Dakshina Kannada (South Kanara)
Mangalore, the district headquarters, has a long history of maritime trade. Though developed as a business and commercial centre, Mangalore still retains its old world charm-old tile-roofed houses in the midst oft coconut groves, fishing boats silhouetted against the dark sky, fishermen hauling in their daily catch of fish, mothers serving spiced sea food in coconut curries. Mangalore is a reminder of the good old times.
Mangalore is connected with other cities in Karnataka such as Mysore and Bangalore via NH-48.
There are several languages spoken here, which include Tulu, Konkani, Kannada, and Byari (somewhat of a mixture of Tulu and Malayalam). Of these only Kannada can claim its own scrip.
Ullal and Parmannur are south of the Mangalore City, at a distance of 10 km. . It is home to a Muslim holy place with historical fame, the Sayyed Madani Darga.
The Arabian sea roars on the west of the town and the Netravathi River forms its northern border. It is multi functional town and identified as market cum service centre. This Town is an important trading centre for fish and fish by-products.. The fishing and Beedi rolling are the main occupations of this town.
Bantwal is a Taluk in Dakshina Kannada district, 19 km to the east of Mangalore City. The adjacent township of B.C. Road (Bantwal Cross Road) serves as the commercial center. National Highway 48 cuts through B. C. Road. The highway serves as the conduit for several arterial routes leading to neighboring towns.
Earlier Bantwal Town itself was of great importance in terms of Trade. But due to the overflowing Netravathi River during every monsoon, B.C.Road gained importance since it is situated on a higher ground. Also because all Government offices shifted to B.C.Road.
Byaries (Muslim community) and Gaud Saraswaths have a considerable trade activity in Groceries, Hardware and most importantly Gold. Bantwal is also famous for its gold merchants.
The Taluk is flanked by the state of Kerala in the south, and the towns of Belthangady and Puttur in the east, the city of Mangalore in the west and Karkal in the north. It covers an area of about 720 km square.
Prior to 1852, Bantwal Taluk was the largest Taluk in the entire of Canara Province (then comprising of North Canara, Udipi, Mangalore and Kasargod Districts) with 411 villages and a total population of 1,69,416. In 1852, a portion of it was formed into the Taluk of Puttur.
Sri Durga Parameshwari temple, Bappanadu - Mulki
This temple is situated on the banks of Shambhavi River at Bappanadu village of Mulki town. It is 29 K.M. north to Mangalore following National Highway No.17. It is dedicated to Goddess Shree Durga Parameshwari. The place Bappanadu means Bappa's village. As per the legend Bappa a Muslim merchant is responsible for temple construction. Annual festival (Brahma Rathotsava) of the temple falls in the month of April. Bappanadu Dolu (musical drum) is well known and There is a large drum that is kept in the side of the temple
Moodabidri (also Mudbidri), is occasionally referred to as the Jaina Kashi of South India. In all we can find 18 Jain temples at Moodabidri. With most of these temples being situated near the Jain Matha. This matha has Sri Charukeerthy Bhattarakha Swami as the chief pontiff. It has an information office for pilgrims and tourists, a dharmshala for about a hundred pilgrims and some guest-houses. Overseas visitors are welcome. Moodabidri is famous for its many old manuscripts and treasures of Jaina sculptures. The Siddantha Darshana that is available to the pilgrims is very impressive where in we can find many Rare Jain idols.
From Bantwal, as you travel eastwards, on the north east is Belthangady and to the south east is Puttur.
Belthangady diocese has their own website: http://www.belthangadydiocese.com/ This town connects to the other districts of South Kanara, to the east and is at the foot hills of the Western Ghats.
The residents of Puttur are well known and well-connected to each other. It can be seen at the yearly 'Jathra' which is celebrated in the fields in front of Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple, situated in the heart of the city. To be a part of the Jathra is a proud for each one in Puttur. Each one craves and wishes he could be there, during April 10-19th every year. Each day is special by itself, especially the 'avabratha snanam' at Veeramangala. The fire work during the Rath yatra is one of the most spectacular wonders with is own greatness which is worth watching if your heart is strong enough to hold it.
One can never forget the famous BULL RACE- JODI KAMBALA of Puttur held at Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple premises every year Other places of interest include Beerumala gudda, Bender Theertha (Hot water Spring), BV Karanths Balavana etc.
The most renowned centre for educational institutions sort after Mangalore was PUTTUR. Students all the way from Coorg and the neighboring places used to seek admission in St. Philomena's College (SPC) and Vivekananda PU and Degree college (VC) for its glory both in the field of education and sports.
This city is part of Kerala now, but during the British rule, it belonged to South Kanara, and it lies to the south west of Puttur.
North of Mangalore
This town is to the south-east of Mulki, and the Mangalore airport is located here. It is quite close to the north of Mangalore proper. At the north end of the above map, you will see two towns, Shirva and Karkal.. The latter is of historical importance, as it has been a Buddhist shrine.
The town is situated 17 Kms from Moodabidri, Karkala is a center of effervescent activity where dexterity & commitment combine to take an unusual form. One can see young zealous sculptors engraving beautiful figures and bringing stones to life.
Lord Gomateshwara, Karkala.
It also has a huge Chaturmukha Basti. In recent years Ranjal Gopal Sharma , a famous sculptor, has left behind a living tradition of the art of engraving . Statues made here are appreciated over the world & exported to Japan.
Karkala also has a massive 12.8 m monolithic Gomateshwara and the St Lawrence Church which draw thousands of devotees from all communities.
