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Karnataka - ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ
Seal of Karnataka.svg
status State
Capital Bengaluru
founding February 15, 1947
surface 191,791 km²
Residents 61.130.704 (2011)
Population density 319 inhabitants per km²
languages Kannada
governor Vajubhai Vala
Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa ( BJP )
Website www.karnataka.gov.in
ISO code IN-KA
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Karnataka ( Kannada ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ Karnāṭaka ), until 1973 Mysore , is a southern Indian state with an area of ​​191,791 square kilometers and over 61 million inhabitants (2011 census). The former Indian princely state of Mysore joined the Indian Union in 1947. In the States Reorganization Act 1956, the borders of Mysore were redrawn, so that the state then included all Kannada-speaking areas. In 1973 the state of Mysore was renamed Karnataka. The capital of Karnataka is Bengaluru , the official language is Kannada .

The name of the state

The name Karnataka has the same etymological origin as Kannada , the name of the language spoken in the region. It is probably derived from the Dravidian words karu for "black" and nāṭu for "land" and refers to the black earth of the Deccan highlands. Originally, like today , Karnataka referred to the kannada-speaking area in the southwestern Deccan. During the British colonial period, the Anglicised name Carnatic was transferred to the southern flatland between the Eastern Ghats and the Coromandel coast , while the Canara, also derived from Karnataka via Kannada , denoted the coastal strip in the west. With the renaming of the state of Mysore, which was formed from the Kannada-speaking areas in 1956, in 1973 the term Karnataka was returned to its original meaning in its Sanskrit form.


Karnataka topographic map

Karnataka is bordered by the states of Goa in the northwest, Maharashtra in the north, Telangana in the northeast, Andhra Pradesh in the east, Tamil Nadu in the southeast and Kerala in the southwest, and the Arabian Sea in the west.

Karnataka is divided into three large scenic areas. On the 320 km long and only 48 to 64 km wide coastal plain in the west follow the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats , which in Karnataka reach a height of up to 1923 meters. Most of the state is made up of the highlands of the Deccan, consisting mainly of granite subsoil .

The three most important rivers Kaveri , Krishna and Tungabhadra also have their source on the Deccan .


Karnataka has a tropical climate. Everywhere in the country, climatic conditions are significantly influenced by the monsoons . The summer monsoon lasts from June to September, with rainfall being different depending on the region.

There is a tropical climate on the coast . It is hot all year round - around 27 degrees Celsius on average - with little temperature fluctuations over the course of the year. There is heavy rainfall during the summer monsoons. From October to December, weak post monsoon rains can still occur. The remaining months are free of precipitation, but sometimes there is still high humidity, especially immediately before and after the monsoon. Depending on the location, up to 3500 mm fall over the year. The Western Ghats rising behind the narrow coastal plain are among the rainiest areas in India. There are some places there with annual rainfall of more than 5000 mm.

Also in the highlands of Dekkan , which occupies most of Karnataka, there is a tropical alternating climate , but a much drier one than on the coast. The temperatures fluctuate more, because the compensatory influence of the sea is missing. Due to the altitude, the average annual temperatures are sometimes significantly lower than on the coast, but it gets unbearably hot in the summer months on the Dekkan. In the lower-lying regions in the north of Karnataka ( Bijapur , Gulbarga , Raichur , Bellary ) the precipitation is lowest with 500 to 600 mm per year; at the same time, it gets hottest there in summer. In the other, higher parts of the highlands, the annual rainfall is slightly higher.



According to the 2011 Indian census, the population of Karnataka is 61,130,704. This makes Karnataka the eighth largest state in terms of population in India. The population density of 319 inhabitants per square kilometer is below the overall Indian average (382 inhabitants per square kilometer). 38.6 percent of the population live in cities. The degree of urbanization is thus higher than the average for India (31.2 percent). The population of Karnataka is growing a little lower than in other parts of India. From 2001 to 2011, Karnataka recorded a population growth of 15.7 percent, while the national average is 17.6 percent. Between 2010 and 2014, the average life expectancy was 68.8 years (the Indian average was 67.9 years). The fertility rate was 1.84 children per woman (as of 2016) while the Indian average was 2.23 children in the same year.

Population development

Karnataka census population (within today's boundaries) since the first Indian census in 1951.

Census year population
1951 19,402,500
1961 23,587,910
1971 29,299,015
1981 37.135.710
1991 44,977,200
2001 52.734.986
2011 61.130.704


Multilingual sign in Bengaluru (Kannada, Tamil, English)

Main language of Karnataka is the Dravidian languages belonging Kannada , after his speech limits the boundaries of the state were drawn. Kannada is the only official language in Karnataka. It is used as their mother tongue by two thirds of the population, and many speakers of other languages ​​can speak it as a second language .

