Udupi district (Tulu/Kannada: ಉಡುಪಿ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ) in the Karnataka state of India was created in August 1997. The three northern taluks, Udupi, Kundapur and Karkal, were separated from Dakshina Kannada District to form Udupi district. Udupi district is surrounded by Uttara Kannada district in north, Dakshina Kannada district in southern direction. Shivamogga district borders on north east side and chikamagalur district on east. Arabian sea is on west of Udupi district. Udupi is famous for Udupi cuisine orginated at Ashta Matha, i.e., eight Matts and Sri Krishna Temple. Udupi is also one of oldest Educational Centres. The administrative headquarters of Udupi district is Udupi town. Population as per Census 2001 was 1,112,243 of which 18.55% were urban.


The primary languages of Udupi district are the Tulu, Kannada and Konkani. The Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts are sometimes referred to as Tulu Nadu, as they constitute the Tulu-majority region. Muslims in the district are mainly speak Beary bashe.

Some inscriptions in the Tulu languages are found in and around the village of Barkur. The ruins and inscriptions are in need of being preserved.


Udupi restaurants serving Udupi cuisine are popular all over India and have found its way into other countries also. Udupi (Udipi) restaurants are typically south Indian vegetarian restaurants. In Mumbai or Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore, Udupi restaurants are famous for tasty vegetarian food and courteous service.


Udupi has a literacy rate of 92%, high compared to other districts of Karnataka. Udupi also tops the 10th and 12th standard exams held every year by the Karnataka State Education Board.

Udupi district is home to internationally renowned educational institutions. The Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) runs schools, colleges and institutes of higher learning. Similarly, the Nitte Education Trust, located at Nitte, heads a large number of educational institutions.

Agriculture and horticulture

The Udupi district was once thriving rice and coconut producer, but now not so. Also one can find arecanut (betelnut) gardens here and there. Cashew is also grown. Milk is procured from farmers by Karnataka Milk Federation which has a dairy processing plant at Manipal in the district. Recently few private enterpreneurs have started procurement and processing of milk.

Commerce and industry

The district has mostly small scale industries. There is not any noteworthy industry at present, but few industries are coming up in the district. There are some red clay tile (Mangalore tile), cashew nut, coconut oil industries providing employment to hundreds. There is a printing press at Manipal belonging to Pai group doing high security printing like cheques, share certificates etc. The district (Undivded South Canara) was birth place of Four public sector banks (PSB) namely Vijaya Bank, Canara Bank, Corporation Bank and Syndicate Bank. There were many small insurance companies before nationalisation. There is divisional office of LIC at Udipi town. The district has branches of scheduled banks making density per population served above the national average of India. Some Computer software companies like Robosoft Technologies & SourceHub India Pvt Ltd has set up their Corporate Office & Regional Office here. Robosoft has brought Udupi a significant place in the global IT scenario.

A thermal power plant is being set up at Nandikoor in Udupi district by Nagarjuna group for generating electricity. The plant has generated controversies with respect to environmental impact. Suzlon has set up manufacturing facility at Padubidre for making wind mills. Work for setting up of underground petroleum crude reserve at Padur ( Padoor ) in Udupi district by central government has commenced. Environmentalists fear that such large projects will destroy evergreen forests in those areas once for all. Also causing severe pollution of environment.


The Udupi district has two national highways passing through, one is NH-17 and another is NH-13. The national highway 17 which moves in north and south direction connects Udipi with cities like Mangalooru, Karwar, Murudeshwara, Kochi, Madgaon, Ratnagiri and Mumbai. Another national highway 13 connects district with Shimoga, Bijapura, Solapur, Chitradurga and Hospet.The district has network of bituminised roads connecting district centre with moffusil areas. The Konkan railway connects district with neighbouring districts and states. The major railway stations are Udupi and Kundapura. At present nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport at Bajpe which is at 55 Kilometre from the town of Udupi.


The famous Udupi Krishna Temple is located in Udupi. Udupi is the place where Sri Madhwacharya,one of the greatest proponents of the Vaishnava faith began his philosophical journey

Kuthpady is known for the Subramanya temples, which are visited every year thousands of pilgrims during Subramanya Shrasthi, which falls in November-December It is also home to Brahma Vishnu Maheshwara Temple (Kanangi Temple) atyayuga Yogashrama and Ramakrishna Bhajana Mandira.

