The district of Dakshina Kannada(Mangalore) is situated on the western coast of India, about half way between Bombay and Cape Comorin. From North to South, it is a long narrow strip of territory and from east to west it is a broken low plateau, which spreads from the Western Ghats to the Arabian Sea. The major part of its length lies along the seaboard. The area is intersected by many rivers and streams and presents a varied and most picturesque scenery.
Dakshina Kannda (Erstwhile South Kanara) is the southern coastal district of Karnataka State with an area of 4866 sq. KM. The district lies between 12 57' and 13 50’ North Latitude and 74 and 75 50’ East Longitude. It is about 177 kms, in length and 40 kms in breadth at its narrowest and about 80 kms at its widest part. It has a population of 18,97,730 with a density of 389 per square KM. Mangalore is the district head quarters of Dakshina Kannada 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 Kasargod districts are often called Tulu Nadu, as Tulu is the majority language in the region. However, Tulu language and its people have been closely associated with Kannada language as Tulu has been written in Kannada script for many centuries. 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 ecncouraged and made Kannada their official language. It is for this reason that the Tulu speaking districts are a part of Karnataka state.
Before 1860, Dakshina Kannada was part of a greater district called Canara, which was under a single administration in the Madras Presidency.
In 1860, the British split the area into South Canara and North Canara, the former being retained in the Madras Presidency, while the later was made a part of Bombay Province in 1862. Coondapur taluka was earlier included in North Canara, but was re-included in South Canara later.
After independence, South Canara was divided to Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. The then undivided Dakshina Kannada district consists of the present day borders of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kasaragod.
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 in the year 1997 A.D.
The district is famous for red clay roof tiles ( Mangalore tiles ),cashew nut & its products banking , education and of course for its exotic cuisine.
The mainstream Kannada speakers are a minority in this district. However, three dialects of Kannada, namely Havyaka, Kundapura kannada and Are Bhashe are spoken along with majority Tulu language and Konkani language. There is also a sizeable population of Muslims called Bearys, who speak their own dialect namely Beary bashe.
Some Malayali literature describe the region stretching from Chandragiri River in Kasaragod District of Kerala to Gokarna in Uttara Kannada as Tulu Nadu. However, present day Tulu cultural boundary is limited to Udupi taluk of Udupi district.
The people of Dakshina Kannada worship serpent god ( Subramanya ).According to Legend ,The district was reclaimed by Parashurama from sea.Hence worship of Serpent is done to original inhabitats.Many rituals like nagaradhane are performed.Worship of spirits is prevalent in these areas. Rituals like Bhuta Kola are done to satisfy the spirits. Kambla a form of buffalo race in muddy track in the paddy field is organised.Cock fight ( Kori Katta in Tulu ) is another past time of rural agarian people,but unfortunately has turned in to gambling .