Mangalore is the chief port city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located about 350 kilometres (220 mi) west of the state capital, Bangalore. Mangalore lies between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghat mountain ranges, and is the administrative headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada (formerly South Canara) district in south western Karnataka.
Mangalore derives its name from the local Hindu Goddess Mangaladevi. It developed as a port on the Arabian Sea remaining, to this day, a major port of India. Lying on the backwaters of the Netravati and Gurupura rivers, Mangalore is often used as a staging point for sea traffic along the Malabar Coast. The city has a tropical climate and lies in the path of the Arabian Sea branch of the South-West monsoons. Mangalore's port handles 75 per cent of India's coffee exports and the bulk of the nation's cashew exports.
Mangalore was ruled by several major powers, including the Kadambas, Vijayanagar dynasty, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, and the Portuguese. The city was a source of contention between the British and the Mysore rulers, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Eventually annexed by the British in 1799, Mangalore remained part of the Madras Presidency until India's independence in 1947. The city was unified with the state of Mysore (now called Karnataka) in 1956.
Mangalore is demographically diverse with several languages, including Tulu, Konkani, Kannada, and Beary bashe commonly spoken, and is the largest city of Tulu Nadu region. The city's landscape is characterised by rolling hills, coconut palms, freshwater streams, and hard red-clay tiled-roof buildings. In an exercise carried out by the Urban Development Ministry under the national urban sanitation policy, Mangalore was placed as the eighth cleanest city in the country. In Karnataka, it is second after Mysore.