Udupi district in the Karnataka state of India was created in August 1997. The three northern taluks, Udupi, Kundapur and Karkala, were separated from Dakshina Kannada District to form Udupi district. Udupi district is surrounded by Uttara Kannada district in north, Dakshina Kannada district in southern direction. Shivamogga district borders on north east side and Chikkamagaluru district on east. Arabian sea is on west of Udupi district. Udupi is famous for Udupi cuisine originated in the district as well as at Ashta Matha, i.e., eight Matts, Sri Krishna Temple and Udupi Hotels. Udupi is also one of oldest Educational Centres. Yakshagana, the drama and dance folk art is highly developed and popular in Udupi district as well as other coastal districts of Karnataka. The administrative headquarters of Udupi district is Udupi town. Population as per Census 2001 was 1,112,243 of which 18.55% were urban.
Udupi district is bound by Arabian sea in west and Western Ghats (world heritage site) in the east. Land nearer to sea is plain with small hills and paddy fields, coconut gardens etc. Land bordering the Western Ghats in the east is covered with forests and hilly terrain; the forests are very thick in some parts and Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is located near Hebri and Someshwara and Mukambika Wild Life sanctuary is established near Kollur. Kudremukh national park begins 16 km away from Karkala near Mala. The area surrounding Kollur is also thickly forested and villages are located in between forest area. Some parts of Kundapur Taluk and Karkala taluk are looking like Malenadu both in appearance covered with forests and greenery as well as in culture also. The district is harbouring rare species of flora and fauna. Tiger, King Cobra, deer, bison are some of the wild life seen in the district. Flora include rose wood, teak wood, some of rare plants and fungus.
The primary languages of Udupi district are Tulu, Kannada, Konkani, Beary Bashe and Urdu. The Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts are referred to as Tulu Nadu, as they constitute the Tulu-majority region. Inscriptions in the Tulu languages are found in and around the village of Barkur, the ancient capital of Tulu Nadu. Kundagannada which is the dialect of Kannada is spoken predominantly in Kundapur and Baindur Taluk, Hebri, and Brahmavar. Konkani is spoken by the people of Gouda Saraswat Brahmins, Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins and Mangalorean Catholics in Udupi District. The Muslims in Udupi district speak Urdu and some Muslims in Baindur speak the beary bashe and Nawayathi language.
The famous Udupi Krishna Temple is located in Udupi, which is visited by western tourists also.Udupi is the place where Sri Madhwacharya, one of the greatest proponents of the Vaishnava faith began his philosophical journey
Kuthpady is known for the Subramanya temples, which are visited every year thousands of pilgrims during Subramanya Shrasthi, which falls in November–December It is also home to Brahma Vishnu Maheshwara Temple (Kanangi Temple) Satyayuga Yogashrama and Ramakrishna Bhajana Mandira.
Udupi District has richly contributed to Kannada literature. Jnanapeetha award winner, Dr. K. Shivarama Karanth is from Kota, a small village in this district.