Karnataka is a state in the south western region of India. It was
formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States
Reorganisation Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was
Karnataka in 1973. The state corresponds to the Carnatic
region. The capital and largest city is
Karnataka is bordered by the
Arabian Sea to the west,
Goa to the
Maharashtra to the north,
Telangana to the northeast,
Andhra Pradesh to the east,
Tamil Nadu to the southeast, and
the south. The state covers an area of 191,976 square kilometres
(74,122 sq mi), or 5.83 percent of the total geographical
area of India. It is the seventh largest Indian state by area. With
61,130,704 inhabitants at the 2011 census,
Karnataka is the eighth
largest state by population, comprising 30 districts. Kannada, one of
the classical languages of India, is the most widely spoken and
official language of the state alongside Konkani, Tulu, Tamil, Telugu,
Karnataka also has the only 3 naturally
Sanskrit-speaking districts in India.
The two main river systems of the state are the Krishna and its
tributaries, the Bhima, Ghataprabha, Vedavathi, Malaprabha, and
Tungabhadra, in the north, and the
Kaveri and its tributaries, the
Hemavati, Shimsha, Arkavati, Lakshmana Thirtha and Kabini, in the
south. Most of these rivers flow out of
Karnataka eastward, reaching
the sea at the Bay of Bengal.
Though several etymologies have been suggested for the name Karnataka,
the generally accepted one is that
Karnataka is derived from the
Kannada words karu and nādu, meaning "elevated land". Karu nadu may
also be read as karu, meaning "black", and nadu, meaning "region", as
a reference to the black cotton soil found in the
Bayalu Seeme region
of the state. The British used the word Carnatic, sometimes Karnatak,
to describe both sides of peninsular India, south of the Krishna.
With an antiquity that dates to the paleolithic,
Karnataka has been
home to some of the most powerful empires of ancient and medieval
India. The philosophers and musical bards patronised by these empires
launched socio-religious and literary movements which have endured to
the present day.
Karnataka has contributed significantly to both forms
of Indian classical music, the Carnatic and Hindustani traditions.
5 Government and administration
11.1 High literacy districts
11.2 High literacy taluks
14 Flora and fauna
16 See also
19 External links
Main articles: History of Karnataka, Political history of medieval
Karnataka, and Etymology of Karnataka
Mallikarjuna temple and Kashi Vishwanatha temple at Pattadakal, built
successively by the kings of the Chalukya Empire and Rashtrakuta
Empire is a
UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Karnataka's pre-history goes back to a paleolithic hand-axe culture
evidenced by discoveries of, among other things, hand axes and
cleavers in the region. Evidence of neolithic and megalithic
cultures have also been found in the state. Gold discovered in Harappa
was found to be imported from mines in Karnataka, prompting scholars
to hypothesise about contacts between ancient
Karnataka and the Indus
Valley Civilisation ca. 3300 BCE.
Prior to the third century BCE, most of
Karnataka formed part of the
Nanda Empire before coming under the
Mauryan empire of Emperor Ashoka.
Four centuries of Satavahana rule followed, allowing them to control
large areas of Karnataka. The decline of Satavahana power led to the
rise of the earliest native kingdoms, the
Kadambas and the Western
Gangas, marking the region's emergence as an independent political
entity. The Kadamba Dynasty, founded by Mayurasharma, had its capital
at Banavasi; the
Western Ganga Dynasty
Western Ganga Dynasty was formed with Talakad
as its capital.
Sala fighting the Lion, the emblem of
These were also the first kingdoms to use
Kannada in administration,
as evidenced by the
Halmidi inscription and a fifth-century copper
coin discovered at Banavasi. These dynasties were followed by
Kannada empires such as the
Badami Chalukyas, the
Rashtrakuta Empire of Manyakheta and the Western Chalukya
Empire, which ruled over large parts of the Deccan and had
their capitals in what is now Karnataka. The Western Chalukyas
patronised a unique style of architecture and
Kannada literature which
became a precursor to the
Hoysala art of the 12th century.
Parts of modern-day Southern
Karnataka (Gangavadi) were occupied by
Chola Empire at the turn of the 11th century. The Cholas and
the Hoysalas fought over the region in the early 12th century before
it eventually came under
Statue of Ugranarasimha at
Hampi (a World Heritage Site), located
within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the
At the turn of the first millennium, the Hoysalas gained power in the
region. Literature flourished during this time, which led to the
emergence of distinctive
Kannada literary metres, and the construction
of temples and sculptures adhering to the
Vesara style of
architecture. The expansion of the
brought minor parts of modern
Andhra Pradesh and
Tamil Nadu under its
rule. In the early 14th century,
Bukka Raya established
Vijayanagara empire with its capital, Hosapattana (later named
Vijayanagara), on the banks of the
Tungabhadra River in the modern
Bellary district. The empire rose as a bulwark against
into South India, which it completely controlled for over two
Karnataka and the rest of South
India experienced a major
geopolitical shift when the
Vijayanagara empire fell to a
confederation of Islamic sultanates in the Battle of Talikota. The
Bijapur Sultanate, which had risen after the demise of the Bahmani
Sultanate of Bidar, soon took control of the Deccan; it was defeated
by the Moghuls in the late 17th century. The Bahmani and
Bijapur rulers encouraged
Urdu and Persian literature and
Indo-Saracenic architecture, the
Gol Gumbaz being one of the high
points of this style. During the sixteenth century, Konkani Hindus
migrated to Karnataka, mostly from Salcette, Goa, while during the
seventeenth and eighteenth century,
Goan Catholics migrated to North
Canara and South Canara, especially from Bardes, Goa, as a result of
food shortages, epidemics and heavy taxation imposed by the
1792 Portrait of Tipu Sultan, in the care of the British Library
In the period that followed, parts of northern
Karnataka were ruled by
the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Maratha Empire, the British, and other
powers. In the south, the
Mysore Kingdom, a former vassal of the
Vijayanagara Empire, was briefly independent. With the death of
Krishnaraja Wodeyar II, Haidar Ali, the commander-in-chief of the
Mysore army, gained control of the region. After his death, the
kingdom was inherited by his son Tipu Sultan. To contain European
expansion in South India,
Haidar Ali and later
Tipu Sultan fought four
Mysore Wars, the last of which resulted in Tippu
Sultan's death and the incorporation of
Mysore into the
British Raj in
1799. The Kingdom of
Mysore was restored to the Wodeyars and
Mysore remained a princely state under the British Raj.
