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Uttara Kannada

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Title: Uttara Kannada  
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Subject: Tourism in Karnataka, List of waterfalls of India, Sirsi, Karnataka, Yana, India, Sharavati
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Uttara Kannada

Uttara Kannada district
ಉತ್ತರ ಕನ್ನಡ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ
North Kanara
World's Second Tallest Statue of Shiva at Murdeshwar
World's Second Tallest Statue of Shiva at Murdeshwar
Country India
State Karnataka
Region Konkan
Headquarter Karwar
Talukas Karwar, Ankola, Kumta, Honnavar, Bhatkal, Sirsi, Siddapur, Yellapur, Mundgod, Haliyal, Joida
 • Deputy Commissioner Shri Ujwal Kumar Ghosh
 • Total 10,291 km2 (3,973 sq mi)
Area rank 5th
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 1,437,169
 • Density 140/km2 (400/sq mi)
 • Official Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 581xxx
Telephone code +91 0(838x)
Vehicle registration
Coastline 142 kilometres (88 mi)
Sex ratio 0.975[1] /
Literacy 84.03%
Lok Sabha constituency Kanara Lok Sabha constituency
Climate Mansoon (Köppen)
Precipitation 2,835 millimetres (111.6 in)
Avg. summer temperature 33 °C (91 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 20 °C (68 °F)
Website .in.nicuttarakannada

Uttara Kannada, also known as North Canara, is a district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is bordered by the state of Goa and Belgaum District to the north, Dharwad District and Haveri District to the east, Shimoga District and Udupi District to the south and the Arabian Sea to the west. The city of Karwar is the administrative headquarters of the district. Kumta and Sirsi are the other major developing towns of the district.


  • History 1
    • Portuguese 1.1
    • British 1.2
    • Kingdom of Mysore 1.3
    • The British Empire 1.4
    • Maratha Empire 1.5
  • Geography and climate 2
  • Ecology 3
  • Culture 4
    • Language and religion 4.1
    • Dance 4.2
  • Economy 5
    • Agriculture 5.1
    • Industries 5.2
    • Towns 5.3
  • Demographics 6
  • Festivals 7
  • Cuisine 8
  • Newspapers and media 9
  • Transport 10
    • Public transport 10.1
    • Highways 10.2
    • Railways 10.3
    • Ports 10.4
    • Nearby airports 10.5
  • Notable Personalities 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


North Kanara, 1896
Kali River & Sadashivgad Fort as seen from Nandangadda Village

Uttara Kannada was the home of the Kadamba kingdom from the 350 to 525. They ruled from Banavasi. After the subjugation of the Kadambas by the Chalukyas, the district came under successive rule of empires like Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagar empire. Famous Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta is said to have stayed for a time in the district under the protection of Nawayath Sultan Jamal Al-Din at Hunnur. This place is presently known as Hosapattana and is located in the town of Honnavar. Ruins of an old mosque and its minaret can still be seen in the village. The district came under the rule of Maratha Empire in the 1750s and later part of Mysore Kingdom, who ceded it to the British at the conclusion of the Fourth Mysore War in 1799. It was initilally part of Kanara district in Madras Presidency. The district was divided to North and South Kanara districts in 1859. The British finally transferred Uttara Kannada district to Bombay Presidency in 1862.

After India's independence in 1947, Bombay Presidency was reconstituted as Bombay State. In 1956 the southern portion of Bombay State was added to Mysore State, which was renamed Karnataka in 1972. Uttara Kannada was an ancient site of sea trade visited by the Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, French and later the British. Ibn Battuta passed through this route during one or more of his journeys.

Significant and picturesque, the Sadashivgad fort of historical importance is now a popular tourist destination located by the Kali river bridge, which has been built at the confluence of the river and the Arabian Sea. The renowned Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who visited Uttara Kannada in 1882, dedicated an entire chapter of his memoirs to this town.[2] The 22-year-old Rabindranath Tagore stayed with his brother, Satyendranath Tagore, who was the district judge in Uttara Kannada. There is a substantial amount of Chardo families in this area as they had migrated due to the persecution of the Portuguese in Goa.


Cintacora, also known as Chitrakul (Chittakula) and Sindpur, was known to the Portuguese as a very old port. When Sadashivgad was built in this area, the village also came to be known by that name. Pir fort, named for the Dargah of Shahkaramuddin, was captured and burnt by the Portuguese in 1510. The creek at the mouth of the Kali River was a trading center which came into greater prominence after Sadashivgad was built and the Portuguese realised the advantages of its sheltered harbor.


