Most Indians know of Udupi as a type of inexpensive restaurant that generally serves vegetarian food in the South Indian style. Not many know of the sleepy coastal town from which this great cuisine originated, that does duty as the headquarters of the eponymous Udupi district in the Karavali, or coastal region of Karnataka. Still fewer know of its reputation as the location of a Krishna temple with rich history and a monastery established by the founder of one of the three main philosophical strains of present-day Hinduism. Many, however, have heard of Manipal, a major educational centre, and a suburb of Udupi, that attracts students from all over India and internationally. Rather confusingly, the town of Udupi lies in Udupi taluka which in turn is in Udupi district. This article covers not only the town, but also its surrounding areas, the region roughly corresponding to Udupi taluka. The taluka is one of the three divisions of Udupi district. It lies on the coast, with the Arabian Sea to its west. The other two talukas are Kundapura on its north and Karkala, which on the west, at the foothills of the Western Ghats. To the south of Udupi is Mangalore, which is the headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada district.
Tulu is the most widely spoken language in Udupi City. Other spoken languages include Konkani, Hindi, Malayalam and English. Muslims in Udupi speak Urdu, Nawayathi and Beary.
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