In addition to the Kannadigas (speakers of the Kannada), numerous linguistic minorities live in Karnataka: the second largest language is Urdu , an Indo-Aryan language spoken by most Muslims . Its speakers make up a tenth of the population. There is also a considerable number of speakers of the languages ​​of the neighboring federal states: along the border with Andhra Pradesh there is a Telugu- speaking minority, in parts of northern Carnataka around the city of Belgaum , the majority of Indo-Aryan Marathi , the main language of the northern state of Maharashtra, is spoken. A Christian minority who originally immigrated from Goa lives on the coast and speaks Konkani , which is closely related to the Marathi . Numerous speakers of Tamil live in the greater Bengaluru area , and Malayalam is also spoken on the border with Kerala . Hindi is also widespread among immigrants from northern India .

Two smaller regional languages ​​are spoken in the southwest of Karnataka: 1.5 million Tulu speakers live in the coastal area around Mangalore , and around 110,000 people speak Kodava (Coorgi) in the mountains in the Kodagu (Coorg) district . Both languages ​​belong to the Dravidian language family. Furthermore, the members of the nomadic people of the Banjara Lamani or Banjari, a dialect of Rajasthani , who live scattered over large parts of Karnataka . In the official statistics, the approximately one million Lamani / Banjari speakers are subsumed under the number of Hindi speakers.

In Karnataka's capital Bengaluru there is a colorful mix of languages. Kannada is only used by a third of the population there. There are also large numbers of speakers from Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. As a language of education and communication, English is present practically everywhere.

Languages ​​in Karnataka (2011)
language speaker proportion of
Kannada 40,651,090 66.5%
Urdu 6,618,324 10.8%
Telugu 3,569,400 5.8%
Tamil 2.110.128 3.5%
Marathi 2,064,906 3.4%
Hindi 2,013,364 3.3%
Tulu 1,595,038 2.6%
Konkani 788.294 1.3%
Malayalam 774.057 1.3%
Others 910.696 1.5%
total 61,095,297 100%


At 84 percent, Hindus make up the clear majority of the population, a proportion that roughly corresponds to the overall Indian average. The proportions of Muslims and Christians are also close to the national average, at 13 and 2 percent respectively. However, their distribution over the area of ​​Karnataka is uneven. While the Muslim population is mainly concentrated in the north of the state and in Bengaluru, almost all Christians live in the coastal region.

Of great importance is the minority of the Jainas , who make up only 0.7 percent of the population, but have made important contributions to the cultural history of Karnataka. Their influence is also evident in business life. Another minority is that of Buddhists (0.2 percent). They include followers of the Dalit Buddhism founded by BR Ambedkar , who can be found in northern Karnataka and neighboring Maharashtra, as well as the descendants of Tibetan refugees who were settled in places like Bylakuppe in the 1960s .

Religions in Karnataka (2011)
religion Relatives proportion of
Hinduism 51,317,472 84.0%
Islam 7,893,065 12.9%
Christianity 1,142,647 1.9%
Others 742.113 1.2%
total 61,095,297 100%


Districts in Karnataka by literacy rate (2011)

The literacy rate in Karnataka is 75.6 percent (men: 82.3 percent, women: 68.1 percent), only slightly above the Indian average (74.0 percent, as of the 2011 census).

Karnataka has 16 universities or higher education institutions with university status, three of them in the capital Bengaluru alone: Bangalore University , the University of Agricultural Sciences and the Indian Institute of Science . However, Karnataka's oldest university is the University of Mysore, founded in 1916 .


Bengaluru: By far the largest city in Karnataka

By far the largest city of Karnataka is the capital Bengaluru in the southeast of the state . Due to its economic boom, the IT metropolis has experienced significant population growth and is now the third largest city in India. With a population of 8.4 million, Bengaluru is home to a seventh of the entire population of Karnataka and is nine times the size of the next largest city in the state, the twin cities of Hubli-Dharwad in northwestern Karnataka . The third largest city is Mysore in the south , which is historically significant as the former capital of the Kingdom of Mysore . Other important cities are Gulbarga in the northeast, Belgaum in the northwest and Mangalore on the coast in the southwest.

