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Once Known as Mysore State, Karnataka has a finely balanced mix of natural attractions and superb historic architecture. The state appeals equally to temple lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, trekkers and beach bums. The state of Karnataka, formerly known as Mysore, is situated on the western side of the Deccan Plateau. Bangalore, state capital of Karnataka, may have been renamed Bengaluru in yet another attempt to strip away the legacy of the Raj and assert its Indian identity, but it remains in many ways the country's most "Western" city, famous for its energetic nightlife, sophisticated design sense, and highly evolved computer and technology industries. Everything in Karataka is an intense experience for the tourist. Karnataka unfolds a variety of tourist destinations, from historic places to wildlife parks, religious places to spectacular waterfalls.

Karnataka State Basic Information

Capital Bengaluru
Area 191,791 sq. km
Population 6,11,30,704
No. of District 27
Literacy Rate 75.36%
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah
Governer Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala
Sex Ratio 973
Language Kannada
Date of Formation 1 November 1956
State Animal Indian elephant
State Bird Indian roller
State Flower Sacred Lotus
State Tree Indian sandalwood
Official Website www.karnataka.gov.in


The history of Karnataka is really engrossing. This state lying in the south of India was ruled and invaded by many different rulers at different point of time in history. In the ancient times Karnataka was known as Karunadu which means elevated land or high plateau. The history of Karnataka can be traced back to the prehistoric days.The early inhabitants of Karnataka knew the use of iron far earlier than the North, and iron weapons, dating back to 1200 B.C.

In the early historical period, Karnataka formed a part of the Mauryan empire under emperor Ashoka, which fact is attested to by the presence of ten Ashokan edicts at places such as Maski, Koppaii, Brahmagiri, Siddapura, Jatingarameshwara, Nittur and Udegolam. The Kadambas, The Gangas and Badami Chalukyas were some of the leading rulers to set their dynasty in Karnataka. The empire of the Rastrakutas, Kalyana Chalukyas, Sevunas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagaras set new foray for the state.

With the weakening of the Mughul power in the North, the Marathas came to have control over the northern districts of Karnataka. Haidar Ali, Who used power from the Wodeyars of Mysore, merged the Keladi Kingdom in Mysore in 1763. Karnataka came under British rule after the overthrow of Tipu, Haidar’s son in 1799 and the Marathas in 1818


Karnataka is located in the southern part of the country, that is situated on the western edge of the Deccan Peninsular region and is surrounded on the North by Maharashtra and Karnataka, on the East by Andhra Pradesh, on the South by Tamil Nadu and Kerala and on the West, it opens out on the Arabian Sea. The state of Karnataka is part of two well-defined regions of India, namely the Deccan Plateau and the Coastal Plains and Islands and it can be further divided into four regions - the Northern Karnataka Plateau, Central Karnataka Plateau, Southern Karnataka Plateau, Karnataka Coastal Region. It is located approximately between 11.5° North and 18.5° North latitudes and 74° East and 78.5° East longitudes. The state covers an area of 1, 91,791 square km, which constitutes 5.83 per cent of the total geographical area of India.Karnataka has a dynamic weather due to the land’s altitude, topography and the distance from the sea. The climate of Karnataka ranges from arid to semi-arid to humid tropical. Two annual monsoons bring rainfall to Karnataka: the North-East monsoon and the South-West monsoon. The mean annual rainfall in Karnataka is around 1355 millimetres.


Karnataka, the IT hub of Indian Subcontinent, like every other destination, has its own distinctive characteristics. Of all the characteristic features, the one which sets the state apart is the culture of Karnataka. With a strong lineage of Indian emperors ruling this state, the culture of this state has been shaped by like Mauryas, Chalukyas the Hoysalas, and the Vijayanagar empire. They have left behind a rich cultural heritage that is still evident in the everyday life.True to its colorful heritage, Karnataka has an array of festivals that add life, gaiety, and color to mundane activities. The Paryaya Festival of the Krishna temple at Udupi, held biennially in January, marks the ceremonious handing over of the charge of the shrine to one of the eight religious orders of the Madhwacharya's spiritual descendants in rotation for a two-year term. Culture of Karnataka is revered for its storehouse of music and dance forms. Especially Karnataka is august for its wealth of Indian classical music. Both Carnatic Music and Hindustani music proliferated in this region.


Karnataka is producing some of the country's foremost statesmen, scholars, educationists and scientists. The state has a unique educational environment in the whole of south Asia with largest number of professional colleges in the country. Karnataka has 20 Universities, 192 Engineering institutions, 42 Medical Colleges, 38 Dental colleges, 248 Polytechnics, 103 R&D Centers apart from the reputed outstanding Institutions like Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Science, Raman Research Institute, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Indian Space Research Organisation, National Aeronautical Laboratory and National Institute for Sports etc. The Mysore University (1916) was the first University to be started in Karnataka. This was followed by the Karnatak University (1949), the Bangalore University (1964), the Mangalore University (1980), the Gulbarga University (1980), and the Kuvempu University (1987). Colleges partially funded by govt are the most crowded. Nearly 60,000 students study in Bangalore’s 61 colleges. The number of private institutions is more in Gulbarga region next to Bangalore.


Karnataka is one of the leading states in the field of industrial development both in the private and public sectors and in the area of computer software, which has attracted national and international firms to the city of Bangalore. With one of the highest economic growth rates among all states, Karnataka has been a constant contributor to the progress of the country. The major contributors to the Karnataka economy are agriculture, mining, IT and tourism. At current prices, the gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Karnataka was about US$ 156.23 billion in 2015-16. The average GSDP growth rate between 2004-05 and 2015-16 was about 13.93 per cent. The per capita GSDP increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.91 per cent between 2004-05 and 2015-16 to US$ 2,557. The state has a number of traditional cottage and small industries like handlooms, silk weaving etc. Karnataka has been the leading state for silk rearing and production of Khadi and village industries. Apart from the numerous factories in engineering, chemicals, electrical, and electronic goods, there are food processing and processing of plantation products like tea, coffee, rubber, cashew etc.


Karnataka comprises of 27 administrative districts with various taluks existing within each district. The government and administration in Karnataka is controlled on the same paths as in other states of the country. The Karnataka Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). The Vidhan Sabha consists of 224 members. Karnataka has 28 seats in the Lok Sabha - the lower house of Parliament and 12 seats in Rajya Sabha - the upper house of Parliament. The Karnataka Assembly is elected by universal adult suffrage for a period of five years. The Chief Minister is the head of government and is vested with most of the executive powers. The Chief Minister is assisted by a Council of Ministers that he nominates, the size of which is restricted.

Judiciary in Karnataka is headed by Chief Justice as in other states of the country and Karnataka High Court is the head of the judiciary system in Karnataka. High Court of Karnataka was established at Bangalore in 1881.


Karnataka is a prosperous, compelling state loaded with a winning blend of urban cool, glittering palaces, national parks, ancient ruins, beaches, yoga centres and legendary hang-outs. Travel to this exotic land that will leave you spellbound with its enormous charm. Ancient ruins, regal palaces, sacred shrines, and historic monuments, Karnataka manifests itself in manifold ways before the awe-struck traveler. While travelling in Karnataka from one city to another, you will be enjoying a ringside view of the many facets of the state's rich culture. One of the major attractions in Karnataka are its many rivers that add to the scenic beauty of the state. The state has its rivers as major attraction for nature and wildlife tourism in the country. Each of the cities of Karnataka is resplendent with its glorious history and a plethora of tourist attractions. The landscape is dotted with ancient structures that are mute witness of the bygone era. There are holy shrines that beckon pious devotees from all over the country.