Extending over an area of approximately 192,000 sq km in the western half of the
, Karnataka is the sixth largest state in the Union of India. The state is bounded by Andhra Pradesh
in the east, Maharashtra
in the north, and
in the south. Karnataka has 27 districts and a population of over 45 million.
The name 'Karnataka' comes from the native word 'kari-nadu,' meaning 'the land of black soil.' Some scholars hold that the name originated from 'karunadu,' meaning 'a beautiful country.' The people of the state are called Kannadigas and their language is
Karnataka is famous the world over for its unique form of Carnatic Classical Music. The state has been the seat of a great culture for hundreds of years, the testimony of which lies spread across the state, attracting millions of tourists from all parts of the world year after year. It is a land of massive carvings, and has the second largest number of inscriptions in the whole of India. The land is filled with a dazzling array of ancient sculpted temples, scenic hill ranges, thundering waterfalls, virgin tropical forests, and endless beaches. The state has a number of wildlife reserves such as Bandipur,
Nagarhole, Dandeli, and the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.
Karnataka is also renowned for its agarbathi (incense sticks), arecanut, silk, coffee, sandal wood, and gold mines. The gently sloping terrain provides a perfect environment for coffee, tea, rice, sugarcane, cotton, and peanut to grow.
Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka, and it is often referred to as 'the IT Capital of India.' Karnataka is also one of the fastest growing states in terms of industry.