On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the state in 2006, the government of Karnataka decided, following a proposal by the writer UR Ananthamurthy , to rename the English names of 12 cities in Karnataka into their Kannada name forms. So Bangalore became Bengaluru and Mysore became Mysuru . With the approval of the Indian central government in October 2014, the name change came into effect. The old forms of name are listed in brackets. The population figures are at the level of the 2011 census.

city Residents city Residents
1 Bengaluru (Bangalore) 8,425,970 8th Ballari (Bellary) 409,644
2 Hubballi-Dharwad (Hubli-Dharwad) 943.857 9 Vijayapura (Bijapur) 326.360
3 Mysore (Mysore) 887.446 10 Shivamogga (Shimoga) 322,428
4th Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) 532.031 11 Tumakuru (Tumkur) 305,821
5 Belagavi (Belgaum) 488.292 12 Raichur 232.456
6th Mangalore (Mangalore) 484.785 13 Bidar 211,944
7th Go away 435.128 14th Wallpaper (Hospet) 206.159
Source: Census of India 2011. (PDF; 154 kB)


Early history (up to around 3rd century AD)

Karnataka's early history has some differences from the early cultures of northern India. The Iron Age in Karnataka began much earlier, as has been found in iron weapons from around 1200 BC. Prove. Nevertheless, the north of today's Karnataka was under the rule of north Indian dynasties, such as the Nanda in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. And the Maurya in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. After that extended the dynasty from Andhra and Maharashtra originating Satavahana , former vassals of the Maurya, their sphere of influence to the north Karnataka from. The Pallava replaced them in the 3rd century AD and extended their own empire for a short time to the river Krishna .

Kadamba and Ganga (approx. 350 to 550)

Two local dynasties ended the supremacy of the Pallava. Around 345 the Brahmin Mayurasarman founded the house of Kadamba . He rebelled against the Pallava, who finally had to recognize him as ruler of Northern Carnataka.

In the south of Karnataka, too, the Pallava were replaced by the Ganga around the same time .

Chalukya from Badami (approx. 550 to 757)

Around the middle of the 6th century a new power began to stir: the Chalukya , founded around 550 by Prince Pulakeshin I (ruled as king until 566). Originally residing in Aihole , in northern central Carnataka, Pulakeshin soon made the nearby Vatapi ( Badami ) his new capital, from where he subjugated the Kadamba and Ganga, and thus all of Karnataka. Pulakeshin II (ruled 609-642) established a vast empire between the Narmada in the north and the Kaveri in the south. Large parts of today's states of Gujarat , Madhya Pradesh , Chhattisgarh and Orissa were also temporarily subject to the Chalukya. For around 200 years they determined the fate of Karnataka and large parts of southern and central India. Culturally, too, they ushered in a new era. The Chalukya capitals Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal still bear witness to the power and splendor of their builders with their magnificent temples.

However, the Chalukya were unlucky in trying to wrestle down their permanent enemies, the Pallava. Instead, the latter managed to capture Badami and kill Pulakeshin II in 642. The success was short-lived, however, as the Chalukya quickly recovered.

Rashtrakuta (757 to 973)

The end of the Chalukya came around 757, when their vassal Dantidurga (ruled 753-757) overthrew the king. His ruling house, the Rashtrakuta , even surpassed the power of his predecessors by forcing Bengal and the north Indian Kannauj on the Ganges to pay tribute. The development of the Kannada literature is one of the cultural achievements of the Rashtrakuta period . The oldest traditions written in this language date from the 9th century.

Chalukya of Kalyani (973 to 1187)

In 973 the Chalukya disempowered their former adversaries. As the new capital, they had Kalyani built near today's Bidar . Although they were able to regain their old empire, with the exception of Gujarat, they were exposed to constant attacks by the Tamil Chola empire, which even succeeded in taking Kalyani. Only Someshvara I (ruled 1042-1068) was able to stop them and defeat their king Rajadhiraja in 1052. His successors Someshvara II (ruled 1068-1076) and Vikramaditya II (ruled 1076-1127) continued the fight against the chola. The Chola were not finally defeated, but initially eliminated as serious competitors. Nevertheless, after the death of Vikramaditya II, the Chalukya empire fell into decline due to new internal and external enemies.

Yadava, Hoysala and Sultans of Delhi (1186/87 to 1346/47)

Temple architecture of the Hoysala in Belur

The new enemies were the Hoysala , who had administered the south of Karnataka as vassals since the 11th century, and the Yadava , who invaded northern Karnataka from Maharashtra . The latter were also once vassals of the Chalukya, but gained extensive independence under Bhilama (r. 1185–1193). In 1186 they conquered Kalyani. The ruling seat of the Yadava was in Devagiri (today Daulatabad in Maharashtra).

In the south, meanwhile, the Hoysala had risen to become the dominant ruling house. In 1187 they defeated the last Chalukya king, in 1190 they emerged victorious from a clash with the Yadava and established themselves as the leading power in Karnataka. Their capitals were Dorasamudra (now Halebid ) and Belur . In both cities you can still admire some of the most outstanding Hoysala-style buildings.