In 1638 a rival English trading body, the Courteen Association, established a factory at Uttara Kannada (actually the village named Kadwad, situated 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) eastwards on the banks of the Kali river). It was a trade port frequented by traders from Arabia and Africa. Baitkhol port (the current civil port of Uttara Kannada) was famous for its natural harbor. The name Baithkhol is Arabic term, Bait-e-kol, meaning bay of safety. Muslin was the chief commodity purchased but Uttara Kannada was also a source for Pepper, Cardamom, Cassier and coarse blue cotton cloth. Situated on India's west coast, 50 miles south-east of Goa, Uttara Kannada was noted for its safe harbor. In 1649 the Courteen Association united with the British East India Company and Uttara Kannada became a Company factory.

Kingdom of Mysore

In the Treaty of Mangalore signed in 1784, between Tipu Sultan and the East India Company, one finds reference to Uttara Kannada and Sadashivgad written as Carwar and Sadasewgude respectively.[3]

The British Empire

The British made Uttara Kannada their district headquarters in 1862. Since 1862, the time from which it came under Bombay Presidency, Uttara Kannada was described as a first rate harbor between Bombay and Colombo.

Maratha Empire

It became a part of British territory. It was a part of the Bombay Presidency until 1950.

Geography and climate

Karwar Evening

The main geographic feature of the district is the Western Ghats or Sahyadri range, which runs from north to south through the district. Between the Sahyadris and the sea is a narrow coastal strip, known as the Payanghat, which varies from 8 to 24 kilometres (5.0 to 14.9 mi) in width. Behind the coastal plain are flat-topped hills from 60 to 100 meters in height, and behind the hills are the ridges and peaks of the Sahyadris. East of the Sahyadris is the Balaghat upland, part of the vast Deccan plateau. Moisture-bearing winds come from the west, and yearly rainfall averages 3,000 millimetres (120 in) on the coast, and as high as 5,000 millimetres (200 in) on the west-facing slopes of the Sahyadris. East of the crest is the rain shadow of the Sahyadris, which receive as little as 1,000 millimetres (39 in) annually. Much of the rain falls in the June–September Monsoon. Five major rivers drain westwards from the crest of the Sahyadris to the sea; from north to south, they are the Aghanashini, Sharavati, Gangawali, Kali and Venkata. These rivers form numerous waterfalls, the most famous of which is Jog falls, on upper reaches of the Sharavati in neighboring Shimoga district, other famous waterfalls include Unchalli Falls, where the river Aghanashini drops 116 meters, Magod Falls, where the Bedti river plunges 180 meters in two leaps, Shivganga falls, where the river Sonda (Shalmali) drops 74 meters, and Lalguli falls and Mailmane falls on the river Kali. In the lowlands, these rivers form wide estuaries, extending several kilometers inland from the coast.


Candy Corn Plant in the Anshi National Park

The district's high rainfall supports lush forests, which cover approximately 70% of the district. The Malabar Coast moist forests ecoregion lies in a narrow strip between the Arabian Sea and the foothills of the Western Ghats up to 250 meters elevation. These forests have been almost completely converted to agriculture and teak plantations. The North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests cover the Sahyadris from 250 to 1000 meters elevation. Many trees shed leaves in the drier months. Above 1000 meters elevation lie the evergreen North Western Ghats montane rain forests. Anshi National Park near Dandeli, preserves approximately 250 square kilometres (97 sq mi) of semi-evergreen forest, which is home to the Tiger, Black Panther, Leopard Cat, Gaur, Asian Elephant, sambar and a range of birds and reptiles. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary protects 834 square kilometres (322 sq mi) of semi-evergreen and Bamboo forest in the watershed of the Kali river and its tributaries, the Kaneri and Nagajhari. Wroughton's free-tailed bat (Otomops wroughtoni) is endemic to the forests of Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary.

The district is also home to patches of Savanna and degraded scrub jungles, which are often the result of overuse for logging or grazing. Much of the lowland has been cleared for agriculture. Mangrove forests can be found in the river estuaries, and the sandy beaches are home to groves of Calophyllum Inophyllum, Coconut and Screw pine (Pandanus). The rocky beaches at Binaga, Arga, Belekeri, Tadadi, Ankola, Kumta, Dhareshwar, Kasarkod, Murdeshwara, Bhatkal and Belke of the district are rich with Marine Fauna Diversity. The rocky beaches of Uttara Kannada District harbor the invertebrates belonging to the Phylum Porifera, Coelenterata, Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca and Echinodermata. Attiveri bird sanctuary is home to 79 species of birds including migratory birds from 22 countries.

