Dakshina Kannada

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Dakshina Kannada
ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಕನ್ನಡ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ
South kanara
Monsoon scene of rural Dakshina Kannada
Monsoon scene of rural Dakshina Kannada
Dakshina Kannada is located in Karnataka
Dakshina Kannada
Dakshina Kannada
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: 12°36′N 75°18′E / 12.6°N 75.3°E / 12.6; 75.3Coordinates: 12°36′N 75°18′E / 12.6°N 75.3°E / 12.6; 75.3
Country  India
State Karnataka
Region Tulu Nadu
Headquarters Mangalore
Talukas Mangalore, Bantwal, Puttur, Sullia, Belthangady
 • Total 4,866 km2 (1,879 sq mi)
Area rank 34
 • Total 2,089,649
 • Density 430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
 • Official Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 5750xx(Mangalore), 574xxx
Telephone code + 91 (082xx)
Vehicle registration KA 19, KA 21, KA 62

Dakshina Kannada, also known as South Kanara, is a coastal district in the state of Karnataka in India. 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. The Arabian Sea bounds it on the west. Mangalore is the headquarters and chief city of the district. Dakshina Kannada district has an area 4,866 square kilometres, and a population density of 430 persons per square kilometre. There are 354 villages in the district.

The district is divided into five talukas, Mangalore, Bantwal, Puttur, Sullia, and Belthangady. It used to include three northern talukas, Udupi, Kundapur and Karkal, but these were separated in August 1997 to form Udupi district. Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kasaragod taluk are often called Tulu Nadu, as Tulu is the majority language in the region. The Alupas who 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 state.

Important towns in Dakshina Kannada include Mangalore, Bantwal,Vittal, Puttur, Sullia, Moodabidri, Kadaba, Surathkal, Mulki and Dharmasthala.


Before 1860, Dakshina Kannada was part of a district called Kanara, which was under a single administration in the Madras Presidency. In 1860, the British split the area into South Kanara and North Kanara, the former being retained in the Madras Presidency, while the later was made a part of Bombay Province in 1862.[2] Kundapura taluk was earlier included in North Kanara, but was re-included in South Kanara later.

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).

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. Three taluks of former DK district namely Udupi, Karkala and Kundapura were made into new Udupi district.

The district is famous for red clay roof tiles (Mangalore tiles), cashew nut & its products, banking, education (professional and non professional) and of course for its exotic cuisine.

South Canara[edit]

Main article: South Canara

South Canara was a district under the British empire, located at 13°00′N 75°24′E / 13.00°N 75.40°E / 13.00; 75.40.[3] It was bifurcated in 1859 from Canara district. It was the undivided Dakshina Kannada district. It was renamed as Dakshina Kannada in 1947.


According to the 2011 census Dakshina Kannada has a population of 2,089,649,[4] roughly equal to the nation of Macedonia[5] or the US state of New Mexico.[6] This gives it a ranking of 220th in India (out of a total of 640).[4] The district has a population density of 457 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,180/sq mi) .[4] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 9.8%.[4] Dakshina Kannada has a sex ratio of 1018 females for every 1000 males,[4] and a literacy rate of 88.62%.[4]

The people who first settled here were called Tuluvas.Billava, Mogaveera , Bunt, , koragas, Kulala, Devadiga s are the major communities of the Tuluva ethnic group. Other Tuluvas, Brahmins, Holeyas, Vokkaligas, the hill-tribes (Koragas), Muslims and the Mangalorean Catholics comprise rest of the population. The Brahmins belong chiefly to the Shivalli, Saraswat, Havyaka, and Kota sub-sections. Tulu, Beary Bashe, Kannada and Konkani are the most widely spoken language of the district.


Dakshina Kannada landscape
Western Ghats view near Kukke in Dakshina Kannada district

The district geography consists of sea shore in the west and Western Ghats in the east. The major rivers are Netravathi, Kumaradhara, Phalguni, Shambhavi, Nandini or Pavanje and Payaswini which all join Arabian sea. Vast areas of evergreen forests which once covered this district, have been destroyed due to rapid and unplanned urbanisation and hectic commercial activities. Teak, Karmara (Ebony), Wild Jack, Bhogi and many other native trees have disappeared from many areas of Dakshina Kannada district. Unlike other villages of India, where cluster of houses surrounded by farm fields make a village. In Dakshina Kannada district, houses are in midst of farm field or garden or plantation of coconut or arecanut, many times houses in a village are separated by few hundred metres or yards. The typical scenario of house in midst of farm fields or garden or forest has been disappearing. The rapid increase in population,income and also breakup of joint family system has led to construction boom from 1990's.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Weatherbase[7] For graphing purposes, the precipitation numbers of this graph are at a scale of 1:10.


