Karnataka is a state in the southern part of India. It was created on November 1, 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973.
Karnataka is 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. The state covers an area of 74,122 sq mi (191,976 km²), or 5.83% of the total geographical area of India. It is the eighth largest Indian state by area, the ninth largest by population and comprises 29 districts. Kannada is the official and most widely spoken language.
There are 29 districts in Karnataka—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 and Uttara Kannada. 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 municipalities.
* Cauvery Basin – Southern Karnataka, including Mysore
* Central Karnataka – the region around Bangalore
* Karavali – Karnataka’s coastal region
* Northern Karnataka
* Northwestern Karnataka
There are many cities in Karnataka. These are some of the more notable:
* Bangalore — the state capital
Below is a selective list of sites of interest in Karnataka. It is far from exhaustive. For other sites, check regional articles.
* Bandipur National Park in Chamarajanagar (district). A 890sq km wildlife sanctuary – sandalwood trees.
* Belur. The former capital of the Hoysalla dynasty. Hale Belur is the older capital. Belur and Hale Belur are home to two ancient temples. Their beauty has survived the battles between local rulers and Muslim and later the colonial rulers. They are located in Hassan
* Bylakupee. The largest Tibetan settlement outside of Tibet.
* Gokarna, Udupi and Shringeri. The main centers for the study of Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy in South India.
* Hampi. The ruins of Vijayanagara Empire are a UNESCO World Heritage site.
* Nandi Hills. a pleasant and serene hill station located about 60kms fom Bangalore.
* Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary near Mysore .
* Shimoga district. Home to Jog Falls, the highest plunge waterfall in India.
* Shravanabelagola. An impressive Jain temple
Air transport in Karnataka, as in the rest of the country, is still a fledgling but fast expanding sector. Karnataka has airports at Bangalore, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum, Hampi and Bellary with international operations from Bangalore and Mangalore airports. Airports at Mysore, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Hassan and Shimoga are expected to be operational by the end of 2007. Major airlines such as Kingfisher Airlines and Air Deccan are based in Bangalore. Kingfisher Airlines which is based in Bangalore.
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 extensively connected with inter-state destinations while other important cities and towns in the state are not so well-connected.
Karnataka has 11 ports, including the New Mangalore Port, a major port and ten other minor ports. The New Mangalore port was incorporated as the ninth major port in India on May 4, 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. The inland water transport within the state is not well developed.
The total lengths of National Highways and state highways in Karnataka are 3,973 kilometres (2,469 mi) and 9,829 kilometres (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 three corporations, viz., The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, The North-West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and The North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation with their headquarters in Bangalore, Hubli and Gulbarga respectively.
Largest city Bangalore
Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj
Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa
Legislature (seats) Bicameral (224 + 75)
• Density 52,850,562 (9th)
• 275.6 /km2 (714 /sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area 191,976 km2 (74,122 sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 IN-KA