In the 14th century, the Hoysala and Yadava were increasingly threatened by the Islamic Sultanate of Delhi . The military expedition ordered by the Sultan Ala ud-Din Khalji (r. 1296-1316) led his general Malik Kafur to Madurai in 1310/11 . The Yadava empire was incorporated into the sultanate, while the Hoysala had to pay tribute, but were allowed to continue their rule. However, the huge sultanate fell apart again within a very short time, and the two dynasties in Karnataka were able, at least temporarily, to restore their empires, but were seriously weakened. The final end for the Yadava came in 1318 with a renewed invasion from the north. Muhammad bin Tughluq , Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351, finally subjugated the Hoysala as well. However, his empire fell apart during his lifetime. In the far north of Karnataka, the Bahmani Sultanate split off in 1345 with the capital Gulbarga (from 1347; from 1428 Bidar ).

In a desperate struggle to save his empire, the Hoysala king Ballala III fell. 1343 fighting the Sultan of Madurai. With the death of his son in 1346, his line finally came to an end. His place was taken by Vijayanagar , which is considered to be one of the most legendary Hindu empires in South India and which was supposed to deny Muslim rulers access to South India for over 200 years.

Vijayanagar (1336/1346 to 1565)

The exact origin of the kingdom of Vijayanagar is not completely clear. The founders of the empire, the two brothers Harihara and Bukka, were possibly vassals of the Hoysala; according to other sources, the Sultan of Delhi had converted them to Islam and installed them as governors in the Deccan , where they resumed their old beliefs and founded their own empire . It is documented that Harihara founded Vijayanagar in 1336 and took over his empire after the death of the last Hoysala ruler (1346). In 1357 his younger brother Bukka ascended the throne. He succeeded in conquering the Sultanate of Madurai.

The most important ruler is Krishnadeva Raya (ruled 1509–1529), who led Vijayanagar to economic, military and cultural prosperity after internal difficulties. His worst enemy, the Bahmani Sultanate, which was already in decline, finally broke up from 1490 under the military pressure of Vijayanagar into five individual states, which are combined as the Dekkan Sultanates . At the same time, the first contacts were made with the Portuguese who had conquered Goa , the Konkan and Malabar coasts .

Among his successors, disputes arose with the Deccan sultanates, who allied against Vijayanagar. They inflicted a crushing defeat on the empire in the Battle of Talikota in 1565 and thus initiated its downfall. The capital was reduced to rubble. Although the king was able to flee south, where his empire continued into the 17th century, it had lost its great power status.

Northern Carnataka in the 16th to 18th centuries

The four sultanates of Bijapur , Bidar , Ahmadnagar and Berar (both in today's Maharashtra ) split off from the Bahmani Sultanate at the end of the 15th century . In 1512 Golkonda (in today's Andhra Pradesh ) was the last of the so-called Dekkan sultanates to emerge. Bijapur and Golkonda turn out to be the most powerful of the five sultanates which, apart from the alliance against Vijayanagar, were constantly involved in hostilities.

Berar and Ahmadnagar were finally subject to the north Indian Mughal Empire under Shah Jahan (r. 1627 / 28-1658). Bidar fell to Bijapur, which was conquered in 1686 by Shah Jahan's successor Aurangzeb . The same fate befell Golkonda a year later.

The strengthening of the Marathas and internal difficulties brought the Mughal Empire back to its possessions on the Deccan after Aurangzeb's death . The areas of the former Deccan sultanates became part of the newly established kingdom of the Nizams of Hyderabad in 1724 , but from 1760 they fell partially to the Marathas.

Mysore (1565 to 1799)

Contemporary English illustration of Tipu Sultan

With the defeat of Vijayanagar in 1565, Mysore was no longer subject to tribute under the Hindu Wodeyar dynasty , which had ruled as a subordinate of Vijayanagar since 1399 . It finally gained its independence at the beginning of the 17th century and became the most influential state in southern Karnataka.

From 1744 onwards, in the course of the conflict in the War of the Austrian Succession, the First Carnatic War between France and Great Britain broke out .

