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Uttara kannada Information

Uttara Kannada, also known as North Kanara or North Canara, is a Konkan 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.

Uttar Kannada or ‘North kannada’ headquartered at karwar lies along the sumptuous shores of the Arabian Sea with an expense of 10,276 sq km.  The population of the district as reported by the 2001 census is 13,53,299.  The district is marked by undulating lands.  The headquarters has regions of presentable beauty.  The ruins of an ancient fort can also be seen here.  Around the place there are important centres of worship.  Gokarna, is this district is an important pilgrim centre. The temple dedicated to Lord Siva here attracts hoards of devotees.  Ankola has a temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara.  The place Sonda is famous for more than one reason the presence of the Jain Temples and the Hindu Temples.  Ulvi presents the tranquillity of its cave Mutts.   Banavasi has a Siva Temple.  Magodh waterfalls and Dhandeli Wildlife Sanctuary are also among the crowd pullers. 

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.  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.


This popular pilgrim centre on the Arabian Sa shore, situated about 56km from Karwar and 252km from Mangalooru is where stands the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple which is revered almost on par with the Siva Temple at Varanasi.  This tranquil temple is reckoned as a heaven on Earth and attracts a large number of pilgrims from far and near.  The Sivarathri Festival during which the devotees fast and forgo sleep singing the praise of Lord Siva, is a grand affair here.

There are buses to Gokarna from important places like Bengalooru, Mangalooru and Mysooru.  Accommodation is available at the Hotel run by KTDC and also Dharmashala.


An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Venkataramana with two grand chariots made marvellously out of wood, recounting Puranic stories from ’Ramayana’, is situated here.  Ankola which reminisces Sarpamalika, the king who ruled in the 15th century also has a small beach for a delightful dawdle.  This place is near Gokarna.


Situated about 35km from Sirsi in the Sirsi taluk, sonda, which was a popular Jain centre hosts the ‘Samadhi’ of the great scholar Bhattakalanka. 

There is also a monastery here called the Swarnavalli Mutt.  The ‘Smartha’ tradition is practised here.  Twol ancient temples are dedicated to Lord Trivikrma and Lord Sankaranarayana, the former a variation of Lord Vishnu and the latter a combination of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

About 5 km from here is an enchanting waterfall known as the Shivaganaga falls created by a 91m fall of zapping waters of the ravishing river Shalmala.


Situated about 32km from Yellapur, this place is noted for the serene Gavi Mutt which consists of a series of caves filled with an air of calmness.  The sharanas are said to have dwelled in these caves.  One of the caves is named after Akka Nagamma.  The remains of a ruined fort can also be seen here.


Banavasi has an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Mudhukeswara, a variation of Lord Siva. Situated on the banks of river Varada, this place had for quite some time been the capital of the Kadamba rulers.  Overlooking the river lie the vestiges of a once magnificent fortress.

Magodh Waterfalls

About 19 km from Yellapur is this wonderful waterfalls cradled in the verdant beauty of the mighty Western Ghats.  The vivacious water of the resplendent river Gangavathi clamour down through 600 ft giving rise to this ravishing waterfall.  The visitors come here and get besotted by the sumptuous natural embellishments.  Accommodation can be availed at the Tourist Home run by the KTDC.

Dhandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

It is situated about 40 km from karwar, 76km from Dharwad and 104km from Belagavi.  This sanctuary which spreads over 128 sq km with a profusion of teak and bamboo plantations is located at an altitude varying between 375 and 685m above sea level.  A good number of elephants, bisons and sambars and the fierce big cats such as the tigers and cheetahs grace the sanctuary.  Come summer, come birds! A Variety of fascinating birds can be seen flocking around merrily during the migratory season.  There are also a couple of watch towers wherefrom one can have a convenient view of the magnificent creatures in the wilderness.  The sanctuary is nourished by the ravishing rivers Kali and Kaneri.

Buses are operated from Belagavi and Bengalooru to Dhandeli which can also be reached by train from Alnawar.  The Belagavi airport, the nearest one, is about 152km from here.  Private accommodations are available apart from the four bungalows belonging to the Forest Department, which are situated at Kulagi about 11km away.