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for the elusive Black Panther among other animals like Gaur, Tiger and Leopards. The Kavala caves with their 5 feet (1.5 m). High natural Shiva linga, Synthery rocks is a 500 feet (150 m) high rock flanked by natural caves and waterfalls, Vincholi rapids, Sykes point which offers a view of Kali river, and a suspension bridge are places worth visiting in this sanctuary. Yana is an enchanting place that can be reached by trekking about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) through lush forest. It is famous for its tall jagged rock formations and waterfalls. There is also a shrine of Bhairaveshvara here. Anshi National Park located some distance from Dandeli is undisturbed. Burude Falls is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Siddapur, Unchalli Falls, Shivagangae, BeeneHolae Fall is about 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Sirsi, Magod Falls and Sathodi Falls near Yellapura are some of the best natural falls in Uttara Kannada District. There are many dams in this district namely Supa Dam, Kodasalli Dam and Kadra Dam. The famous Atomic energy station at Kaiga is on the beautiful banks of Kali River (Karnataka).


Language and religion

The main languages spoken in this district are Kannada and Konkani. Kannada is the predominant language of the district, followed by Konkani which is also widely spoken. Marathi, Urdu, Nawayath Hindi and English are also used in social communication. The population is predominantly Hindu composed of majority communities. The main communities of the district are

In Kawartha district Konkani means generally the Konkani language. However, with relation to demography it means the people with Konkani tongue. They include Goud Saraswat Brahman, Saraswat, Sherogar, Bhandari,Komarpanthi, Gawade, Sonar,Christian, Navait, Dalji, Konkan maratha and Holswar. But the goud saraswat Brahman are calling themselves as Konkanis and now it has become common. All the Konkani speaking speaking people migrated from Goa to escape the conversion to Christianity out leashed by Portuguese missionary zealots in 16-17th century.


Costume of Yakshaghana

Yakshagana is a classical dance drama popular in the state of Karnataka in India mostly popular in the districts of Uttara Kannada. Shimoga, Udupi, South Kanara and Kasaragod district of Kerala. This theater art involves Music, Songs, Dance, Acting, Dialogue, Story and unique costumes. While, songs and dance adhere to well established talas very similar to classical Indian dance forms, acting and dialogues are created spontaneously on stage depending on ability of artists. This combination of classical and folk elements makes Yakshagana unique from any other Indian art. This would be considered to be a form of opera in western eyes. Traditionally, Yakshaganas use to start late in the night and run entire night. Bagavatha, the background singer is also the directory of the story and controls the entire proceedings on stage. Bagavatha along with background musicians who play Chande and Maddale forms himmela. The actors who wear colorful costumes and enact various roles in the story forms Mummela. There are many professional troops in Karnataka. In spite of competition from modern movie industry and TV, these troops are arranging ticketed shows and making profit. Apart from this individuals arrange shows in their village inviting well known professional artists like Sri Chittani Ramachandra Hegde and Kondadakuli Ramachandra Hegde, providing an opportunity for local talents to act with legends. Yakshagana is sometimes simply called as Aataā in both Kannada and Konkani (meaning play).[4] Yaksha-gana literally means the song (gana) of a Yaksha. Yakshas were an exotic tribe mentioned in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India.[5]



The chief crops of the district are Rice and areca nut, along with a great diversity of other crops. Tree crops include Coconut, sugarcane, Cocoa, Cashew, Mango, Banana, Pineapple, Garcinia, and Sapota; vegetables include Onion, radish, Cucumber, Cauliflower, sweet potato, eggplant (brinjal), and Amaranth; spices include Pepper, Cardamom, Ginger and Nutmeg. Millet and Cotton are grown in the drier portion of the district east of the Western Ghats.


The major products of small-scale industries in Uttara Kannada are Roofing Tiles, Coir Products, Jewelry, Food Products, Wood and Steel Furniture, Glass and Ceramics and Seafood. Some of these SSI and Tiny industries provide Job Works, components and spares required for large and medium scale industries, both within and outside the district. Eight large and medium scale industries in the district produce a variety of products like Paper, Duplex Board, caustic soda, Ferro Alloys, Transmission Gears, Food Concentrate, Herbal Medicines and Pharmaceuticals.



According to the 2011 census Uttara Kannada has a population of 1,436,847,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Swaziland[6] or the US state of Hawaii.[7] This gives it a ranking of 346th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 140 inhabitants per square kilometre (360/sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 6.15%. Uttara Kannada has a sex ratio of 975 females for every 1000 males.


