Karnataka is a state in South West India bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Goa to the northwest, Maharashtra to the north, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast, and Kerala to the southwest.
First known as the State of Mysore, it was created on 1 November 1956 with passing of the States Reorganisation Act. Mysore was renamed as the State of Karnataka in 1973.
Karnataka State covers an area of 191,976 square kilometres (74,122 sq mi), and according to the census of 2011 a population of 61,130,704 (31,057,742 males and 30,072,962 females).
Karnataka State is composed three geographical zones:
- The coastal region of Karavali
- The hilly Malenadu region or Western Ghats
- The Bayaluseeme region or plains of the Deccan plateau
Most of the State lies within the Bayaluseeme region, the northern part of which is the second-largest arid region in India.
Approximately 38,724 km2 (14,951 sq mi) of Karnataka ( 20% of the state’s geographic area) is covered by forests.
The State has four seasons: winter in January and February, followed by summer between March and May, the monsoon season between June and September and the post-monsoon season from October till December.
Karnataka has 30 districts: Bagalkote, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore Urban, Belgaum, Bellary, Bidar, Bijapur, Chamarajanagar, Chikkaballapur, Chikkamagaluru, Chitradurga, Dakshina Kannada, Davanagere, Dharwad, Gadag, Gulbarga, Hassan, Haveri, Kodagu, Kolar, Koppal, Mandya, Mysore, Raichur, Ramanagara, Shimoga, Tumkur, Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Yadgir.
Karnataka’s six largest cities are: Bangalore, Hubli-Dharwad, Mysore, Gulbarga, Belgaum and Mangalore.
Each district is governed by a district commissioner or district magistrate. Districts are divided into sub-divisions, which are governed by sub-divisional magistrates. Sub-divisions are composed of blocks containing panchayats (village councils) and town municipalities. According to the 2011 Census there are 176 Sub Districts, 347 Towns and 29,340 villages.
An estimated 56% of the workforce in Karnataka is engaged in agriculture and related activities with a total of 12.31 million hectares of land, or 64.6% of the State’s total area under cultivation.
Some of the largest public sector manufacturing industries in India are found in Karnataka and the State is a leader in the field of information technology.
Karnataka is home to India’s largest biocluster, with 158 of the country’s 320 biotechnology firms being based there.
The State also accounts for 75% of India’s floriculture, supplying flowers and ornamental plants worldwide.
Karnatka is home to some of the premier educational and research institutions of India including: The Central Food Technological Research Institute, The Central Power Research Institute, Indian Institute of Science, The Indian Institute of Management, The National Institute of Technology Karnataka and The National Law School of India University.
Local Univerities are: Bangalore University, Gulbarga University, Karnatak University, Kuvempu University, Mangalore University and Mysore University. Beginning in 1998, the engineering colleges in the Karnataka State have been part of Visvesvaraya Technological University located in Belgaum, and the medical collegescome under the jurisdiction of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.