Chief Minister Dr. Devaraj Urs announcing the new name of the Mysore
state as 'Karnataka'
As the "doctrine of lapse" gave way to dissent and resistance from
princely states across the country,
Kittur Chennamma, Sangolli Rayanna
and others spearheaded rebellions in
Karnataka in 1830, nearly three
decades before the Indian Rebellion of 1857. However, Kitturu was
taken over by the British East
India Company even before the doctrine
was officially articulated by Lord Dalhousie in 1848. Other
uprisings followed, such as the ones at Supa, Bagalkot, Shorapur,
Nargund and Dandeli. These rebellions — which coincided with
Indian Rebellion of 1857
Indian Rebellion of 1857 – were led by Mundargi Bhimarao,
Bhaskar Rao Bhave, the Halagali Bedas,
Raja Venkatappa Nayaka
Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and
others. By the late 19th century, the independence movement had gained
momentum; Karnad Sadashiva Rao, Aluru Venkata Raya, S. Nijalingappa,
Nittoor Srinivasa Rau and others carried on the
struggle into the early 20th century.
After India's independence, the Maharaja, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar,
allowed his kingdom's accession to India. In 1950,
Mysore became an
Indian state of the same name; the former Maharaja served as its
Rajpramukh (head of state) until 1975. Following the long-standing
demand of the Ekikarana Movement, Kodagu- and Kannada-speaking regions
from the adjoining states of Madras, Hyderabad and Bombay were
incorporated into the
Mysore state, under the States Reorganisation
Act of 1956. The thus expanded state was renamed Karnataka, seventeen
years later, in 1973. In the early 1900s through the
post-independence era, industrial visionaries such as Sir Mokshagundam
Visvesvarayya, born in Muddenahalli,
Chikballapur district, played an
important role in the development of Karnataka's strong manufacturing
and industrial base.
Main articles: Geography of Karnataka, Rainfall in Karnataka, and
Beaches in Karnataka
Jog Falls, formed by
Sharavathi River, are the second highest plunge
waterfalls in India.
The state has three principal geographical zones:
The coastal region of Karavali
Malenadu region comprising the Western Ghats
Bayaluseeme region comprising the plains of the Deccan plateau
The bulk of the state is in the
Bayaluseeme region, the northern part
of which is the second-largest arid region in India. The highest
Karnataka is the
Mullayanagiri hills in Chickmagalur district
which has an altitude of 1,929 metres (6,329 ft). Some of the
important rivers in
Karnataka are Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Krishna,
Malaprabha and the Sharavathi. A large number of dams and reservoirs
are constructed across these rivers which richly add to the irrigation
and hydel power generation capacities of the state.
Karnataka consists of four main types of geological
formations — the
Archean complex made up of
and granitic gneisses, the
Proterozoic non-fossiliferous sedimentary
formations of the Kaladgi and
Bhima series, the Deccan trappean and
intertrappean deposits and the tertiary and recent laterites and
alluvial deposits. Significantly, about 60% of the state is composed
Archean complex which consist of gneisses, granites and
Laterite cappings that are found in many districts
Deccan Traps were formed after the cessation of volcanic
activity in the early tertiary period. Eleven groups of soil orders
are found in Karnataka, viz. Entisols, Inceptisols, Mollisols,
Spodosols, Alfisols, Ultisols, Oxisols, Aridisols, Vertisols, Andisols
and Histosols. Depending on the agricultural capability of the
soil, the soil types are divided into six types, viz. red, lateritic,
black, alluvio-colluvial, forest and coastal soils.
Karnataka experiences four seasons. The winter in January and February
is followed by summer between March and May, the monsoon season
between June and September and the post-monsoon season from October
till December. Meteorologically,
Karnataka is divided into three
zones — coastal, north interior and south interior. Of these,
the coastal zone receives the heaviest rainfall with an average
rainfall of about 3,638.5 mm (143 in) per annum, far in
excess of the state average of 1,139 mm (45 in).
Shivamogga district receives the second highest annual rainfall in
India. The highest recorded temperature was 45.6 °C
(114 °F) at
Raichur and the lowest recorded temperature was
2.8 °C (37 °F) at Bidar.
About 38,724 km2 (14,951 sq mi) of
Karnataka (i.e. 20%
of the state's geographic area) is covered by forests. The forests are
classified as reserved, protected, unclosed, village and private
forests. The percentage of forested area is slightly less than the
India average of about 23%, and significantly less than the 33%
prescribed in the National Forest Policy.
Main article: Districts of Karnataka
There are 30 districts in Karnataka:
Each district is governed by a district commissioner or district
magistrate. The districts are further divided into sub-divisions,
which are governed by sub-divisional magistrates; sub-divisions
comprise blocks containing panchayats (village councils) and town
At the 2011 census, Karnataka's ten largest cities, sorted in order of
decreasing population, were Bangalore, Hubballi-Dharwad, Mysuru,
Mangaluru, Gulbarga, Belagavi, Davangere, Ballary,
Regions of Karnataka
Main article: Demographics of Karnataka
Source:Census of India
According to the 2011 census of India, the total population of
Karnataka was 61,095,297 of which 30,966,657 (50.7%) were male and
30,128,640 (49.3%) were female, or 1000 males for every 973 females.
This represents a 15.60% increase over the population in 2001. The
population density was 319 per km2 and 38.67% of the people lived in
urban areas. The literacy rate was 75.36% with 82.47% of males and
68.08% of females being literate. 84.00% of the population were Hindu,
12.92% were Muslim, 1.87% were Christian, 0.72% were Jains, 0.16% were
Buddhist, 0.05% were
Sikh and 0.02% were belonging to other religions
and 0.27% of the population did not state their religion.
