Dakshina Kannada, also known as South Kanara, or South Canara), is a coastal district in the state of Karnataka in India. It is bordered by Udupi District to the north, Chikkamagaluru district to the northeast, Hassan District to the east, Kodagu to the southeast, and Kasaragod District in Kerala to the south. The Arabian Sea bounds it on the west. Mangalore is the headquarters and chief city of the district. Dakshina Kannada district has an area 4,866 square kilometres, and a population density of 390 persons per square kilometre. There are 354 villages in the district.
The district is divided into five talukas, Mangalore, Bantwal, Puttur, Sullia, and Belthangady. It used to include three northern talukas, Udupi, Kundapur and Karkal, but these were separated in August 1997 to form Udupi district. Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kasaragod taluk are often called Tulu Nadu, as Tulu is the majority language in the region. The Alupas who ruled this region between the 8th and 14th century CE as a feudatory of all the major Kannada empires of those times and it is for this reason that the Tulu speaking districts are a part of Karnataka state.
Important towns in Dakshina Kannada include Mangalore, Bantwal,Vittal, Puttur, Sullia, Moodabidri, Kadaba, Surathkal, Mulki and Dharmasthala.