Mysore reached the height of its power in the second half of the 18th century. The Muslim officer Hyder Ali rose to de facto rulership in 1761, but formally left the old ruling house to rule. Hyder Ali began to expand in the southern Deccan, which hurt the interests of the British in Madras and aroused their resentment. The result were the four Mysore Wars between Mysore, who had risen to become a regional power, and the colonial power Great Britain. In the first war (1766–1769), Hyder Ali penetrated until shortly before Madras and, as a result of the war, forced a military aid agreement directed against the Marathas on his opponents. The conflict was fueled again by the fact that Hyder Ali and, after his death in 1782, his son Tipu Sultan were allied with the French who had fought against the British in the American War of Independence since 1775 . While the British advanced against the last remaining French bases on the south coast of India, Mysore used the opportunity to push back the Marathas without fear of British influence. It was only when areas of an ally Mysore were annexed by the English that the Second Mysore War broke out in 1780 . It ended in a draw after four years with the Peace of Mangalore . The decision in favor of Great Britain finally fell in the Third (1789-1792) and Fourth Mysore War (1799), in which Tipu Sultan fell and his capital Shrirangapattana was captured and largely destroyed. Due to the turmoil of the French Revolution and the unfavorable course of Napoleon's Egyptian expedition , he had hoped in vain for French support .

British colonial rule (1799 to 1947)

Map of Mysores 1951

After Tipu Sultan's death, the British cut Mysore back to its original size and reinstated the Wodeyars as vassals. They divided the remaining areas between the presidencies of Bombay and Madras . The Marathas, who at that time still held the north of Karnataka, were defeated and disempowered in 1818. In 1831 Mysore was also placed under direct administration by the British East India Company and, from 1857, British India because of alleged financial misconduct by the Rajas . In 1881 the Wodeyars got their empire back.

Karnataka in independent India (since 1947)

With the independence of India in 1947, the Kingdom of Mysore became a federal state. In 1956, as part of the reorganization of the federal states according to language boundaries as part of the States Reorganization Act, this was given its current expansion by merging with Coorg and the Kannada-speaking parts of the former states of Bombay , Madras and Hyderabad . Since November 1, 1973, the state has been called Karnataka.


Political system

Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru

The legislature of the state of Karnataka consists of a bicameral parliament . The lower house, the Legislative Assembly or Vidhana Sabha , has 225 MPs, 224 of which are elected every five years by direct election and one is appointed by the governor to represent the Anglo-Indian minority. The House of Lords , the Legislative Council, or Vidhana Parishad , has 75 members, 25 of whom are appointed by the House of Commons, 25 by the state municipalities, eleven by the governor, and seven each by teachers and university graduates. The seat of the legislature is the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru . In addition, a week of meetings takes place annually in the city of Belgaum , which in 2006 was officially named the “second capital” of Karnataka.

The government of Karnataka is headed by the chief minister elected by parliament . But is appointed by the President of India Governor (at the head of the State Governor ). Its main tasks are to appoint the Chief Minister and to entrust him with the formation of the government. Acting governor of Karnataka has been Hans Raj Bhardwaj since June 29, 2009 .

The highest court in Karnataka is the Karnataka High Court in Bengaluru. There are branches in Hubli-Dharwad and Gulbarga .

In the all-India parliament , Karnataka has 28 members in the Lok Sabha , the lower house, and twelve seats in the Rajya Sabha , the upper house.


Congress Party Office in Bengaluru (2004)
Distribution of seats after the
2018 parliamentary elections
BJP 104
INC 80
JD (S) 37
E.G 1
More independent 1
Anglo-Indian (appointed) 1
total 225
Elections in constituencies 154-Rajarajeshwarinagar and 173-Jayanagar were postponed to May 28 and June 11, 2018, respectively, on suspicion of election fraud.

The politics of Karnataka is dominated by three major parties: the Indian National Congress (INC), the Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the regional party Janata Dal (Secular) (JD (S)), in 1999 as a splinter group from the party Janata Dal (JD) was born. From the founding of the state until 1983, Karnataka was ruled continuously by the Congress Party. In the following decades, the JD or JD (S) was able to break the supremacy of the Congress Party: It led the government of Karnataka from 1983–1989, 1994–1999 and 2006–2007. In the 2000s, the BJP, which could not achieve any success in the other southern Indian states, established itself in Karnataka as an important political force. In 2004 the BJP became the strongest party for the first time, but it did not yet have a majority of its own. In 2007, however, the politician BS Yeddyurappa formed the first BJP government in a southern Indian state. After a corruption scandal that forced Yeddyurappa to resign in 2011 and subsequent internal quarrels, the BJP government was voted out of office again in 2013.

Karnataka's politics are strongly characterized by caste loyalty . The BJP is supported by the Lingayat , the dominant caste in Northern Carnataka, while the JD (S) has its core constituency in the Vokkaliga , which is dominant in Southern Carnataka . The lower castes, Dalits and religious minorities, on the other hand, support the Congress Party.

