Karnataka, originally known as Mysore, is bordered by the Arabian Sea, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is in the south of the subcontinent and is India’s eighth largest state. Its name comes from the Kannada language (the one most commonly spoken by locals) and means “elevated land”. Its capital city is the well-known Bangalore, which is known for its giant leaps forward in technological development and advancement.

Karnataka’s history is both complex and fascinating. In ancient times, some of the world’s most powerful dynasties ruled this region. This led to enormous shifts in cultures, religions, customs, philosophies and ideologies. The Mughal Empire was a major entity in the annals of Karnataka’s history. However, the northern regions of the state came under Maratha rule when the Mughals experienced political and economic challenges. At the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, the English gradually gained control over much of India, including the modern state of Karnataka. The subcontinent achieved independence in 1947 and Karnataka was named a separate state in 1956.

This state enjoys the benefit of the coastline, the hills of Malenadu and the flat plains of the Deccan Plateau. These plains are called the Bayaluseeme Region, and make up most of the state’s area. Although much of this area is made up of arid desert, the other regions boast ample rivers and lush forests. This state is also the site of several very different types of
Image of The town hall called "Vidhana Soudha" in Bangalore city of Karnataka, India
The town hall called "Vidhana Soudha" in Bangalore city of Karnataka, India
soils, each of which sustains a unique group of vegetation and, therefore, animals. Summer (March to May) can get very hot, with daytime temperature exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, while winter (January and February) temperatures can drop to below five degrees. Just over a fifth of the area is covered by beautiful forests.

Economically speaking, Karnataka continues to develop at an impressive rate. Farming is a major source of income for Karnataka, as is manufacturing, biotechnology and Information Technology.

Karnataka is the home of people from all over India and Asia. These ones have adopted various elements of the local culture and transformed them. This has resulted in an evolved, varied spectrum of languages, religions and customs within a new society. Various Tibetan Buddhist tribes, Kannadigas, Tuluvas and Konkanis are included within the current population. Each of these has introduced their own style to performance art, sculpture, literature, song and dance to create an eclectic and unique culture. Classical Indian music has earned a particularly acclaimed position within the local culture.

Although most women don a saree, this item of clothing is worn in different ways, depending on the region in which the woman lives. Men traditionally wear a dhoti, but will also be found in trousers and a shirt in the more urban areas.

Sorghum is a staple food in the northern areas of Karnataka, while rice is the staple in the southern regions. Traditional dishes include the likes of Jolada rotti, Ragi mudde and Masala Dose.

Karnataka’s abundance of natural wealth is one of its major draw cards for local and international tourists. Its forests are home to Asian Elephants and tigers, both of which are in need of protection and preservation. There are over 20 different wildlife sanctuaries, each of which is a delight for young and old to explore. Other local animals include the sloth, Bonnet Macaque, Palm Civet, kites, eagles, owls, Striped Hyena, Dhole and Loris, amongst many others.

Tourist attractions in Karnataka partly comprise:

• The Keshava Temple
• Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur
• Kudremukh, Madikeri and Agumbe (excellent eco-tourism hotspots)
• Bandipur National Park
• Bannerghatta National Park
• The Vijayanagara Empire ruins at Hampi (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
• The Pattadakal monuments (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

For more information, please view: http://www.karnataka.com/

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