Karnataka State

Introduction :

Karnataka is a state in the southern part of India. It was created on 1 November 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 km˛), 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.

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 nadu, meaning elevated land. Karu nadu may also be read as Karu (black) and nadu (region), as a reference to the black cotton soil found in the Bayaluseeme region of Karnataka. The British used the word Carnatic (sometimes Karnatak) to describe both sides of peninsular India, south of the Krishna River.

With an antiquity that dates to the paleolithic, Karnataka has also 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 (Karnataka Music) and Hindustani traditions. Writers in the Kannada language have received the most number of Jnanpith awards in India. Bangalore is the capital city of the state and is at the forefront of the rapid economic and technological development that India is experiencing.

Geography :

The state has three principal geographical zones: the coastal region of Karavali, the hilly Malenadu region comprising the Western Ghats and the 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 point in Karnataka is the Mullayanagiri hills in Chikkamagaluru 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.

Karnataka consists of four main types of geological formations — the Archean complex made up of Dharwad schists 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 of the Archean complex which consist of gneisses, granites and charnockite rocks. Laterite cappings that are found in many districts over the 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). Agumbe in the Shivamogga district receives the second highest annual rainfall in India.[43] 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 all-India average of about 23%, and significantly less than the 33% prescribed in the National Forest Policy.


Tourism :

By virtue of its varied geography and long history, Karnataka hosts numerous spots of interest for tourists. There is an array of ancient sculptured temples, modern cities, scenic hill ranges, unexplored forests and endless beaches. Karnataka has been ranked as the fourth most popular destination for tourism among the states of India.[133] Karnataka has the second highest number of nationally protected monuments in India, second only to Uttar Pradesh,[134] in addition to 752 monuments protected by the State Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. Another 25,000 monuments are yet to receive protection.[135][136] 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 and Agumbe. 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 Badami Chalukyan style of architecture are also popular tourist destinations. The Hoysala temples at Belur and Halebidu, which were built with Chloritic schist (soap stone) are proposed UNESCO World Heritage sites.[137] The Gol Gumbaz and Ibrahim Rauza are famous examples of the Deccan Sultanate style of architecture. The monolith of Gomateshwara at Shravanabelagola is the tallest sculpted monolith in the world, attracting tens of thousands of pilgrims during the Mahamastakabhisheka festival.[138] Mysore Palace at Night, Mysore, Karnataka.

The waterfalls of Karnataka and Kudremukh National Park are listed as must-see places and among the "1001 Natural Wonders of the World".[139] Jog Falls is India's tallest single-tiered waterfall with Gokak Falls, Unchalli Falls, Magod Falls, Abbey Falls and Shivanasamudra Falls among other popular waterfalls.

Several popular beaches dot the coastline including Murudeshwara, Gokarna and Karwar. In addition, Karnataka is home to several places of religious importance. Several Hindu temples including the famous Udupi Krishna Temple, the Marikamba Temple at Sirsi, the Sri Manjunatha Temple at Dharmasthala, Sri Subramanya Temple at Kukke and Sharadamba Temple at Sringeri attract pilgrims from all over India. Most of the holy sites of Lingayats, like Kudalasangama and Basavana Bagewadi, are found in northern parts of the state. Shravanabelagola, Mudabidri and Karkala are famous for Jain history and monuments. The Jaina faith had a stronghold in Karnataka in the early medieval period with Shravanabelagola as its most important center.

Recently 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.

Economy :

Karnataka, which had an estimated GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) of about Rs. 2152.82 billion ($ 51.25 billion) in the 2007-2008 fiscal year, is one of the most economically developed states in India.

The state registered a GSDP growth rate of 7% for the year 2007-2008. Karnataka's contribution to India's GDP in the year 2004-05 was 5.2%. Karnataka was the fastest growing state over the past decade in terms of GDP and per capita GDP. With GDP growth of 56.2% and per capita GDP growth of 43.9%, Karnataka now has the sixth highest per-capita GDP of all states. Till September 2006 Karnataka received a Foreign Direct Investment of Rs. 78.097 billion ($ 1.7255 billion) for the fiscal year 2006-07, placing it third among the states of India. At the end of 2004, the unemployment rate in Karnataka was 4.94% compared to the national rate of 5.99%. For the fiscal year 2006-07, the inflation rate in Karnataka was 4.4%, compared to the national average of 4.7%. As of 2004-05, Karnataka had an estimated poverty ratio of 17%, less than the national ratio of 27.5%.

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, Indian Telephone Industries, Bharat Earth Movers Limited and Hindustan Machine Tools, which are based in Bangalore. Many of India's premier science and technology research centers, such as Indian Space Research Organization, 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.

Since the 1980s, Karnataka has emerged as the pan-Indian leader in the field of IT (information technology). As of 2007, there were nearly 2,000 firms operating out of 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 Rs. 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 kilometer BIAL IT Investment Region, one the largest infrastructure projects in the history of Karnataka. All this has earned the state capital, Bangalore, the sobriquet Silicon Valley of India.

Contribution to economy by sector 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 also accounts for 75% of India's floriculture, an upcoming industry which supplies flowers and ornamental plants worldwide. Seven of India's leading banks, Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank, Vijaya Bank, Karnataka Bank, Vysya Bank and the State Bank of Mysore originated in this state. The coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada have a branch for every 500 persons—the best distribution of banks in India. As of 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.

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 also accounts for 75% of India's floriculture, an upcoming industry which supplies flowers and ornamental plants worldwide. Seven of India's leading banks, Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank, Vijaya Bank, Karnataka Bank, Vysya Bank and the State Bank of Mysore originated in this state. The coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada have a branch for every 500 persons—the best distribution of banks in India. As of 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 3500 crore silk industry in India is headquartered in Karnataka State, particularly in the North Bangalore regions of Muddenahalli, Kanivenarayanapura, and Doddaballapura the upcoming sites of a 70 crore "Silk City".