Kannada is the official language of
Karnataka and spoken as a native
language by about 66.26% of the people as of 2001. Other linguistic
minorities in the state were
Urdu (10.54%), Telugu (7.03%), Tamil
(3.57%), Marathi (3.6%), Tulu (3.0%),
Hindi (2.56%), Konkani (1.46%),
Malayalam (1.33%) and
Kodava Takk (0.3%). In 2007 the state had a
birth rate of 2.2%, a death rate of 0.7%, an infant mortality rate of
5.5% and a maternal mortality rate of 0.2%. The total fertility rate
In the field of speciality health care, Karnataka's private sector
competes with the best in the world.
Karnataka has also
established a modicum of public health services having a better record
of health care and child care than most other states of India. In
spite of these advances, some parts of the state still leave much to
be desired when it comes to primary health care.
Government and administration
Main articles: Government of Karnataka,
Unification of Karnataka, and Taluks of Karnataka
Vidhana Soudha in
Bangalore (seat of the Legislative Assembly)
Karnataka has a parliamentary system of government with two
democratically elected houses, the
Legislative Assembly and the
Legislative Council. The
Legislative Assembly consists of 224 members
who are elected for five-year terms. The Legislative Council is a
permanent body of 75 members with one-third (25 members) retiring
every two years.
The government of
Karnataka is headed by the Chief Minister who is
chosen by the ruling party members of the Legislative Assembly. The
Chief Minister, along with the council of ministers, drives the
legislative agenda and exercises most of the executive powers.
However, the constitutional and formal head of the state is the
Governor who is appointed for a five-year term by the President of
India on the advice of the Union government. The people of
Karnataka also elect 28 members to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of
the Indian Parliament. The members of the state Legislative
Assembly elect 12 members to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the
For administrative purposes,
Karnataka has been divided into four
revenue divisions, 49 sub-divisions, 30 districts, 175 taluks and 745
hoblies / revenue circles. The administration in each district is
headed by a Deputy Commissioner who belongs to the Indian
Administrative Service and is assisted by a number of officers
Karnataka state services. The Deputy Commissioner of
Police, an officer belonging to the
Indian Police Service
Indian Police Service and assisted
by the officers of the
Karnataka Police Service, is entrusted with the
responsibility of maintaining law and order and related issues in each
district. The Deputy Conservator of Forests, an officer belonging to
the Indian Forest Service, is entrusted with the responsibility of
managing forests, environment and wildlife of the district, he will be
assisted by the officers belonging to
Karnataka Forest Service and
officers belonging to
Karnataka Forest Subordinate Service. Sectoral
development in the districts is looked after by the district head of
each development department such as Public Works Department, Health,
Education, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, etc. The judiciary in the
state consists of the
Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court (Attara Kacheri) in
Bangalore, district and session courts in each district and lower
courts and judges at the taluk level.
Karnataka has been dominated by three political parties,
the Indian National Congress, the
Janata Dal (Secular)
Janata Dal (Secular) and the
Bharatiya Janata Party. Politicians from
Karnataka have played
prominent roles in federal government of
India with some of them
having held the high positions of Prime Minister and Vice-President.
Border disputes involving Karnataka's claim on the Kasaragod and
Solapur districts and Maharashtra's claim on
Belgaum are ongoing
since the states reorganisation. The official emblem of Karnataka
has a Ganda Berunda in the centre. Surmounting this are four lions
facing the four directions, taken from the
Lion Capital of Ashoka
Lion Capital of Ashoka at
Sarnath. The emblem also carries two Sharabhas with the head of an
elephant and the body of a lion.
Main articles: Economy of Karnataka, Software industry in Karnataka,
Banking in Karnataka, Economy of Bangalore, and Economy of Mangalore
GSDP Growth of the Karnatakan Economy over the previous years
Karnataka had an estimated GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) of
about US$115.86 billion in the 2014–15 fiscal year. The state
registered a GSDP growth rate of 7% for the year 2014–2015.
Karnataka's contribution to India's GDP in the year 2014–15 was
7.54%. With GDP growth of 17.59% and per capita GDP growth of
Karnataka is on the 6th position among all states and union
territories. In an employment survey conducted for the year
2013–2014, the unemployment rate in
Karnataka was 1.8% compared to
the national rate of 4.9%. In 2011–2012,
Karnataka had an
estimated poverty ratio of 20.91% compared to the national ratio of
Nearly 56% of the workforce in
Karnataka is engaged in agriculture and
related activities. A total of 12.31 million hectares of land, or
64.6% of the state's total area, is cultivated. Much of the
agricultural output is dependent on the southwest monsoon as only
26.5% of the sown area is irrigated.
Karnataka is the manufacturing hub for some of the largest public
sector industries in India, including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited,
National Aerospace Laboratories, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited,
Bharat Earth Movers Limited
Bharat Earth Movers Limited and HMT (formerly Hindustan Machine
Tools), which are based in Bengaluru. Many of India's premier science
and technology research centres, such as Indian Space Research
Organisation, Central Power Research Institute, Bharat Electronics
Limited and the Central Food Technological Research Institute, are
also headquartered in Karnataka.
Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals
Limited is an oil refinery, located in Mangalore.
The state has also begun to invest heavily in solar power centred on
the Pavagada Solar Park. As of December 2017, the state has installed
an estimated 2.2 gigwatts of block solar panelling and in January 2018
announced a tender to generate a further 1.2 gigawatts in the coming
Karnataka Renewable Energy Development suggests that this will
be based on 24 separate systems (or 'blocks') generating 50 megawatts
Contribution to economy by sector
Since the 1980s,
Karnataka has emerged as the pan-Indian leader in the
field of IT (information technology). In 2007, there were nearly 2,000
firms operating in Karnataka. Many of them, including two of India's
biggest software firms,
Infosys and Wipro, are also headquartered in
the state. Exports from these firms exceeded ₹50,000 crores
($12.5 billion) in 2006–07, accounting for nearly 38% of all IT
exports from India. The Nandi Hills area in the outskirts of
Devanahalli is the site of the upcoming $22 billion, 50 square
kilometre BIAL IT Investment Region, one of the largest infrastructure
projects in the history of Karnataka. All this has earned the
state capital, Bangalore, the sobriquet Silicon Valley of India.