In the 2013 general election, the Congress Party won an absolute majority with 122 seats in parliament. The BJP and JD (S) follow behind with 40 seats each. Six seats went to the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), which the former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa founded after leaving the BJP, and four seats to the BSR Congress (BSRCP), also a BJP splinter group. Both the KJP and the BSR Congress later rejoined the BJP. The smaller regional parties Karnataka Makkala Paksha (KMP) and Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha (SKP) and the supraregional Samajwadi Party (SP) each with one seat and nine independent candidates were also represented in parliament . As a result of the election, the Congress Party formed the government under Chief Minister Siddaramaiah . In the 2014 all-India parliamentary elections in Karnataka, however, the nationwide victorious BJP was successful. The BJP won 17 of the state's 28 constituencies. The Congress Party won nine constituencies. The remaining two constituencies went to the JD (S). In the election to the parliament of Karnataka on May 12, 2018, the Congress Party lost its previous majority in seats and won 78 seats. The BJP gained strongly and got 104 seats, but missed an absolute majority. JD (S) won 37 constituencies and one constituency each went to Bahujan Samaj Party , the 2015 newly founded Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party and a non-party candidate. After the result became known, negotiations began between the Congress Party and the JD (S) with the aim of forming a coalition government. During the election campaign, both parties had decided against it. On May 17, 2018, BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in as parliamentary leader of the strongest party (BJP) as Chief Minister, with the proviso that he could prove by a vote of confidence that he had a parliamentary majority. However, he did not succeed and he resigned on May 18, 2018, one day before the targeted vote of confidence. Afterwards, on May 23, 2018, JD (S) party leader HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the new Chief Minister at the head of a jD (S) congress coalition government as Chief Minister.

In the 2019 all- India parliamentary election , the BJP won 25 of the 28 constituencies in Karnataka, while Congress and JD (U) only won one each. This devastating election defeat had a destabilizing effect on the government. At the beginning of July 2019, a total of 13 MPs from the Congress Party and 3 MPs from the JD (S) announced their resignation from their mandate as a result of which the government lost its narrow parliamentary majority. On July 23, 2019, Kumaraswamy lost a vote of confidence in parliament and subsequently announced his resignation. The governor appointed opposition leader Yeddyurappa as the new Chief Minister on July 26, 2019, who received a majority vote in a vote of confidence on July 29, 2019.

Administrative division

Karnatakas districts

Karnataka is divided into the four divisions Bengaluru , Belgaum , Gulbarga and Mysore as well as the following 30 districts (population and population density according to the 2011 census):

District Administrative headquarters surface Population
1 Bagalkot Bagalkot 6 565 km² 1 890 826 288 inhabitants / km²
2 Bengaluru Rural Bengaluru 2 km² 239 987 257 441 inhabitants / km²
3 Bengaluru Urban Bengaluru 2 190 km² 9 588 910 4 378 Ew./km²
4th Belgaum Belgaum 13 square kilometers 423 4 778 439 356 inhabitants / km²
5 Bellary Bellary 8 square kilometers 441 2 532 383 300 inhabitants / km²
6th Bidar Bidar 5 km² 449 1 700 018 312 inhabitants / km²
7th Bijapur Bijapur 10 508 square kilometers 2 175 102 207 inhabitants / km²
8th Chamarajanagar Chamarajanagar 5 105 km² 1 020 962 200 inhabitants / km²
9 Chikballapur Chikballapur 4 km² 209 1 254 377 298 inhabitants / km²
10 Chikmagalur Chikmagalur 7 square kilometers 201 1 137 753 158 inhabitants / km²
11 Chitradurga Chitradurga 8 square kilometers 428 1 660 378 197 inhabitants / km²
12 Dakshina Kannada Mangalore 4 sq km 559 2 083 625 457 inhabitants / km²
13 Go away Go away 5 km² 918 1 946 905 329 inhabitants / km²
14th Dharwad Dharwad 4 sq km 256 1 846 993 434 inhabitants / km²
15th Gadag Gadag 4 sq km 652 1 065 235 229 inhabitants / km²
16 Gulbarga Gulbarga 11 square kilometers 008 2 564 892 233 inhabitants / km²
17th Hassan Hassan 6 square kilometers 805 1 776 221 261 inhabitants / km²
18th Haveri Haveri 4 sq km 829 1 598 506 331 inhabitants / km²
19th Kodagu Madikeri 4 109 km² 554 762 135 inhabitants / km²
20th Kolar Kolar 4 sq km 011 1 540 231 384 inhabitants / km²
21st Koppal Koppal 5 km² 565 1 391 292 250 inhabitants / km²
22nd Mandya Mandya 4 sq km 955 1 808 680 365 inhabitants / km²
23 Mysore Mysore 6 853 km² 2 994 744 437 inhabitants / km²
24 Raichur Raichur 8 square kilometers 442 1 924 773 228 people / km²
25th Ramanagara Ramanagara 3 sq km 573 1 082 739 303 inhabitants / km²
26th Shimoga Shimoga 8 square kilometers 481 1 755 512 207 inhabitants / km²
27 Tumkur Tumkur 10 599 square kilometers 2 681 449 253 inhabitants / km²
28 Udupi Udupi 3 sq km 875 1 177 908 304 people / km²
29 Uttara Kannada Karwar 10 263 square kilometers 1 436 847 140 inhabitants / km²
30th Yadgir Yadgir 5 237 km² 1 172 985 224 inhabitants / km²