Tourist locations

  • Malpe: About 6 km from Udupi town, Malpe is an important fishing and trading harbour.
  • St. Mary's Island: An island on the Arabian Sea near to Malpe
  • Kaup (pronounced "Ka-Aap"): About 12 km from Udupi with a beach and a lighthouse
  • Maravanthe: About 42 km from Udupi. The NH-17 is flanked on the left side by the Arabian Sea and on the right side by the Souwparnika River. However, due to continuous sea erosion, the Arabian Sea has come dangerously close to the NH-17.Still the road exists miraculously between sea and river and after this spot, river makes a U turn and goes eastwards and meets sea at Kundapura, after a journey of about 10 km.

Religious places

  • Udupi Shree Krishna Temple.
  • Pajaka: About 12 km from Udupi. This is the place where Madhvacharya preached his Dvaita philosophy.
  • Kollur: About 74 km from Udupi, nestled among the Western Ghats. It is considered the abode of Goddess Mookambika and attracts tourists from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Karkala: About 37 km from Udupi. Jain basadis (temples) and Gomateshwara (giant statues) are notable features. Other important places are Padutirupathi Sri Venkataramana Temple, Attur St. Lawrence Church, Sri Hosamarigudi Temple, Sri Ucchanggi Mariamma Temple, Sri Ananthapadmanabha Temple, Sri Padmavathi Temple, Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple, Sri Siddhivinayaka Temple, Sri Umamaheshwara Temple and Salmar Jama Masjid.
  • Anegudde: About 30 km from Udupi. Famous for the temple of Lord Ganesha.
  • Attur Church: About 25 km from Udupi. Famous for its yearly fair, attended by people from all religious groups.
  • Barkur: About 15 km from Udupi. The erstwhile capital of historical Tulu Nadu, Barkur is dotted with temples and Jaina basadis.
  • Saligrama : About 27 km from Udupi, with a Lord Guru Narasimha swami temple.
  • Pernankila : There is an ancient Ganapathi temple in this village.
  • Perdoor Anantha Padmanabha temple: 22 k.m from udupi towrds agumbe -shimoga state highway Monthly Sankramana is very famous in state.
  • Hiriadka Veerabadhra temple is one of the oldest temple located about 16 km from Udupi.

Wildlife sanctuaries

The Udupi district has thick evergreen forests in the eastern part. They form part of Sahyadri or Western Ghats of India. These forests have wide range of flora and fauna.

  • Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary: About 40 km from Udupi. It contains rare species of animals, birds and medicinal plants.
  • Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary: About 50 km from Udupi. Spread along the Kundapur-Kollur road, this sanctuary is generally off the tourist map.
  • Shirva Pilar khan Bird Sanctuary: About 03 km from Shirva


  • Kudlū Theerthā Falls: About 42 km from Udupi. A waterfall located deep in the jungles of Western Ghats, close to Hebri town. This is a beautiful water fall in any standards, and may become very weak during Feb-May. With a height of about 300 feet, it falls directly into a pond which is considered holy by local people, because, sages meditated here thousands of years ago. There is one more water fall above Kudlu theertha, called Manga theertha (monkey theertha) named so because, only monkey can reach it as the path is very steep inside the forest.
  • Barkana Falls: About 54 km from Udupi. Located in the Western Ghats at the junction of Udupi, Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru districts, the falls are a 45-minute walk from the Udupi-Shimoga state highway.
  • Belkal Theerthā Falls: About 50 km from Udupi. Cascading waterfalls, located deep in the Western Ghats. This falls is about 400 feet and there will be no water during Feb-May.
  • Arasina Gundi, near Dali village off Kollur, is a beautiful waterfall within the forest.
  • Jomlu Theertha :Near Belve village about 35 km from Udupi, a small water fall about 20 feet height created by River Seethanadi. This is second water fall of this river, first one being Kudlu Theertha.
  • Kosalli Water falls near Byndoor, Kundapur Taluk is a beautiful spot situated at the northern boundary of the district.

River islands

The rivers Swarnā, Chakrā, Sitā, Varāhi and Kubjā contain beautiful and often unexplored river islands. Called Kudrūs, some of the islands are inhabited but lack basic facilities such as drinking water, electricity and transport. Examples of the islands include Skool Kudrū, Kannada Kudrū, Katte Kudrū, Benne Kudru, Bavali Kudru and Shetty Kudrū.

Photo Gallery:

Lord Shrikrishna

Shrikrishna Temple

Photos: Prakash Hegde-Sirsi
Information Courtesy:Wikipedia

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