Karnataka also leads the nation in biotechnology. It is home to
India's largest biocluster, with 158 of the country's 320
biotechnology firms being based here. The state accounts for 75%
of India's floriculture, an upcoming industry which supplies flowers
and ornamental plants worldwide.
Seven of India's banks, Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank,
ING Vysya Bank
ING Vysya Bank and the State Bank of
Mysore originated in this state. The coastal districts of Udupi
Dakshina Kannada have a branch for every 500 persons—the best
distribution of banks in India. In March 2002,
Karnataka had 4767
branches of different banks with each branch serving 11,000 persons,
which is lower than the national average of 16,000.
A majority of the silk industry in
India is headquartered in
Karnataka, much of it in Doddaballapura, and the state government
intends to invest ₹70 crore in a "Silk City" at Muddenahalli, near
Bangalore International Airport.
Main articles: Transport in Karnataka, List of National Highways in
Karnataka, and List of state highways in Karnataka
Air transport in Karnataka, as in the rest of the country, is still a
fledgling but fast expanding sector.
Karnataka has airports at
Bengaluru, Mangalore, Belgaum, Hubli, Hampi,
international operations from
Karnataka has a railway network with a total length of approximately
3,089 kilometres (1,919 mi). Until the creation of the South
Western Zone headquartered at
Hubli in 2003, the railway network in
the state was in the Southern and Western railway zones. Several parts
of the state now come under the South Western Zone, with the remainder
under the Southern Railways.
Coastal Karnataka is covered under the
Konkan railway network which was considered India's biggest railway
project of the century.
Bangalore is well-connected with
inter-state destinations, while other towns in the state are not.
Norwegian Star, a
Cruise ship docked at the New
Karnataka has 11 ports, including the New
Mangalore Port, a major port
and ten minor ports, of which three were operational in 2012. The
Mangalore port was incorporated as the ninth major port in India
on 4 May 1974. This port handled 32.04 million tonnes of traffic
in the fiscal year 2006–07 with 17.92 million tonnes of imports and
14.12 million tonnes of exports. The port also handled 1015 vessels
including 18 cruise vessels during the year 2006–07. Foreigners can
Mangalore through the New
Mangalore Port with the help of
Electronic visa (e-visa). Cruise ships from Europe, North America
UAE arrive at New
Mangalore Port to visit the tourist places
across Coastal Karnataka.
The total lengths of National Highways and state highways in Karnataka
are 3,973 and 9,829 kilometres (2,469 and 6,107 mi),
respectively. The KSRTC, the state public transport corporation,
transports an average of 2.2 million passengers daily and employs
about 25,000 people. In the late nineties, KSRTC was split into
four corporations, viz., The
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport
Corporation, The North-East
Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and
Karnataka Road Transport Corporation with their
headquarters in Bangalore,
Hubli respectively, and with
the remnant of the KSRTC maintaining operations in the rest of the
state from its headquarters in Bangalore.
Main articles: Art and culture of Karnataka, Carnatic music, Cuisine
Kannada people, and Tuluvas
State flag for
Karnataka unilaterally adopted by the Government of
Karnataka in 2018
Kannada flag is widely used in Karnataka, though it is not
A yakshagana artist
The diverse linguistic and religious ethnicities that are native to
Karnataka, combined with their long histories, have contributed
immensely to the varied cultural heritage of the state. Apart from
Karnataka is home to Tuluvas, Kodavas and Konkanis. Minor
populations of Tibetan Buddhists and tribes like the Soligas, Yeravas,
Todas and Siddhis also live in Karnataka. The traditional folk arts
cover the entire gamut of music, dance, drama, storytelling by
itinerant troupes, etc.
Yakshagana of Malnad and coastal Karnataka, a
classical dance drama, is one of the major theatrical forms of
Karnataka. Contemporary theatre culture in
Karnataka remains vibrant
with organisations like Ninasam, Ranga Shankara,
Rangayana and Prabhat
Kalavidaru continuing to build on the foundations laid by Gubbi
Veeranna, T. P. Kailasam, B. V. Karanth, K V Subbanna, Prasanna and
others. Veeragase, Kamsale,
Dollu Kunitha are popular
dance forms. The
Mysore style of Bharatanatya, nurtured and
popularised by the likes of the legendary Jatti Tayamma, continues to
hold sway in Karnataka, and
Bangalore also enjoys an eminent place as
one of the foremost centres of Bharatanatya.
Karnataka also has a special place in the world of Indian classical
music, with both Karnataka (Carnatic) and Hindustani styles
finding place in the state, and
Karnataka has produced a number of
stalwarts in both styles. The
Haridasa movement of the sixteenth
century contributed significantly to the development of Karnataka
(Carnatic) music as a performing art form. Purandara Dasa, one of the
most revered Haridasas, is known as the
Karnataka Sangeeta Pitamaha
Karnataka a.k.a. Carnatic music'). Celebrated
Hindustani musicians like Gangubai Hangal, Mallikarjun Mansur, Bhimsen
Joshi, Basavaraja Rajaguru,
Sawai Gandharva and several others hail
from Karnataka, and some of them have been recipients of the Kalidas
Padma Bhushan and
Padma Vibhushan awards. Noted Carnatic
musicians include Violin T. Chowdiah, Veena Sheshanna, Mysore
Vasudevachar, Doreswamy Iyengar and Thitte Krishna Iyengar.
Gamaka is another classical music genre based on
Carnatic music that
is practised in Karnataka.
Kannada Bhavageete is a genre of popular
music that draws inspiration from the expressionist poetry of modern
Mysore school of painting has produced painters like
Sundarayya, Tanjavur Kondayya, B. Venkatappa and Keshavayya.
Chitrakala Parishat is an organisation in
Karnataka dedicated to
promoting painting, mainly in the
Mysore painting style.