Tulu is the native languages of majority of people living in Dakshina Kannada district,.[8] Other Languages like Beary Bashe, Kannada and Konkani is also spoken here. English is also used for communicational purposes in Dakshina Kannada District.

Historic Sites[edit]

Cultures,Traditions and rituals[edit]

Yakshagana stage

Dakshina Kannada can be said as land of culture, tradition and rituals. Even today, most people of the district follow traditions, customs and rituals. The district has many temples of Hindu gods and goddess, which are ancient and have deep spiritualism attached to them. The people of Dakshina Kannada worship the serpent god (Subramanya). According to legend, the district was reclaimed by Parashurama from the sea. Hence worship of serpent is done to original inhabitants. Nagaradhane or Snake worship is practised according to the popular belief of the Naga Devatha to go underground and guard the species on the top.[9] Worship of spirits is prevalent in these areas. Rituals like Bhuta Kola are done to satisfy the spirits. Kambla, a form of buffalo race on muddy track in the paddy field, is organised. On a religious and cultural level, Theyyam deities are propitiated through blood sacrifice or cock-sacrifice which does also include the cockfight and is a prime example of "cultural synthesis of 'little' and 'great' cultures".[10] Cock fight (Kori Katta in Tulu) is another pastime of rural agarian people, but unfortunately has turned into gambling.

Yakshagana is the popular folk art of this district. The Yakshagana is a night-long dance and drama performance practiced in Tulu Nadu with great fanfare.[11][12] 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.[13] Karadi Vesha (Bear Dance) is one more popular dance performed during Dasara.[14] Kambala or buffalo race is conducted in water filled paddy fields.

The people of DakshinaKannada district also celebrate traditional Hindu festivals like Yugadi ( Ugadi), Krishna Janmashatami, Ganesha Chaturthi, Navaratri ( Dasara ), Deepavali, Ati Hunime etc.


Dakshina Kannada has good network of roads.[dubious ] Bus services are run by both private players & the state run KSRTC. The district had public limited (public listed) companies running transport business even before independence of India in 1947.[15][16] The district has three national highways connecting to different parts of Karnataka state and India. NH-17 connects district with Udupi, Karwar, Mumbai, Goa and Kochi. NH-13 connects Sholapur with the Dakshina Kannada. NH-48 connects district with Bengaluru,Hassan and Sakleshpura.Recently the state highway connecting Mangalore to Mudigere has been declared as national highway -234 . The NH-234 will connect Mangalore in Karnataka state to Villipuram in Tamil Nadu via Charmadi, Mudigere, Belur, Halebeedu Chintamani and Vellore.[17]

The first railway line was laid around 1907 A.D. connecting city of Mangalore with Azhikal. This railway line helped to connect district with other places of then Madras presidency. The Konkan Railway (1998) connects Dakshina Kannada with Maharastra, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan and Kerala by train. There are direct trains from Mangalore to Mumbai, Thane, Chennai, Goa and Trivandrum. Many trains starting from Kerala to Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi pass through this district. Recently train services have started to Bangalore via Hassan and Kukke Subramanya after conversion from metre gauge to broad gauge track. The Dakshina Kannada district has a seaport at Panambur. The sea port managed by New Mangalore Port Trust handles cargo,timber and petroleum crude among others. It is one of the major sea ports on western coast of India. The district is connected by air through Mangalore International Airport at Bajpe.It is the only district in Karnataka state to be connected by road, train, air and sea .


Arecanut plantation in DK

Agriculture once a major occupation of the people of Dakshina Kannada district, has now taken back seat because of influx of money from natives settled in other districts, states and countries. Significant number of people from this district work in Gulf (Middle East) countries and other states of India. Farms and fields are converted into residential plots and commercial (shopping) complexes. Horticulture though made some strides, has not prospered because of high labour cost and non availability of labour. Automation is not possible because of small holding of lands by farmers and undulating geography of land. The main crops of Dakshina Kannada district are Paddy, Coconut, Arecanut, Black Pepper and Cocoa. Rice is generally cultivated three seasons in a year, Karthika or Yenel (May–October), Suggi (October to January) and Kolake (January to April).[18] This is subjected to availability of water for the rice or paddy crop. Urad or Black gram is grown in some areas during season of Suggi. Cultivation of vegetables and fruits in fields and gardens for own consumption and selling has declined substantially. The district has APMC market in various taluks for the procurement of agriculture produce. The Karnataka Milk Federation has a milk processing plant at Kulshekara in Mangalore. The plant process milk procured from the cattle owned by farmers of the district.

Commerce and Industry[edit]

The district is called as Cradle of Indian banking and is the most industrialized district in Karnataka.

Major nationalised banks of India like Canara Bank, Corporation Bank, Syndicate Bank, Vijaya Bank and private sector Karnataka Bank evolved from this district.

