Dakshina Kannada is a revenue district of Karnataka State in India ( Bharat ). It was previously known as South Canara or South Kanara during British rule. Udupi district which was once part of undivided Dakshina Kannada district was bifurcated in 1997 A.D. by government of Karnataka state. Mangalore city or Mangaluru as it is now called officially is the district headquarters.
The Dakshina Kannada district lies between Arabian sea on the west and Western ghats ( Sahaydri mountains ) on the east. Dakshina kannada district is part of Karavali or coastal region of Karnatak sometimes called as Tulunadu or Tulunad.
Dakshina Kannada district is a part of Tulunadu or Tulunad region which has distinct culture, climate , customs and traditions from the rest part of India. Tulu language is widely spoken by the people here. It is also the place of beautiful Hindu temples. Many of rituals and customs are unique to this region. The cuisine of the region has travelled far wide with immigration of the many people to various parts of the world.
Tulu is the local language of Dakshina Kannada district which is spoken and understood by most people. Kannada has next following. Konkani, Malayalam are spoken by some people. English is understood especially by educated.Signboards and display boards are written in Kannada, but in towns even English can be seen.
Dakshina Kannada district is connected by many national highways. It is connected to Bengaluru the capital of Karnataka state by national highway NH-75 ( previous number NH-48 ). Another important highway is NH-66 ( formerly NH-17 ) which connects to Udupi, Karwar, Goa, Mumbai to north and Kasargod and Kochi in south direction along coastline of Arabian sea. NH-13 is national highway connecting to Sholapur via Shivamogga.NH-234 routes neighboring district of Chikmagalur, Hassan to Sira in Tumkur district.
Konkan railway line connects Mangalore with Mumbai, Ratnaagiri and Goa. There is another railway line southwards which connects to parts of Kerala and also to some parts of Tamilnadu. A railway line connects district to Bengaluru and Mysuru by crossing western ghats at Sakleshpura.
There is international airport at Mangaluru known by name Mangalore International Airport with newly built terminal at Kenjar village. Previously airport was known as Bajpe airport as it was having passenger terminal at Bajpe village which was on another side of present terminal at Kenjar.
Mangalore has an all weather sea port at Panambur called New Mangalore port . This handled cargo, crude petroleum and other commodities.Now a days cruise or passenger ships have docked in this port.
Local mode of transport of the Dakshina Kannada district are Motorbikes ( Motorcycles ) popularly known as bikes in this region, Autorickshaws, Bus, Cars, Jeep(SUV) Vans, Lorries/Trucks. Public transport mainly consist of Auto, Buses, Cars, Jeeps and Vans.Buses operated by KSRTC and private operators travel on predetermined routes stopping at various places commonly called bus stops or bus stands for people to get in or get down.Dakshina Kannanda has good bus transport system which covers most of the villages except some which may not have been covered due to difficult topography or few people residing in these villages. Almost all villages in the district are connected by road except few in remotely located areas. Trains are not prefered in this district as there connectivity is only to few towns and also the frequency of trains is abysmal very low.
The Dakshina Kannada district has distinctive culture as compared to other parts of Karnataka.It has a number of folk and religious traditions which have enriched this region. Yakshagana means singing by celestial is art form where a singer sings and other artists perform as per sing interpreting with dialogues. The Yakshagana is played whole night upto dawn. Mostly religious or mythological theme ( prasanga in Kannada ) are chosen. Nowadays social themes are also played.Yakshagana was once upon time favourite past time before advent of television and cellular ( mobile )phones. Kambla or Kumbula is where a pair of buffalo race in muddy field. Korikatta or cock fight is another pastime of this district. Worship of Spirits is widely followed by the Hindu people even today. The sprits ( Bhoota or Bhuta in Tulu )worship is done as per local traditions. Most of household (family)in this district have a Bhuta ( spirit) assigned to them. These spirits are offered prayers and some rituals are performed to invoke blessings and to protect the family or household.The Tulunadu has another tradition of worship of serpents or Naga known as Naga Aradhane. Here also every household and family has Nagabana assigned to them which must be worshipped for protection of the family or household. Nagabana's where tradtionally forests where idol stones of Naga's where kept for worship.Due to rapid commercialization , these forest have been replaced by temple like structure in which idol stones of Naga's are kept. Many of traditional way of cooking by firewood, farming, singing of bhajans ( religious songs ) has almost vanished due to emergence of electronic media and mobile ( Cellular ) telephony.
The district is famous for delicious vegetarian cuisine called Udupi cuisine all over the world. The non vegetarian dishes are known as Mangalore cuisine.The district cuisine offers variety and taste unmatched by any other cuisine .Try Golibajje,Patrode ( colacasia ) ,Kadubu ( a type of idli ), Appa ( Jackfruit dumpling fried ), Varieties of Dosa's just to list a few.
Being a coastal area, The Dakshina Kannada district is dotted with coconut tree's. The coconut tree is known as Kalpavruksha. The tender coconut water not only quenches the thirst but also helps to beat the humid conditions prevailing in the district. Toddy is tapped from palm tree in some places.
Some parts of the district are covered by evergreen forests which may have wild animals, poisonous snakes and dreadful insects or bees, so care must be taken while entering such jungles or forests.In remote areas or villages of the district public transport may not be available and also roads in such areas may be very bad to travel.Even today in some of the villages, Houses may be few hundred metres apart with isolated areas in between, which can afraid you. Do not enter into any sea,rivulets, streams, ponds,wells, lakes and rivers as can be dangerous to life. Consult local people before going to such areas as much of the information are not available on internet even today.