Uttara Kannada District is one of the biggest districts of our State with abundant natural resources. The district has varied geographical features with thick forest, perennial rivers and abundant flora and fauna and a long coastal line of about 140 KM in length. It is surrounded by Belgaum District and State of Goa in the North, by Dharwar District in the East, by Shimoga and Udupi Districts in the South. Arabian Sea forms the West border.

For the purpose of administration, the district has been divided into four Sub-Divisions viz Karwar Sub-Division comprising Karwar, Haliyal & Joida Talukas, Kumta Sub-Division comprising Kumta & Ankola Talukas, Sirsi Sub-Division comprising of Sirisi,Siddapur,Yellapur & Mundgod Talukas and Bhatkal Sub-Division comprising Bhatkal & Honnavar Talukas.

Uttara Kannada District, lies between 130 55' and 150 31' north latitude and 74" 9' units and 750 10' East longitude.

Uttara Kannada is the land of rivers. There are five important rivers flowing in the District from the high range of mountains to the Arabian Sea. The Kali Nadi rises in Joida Taluk, the Gangavali rises in Dharwad District flows through Ankola Taluk. The Aghanashini rises near Sirsi, Sharavati which forms the famous Jog Falls flows through Honnavar . The other important rivers of the District are the Venktapur and the Varada. Except Varada river which flows eastwards all other rivers flow from East to West, cutting the Western ghats into deep Valleys, thus rendering themselves unfit for irrigation, but at the same time fit for generating hydroelectric power


Uttara Kannada District as already mentioned, has a coastal line of 144 K.Ms. extending from Majaii on the north to Gorte in Bhatkal Taluka on south and is endowed with natural resources. The District has 14 minor ports. The national Highway No.17 passes along the coastal areas in this district, facilitating good communication and transport.


The chief crops of the district are rice and sugarcane, along with a great diversity of other crops. Tree crops include coconut, arecanut, cocoa, cashew, mango, banana, pineapple, Garcinia, and sapota; vegetables include onion, radish, cucumber, cauliflower, sweet potato, 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 Ghats.
In addition to agriculture, forestry and fisheries are also important.


The chief language of the district is Kannada, with minorities of Konkani, Marathi, and Tulu speakers. The population is predominantly Hindu, comprising of many communities like Havyaks, Naiks, Namdharis and Vanis.

The main tribes of the district are Sidhi, Kunabi, Halakki Vokkaliga, Gonda and Gouli.
Sidhis are said to have been brought by the Portuguese from Africa as slaves some four hundred years ago. Their population is around ten thousand and are generally found in Haliyal, Yellapur and Ankola taluks. Now their culture is completely Indian and have adopted mainly Hindu religion. A small population of them are Muslims and Christians. They are extremely poor and backward and work mainly as agriculture labourers in the fields of Havyak Brahmins.

Halakki Vokkaligas living in the foot of Western Ghats are known as the "Aboriginals of Uttara Kannada". Their distinctiveness and backwardness are too obvious. They have administrative system of their own and the headman is called "Gouda". Their way of living is still ancient and need amalgamation with the main stream. The men are practically naked at home and the women decorated with beads and necklaces, heavy nose rings have distinct attire.
Goulis are a nomadic tribes migrated from Maharashtra. They are mainly cow and goat rearers. They stay on the fringes of forest. Some have taken up agriculture.

Kunabis are said to be the most backward of the tribals of Uttara Kannada District.. They live in small groups deep inside forests in bamboo huts built in a row sharing common walls. Not having access to the medical facilities due to seclusion, mortality rate among them is very high.
Gonds live mainly in the forests of Bhatkal taluk. They live off forest products. They have rich folk culture of tribal dance.