Kasaragod district is a district of Kerala state with it administrative headquarters located at Kasargod town. There are different sayings regarding the name of the district. According to one view the name of the district is taken from the two Sanskrit words i.e. "kaasaara" meaning lake or pond and "kroda" means a place where treasure is kept. As per another view suggests that it is the place where earlier, the Kaasaraka trees or Kaanjiram or Kaaraskara were in abundance. Previously, the Arabs used to call the Kasaragod by the name Harkwillia. The place Kasaragod was a significant trade centre during the period between 9th and 14th centuries and for this very reason it was attractive spot for the Arabians. At a time there was a huge kingdom named Kumbala Kingdom which comprised 64 Tulu and Malayalam villages and interestingly the region Kasaragod was also a part of that Kingdom. Later the Vijayanagara Empire came to the Kasargod and captured it but after their declination the administration of this area was vested with Ikkeri Nayakas. Prior to the formation of Kerala, Kasaragod was a part of earlier South Canara district of Madras Presidency. After sometime Kasaragod became a part of Kannur district following the reorganisation of states and formation of Kerala took place in 1st November, 1956. Kasaragod was declared as a district in the year 1984. On 24th May, 1984 the place Kasaragod was emerged as a separate district in the map of Kerala.
T. Ubaid, the illustrious cultural leader was born at Thalangara in the district in the year 1908. T. Ubaid translated many Malayalam literary pieces into Kannada and vice-versa because he was proficient in both the Malayalam and Kannada languages. He was also an effective speaker and member of the Kerala Sahithya Academy.
Geographically, the district lies at 12050'N latitude, 74099'E longitude and 19 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 48.59% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 1,989 sq km. and it is bounded by Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka on the North, Kannur district on the South, Western Ghats on the East and Arabian Sea on the West. The climate of the district remains pleasant almost throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 3257.6 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district comprises 2 sub-districts, 27 towns and 93 villages. The administrative language in the district is Malayalam.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 13,07,375 out of which 6,28,613 are males and 6,78,762 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1080 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 8.58% including 6.89% were males and 10.19% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 55.84% and 37.24% of the total population. The population density in the district is 657 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Malayalam with 82.69%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district is 20,426 out of which 10,522 are males and 9,904 are females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 7,273 out of which 4,027 were males and 3,246 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Since, the soil of the district is very fertile hence it is suitable for cultivation of various crops but the coastal strip of the place is sandy. Most of the population in the district are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, coconut, cashew, tobacco, vegetables, tapioca, pulses, ginger, pepper, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Forestry is another important sector of its economy because the forests in the district are full of variety of timber with teak and other plantations. Industrially, also the district is quite well developed. The two well known large scale industries in the district are Ship building industry and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries helps in its economy to a great extent. In the year 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 24,01,479 lakh at current price and Rs. 16,82,440 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 20,91,688 lakh at current price and Rs. 14,95,294 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 1,50,414 at current price and Rs. 1,07,527 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is renowned as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. The Central University of Kerala, established in 2009 is located at Periye in the Kasaragod district. The district has also some agricultural institutes namely Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), established in 1970 and Kerala Coconut Research Station, established in 1916. Malik Deenar Institute of Management Studies, one of the top most colleges of the district which offers MBA courses. There are many engineering colleges in the district but Lal Bahadur Shastri College of Engineering, established in 1993 is the reputed one. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 90.09% including 94.05% are males and 86.49% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 10,37,492 including 5,16,476 are males and 5,21,016 are females.
Mulleria Ramanna Rai, an eminent Indian politician and social activist was born on 28th September, 1930 at Kumbadaje in the Kasaragod district. He is a member of the 7th, 9th and 10th Lok Sabha from the Kasaragod constituency of Kerala. He was a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
During the year 2018, there were 2,76,599 domestic tourists and 4,122 foreign tourists. The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Bekal, situated on the seashore of Pallikara village in the district has a fort known as Bekal fort which is the biggest fort in Kerala at present. The fort is located at a distance of 15 km. south of the Kasargod town. The two other outstanding forts in the district are Chandragiri Fort; located 8 km. away from the town is popular for the breathtaking bird’s eye view of the Chandragiri River and Kasaragod port on the other hand Kasargod Fort, located near to the kasaragod railway station offers a panoramic view of kasargod landscape. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Bela church, Bellikoth, Cheruvathur, Edneer mutt, Govinda Pai memorial, Ananthapura Lake Temple, Kottancheri Hills, Ranipuram, etc.