Saree is the traditional dress of women in Karnataka. Women in Kodagu
have a distinct style of wearing the saree, different from the rest of
Karnataka. Dhoti, known as Panche in Karnataka, is the traditional
attire of men. Shirt,
Salwar kameez are widely worn in
Mysore Peta is the traditional headgear of southern
Karnataka, while the pagadi or pataga (similar to the Rajasthani
turban) is preferred in the northern areas of the state.
Rice and Ragi form the staple food in South Karnataka, whereas Jolada
Sorghum is staple to North Karnataka. Bisi bele bath, Jolada
rotti, Ragi mudde, Uppittu, Benne Dose, Masala Dose and Maddur Vade
are some of the popular food items in Karnataka. Among sweets, Mysore
Gokak and Amingad, Belgaavi Kunda and
are popular. Apart from this, coastal
distinctive cuisines of their own.
Udupi cuisine of coastal Karnataka
is popular all over India.
Main article: Religion in Karnataka
Religion in Karnataka
Religion in Karnataka (2011)
Not religious (0.27%)
Badami cave temple no.3
Gomateswara (982–983) at
Shravanabelagola is an important centre of
Mandyada Shri Shiradi Sai Baba Mandir in Mandya
Adi Shankaracharya (788–820) chose
establish the first of his four mathas (monastery). Madhvacharya
(1238–1317) was the chief proponent of Tattvavada (Philosophy of
Reality), popularly known as
Dvaita or Dualistic school of Hindu
philosophy — one of the three most influential Vedanta
Madhvacharya was one of the important philosophers
during the Bhakti movement. He was a pioneer in many ways, going
against standard conventions and norms. According to tradition,
Madhvacharya is believed to be the third incarnation of Vayu
Hanuman and Bhima. The
movement is considered as one of the turning points in the cultural
history of India. Over a span of nearly six centuries, several saints
and mystics helped shape the culture, philosophy and art of South
Karnataka in particular by exerting considerable spiritual
influence over the masses and kingdoms that ruled South India.
This movement was ushered in by the Haridasas (literally "servants of
Lord Hari") and took shape in the 13th century – 14th century CE,
period, prior to and during the early rule of the
The main objective of this movement was to propagate the Dvaita
Madhvacharya (Madhva Siddhanta) to the masses through a
literary medium known as
Dasa Sahitya literature of the servants of
the Lord. Purandaradasa is widely recognised as the "Pithamaha" of
Carnatic Music for his immense contribution. Ramanujacharya, the
leading expounder of Vishishtadvaita, spent many years in Melkote. He
Karnataka in 1098 AD and lived here until 1122 AD. He first
lived in Tondanur and then moved to
Melkote where the Cheluvanarayana
Swamy Temple and a well-organised matha were built. He was patronised
Hoysala king, Vishnuvardhana.
In the twelfth century,
Lingayatism emerged in northern
Karnataka as a
protest against the rigidity of the prevailing social and caste
system. Leading figures of this movement were Basava, Akka Mahadevi
and Allama Prabhu, who established the
Anubhava Mantapa which was the
centre of all religious and philosophical thoughts and discussions
pertaining to Ligayats. These three social reformers did so by the
literary means of "
Vachana Sahitya" which is very famous for its
simple, straight forward and easily understandable
Lingayatism preached women equality by letting women wear Ishtalinga
i.e. Symbol of god around their neck.
Basava shunned the sharp
hierarchical divisions that existed and sought to remove all
distinctions between the hierarchically superior master class and the
subordinate, servile class. He also supported inter-caste marriages
and Kaayaka Tatva of Basavanna. This was the basis of the Lingayat
faith which today counts millions among its followers.
Jain philosophy and literature have contributed immensely to the
religious and cultural landscape of Karnataka. Islam, which had an
early presence on the west coast of
India as early as the tenth
century, gained a foothold in
Karnataka with the rise of the Bahamani
Bijapur sultanates that ruled parts of Karnataka.
Karnataka in the sixteenth century with the
arrival of the Portuguese and
St. Francis Xavier
St. Francis Xavier in 1545.
Buddhism was popular in
Karnataka during the first millennium in
places such as
Gulbarga and Banavasi. A chance discovery of edicts and
several Mauryan relics at
Gulbarga district in 1986 has
proven that the
Krishna River basin was once home to both
Hinayana Buddhism. There are Tibetan refugee camps in Karnataka.
Mysore Dasara is celebrated as the Nada habba (state festival) and
this is marked by major festivities at Mysore.
Makara Sankranti (the harvest festival), Ganesh Chaturthi,
Basava Jayanthi, Deepavali, and Ramzan are the other
major festivals of Karnataka.
Kannada literature, Tulu language,
Urdu language, Kodava language, and Beary bashe
Halmidi inscription (450 CE) is the earliest attested inscription in
Kannada language serves as the official language of the state of
Karnataka, as the native language of approximately 65% of its
population and as one of the classical languages of India.
Kannada played a crucial role in the creation of Karnataka: linguistic
demographics played a major role in defining the new state in 1956.
Tulu, Konkani and Kodava are other minor native languages that share a
long history in the state.
Urdu is spoken widely by the Muslim
population. Less widely spoken languages include
Beary bashe and
certain languages such as Sankethi. Some of the regional languages in
Karnataka are Tulu, Kodava, Konkani and Beary.
Kannada features a rich and ancient body of literature including
religious and secular genre, covering topics as diverse as Jainism
(such as Puranas), Veerashaivism (such as Vachanas),
Haridasa Sahitya) and modern literature. Evidence from edicts
during the time of
Ashoka (reigned 274–232 BCE) suggest that
Buddhist literature influenced the
Kannada script and its literature.