This ancient Port town is situated 5 Kms south of Udipi, the District Hq. The river Udyavara that flows from the east to west takes a northerly turn and separates the town Udyavara from the sea before joining the sea at Malpe. The river has several islets and its long and broad stretch is safe for navigation and anchored. Also, the river has created an enchanting scene with beautiful green belt on either side.
Udyavara was one of the earliest capitals of the Alupas. It was a bone of contention between two factions of this family. As a result, the place became a battle ground during the 8th-9th Century A.D. Numerous inscriptions have been reported from this place. They provide the earliest epigraphical information about the Alupas.
Udyavara during its pristine period had two fortifications. The inner enclosure had palace and the outer big one contained houses of all people, temples and business establishments. Antiquity of this place goes back to 4th-3rd Century B.C. Test excavations conducted here has yielded pottery of this period. Also, perhaps the earliest information about the Jaina Santaras (rulers of Hombuchcha) is obtained from this place.
Though ancient, the city has lost its heritage due to modern development. Remnants of fort walls, some temples and inscriptions are but a few evidences to speak of its ancient glory. One of the earliest temples of this region was built here on a big rocky boulder. Various social groups and religious sects lived here. The important temples of this place are 1) The Shambu Kallu, 2) the Veera Bhadra Durga Parameshwari and the Vinayaka.
Besides being an ancient centre, Udyavara has a very good potential of being developed as a tourist centre with opportunities for water sports.
Udipi is first among the seven places of pilgrimages. Thousands of pious devotees throng the Krishna temple all round the year to catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna. The unique feature of this temple is that the Lord is worshipped only through a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kitiki. The window is exquisitely carved and silver - plated. It has been a tradition in this temple to worship the Lord only through this window. Read on to know more about the temple, the legends, the pujas & rituals and the festivals celebrated.
It is widely believed that the name of Udipi was derived from its Tulu name Odipu. The Tulu name in turn is associated with a temple at Malpe, devoted to Odabhaandiishvara.
This town is the center of Hindu spirituality with its temples and matts.
Kundapura, the northern tip of the district
Holy Rosary Church
Abu Abdullah Mohammed (1304-1358) known by his family name Ibn Bututta set out from his home town of Tangier in Morocco in 1325 on pilgrimage to Mecca. He visited Canara on his way from Hanavar to Malabar. In his travel account says, "The first town in the land of Mulaybar (Malabara) that we entered as the towm of Abu-Sarur (Barcelor), a small place on a large inlet and abounding in coco palms" (Gibb, 1986:233).
The Portuguese official Duarte Barbosa was in India from about 1500 till about 1517. He visited Barcelor. In his account he says "…. The other Bracalor which pertain to the Kingdom of Naryngua (i.e. Vijayanagara)…. Here is much good rice, which grows in the lands there by, and many shios from abroad, and many as well of Malabar, take in cargoes there of, and take it away. Great store thereof they carry hence to Ormus (Hormuz in Saudi Arabia), Aden (South Yemen), Xaer, Cananor and Calecut, and they barter it for copper, coconuts (and the oil thereof), and molasses" (dames, 1918:193-194).
Pietro Della valle an Italian traveler who traveled India visited Barcellor on November 26, 1623 on his way from Keladi to Mangalore. He writes in his diary, " Thence we came by a short cut to Barcelore, called the Higher i.e. within land, belonging to the Indian and subject to Venk-tapa Naieka (Venkatappa Nayaka), to distinguish it from the lower barcellor on the Seacoast belonging to the Portugal's. For in almost all Territories of Indian near the sea coast there happen to be two places same place of, one called the Higher, or In-land, belonging to the natives, the other the Lower, near the sea, to the Portugal's, where they have footing. Having dined and rested a good while in higher Barcelor, I took boat and rowed down the more Southern stream; for a little below the said Town it is divided into many branches and forms divers little fruitful islands. About an hour and half before night I arrived at the Lower Barselor of the Portugals, which also stands on the Southern bank of the River, distant two good Cannon-shot from its mouth;……….The Fort of the Portugals is very small, built almost in form of a Star, having not bad walls, but wanting ditches, in a Plain and much exposed to all sorts of assaults. Such Portugals as are married have Houses without the Fort in the Town, which is pretty large and hath good buildings" (Grey, 1892:296-297). Pietro then describes how he enjoyed the hospitality of Atonio Borges and how his ship met with an accident near the river mouth of Barcelor.
" I have not seen a more beautiful country than this, and an old fort, situated a little higher up than the town commands one of the finest prospects that I ever held. The people here seem to have no knowledge of anything that happened before the conquest by Sivuppa Nayaka" These were the comments written by Dr. Francis Buchanan in his diary on February 15, 1801, when he visited Kundapura in his journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore, Canara, and Malabar (Buchana, 1807:105).
In Portuguese records Kundapura is know as Barcelor (pronounced as Barselor) and Basrur is called Barcelor de sima (upper Barcelor). Fr. Henry Heras, the well known Jesuit Historian of Bombay came to Kundapura 1928 summer and studied Kundapura and Basrur. Since Basrur has Maintained a number of old Hindu temples and a number of stone inscriptions Fr. Heras came to the definite conclusion that Basrus was never under the Portuguese, otherwise all these temples and antiquities would have perished at their hands. Hence he concluded that Barcelor of 16th Century is Modern Kundapura and Upper Basrur (Heras, 1930:182-184).
South Kanara is home for many Catholics now spread all over the world, and I felt, this would-be a nice way to make them familiar with their home country. For information on Mangalore Catholic Parishes, please visit the following website. http://www.mangalorean.com/ekata/browse.php
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