Economic sectors


Although Karnataka is more industrialized than many other states, the majority of the population is still employed in the agricultural sector. Around 55 percent of the country's area is used for agriculture. The most important crops are rice , ragi ( finger millet ), sorghum , corn and pulses . The main plantation plants are sugar cane and coffee , and to a lesser extent coconut , cashew and betel nuts as well as chilli , cardamom , cotton and tobacco . Karnataka's share of the total coffee production in India is 60 percent. Floriculture is also important.


Karnataka is relatively rich in natural resources. The most important raw materials are iron , manganese and copper ores , magnesite , bauxite , granite and limestone . Chrome iron stone , dolomite , quartz and asbestos also occur in smaller quantities . In addition, Karnataka is the only Indian state that has significant gold deposits . 84 percent of Indian gold production comes from Karnataka.


Karnataka is one of the more industrialized states of India. Around a quarter of the gross domestic product is generated in the industrial sector. The capital Bengaluru has developed into one of the centers of the Indian IT industry . Numerous foreign software companies have settled there. The electronics, aerospace, machine and biotech industries are also well represented in Bengaluru. In other regions, the textile (especially silk ), machine, food and luxury goods, chemical, iron, steel and paper industries are also important. Belgaum is one of the most important locations for the Indian aluminum industry. Several vehicle groups, including Volvo and Toyota , have locations in Karnataka. Industrial growth in 2002/03 was 6.1 percent. To promote industrial exports, the government of the state is planning special economic zones in Bengaluru, Hassan and the coastal region.


The service sector has always shown the highest growth in recent years (10.3 percent in the period 2002/03) and has become the mainstay of the economy. It now contributes more than half of Karnataka's GDP. The IT area stands out in particular. In 1991, Karnataka was the first Indian state to set up a software technology park. Today the state provides 36 percent of all of India's software exports.


The average per capita income in 2005/06 was 27,101 rupees and was thus slightly above the overall Indian average (2005/06: 25,956 rupees).

When it comes to health, Karnataka has statistically better values ​​than the national average. The life expectancy in 1999 was 64.0 years (men 62.4 years, women: 65.5 years). It was thus higher than the average in India, where it was 61.7 years in the same year (men: 60.8 years, women: 62.5 years). In 2002, the child mortality rate of 55 stillbirths per 1000 live births was lower than the national average (63 per 1000).

With a value of 0.662, Karnataka ranks 13th among the 29 states of India in the Human Development Index in 2015 .


Road network

Karnataka's road network covers around 153,000 kilometers (as of 2004), of which almost 4,000 kilometers are national highways . Coping with the rapidly growing volume of traffic - the traffic on the national highways alone increases by around 20 percent per year - is becoming increasingly difficult. Though the state government is pushing road construction, expansion is barely keeping pace with rapid economic growth.

Railway network

The rail network in Karnataka covers almost 3,200 kilometers. The Konkan Railway , certainly India's most ambitious railway project since independence, opened in 1998 after seven years of construction. It runs over 760 kilometers along the Konkan Coast and connects Mangaluru with the city ​​of Roha , located south of Mumbai in Maharashtra .


The main international airport in Karnataka is Bengaluru International Airport ( IATA code : BLR), about 30 km north of Bengaluru and 4 km south of Devanahalli . Since 2008 it has replaced the now too small inner-city airport of Bengaluru. A small international airport is that of Mangaluru (IATA code: IXE), with flights to destinations in the Persian Gulf . Domestic airports are located in Belgaum (IATA code: IXG) and Hubli-Dharwar (IATA code: HBX). Another airport in Mysore is currently being planned.


With Mangaluru, Karnataka has one of the twelve main sea ports in India. In 2004/05 (April to March) 33.89 million tons were handled there. This put Mangaluru in sixth place, and it also had the highest growth rate in India. There are also a few smaller harbors, especially Karwar in the north of the state's coastline.