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

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

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

Major information technology and outsourcing companies have started locating their facilities in Mangalore. viz. Infosys, Lasersoft infosystems Ltd., MPhasis BPO, etc. Wipro also plans to set up its development facility soon in Mangalore. Three dedicated IT parks are currently under construction. Two such parks are under construction, one Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) at Ganjimutt and a second IT SEZ near Mangalore University. A third IT SEZ is being proposed at Ganjimutt. Another IT SEZ of 2 million square feet (180,000 m2) is under construction at Thumbe by the BA group. This will include a business centre, convention centre, mall and helipad facility.[19] 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.[20]

Education and Research[edit]

House in Dakshina Kannada

The Dakshina Kannada district is in fore front in education.Primary and secondary education has reached every section of society. The district's literacy rate is far above national average. In the higher education (Degree and above), Dakshina Kannada district has made tremendous progress. The professional education has made a mark in the country. Students from different parts of India flock to Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts because of high standards of education. A host of educational institutes offering courses in Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy, Nursing, Hotel & catering, Law and Management are located in this district. Dakshina Kannada is home to the prestigious National Institute Of Technology Karnataka (NIT-K) Surathkal, one of India's foremost engineering universities. There is college of fisheries.[21] located at Yekkur near Kankanady. The district is home to many research institutes like National Research Centre for Cashew at Puttur. Another is a Central Plantation Crops Research Institute at Vitla.

Several colleges affiliated to VTU offer post graduate courses in science and technology, and over 6 have been designated as Research Centres for PhD. These are located in Mangalore, Moodabidri, Puttur, Bantwal, Ujire and Sullia.

Demand for a separate Tulunadu state[edit]

From India's independence and the following reorganization of states, the Tuluvas had been demanding official language status for Tulu and a separate state for themselves comprising Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod District of North Kerala. Though a bit subdued in between, this demand has grown stronger in recent years. Several organizations like the Tulu Rajya Horata Samiti have taken up the cause of the Tuluvas and frequent meetings and demonstrations are held across towns in Tulunadu (like Mangalore, Udupi etc.) to voice their demands of inclusion of Tulu as an official language in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution and teaching of Tulu in schools in Tulu Nadu, and ultimately the creation of Tulu Nadu state for Tulu ethnic people.[22][23][24][25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.census2011.co.in/census/district/252-dakshina-kannada.html
  2. ^ "Imperial Gazetteer of India, South Kanara". dsal.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 4 September 2009. 
  3. ^ Patsy Lozupone, Bruce M. Beehler, Sidney Dillon Ripley.(2004).Ornithological gazetteer of the Indian subcontinent, p. 82.Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International. ISBN 1-881173-85-2.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  5. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Macedonia 2,077,328 July 2011 est. 
  6. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. New Mexico - 2,059,179 
  7. ^ "Mangalore, India". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  8. ^ "Imperial Gazetteer of India, South Kanara". dsal.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 4 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Nagarapanchami Naadige Doddadu". Mangalorean.Com. Retrieved 28 January 2008. 
  10. ^ A Panorama of Indian Culture: Professor A. Sreedhara Menon Felicitation Volume - K. K. Kusuman - Mittal Publications, 1990 - p.127-128"[1]"
  11. ^ "Yakshagana". SZCC, Tamil Nadu. Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2007. 
  12. ^ Plunkett, Richard (2001). South India. Lonely Planet. p. 53. ISBN 1-86450-161-8. 
  13. ^ Pinto, Stanley G (26 October 2001). "Human `tigers' face threat to health". Times of India. Retrieved 7 December 2007. 
  14. ^ Stephen D'Souza. "What's in a Name?". daijiworld.com. Retrieved 4 March 2008. 
  15. ^ "The Beginning". canarasprings.in. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Wheels of change turn Karnataka State Transport Corporation into winner". timesofindia. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  17. ^ NH-234 "DK's New NH to connect three states". timesofindia.com. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "South Kanra". http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/. Retrieved 4 September 2006. 
  19. ^ "Two more plans for EPIP cleared". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2006. 
  20. ^ "ONGC's huge outlay for Mangalore SEZ". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 19 September 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2006. 
  21. ^ "College of Fisheries, Mangaluru". http://www.kvafsu.kar.nic.in. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2009. 
  22. ^ http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:TF4m2ofQx1UJ:www.deccanherald.com/Archives/oct222006/district1955220061020.asp+tulu+separate+state&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=in[dead link]
  23. ^ News headlines
  24. ^ "Tulu organisations to meet soon". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 6 March 2008. 
  25. ^ Beltangady Litterateur Kudyady Vishwanath Rai Voices Need for Tulunadu State

External links[edit]