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town, administrative headquarters of Dakshin Kannad district, southwestern Karnataka (formerly Mysore) state, southern India, a port on the Arabian Sea. Lying on the backwaters formed by the Netravati and Gurpur rivers, it has long been a roadstead along the Malabar Coast. Engaged in Persian Gulf trade in the 14th century, Mangalore was occupied by the Portuguese in the mid-16th century. Under the Mysore sultans (1763) it became a strategic shipbuilding base, which was ceded to the British in 1799 after numerous sieges.