2023 Recap: Events that defined Dakshina Kannada and Udupi this year

Team Udayavani, Dec 31, 2023, 11:35 AM IST

As the year draws to a close, it’s imperative to unravel and explore the threads that wove the fabric of 2023. From political upheavals to remarkable strides in culture and governance – several pivotal events shaped the narrative of this remarkable year in the twin districts of Karnataka Coast.

Here are some of the defining events of Dakshina Kannada (DK) and Udupi in 2023

January 1 – Roopesh Shetty wins Bigg Boss

Tulu and Kannada actor Rupesh Shetty clinched the title in season 9 of the Bigg Boss reality show. He claimed victory on January 1, winning the trophy along with a cash prize of Rs 60 lakh.

January 7 – MS Dhoni’s maiden visit to Mangaluru

Former Indian cricket team captain, M.S. Dhoni, made his maiden visit to Manglauru, flying in from Mumbai on January 7. He later proceeded towards an event at Bekal in Kasaragod.

January 30 – Committee for official language status for Tulu

A committee was established on January 30 to examine and present a report to the government regarding the designation of Tulu as the state’s second official language. Dr. Mohan Alva from Alvas Educational Institutions was appointed as the committee’s chairman.

January 31 – Lt Cdr. Disha Amrith leads Indian Naval contingent in Paris

Lt Cdr. Disha Amrith who hails from Mangaluru led a contingent of the Indian Navy at the French National Day (Bastille Day) parade in Paris, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

February 11 – State Yakshagana Conference 

The inaugural Yakshagana conference took place on February 11 and 12 at the MGM college ground Udupi, organized by the Karnataka Yakshagana Academy. Dr. Prabhakar Joshi presided over the conference, where resolutions were made for the preservation and sustenance of Yakshagana.

February 12 – Jyoti Raj scales Gadaikallu 

Karnataka’s ‘Monkey Man’, Jyoti Raj, scaled the Gadaikallu (Jamalabad Fort) Narasimha Ghada in Belthangady on February 12. He set another record by becoming the first person to climb Gadaikallu which is 1700 feet above sea level.

February 13 – Rajinikath inMangaluru for ‘Jailer’ shoot

Superstar Rajinikanth visited Mangalore on the night of February 13. The shooting for the movie “Jailer” took place at a private house in Pilikula the following morning.

February 22 Raging Wildfires

A massive wildfire erupted on February 22, consuming a thousand hectares of forest in the grasslands of Aladangadi, Urjalubetta, Mithabagilu and Guthyadka within the Belthangady Wildlife Division of Kudremukh National Park. The fire raged for weeks.

April 04 – Elderly woman prevents train accident

The heroic actions of a 70-year-old woman prevented a possible train tragedy. Chandravati, who lives in Mandara near Pachanady, waved a red cloth to alert train staff about a tree that had fallen on the train track just as the Matsyagandha train was making its way from Mangaluru to Mumbai. Her prompt action was acknowledged by the department and the public.

April 30 – Dr. TMA Pai’s 125th Birth Anniversary

The commemoration of Dr. TMA Pai’s 125th birth anniversary, the visionary behind modern Manipal, was celebrated at MAHE and its affiliated institutions throughout the year. MGM College marked the occasion with the Amrita Mahotsava celebrations.

July 12 – NIA raids 

The NIA conducted raids on July 12 in 16 locations, including Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada district, arresting three individuals and seizing crucial documents related to a suspected plot to disrupt Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s program in Patna.

August 01 – Siddaramaiah’s first visit as the new CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah made his inaugural visit to Dakshina Kannada district on August 1, holding a development review meeting and issuing an order to ban loan apps and gambling. He also visited Udupi, conducting a progress review meeting and addressing public grievances in Janata Darshan.

November 12 – Nejaru Quadruple Murder Case on November 12

A tragic incident occurred at Nejar in Udupi, where a mother and her three children were brutally murdered, shocking the entire state. The police swiftly arrested Praveen Chowgule, a flight cabin crew member,  in connection with the case. Currently, the accused is incarcerated at Parappana Agrahara Jail.

November 13 – Massive Boat Fire in Gangolli 

A devastating fire erupted at Gangolli port, destroying nine boats, two small vessels, and five bikes, estimated at a loss of Rs. 10 crores. Considerable valuable items were also consumed by the fire.

November 27 – Tusker attacks a car

A lone tusker attacked and damaged a car on the Neria-Kakkinje road in Belthangadi during the night. Abdul Rahman (40) and one-year-old Fatima Alfa from Kabaka in Puttur taluk, along with Nasiya (30), sustained injuries. However, five other occupants, including two children, miraculously escaped. This marked the first instance of a tusker attacking humans in the taluk.

December 30 – Karavali gets a Vande Bharat Train

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Mangaluru-Madgaon Vande Bharat Express. The train has scheduled stops at Udupi and Karwar, and its arrival was enthusiastically welcomed by the public in Mangaluru Udupi.

Demise of noted personalities

Balipa Narayan Bhagavata

Balipa Narayana Bhagavata, also known as “Bhagavatike Bhishma,” passed away at the age of 86. He was a prominent figure in the Tenkuthittu Yakshagana stage. Bhagavata breathed his last at Swagriha in Nooi of Maruru village on February 16.

Author Dr. Sara Aboobacker

Dr. Sara Aboobacker a renowned author and recipient of the Nadoja award, passed away on January 10 in Mangaluru. Originally from Kasaragod, she resided near Hathill near Lalbagh. Aboobacker is most well-known for her first novel, Chandragiriya Theeradalli. Her books largely focused on the lives of Muslim women living in Kerala and Karnataka.

Captain MV Pranjal’s Martyrdom

Captain MV Pranjal of the 63 Rashtriya Rifles, was martyred in a gunfight with militants on November 22 in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. Pranjal had grown up in Mangaluru and was the son of retired MD of MRPL Venkatesh and Anuradha. He attended Delhi Public School near MRPL until SSLC. The skirmish also resulted in the martyrdom of two army captains and two soldiers, while a major and a soldier sustained injuries.

State Elections of 2023

The year 2023 marked significant elections, including the state assembly elections, which led to the formation of a Congress government. Star campaigners from major political parties descended in Coastal districts to canvass for their respective candidates. Prominent leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP National President JP Nadda, Congress’ Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, campaigned vigorously.  Results revealed the BJP’s triumph in 11 out of 13 constituencies in both coastal districts, leaving the Congress with just 2 seats. Puttur constituency saw a close contest between Congress candidate (present MLA) Ashok Kumar Rai and independent candidate Arun Kumar Puthila, but BJP was left behind in the third spot.


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