Ganesha Chaturthi is one of the famous festivals which is celebrated with utmost enthusiasm by the youths of the district. Big Idols of Ganapati prepared of clay are worshiped in public and small idols are worshiped in almost every house during this festival. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus as the return of The King Rama every year. It is also called the Festival of Lights.All homes, shops, establishments & offices are decorated & special arrangements are made at night for lighting. Shri Mahalaxmi and Mahavishnu Puja is also performed during the festival on account of their marriage. Navaratri is also the major festival of the district where in Shri Durgadevi, Shri Lakshmi devi and Shri Saraswati Devi are worshipped during the Nine days of the festival. Shivaratri is another major Festival celebrated during Magha Masa on account of marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati devi. Vibhuti is prepared out of the dried cowdung during this festival

The traditional Islamic festivals of Eid ul-Fitr (Ramadan) and Eid ul-Adha (Bakrid) are celebrated.


Batata Vada

Uttara Kannada is famous for a variety of seafood delicacies. Fish curry and rice is the staple diet of the locals, Cashews and Coconut.

The staple diet includes a portion of steamed Rice and a vegetable and/or seafood accompaniment. Seafood is immensely popular due to its ease of availability, and is prepared with a lot of local spices. Tea is the most popular beverage and is sometimes supplemented with cardamom or mint to give them a distinct flavour.

Newspapers and media


Public transport

North West Karnataka Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) is the state transport agency in the district. The NWKRTC covers all towns & villages of the district. There is a good network of public transport which connects the villages to the towns of the district. There are regular intra state services to major cities & towns of the state like Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli-Dharwad & Belgaum. The Kadama Transport buses of neighboring Goa state provides regular service from Karwar to Mangalore and all part of Goa state. Kumta, Bhatkal & Sirsi are the main hubs for public transport which provides services to intra-district & intrastate round the clock.

Many private transport buses also provide services for inter / intra state from the district. Bhatkal is the main sector for private transport in the district. The NH-17 which passes through the district which connects Panvel near Mumbai to Kerala state, many private buses are plying on this Highway which provides inter-intra state services to places like Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Belgaum, Panaji, Margao, Udupi, Mangalore, Bhatkal, Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode etc.


The following are the National Highways which passes through the district of Uttara Kannada.


The following Railways pass through the district:

  • Konkan Railway which connects Mangalore and Mumbai via Karwar,
  • Londa to 'Vasco Railway line which passes through Castle Rock
  • Castle rock to Dandeli Railway line.
  • Hubli -Ankola railway line is proposed to link Karwar port and the northern Karnataka.
  • Honnavar -Talaguppa railway line is proposed to link Karwar port and the central part of Karnataka.
  • RO-RO (Roll on/Roll off) services is provided by Konkan Railway to / from Ankola railway station to Suratkal Railway station. Many truckers use this facility between Ankola to Mangalore.


Uttara Kannada being one of the coastal district of the Karnataka state has a coast of 120 kilometres (75 mi) has many ports which are used for Sea Trade, Naval base, Fishing & other maritime activities.

  • Karwar Port is an intermediate sea port the main activities of this port are Berthing of Ocean Going Ships, Coastal Shipping, & Fishing Jetty. Ship bunkering facility is also available at Karwar port.
  • INS Kadamba is a naval base at Arga village of Karwar which is used exclusively for berthing of naval vessels. A naval ship repair yard (Dry Docks) is also attached to it.
  • Belkeri Port is an anchorage port.
  • Tadri Port is a fishing port.
  • Kumta Port is a fishing port.
  • Honnavar Port is a fishing port.
  • Bhatkal Port is a fishing port.

The Proposed Hubli-Ankola railway line can be feasible venture for the future developments of the ports in the district, for movement of the cargo, at present roads are only major mode of cargo movement which leads to congestion of the National Highways of the district.

Nearby airports

Notable Personalities

  • Ramakrishna Hegde
  • Dr Malpa Ali (Founder and president Jamia Islamia Bhatkal)
  • Aftab Kola : Editor, Times of Oman
  • A.K.Hafizka(Late) : Indian Ambassador - Saudi Arabia 1977, MLA of Bombay, President - BPCC
  • Anantkumar Hegde. The founder of Kadamba Foundation and Member of parliament from Uttar Kannada and southern part of Belgaum District, known as Canara constituency

chittani Ramachandra Hagde Tip most yakshagan artist


  1. ^ a b c d "Uttara Kannada (North Canara) : Census 2011".  
  2. ^ Uttara Kannada in Tagore's memoirs
  3. ^ Project South Asia
  4. ^ "Enduring art". Online webpage of The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2004-06-10. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  5. ^ "yaksha". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  6. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Swaziland 1,436,847 
  7. ^ "2011 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. Hawaii 1,436,847 

External links

  • Official website
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