Halmidi inscription, the earliest attested full-length inscription
Kannada language and script, dates from 450 CE, while the
earliest available literary work, the Kavirajamarga, has been dated to
850 CE. References made in the Kavirajamarga, however, prove that
Kannada literature flourished in the native composition meters such as
Chattana, Beddande and Melvadu during earlier centuries. The classic
refers to several earlier greats (purvacharyar) of
Kannada poetry and
Kuvempu, the renowned
Kannada poet and writer who wrote Jaya Bharata
Jananiya Tanujate, the state anthem of Karnataka was the first
recipient of the "
Karnataka Ratna" award, the highest civilian award
bestowed by the Government of Karnataka. Contemporary Kannada
literature has received considerable acknowledgement in the arena of
Indian literature, with eight
Kannada writers winning India's highest
literary honour, the Jnanpith award.
Tulu is spoken mainly in the coastal districts of
Udupi and Dakshina
Kannada. Tulu Mahabharato, written by Arunabja in the Tigalari script,
is the oldest surviving Tulu text. Tigalari script was used by
Brahmins to write
Sanskrit language. The use of the
Kannada script for
writing Tulu and non-availability of print in Tigalari script
contributed to the marginalisation of Tigalari script. Konkani is
mostly spoken in the
Uttara Kannada and
Dakshina Kannada districts and
in parts of Udupi, Konkani use the
Kannada script for writing.
The Kodavas who mainly reside in the
Kodagu district, speak Kodava
Takk. Two regional variations of the language exist, the northern
Mendale Takka and the southern Kiggaati Takka.
Kodava Takk use
Kannada script for writing. English is the medium of education in
many schools and widely used for business communication in most
All of the state's languages are patronised and promoted by
governmental and quasi-governmental bodies. The
Parishat and the
Kannada Sahitya Akademi are responsible for the
Kannada while the
Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Akademi,
the Tulu Sahitya Akademi and the Kodava Sahitya Akademi promote their
Main article: Education in Karnataka
See also: List of institutions of higher education in Karnataka
Indian Institute of Science
Indian Institute of Science is one of the premier institutes of India.
As per the 2011 census,
Karnataka had a literacy rate of 75.60%, with
82.85% of males and 68.13% of females in the state being literate.
In 2001, the literacy rate of the state were 67.04%, with 76.29% of
males and 57.45% of females being literate. The state is home to
some of the premier educational and research institutions of India
such as the Indian Institute of Science, the Indian Institute of
Indian Institute of Technology
Indian Institute of Technology
Dharwad the National
Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, the National Institute
Karnataka and the National Law School of India
In March 2006,
Karnataka had 54,529 primary schools with 252,875
teachers and 8.495 million students, and 9498 secondary schools
with 92,287 teachers and 1.384 million students. There are three
kinds of schools in the state, viz., government-run, private aided
(financial aid is provided by the government) and private unaided (no
financial aid is provided). The primary languages of instruction in
most schools are
Kannada and English.
The syllabus taught in the schools is either of the CBSE, the ICSE or
the state syllabus (SSLC) defined by the Department of Public
Instruction of the Government of Karnataka. However, some schools
follow the NIOS syllabus. The state has two sainik schools — in
Kodagu Sainik School in
Kodagu and in
Bijapur Sainik School in
To maximise attendance in schools, the
Karnataka Government has
launched a midday meal scheme in government and aided schools in which
free lunch is provided to the students.
Statewide board examinations are conducted at the end of secondary
education. Students who qualify are allowed to pursue a two-year
pre-university course, after which they become eligible to pursue
Literacy rates of
There are 481 degree colleges affiliated with one of the universities
in the state, viz.
Gulbarga University, Karnatak
Mangalore University and Mysore
University. In 1998, the engineering colleges in the state were
brought under the newly formed Visvesvaraya Technological University
headquartered at Belgaum, whereas the medical colleges are run under
the jurisdiction of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.
Some of these baccalaureate colleges are accredited with the status of
a deemed university. There are 186 engineering, 39 medical and 41
dental colleges in the state. Udupi, Sringeri, Gokarna and
Melkote are well-known places of
Sanskrit and Vedic learning. In 2015
the Central Government decided to establish the first Indian Institute
of Technology in
Karnataka at Dharwad. Tulu and Konkani
languages are taught as an optional subject in the twin districts of
South Canara and Udupi.
High literacy districts
Dakshina Kannada (South Canara)
Uttara Kannada (North Canara)
High literacy taluks
Mangaluru (Dakshina Kannada)
Karwar (Uttara Kannada)
Sirsi (Uttara Kannada)
Main article: Media in Karnataka
The era of
Kannada newspapers started in the year 1843 when Hermann
Mögling, a missionary from Basel Mission, published the first Kannada
newspaper called Mangalooru Samachara in Mangalore. The first Kannada
Mysuru Vrittanta Bodhini was started by Bhashyam
Bhashyacharya in Mysore. Shortly after Indian independence in 1948, K.
N. Guruswamy founded The Printers (Mysore) Private Limited and began
publishing two newspapers,
Deccan Herald and Prajavani. Presently the
Vijaya Karnataka are the largest-selling English
Kannada newspapers respectively. A vast number of
weekly, biweekly and monthly magazines are under publication in both
Kannada and English. Udayavani, Kannadaprabha, Samyukta Karnataka,
VarthaBharathi, Sanjevani, Eesanje, Hosa digantha,
Karavali Ale are
also some popular dailies published from Karnataka.
Doordarshan is the broadcaster of the Government of
India and its
DD Chandana is dedicated to Kannada. Prominent Kannada
channels include Janasri News, Colors Kannada, Zee Kannada, Udaya TV,
Asianet Suvarna and Kasturi TV.
Karnataka occupies a special place in the history of Indian radio. In
1935, Aakashvani, the first private radio station in India, was
started by Prof. M.V. Gopalaswamy in Mysore. The popular radio
station was taken over by the local municipality and later by All
India Radio (AIR) and moved to
Bangalore in 1955. Later in 1957, AIR
adopted the original name of the radio station, Aakashavani as its
own. Some of the popular programs aired by AIR
Nisarga Sampada and Sasya Sanjeevini which were programs that taught
science through songs, plays and stories. These two programs became so
popular that they were translated and broadcast in 18 different
languages and the entire series was recorded on cassettes by the
Government of Karnataka
Government of Karnataka and distributed to thousands of schools across
Karnataka has witnessed a growth in FM radio channels,
mainly in the cities of Bangalore,
Mangalore and Mysore, which has
become hugely popular.
