Karnataka is situated on the western edge of the Deccan Plateau and is the land of Royal Grandeur and Oriental Glory. The State has a 287 km long coastline on the west where it abuts the Arabian Sea. It was formerly known as Mysore but on 1st November 1973, the name was changed to Karnataka. The State is endowed with immense scenic beauty and charm and is well known for lovely garden cities, ancient temples and historical monuments. A changing pageant of cultures, customs, life styles and religions has left its mark on this land, making it a fascinating blend of colours.
The history of Karnataka goes back to the days of Emperor Ashoka. Afterwards, it became the seat to three great empires – the Kadambas, the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar rulers. Each one of them have left their imprints in the architecture and sculpture. In the sharp contrast with the simplicity of the countryside are the grand palaces and beautiful gardens befitting this princely State and the splendor of festivals like Dussehra. Today, this industrially developed State is famous for its handicrafts made of metal, stone, sandalwood, rosewood, ivory and silk. The exotic sandalwood oil from Karnataka is famous all over the world.
Capital: Bengaluru (Bangalore)
Main languages: Kannada, Urdu, Telegu, English, Hindi
When to go: October to March
Getting There & Away: How to reach Karnataka
Road: Road transport is well developed with many National (3,973 kms) and State level Highways (9,829 kms). NH-4 has connected Karnataka with Maharashtra and Tamilnadu (from Pune to Madras via Bangalore). NH-4A is between Maharashtra and Goa via Karnataka (from Belgaum to Panaji). NH-7 has gone through Varanasi, Nagpur, Bengaluru and Kanyakumari connecting UP, Maharashtra and Karnataka. NH-65 runs along Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telengana. NH-13 starts from Solapur and extends up to Mangalore via Bijapur and Sringeri. NH-66 connects Panvel (Mumbai) with Kanyakumari (Chennai) via Karnataka. NH-48, NH-206, NH-207 & NH-209 are other important ones.
Rail: Total length of Railway track is 3,089 kms. Important stations are Bangalore City, Alnavar Junction, Belgaum, Bellary Junction, Dharwar, Ghatprabha, Hassan, Hospet Junction, Karwar, Koppal, Mangalore Central and Mysore City Junction.
Air: Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore and Mangalore International Airport in Mangalore are operating International Flights. Belgaum Airport and Hubli Airport is having domestic Air services.