Mangalore is the chief port city of the state of Karnataka, India. It is situated on the west coast of the country on the Arabian Sea, with the Western Ghats to Mangalore's east.
Mangalore is the administrative headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada (South Canara) district in the southwestern corner of Karnataka, and developed as a port on the Arabian Sea - to this day it remains one of the major ports of India. Lying on the backwaters formed by the Netravati and Gurupura rivers, it has long been a roadstead along the Malabar Coast.
Mangalore is known for its beaches, temples and industries. There are several languages spoken there, including Tulu, Konkani, Kannada, and Beary.
The landscape is dominated by the characteristic coconut palms accompanying rolling hills and streams flowing into the sea. The landscape is dotted with tiled-roof buildings, topped with the famous Mangalore tiles made with the local hard red clay and typically walled with laterite blocks. Older houses are commonly found with elaborate wood-work.
There are many historical references regarding to the town. Cosmas Indicopleustes referred to the port of Mangarouth . Pliny, a Roman historian made references of a place called Nithrias , and Greek historian Ptolemy referred to Nitre, both the references probably referred to River Netravathi. Roman writer Arien called Mangalore Mandegora. A copper inscription belonging to 7th century called Mangalore Mangalapura. This region, given away as a reward to sage Parashurama by Samudraraja, is well known for its Kadali fruits. It is the land of enchantment of Sahyadri mountains, where the great sages Kanva, Vysa, Vashista, Vishwamitra and other in the Loral past spent their days of meditation.
The ancient history proved Mangalore had been the capital of Alupa dynasty till 14th century , A traveler, Ibn Battuta who had visited the town in 1342 stated that he arrived at a place named Manjurun or Mandjaur situated on a large estuary. He had mentioned that the town was a trading centre and Persian and Yemeni merchants disembarked at Mangalore . In 1448, Abdul Razak, a Persian Ambassador passed via this route to Vijayanagar. He said that he had seen a glorious temple here. The inscriptions at Moodabidri stated a king Mangaras Odeya was the governor of Mangaluru Raajya during the reign of Vira Harihararaya II of Vijayanagar dynasty. Another inscription stated that Deeva Raaja Odeya ruled the Mangaluru Raajya in 1429 during the reign of Vijayanagara King Veera Devaraya II.
Various powers have fought for control over Mangalore. The major dynasties that ruled the town till the arrival of Portuguese were Kadambas, the Western Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Alupas and Hoysalas. In 1520 the Portuguese took control of the area from Vijayanagara rulers, but in 1695, the town was burned by the Arabs in retaliation for Portuguese restrictions on Arab trade. Hyder Ali (1722–1782) the ruler of Mysore conquered Mangalore in 1763 , and it was under his administration till 1768, before being annexed by the British between 1768 and 1794. Later in 1794 Hyder Ali's son Tippu Sultan again took control of the area , but it was re-conquered by the British upon the fall of Srirangapatana in 1799. A part of the Madras Presidency up to Indian independence, Mangalore was merged into a unified Karnataka state in 1956.
Mangalore's economy is dominated by agricultural processing and port-related activities. Imports include tropical timber from south-east Asia for furniture making, a necessity since India places major restrictions on its own teak felling. The port handles 75% of India’s coffee exports and the bulk of its cashew nuts. The latter are brought from many coastal areas (notably from Kerala); the National Cashew research centre is nearby at Puttur. Mangalore roof tiles are famous all over India. The roof tiles made from red clay and baked, is used as roof in many parts of the country. There is rapid decline in this industry due to use of RCC roofs.
Mangalore is home to the automobile leaf spring industry. In 1950 the Canara Workshops Ltd started production under the brand name Canara Springs, and in 1976 Lamina Suspension Products Ltd started production under the brand name Lamina. Thereafter various small scale manufacturers have put up shop in the industrial area at Baikampady to manufacture leaf springs. Over the period there has been a lot of consolidation because of some of the smaller units shutting down. Currently there are about six or seven units producing about one thousand metric tonnes of leaf springs per month. They cater almost entirely to the replacement or after market of South India. Beedi rolling industry is also famous in Mangalore.
The major industries in Mangalore are Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd. (MCF), Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd. (KIOCL), Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), BASF, ELF GAS. The Yeyyadi Industrial area also harbours several industries.
The boat building and fishing industry has been core business in Mangalore city for generations.