Main article: Sports in Karnataka
Anil Kumble, former captain of the Indian Test team and spin legend,
is the highest wicket-taker for
India in international cricket.
Karnataka's smallest district, Kodagu, is a major contributor to
Indian field hockey, producing numerous players who have represented
India at the international level. The annual Kodava Hockey
Festival is the largest hockey tournament in the world. Bangalore
has hosted a WTA tennis event and, in 1997, it hosted the fourth
National Games of India. The Sports Authority of India, the
premier sports institute in the country, and the Nike
are also situated in Bangalore.
Karnataka has been referred to as the
cradle of Indian swimming because of its high standards in comparison
to other states.
One of the most popular sports in
Karnataka is cricket. The state
cricket team has won the
Ranji Trophy seven times, second only to
Mumbai in terms of success.
Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore
regularly hosts international matches and is also the home of the
Cricket Academy, which was opened in 2000 to nurture
potential international players. Many cricketers have represented
India and in one international match held in the 1990s; players from
Karnataka composed the majority of the national team. The
Royal Challengers Bangalore, an
Indian Premier League
Indian Premier League franchise, the
Bengaluru Football Club, an Indian Football League : I-League
Bengaluru Yodhas, a
Pro Wrestling League franchise, the
Bengaluru Top Guns, a
Premier Badminton League
Premier Badminton League franchise and the
Bengaluru Bulls, a
Pro Kabaddi League
Pro Kabaddi League franchise are based in
Karnataka Premier League is an inter-regional Twenty20
cricket tournament played in the state.
Notable sportsmen from
Karnataka include B.S. Chandrasekhar, Anil
Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Rahul Dravid, Venkatesh Prasad, Robin
Uthappa, Vinay Kumar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Syed Kirmani, Stuart Binny,
Ashwini Ponnappa, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna,
Prakash Padukone who
All England Badminton Championships
All England Badminton Championships in 1980 and Pankaj Advani
who has won three world titles in cue sports by the age of 20
including the amateur
World Snooker Championship
World Snooker Championship in 2003 and the World
Billiards Championship in 2005.
Bijapur district has produced some of the best known road cyclists in
the national circuit. Premalata Sureban was part of the Indian
contingent at the Perlis Open '99 in Malaysia. In recognition of the
talent of cyclists in the district, the state government laid down a
cycling track at the B.R. Ambedkar Stadium at a cost of ₹ 40
Sports like kho kho, kabaddi, chinni daandu and goli (marbles) are
played mostly in Karnataka's rural areas.
Flora and fauna
Main article: Wildlife of Karnataka
The state bird, Indian roller
Bengal tigers at
Bannerghatta National Park
Bannerghatta National Park near Bangalore
Karnataka has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It has a recorded
forest area of 38,720 km2 (14,950 sq mi) which
constitutes 20.19% of the total geographical area of the state. These
forests support 25% of the elephant and 10% of the tiger population of
India. Many regions of
Karnataka are as yet unexplored, so new species
of flora and fauna are found periodically. The Western Ghats, a
biodiversity hotspot, includes the western region of Karnataka. Two
sub-clusters in the Western Ghats, viz. Talacauvery and Kudremukh,
both in Karnataka, are on the tentative list of World Heritage Sites
of UNESCO. The Bandipur and Nagarahole National Parks, which fall
outside these subclusters, were included in the Nilgiri Biosphere
Reserve in 1986, a
UNESCO designation. The
Indian roller and the
Indian elephant are recognised as the state bird and animal while
sandalwood and the lotus are recognised as the state tree and flower
Karnataka has five national parks: Anshi, Bandipur,
Kudremukh and Nagarhole. It also has 27 wildlife
sanctuaries of which seven are bird sanctuaries.
Wild animals that are found in
Karnataka include the elephant, the
tiger, the leopard, the gaur, the sambar deer, the chital or spotted
deer, the muntjac, the bonnet macaque, the slender loris, the common
palm civet, the small Indian civet, the sloth bear, the dhole, the
striped hyena and the golden jackal. Some of the birds found here are
the great hornbill, the Malabar pied hornbill, the Ceylon frogmouth,
herons, ducks, kites, eagles, falcons, quails, partridges, lapwings,
sandpipers, pigeons, doves, parakeets, cuckoos, owls, nightjars,
swifts, kingfishers, bee-eaters and munias. Some species of trees
Karnataka are Callophyllum tomentosa, Callophyllum
wightianum, Garcina cambogia, Garcina morealla,
Santalum album, Shorea
Vitex altissima and
Karnataka is threatened by poaching, habitat destruction,
human-wildlife conflict and pollution.
Main article: Tourism in Karnataka
See also: Architecture of Karnataka
Keshava Temple, Somanathapura
By virtue of its varied geography and long history,
numerous spots of interest for tourists. There is an array of ancient
sculptured temples, modern cities, scenic hill ranges, forests and
Karnataka has been ranked as the fourth most popular
destination for tourism among the states of India.
the second highest number of nationally protected monuments in India,
second only to Uttar Pradesh, in addition to 752 monuments
protected by the State Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. Another
25,000 monuments are yet to receive protection.
Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur, has the second largest pre-modern dome in the
world after the Byzantine Hagia Sophia.
The districts of the
Western Ghats and the southern districts of the
state have popular eco-tourism locations including Kudremukh, Madikeri
Karnataka has 25 wildlife sanctuaries and five national
parks. Popular among them are Bandipur National Park, Bannerghatta
National Park and Nagarhole National Park. The ruins of the
Vijayanagara Empire at
Hampi and the monuments of
Pattadakal are on
the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. The cave temples at Badami
and the rock-cut temples at
Aihole representing the
style of architecture are also popular tourist destinations. The
Hoysala temples at
Belur and Halebidu, which were built with Chloritic
schist (soapstone) are proposed
UNESCO World Heritage sites. The
Gol Gumbaz and Ibrahim Rauza are famous examples of the Deccan
Sultanate style of architecture. The monolith of Gomateshwara Bahubali
Shravanabelagola is the tallest sculpted monolith in the world,
attracting tens of thousands of pilgrims during the
Mysore Palace at night, Mysore
The waterfalls of
Kudremukh are considered by some to be
among the "1001 Natural Wonders of the World".