Power supply

The electricity supply is - as almost everywhere in India - insufficient. Due to the high energy requirements of the booming industry and economy in general, power outages are even more frequent than the average in India. Most of the electricity is generated by water, thermal and nuclear energy. Asia's first hydropower plant was built in 1902 in Shivasamudram in southern Carnataka. The strong promotion of wind energy is remarkable.


In contrast to the north Indian Hindi, Kannada is not an Indo-European language , but forms the Dravidian language family together with Tamil ( Tamil Nadu ), Telugu ( Andhra Pradesh and Telangana ), Malayalam ( Kerala ) and other languages . Hindi, the official language favored by the government in New Delhi, is largely rejected by the South Indians. Everywhere in South India one sees graffiti of the kind: Hindi never, English ever . The Dravidian languages ​​are characterized by difficult grammars and inimitable sounds for non-Dravids.

But not only the language, but also the male clothing ( lungi ), the food, the temples and the music do not necessarily give the traveler coming from North India the feeling of still being in the same country. The lungi is a very thin cloth about 1.20 meters wide and two meters long that adult men wear around their hips and fasten without aids. Western shorts are considered to be underpants and, especially among children in rural areas, usually immediately create great cheerfulness.

The country's cuisine is less spicy than in the north and richer with a variety of vegetables, in addition to various pickles and chutneys .

The temple buildings reach gigantic dimensions of over two square kilometers, mostly surrounded by a wall. In the wall there are gatehouses over eighty meters high, which are dotted with hundreds of painted, different kinds of gods. The gate openings themselves are so high that a decorated temple elephant with a riding gondola offers an imposing image when passing through the gate. Where present, all temple buildings, the temple pond, which is important for the ritual ablutions, and even the paving of the temple courtyards are made of pure granite.

The music also differs significantly from that in the north, if only through the instruments played. The most important of these would be the nadaswaram , a wooden oboe- like wind instrument over a meter in length that emits a very shrill, penetrating sound. It is usually played in a double pack at temple ceremonies, with both instruments playing as synchronously as possible. The nadaswaram is accompanied by the drum tavil , a so-called two-headed drum, both heads of which are played on the left with the hand and on the right with a stick. A nadaswaram double pack also includes a tavil double pack, also played synchronously. The vina is a south Indian stringed instrument, is similar to the north Indian sitar , but is strung and tuned differently and sounds accordingly different. Other drums would be: Kanjira (covered with lizard skin and beaten with only one hand), Mridangam (double-headed drum, in which both heads are beaten with the hands) and Ghatam (clay pot made of special clay mixed with iron filings; is beaten with both hands ). The best-known virtuosos of Kannada music abroad form the Karnataka College of Percussion , a formation that became known in the West primarily for its fusion concerts with Charlie Mariano .

The national language film industry is centered in Bengaluru. The most famous star of the Kannada film was the actor Rajkumar .


Mysore Maharaja's Palace (Karnataka)

Karnataka has numerous natural beauties as well as sights of cultural interest. The capital Bengaluru is often referred to as the “garden city” because of its many public parks and green spaces, but is also known as the “ Silicon Valley of India”. One of the most interesting cities is Mysore , the former capital of the kingdom of the same name. Several palaces and the temple complex on Chamundi Hill give this city a special attraction for both domestic and foreign visitors. Mysore has a large, covered bazaar with plenty of shopping opportunities. Not far from the city is Shrirangapattana , which was temporarily the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore . Karnataka's premier historic site is the ruined city of Hampi , historic Vijayanagar , near the Hospet regional trade center . It counts for its amazingly well preserved some temples and palaces for World Heritage of UNESCO , and managed by the Archaeological Survey of India looked after. Other medieval sites such as the former Chalukya capitals Badami , Aihole and Pattadakal as well as Belur and Halebid , former centers of power of the Hoysala kings, bear witness to the long history of Karnataka. There are magnificent Muslim buildings in Bijapur , Bidar and Gulbarga in the north of the state. Karnataka also has five national parks and numerous other nature reserves.

Web links

Commons : Karnataka  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Karnataka  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  6. ^ Population of Indian States | Indian states population 1901-2011 - StatisticsTimes.com. Retrieved March 19, 2018 .
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  9. Census of India 2011: Literates and literacy rates by sex: 2011. ( Memento of April 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
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  18. ^ 'Serious Threat' From Congress Leaders, No Intention Of Meeting Them: Rebel Karnataka MLAs Tell Police. Outlook India, July 15, 2019, accessed July 31, 2019 .
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  22. ^ Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab. Retrieved August 12, 2018 .

Coordinates: 13 ° 0 '  N , 77 ° 0'  E