Mangalore is the gateway to Karnataka. Traditionally, it was an important trading port with ties with the Persian Gulf states dating back to the 14th century. With its strategic location, it was occupied by a number of dynasties and colonial rulers, namely the Portuguese in the mid-16th century. In the 18th century, its control was contested by Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan on one hand and the British on the other. Under the Mysore sultans (1763), it became a strategic ship building base, which was ceded to the British in 1799 after numerous sieges. Mangalore is one of the fastest developing cities in India. Many multinational corporations and domestic corporations are opening their branches in Mangalore. Many reputed builders are bringing huge development projects. There is very good growth in the retail sector and many new shopping malls are being built. Infosys Technologies has 2 development centers in Mangalore with over 3000 employees. Cognizant have its development center on MG Road. MphasiS has their India Training Center based near Mangalore Club. Corporation Bank and Karnataka Bank have their headquarters inside the city and Syndicate Bank HQ is in Manipal. Polaris, Thomson Reuters Omnesys, MRPL, MCF, BASF, KIOCL, Ultratech Cement Plant are some of the other industries in the city. Mangalore is also known as the 'Cradle of Education' in Karnataka with 16 engineering (Nitk, surathkal being the rank 1 engineering college and MIT (Manipal) being second), 6 medical, 3 dental, 12 MBA, 11 physiotherapy, 8 hotel management and 58 graduation colleges in and around the city. Mangalore is a blend of the new and the old! With the increasing influx of students from various states of India and different parts of the world, Mangalore has virtually become a 'melting pot' of cultures, given the various communities that make up the social framework of Mangalore: the Tuluvas (Bunts, Billawas, Mogaveeras, Kulals, Brahmins, Jains, Devadigas, Chitpavans), the Brahmins, the Konkani Catholics, the Bearys, the Goud-Saraswath Brahmins (Konkanas), Devangs (M'lore Kannada, Tulu, M'lore Malayalam), etc.