Originally known as the state of Mysore, Karnataka is situated on the western edge of the Deccan plateau. It is one of the most prosperous states of India owing to its amenities in wide-ranging fields. The state has recorded incredible success in the fields like education, literature, agriculture, industry and tourism.
The Silicon Valley of Asia, Bangalore, is its capital. Its Information Technology industry has permanently put the state on the face of globe. It’s sometimes called the land of Science and Technology. The state of Karnataka was created on 1st November 1956, with the passage of the State Reorganisation Act, which is annually celebrated Karnataka Rajyotsava.
The state Karnataka is divided into three principal geographical zones, the coastal region of Karavali, the hilly Malenadu region comprising of the Western Ghats and the Bayaluseeme region consisting of the plains of Deccan plateau. The bulk of the state falls in the third, Bayaluseeme, region which is the second largest arid region in India.
The state is spread over 1,91,791 sq km with a population of approximately 52,850,562. The primary rivers flowing through Karnataka are Krishna, Tungabhadra, Cauvery and Kabini. It is bordered by Maharashtra and Goa on the north, Andhra Pradesh on the east and Kerala on the south. On it west is vast expanse of the Arabian Sea.
Most of Karnataka formed part of the Nanda Empire before it was annexed by Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya dynasty. It was followed by 400 years of Satavahan rule. The natives of Karnataka rose to power with the fall of the Satavahanas. The earlier rulers were the Kadambas and the Western Ganga dynasty. They were the first to use Kannada in administration were these dynasties. The Chaluyka and Rashtrakutas next took the state to new heights of regality and greatness. In the14th century, Harihar and Bukka Raya established the glorious kingdom of Vijayanagara with the great king Krishnadeva Raya taking it to great heights. For two centuries the Vijaynagara kingdom fought incessantly against the Muslim advances into South India.
But with the decline of the Vijayanagara kingdom, the Musilm domination of the state took place. The Bijapur Sultanate gained control of the state. In later period Haider Ali, the commander-in-chief of the Mysore empire of Wodeyars took over the reins of the state. After his death, the great Tipu Sultan inherited the control of Mysore. He put up a brave fight against the incursion of the British in South India. But after fighting four Anglo-Mysore wars, Tipu Sultan finally was defeated and was annexed apart of the British Raj in 1799.
In the late 19th century Karnataka also fought shoulder to shoulder in the fight to independence against the British rule. After India achieved independence, the Maharaja, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar gave assent to be included to the state of India in 1950.
The diversity of the state over the years has contributed immensely to the rich cultural heritage of the state. Apart from Kannadigas, Tuluvas, Konkanis and Kodavas form a large part of the state. Yakshagana of Malnad is one of the major theatrical forms of Karnataka. The Carnatic form of music occupies a special place in the state and also in the country. PurandaraDasa, one of the most revered Haridasas, is known as the Father of Carnatic music. Exponents like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Mallikarjun Mansur, Basavaraja Rajaguru have made the Carnatic music shine as the jewel of Karnataka.
The Mysore school of painting has produced eminent painters like Sundarayya, Tanjavur Kondaya and Keshavayya. Saree is the traditional dress of the women of the state and dhoti, called Panche in Karnataka is the traditional attire of the male.
Karnataka has recorded the highest growth rate in terms of GDP and also per capita GDP in the last decade compared to other states. Nearly 56% of the workforce of the state is engaged in agriculture and related activities. The output is dependent on the southwest monsoon.
Karnataka is also one of the largest hubs for some of the public sector industries in India, like the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, National Aerospace Laboratories, BHEL, Bharat Earth Movers Limited and HMT. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bharat Electronics Limited and Central Food Technological Research Institute are all in Karnataka.
Since the 80’s Karnataka has emerged as the leading player in the field of Information Technology. Indian firms like the Infosys and Wipro have its headquarters in the state. I-T firms from this state accounted almost 50% of all IT exports from India. All this achievements in the IT field earned it the sobriquet of India’s Silicon Valley.
The state has a huge presence in the realm of biotechnology also. The majority of the biotechnology firms of this country are based in Karnataka. Seven of India’s leading banks, the Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corp Bank, Vijaya Bank, Vysya Bank, Karnataka Bank and the State Bank of Mysore, all have originated from this state.
Bandipur National Park, Banerghatta National Park, The Ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire at Hampi, Monuments of Pattadakel (An UNESCO World Heritage Site), Gol Gumbaz, Brindavan Gardens, Gomteshwara Temple (Tallest Monolith in the world), Jog Falls are the state’s main tourist attractions.
Area: 1,91,791 sq km
Language: Kannada, Kodava, Tulu
Sex Ratio: 964 females per 1000 males
Karnataka polls: BJP on its way out, Congress back in power or BSY the kingmaker?
In 2008, the elections took place in three phases. BJP defeated Congress and got the majority with 110 seats. But it was not enough to form the government, so the party had to take support from independents to form the government in Karnataka. It was first time that the BJP had broken into a bastion in the south.
BS Yeddyurappa took oath as the chief minister of the state. But after being embroiled in land scam and illegal mining case, Yeddyurappa stepped down as CM after pressure from central leadership. He later quit the BJP and formed his own party.
With Yeddyurappa entering the fray with a new party in 2013 elections, it would be interesting to see whether he will hurt the poll prospects of the BJP. And whether, with the BJP in deep trouble will Congress be able to make a comeback?