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Map of Karnataka (Source: India-WRIS)



Karnataka has a written history of more than 2,000 years. This state was under several North Indian dynasties like Nandas and Mauryas. Later the famous Satvahans ruled this area. Several indigenous dynasties like the Kadambas of Banavasi, and the Gangas ruled here from middle of the 4th Century AD. The Chalukyas of Badami made a mark in the history (500 AD to 753 AD) with their heroic deeds and as great builders. The Rashtrakutas (753-973 AD) of Malkhed who succeeded them levied tribute on the rulers of Kanauj successively in the so-called 'Age of Imperial Kanuaj'. Kannada literature developed during this period. Outstanding Jain scholars of India lived in their court. The Cahlukyas of Kalyana (973-1189 AD) and their feudatories, the Kannadiga dynasties of the Yadavas, Kalachuris and Hoyasalas also played their part. Vijaynagar Empire (1336-1646) fostered indigenous traditions and encouraged arts, religion and literature in Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil. Overseas trade flourished. The Bahmani Sultans and the Bijapur Adilshahis raised fine Indo-Saracenic buildings and encouraged Urdu and Persian literature. Advent of Portuguese resulted in the introduction of new crops (tobacco, maize, chillies, groundnut, potato, etc.). After the fall of Tipu (1799) and Peshwa (1818) Karnataka came under the British. Christian missionaries introduced English education and printing during 19th century. Urban middle class emerged. Mysore dynasty helped industrialisation and cultural growth. Freedom movement was followed by the movement of unification of Karnataka. After independence in 1956, the state was created as united Mysore. In 1973, it was renamed as Karnataka.


Karnataka, the 7th largest state in terms of area in India. It is situated on the western edge of Deccan plateau and with Maharashtra and Goa to its north, Kerala and Tamil Nadu to its south, Andhra Pradesh to its east and Arabian Sea to its west. Karnataka is the parts and parcel of southern Indian and partly link between the south and the rest of India. The state is mainly divided into three parts - the coastal region, the Western Ghats and the vast plains from ghats to the east. Karnataka has a series of uplands with an average height of 610 meters above sea level. The coastal region of this state is 320 km long. Major rivers Sharavathi and Kalindi flow towards west. Here some of rivers have torrential stream, which are in full flow during monsoon. The ghats run from north to south; average height of 610-915 meters above sea level; some peaks rise above 910 meters and when overlapping with Nilgiris, they rise to a height of 2,440 meters above sea level. Most of the major rivers originate from ghat and moves towards west to east towards Bay of Bengal. Krishna, with its tributaries like Ghataprabha and Tungabhadra, is among these mighty rivers. In the southern part there are Cauvery river with its tributaries like Shimsha, Hemavati and Kapila. These rivers are the major sources of irrigation. The state exhibits sub-regional climatic variations within tropical monsoonal zone.


Karnataka, the seventh largest state of India, is located between 11° 30' and 18° 30' N latitude and 74° 15' and 78° 30' E longitude. The state is bounded by Goa in the North - West, Maharashtra in the North, Andhra Pradesh in the East, Tamil Nadu in the South and South - East and Kerala in the South - West. Bangalore is the state capital.


The climate of Karnataka is basically tropical and determined largely by the physiographic and geographic location with respect to the sea and monsoon. The state enjoys the benefit of two monsoons and hence it will be called the land of two monsoons because both southwest and northeast monsoons account for major part of the rainfall. Temperature is lowest in the month of January and increases thereafter gradually at first and then, rapidly after the middle of February or beginning of March. Temperature varies between 18° to 40°C during summer and between 14° – 32°C during winters.

Water Resources

There are seven river systems draining the state. The major river systems draining the entire state comprised of Krishna, Cauvery, Godavari, North Pennar, South Pennar and Palar.


  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Mines & Minerals


Agriculture is the main economic activity of the state. About 69 percent of the population live in the villages and 71 percent of the working population engaged in it. The main crops are rice, ragi, jowar, bajra, maize, wheat and pulses. The state occupied 7th position in the production of oil seeds in India. The important cash crops of this state are coffee (60% of the country's output comes from this state), tobacco, cashew, coconut, arecanut, cardamom, chilly, sunflower and sugarcane. Karnataka also has a considerable horticulture production.There are 21 wild life sanctuaries to conserve wildlife in general and endangered species. The state stands second in total income from forests. Sandalwood, teakwood, rubber, bamboo, rosewood, etc. are the major forest products.


From the industrial point of view Karnataka is one of the leading industrial states. It produced about 4% of the total national industrial output and accounts for about 20% of the income. Karnataka stands first in the production of electronic equipment and raw silk. Bharat Earth Movers, Bharat Electronics, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Hindustan Machine Tools, Indian Telephone Industries, Wheel and Axle, New Government Electric Factory and Mangalore Chemicals and Fertiliser are among the major public sector undertakings. There are number of factories under joint sector, private sector and also small-scale industries. Industrial out put from the state aircraft, rail coaches, telephone instruments, electronic and telecom instruments, glass, batteries, spark plugs, electric motors, textiles, silk sandal oil, electrical goods, porcelain, sugar, caustic soda, paper, newsprint, capacitors, mining metal tools, cement, motor cycles, fertilizer etc.

Mines & Minerals

The mineral base of this state is very rich. There are very high quality iron ore reserves in the state. Besides this, there are copper ore, manganese, chromite, china clay, limestone and magnesite. The country's main gold production comes from this state. Kolar is a very old gold mine in this state. It is the sole producer of Felsite and leading producer of moulding sand and fuchsite quartizite. There are enough granite reserve in this state.


  • Irrigation
  • Power
  • Transport
  • Health
  • Education
  • Telecommunication


Krishna, Cauvery and their tributaries are main base of state's irrigation. Karnataka has the basins of the east flowing rivers like Krishna, Cauvery, Godavari, North Pennar, South Pennar, Palar and west flowing rivers.


Electricity generation goes back to 1887 when the Gokak falls unit started working. Major hydel power projects are Shivasamudra (1901), Sharavathi, Gerusoppa and Kali Stage I & Stage II. The state's major thermal power projects are at Raichur and Yelahanka. There is an atomic power plant at Kaiga near Mangalore.



Bangalore, Belgaum, Mangalore and Hubli are the main airports. Direct flight facilities to major cities of India are available from Bangalore.


New Mangalore is the main all-weather seaport of the state. This port mainly handles cargo vessels. Special facilities for export of Kudremukh iron ore and to handle crude, oil, coal, LPG, etc., were developed with Sea Bird Project of the Indian Navy coming up near Karwar.


Major tourist attractions of the state are Bangalore, famous for various parks (Cubbon Park and Lalbhag for instance) and industries, former princely capital Mysore with the Brindavan Gardens and Srirangapattana (the capital of Tipu Sultan) nearby, Sharavanabelgola, famous pilgrimage centre of Jainism (Here is the monolithic 57 feet high statue of Gomateshwara), Belur, Halebidu and Somnathpura with famous Hoysala monuments, Badami, Aihole and Pattadkal for the 1,300 year old rock-cut and structural temples; Hampi, the famous open air museum (ancient Vijaynagar), Gulbarga, Bidar and Bijapur, renowned for their Indo-saracenic monuments, Mangalore and Karwar for ports and beaches; Gokarna, Udupi, Dharmasthala, Melkote, Gangapura and Saundatti are famous for pilgrimage center's.

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