore, also known as Udupi cuisine, is known and liked throughout the state and the coastal region.[97] Being a coastal district, fish forms the staple diet of most people.[98] Mangalorean Catholics' Sanna-Dukra Maas ("Sanna" means Idli fluffed with toddy or yeast and "Dukra Maas" means Pork), Pork Bafat, Sorpotel and the Mutton Biryani of the Muslims are well-known dishes.[99][100] Pickles such as happala, sandige and puli munchi are unique to Mangalore.[101]

Commerce and industry

File:Forum Fiza Mall.jpg
Forum Fiza Mall

The district along with Udupi district is known as "The Cradle of Indian banking".[102] Major nationalised banks of India such as Canara Bank, Corporation Bank, Syndicate Bank, Vijaya Bank and private sector Karnataka Bank evolved from these two districts.[103]

Houses with Mangalore Tiles

Red clay tile (Mangalore Tiles), Cashew processing factories and Beedi industry once flourished in this district.[104] Service sector is booming with the setting up of professional education institutes and information technology related services (IT & ITES).[105]

As the district is on the shore of the Arabian sea, fishing is one of the major occupation of many people.[106] The major fishing places are Bunder (Old harbour), Panambur, Surathkal, Kotekar and Sasihitlu.[107]

The major industries in Dakshina Kannada concentrated around Mangalore are Mangalore Chemical and Fertilizers Ltd. (MCF), Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd. (KIOCL),[108] The Canara Workshops Limited (manufacturers of Canara Springs) Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), BASF, TOTAL GAZ, Bharati Shipyard Limited(BSL) etc.[109] There is a chocolate manufacturing plant at Puttur run by CAMPCO.[110]

Major information technology and outsourcing companies have started locating their facilities in Mangalore namely Infosys, Lasersoft infosystems Ltd., Mphasis BPO, etc.[111] The Karnataka government has planned to develop IT parks across the state including Mangalore.[112] Two such parks are under construction, one Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) at Ganjimutt and a second IT SEZ near Mangalore University, while a third IT SEZ is being proposed at Ganjimutt.[113] The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to set up a multiproduct SEZ (Special Economic Zone) with an investment of over Rs. 35,000 crore.[114] Another IT SEZ of 2 million square feet (180,000 m2) is under construction at Thumbe by the BA group.[115] This will include a business centre, convention centre, mall and helipad facility.[116]

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