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Definition: Karnataka from Collins English Dictionary


1 a state of S India, on the Arabian Sea: consists of a narrow coastal plain rising to the South Deccan plateau; mainly agricultural. Capital: Bangalore. Pop: 52 733 958 (2001). Area: 191 791 sq km (74 051 sq miles) Former name (1956–73): Mysore

Summary Article: Karnataka
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

State in southwest India; area 191,773 sq km/74,044 sq mi; population (2001 est) 52,734,000, of which the majority is Hindu. The capital is Bangalore, and Mangalore is a port. The state has a western coastal plain; inland the forested Western Ghats rise to heights of 1,250 m/4,000 ft. Industries include the mining manganese, chromite, iron ore, bauxite, mica, copper, and India's only sources of gold (from the Kolar fields) and silver. The state is extensively forested, and products include teak and most of the world's supply of sandalwood. The Tungabhadra dam provides hydroelectricity, and irrigates up to 500,000 ha/1.23 million acres in Karnataka and Andrha Pradesh. Agricultural products include rice on the coastal western plain; inland millet, groundnuts, rice with irrigation; cotton in the north; and coffee and tea on the slopes of the Western Ghats. The language is Kannada. Famous people from the state include Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan.

Settlements dating back to 3,000 BC have been identified. Later, various dynasties including the Kadambas took control, and in the 16th century the state was part of the Vijayanagar empire. In 1610 Seringapatam was made capital of the Hindu dynasty of Mysore. Hyder Ali usurped the throne in the mid-18th century, but British intervention restored the old dynasty in 1799. Mysore developed an advanced form of government, in many respects ahead of the British provinces. After independence it became a state of the Union of India, with the maharajah as rajpramukh (princely governor). In 1956 the state was enlarged to meet the demand of the Kannada-speaking people for their own state. Its name was changed to Karnataka in 1972.


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