Urban settlements in developing countries are, at present, growing five times as fast as those in developed countries. This paper presents the urban expansion and land use/land cover changes in the fast urbanizing coastal area of the Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka state, South India, during the years 1983–2008 as a case study. Six Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite images were used in the present work. Supervised classification was carried out using maximum likelihood algorithm. The overall accuracy of the classification varied from 79% to 86.6%, and the kappa statistics varied from 0.761 to 0.850. The results indicate that the urban/built-up area in the study area has almost tripled during the study period. During the same time, the population has increased by 215%. The major driving forces for the urbanization were the enhanced economic activity due to the port and industrialization in the area. The urban/built-up area is projected to increase to and the population in the study area is expected to reach 2.68 million by the year 2028. Urban growth prediction helps urban planners and policymakers provide better infrastructure services to a huge number of new urban residents.