Jog Falls is
India's tallest single-tiered waterfall with
Gokak Falls, Unchalli
Falls, Magod Falls,
Abbey Falls and
Shivanasamudra Falls among other
Mysore painting depicting Goddess Saraswati
Several popular beaches dot the coastline, including Murudeshwara,
Malpe and Karwar. In addition,
Karnataka is home to several
places of religious importance. Several
Hindu temples including the
Udupi Sri Krishna Matha, the Marikamba Temple at Sirsi, the Sri
Manjunatha Temple at Dharmasthala,
Kukke Subramanya Temple
Kukke Subramanya Temple and
Sharadamba Temple at
Shringeri attract pilgrims from all over India.
Most of the holy sites of Lingayatism, like
Kudalasangama and Basavana
Bagewadi, are found in northern parts of the state. Shravanabelagola,
Karkala are famous for
Jain history and monuments.
Jainism had a stronghold in
Karnataka in the early medieval period
Shravanabelagola as its most important centre. The Shettihalli
Rosary Church near Shettihalli, an example of French colonial Gothic
architecture, is a rare example of a
Christian ruin, is a popular
Karnataka has emerged as a hot spot for health care tourism.
Karnataka has the highest number of approved health systems and
alternative therapies in India. Along with some ISO certified
government-owned hospitals, private institutions which provide
international-quality services have caused the health care industry to
grow by 30% during 2004–05. Hospitals in
Karnataka treat around
8,000 health tourists every year.
South Asia portal
Outline of India
Outline of Karnataka
Index of India-related articles
List of Chief Ministers of Karnataka
List of Governors of Karnataka
List of districts of Karnataka
List of people from Karnataka
List of butterflies of Karnataka
List of airports in Karnataka
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Kannada edition of, the free encyclopedia
Official Site of Karnataka
Karnataka Encyclopædia Britannica entry
Karnataka at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Geographic data related to
Karnataka at OpenStreetMap
Hindu Temples in Karnataka
Amrutesvara Temple, Amruthapura
Badami Cave Temples
Banashankari Amma Temple
Banashankari Temple, Amargol
Brahmeshvara Temple, Kikkeri
Bucesvara Temple, Koravangala
Bhoganidishvara, Chikkaballapur district
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
Chennakeshava Temple, Aralaguppe
Chennakesava Temple, Somanathapura
Dharmaraya Swamy Temple
Dodda Ganeshana Gudi
Doddabasappa Temple Dambal
Durga temple, Aihole
Kalakaleshwara Temple Gajendragad
Gaurishvara Temple, Yelandur
Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
Halasuru Someshwara Temple
Panchalingewara Temple Hooli
Hulimavu cave Temple
Ganesha Temple, Idagunji
Ishvara Temple, Arasikere
Kadri Manjunath Temple
Kaitabheshvara Temple, Kubatur
Kalleshvara Temple, Ambali
Kalleshvara Temple, Aralaguppe
Kalleshvara Temple, Bagali]
Kalleshwara Temple, Hire Hadagali
Kamala Narayana Temple
Kamala Narayana Temple Belagavi
Kasivisvesvara Temple, Lakkundi
Kedareswara temple, Halebidu
Kedareshvara Temple, Balligavi
Kodlamane Shree Vishnumurthy Temple
Kote Venkataramana Temple
Kukke Subramanya Temple
Kumara Swamy Devasthana, Bangalore
Kuruvathi Basaveshwara temple
Lad Khan Temple
Lakshmi Devi Temple, Doddagaddavalli
Narasimha Temple, Bhadravathi
Lakshminarasimha Temple, Haranhalli
Lakshminarasimha Temple, Javagal
Narasimha Temple, Nuggehalli
Lakshminarayana Temple, Hosaholalu
Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna
Maha Ganapathi Mahammaya Temple
Mahadeva Temple, Itagi
Mahakuta group of temples
Mallikarjuna Temple, Basaralu
Mallikarjuna Temple, Kuruvatti
Mookambika Temple Kollooru
Mundkur Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple
Mylara Lingeshwara Temple at Mylara
Nageshvara-Chennakeshava Temple complex, Mosale
Narasimha Jhira Cave Temple, Bidar
Nellitheertha Cave Temple
Panchalingeshwara temple, Govindanahalli
Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple
Ragigudda Anjaneya Temple
Rameshvara Temple, Narasamangala
Ranganathaswamy Temple, Bangalore
Sharana Basaveshwara Temple
Shree Vishnumurthy Temple
Shri Vinayaka Shankaranarayana Durgamba Temple
Shringeri Sharadamba Temple
Siddhesvara Temple Haveri
Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud
Sirsangi Kalika Temple
Kolar Someshwara Temple
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Shivanasamudra
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangapatna
Temples in Tulunadu
Temples of North Karnataka
Trikuteshwara Temple Gadag
Udupi Sri Krishna Matha
Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi
Vijayanarayana Temple, Gundlupet
Western Chalukya temples
Yediyur Siddhalingeshwara Swamy Temple
Yelluru Shri Vishweshwara Temple
Indian state of Karnataka
Deva Raya II
Kingdom of Mysore
Unification of Karnataka
Veera Ballala II
Western Ganga dynasty
Cities and towns
Dams and Reservoirs
Kannada Sahitya Parishat
Kannada Sahitya Sammelana
Krishnaraja Wadiyar III
D. R. Bendre
K. S. Narasimhaswamy
M. Govinda Pai
D. V. Gundappa
G. S. Shivarudrappa
People and Society
Karnataka ethnic groups
List of people from Karnataka
Varnashilpi Venkatappa Award
States and union territories of India
Jammu and Kashmir
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
National Capital Territory of Delhi
Daman and Diu
Capitals in India
Proposed states and territories
Archaeological sites and Monuments in Karnataka