Karnataka is a state in southwest India with Arabian Sea coastlines. The capital, Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), is a high-tech hub known for its shopping and nightlife.
AREA: 1, 91,791 SQ KM
PRINCIPAL LANGUAGES: KANNADA
Karnataka has a written history of more than 2,000 years. Apart from it being subjected to the rule of the Nandas, Mauryas, and the Shatavahanas, Karnataka came to have indigenous dynasties like the Kadambas of Banavasi and the Gangas from the middle of the 4th century AD. Gomateshwara monolith at Sravanbelagola was installed by a Ganga minister Chavundaraya.
The Chalukyas of Badami (500-735 AD) ruled over a wider area, from the Narmada to the Kaveri from the days of Pulikeshi II (609-642 AD), who even defeated Harshavardhana of Kannauj. This dynasty created fine monuments at Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal, both structural and rock-cut. Aihole has been one of the cradles of temple architecture in the country. The Rashtrakutas (753-973 AD) of Malkhed, who succeeded them, levied tribute on the rulers of Kannauj successively in the so-called ‘Age of Imperial Kannauj’. Kannada literature developed during this period. Outstanding Jain scholars of India lived in their court. The Chalukyas of Kalyana (973 to 1189 AD) and their feudatories, the Hoysalas of Halebeedu built fine temples, encouraged literature and fine arts. Noted jurist Vijnaneshwara (work: Mitakshara ) lived at Kalyana. Great religious leader Basaveshwara was a minister at Kalyana. Vijayanagar Empire (1336-1646) fostered indigenous traditions and encouraged arts, religion and literature in Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil. Overseas trade also flourished during their rule. The Bahamani Sultans (Capital: Gulbarga, later Bidar) and the Bijapur Adilshahis raised fine Indo-Saracenic buildings and encouraged Urdu and Persian literature. Advent of the Portuguese resulted in the introduction of new crops (tobacco, maize, chillies, groundnut, potato, etc.).
After the fall of the Peshwa (1818) and Tipu (1799), Karnataka came under the British control. Christian missionaries introduced English education and printing during the 19th century. Revolution in transport, communication and industries was evident, making way for the emergence of the urban middle-class. Mysore dynasty helped industrialization and cultural growth. Freedom Movement was followed by the movement for the unification of Karnataka. After Indian independence, the new united Mysore State was created in 1956, and was renamed Karnataka in 1973.
PLACES TO SEE
BANGALORE: Legend goes that King Veeraballa of Vijayanagara once lost his way in forest. Hungry and tired, he came upon a lone hut in the thick forest where he met an old woman. When he asked for food, she gave him baked beans (‘Bende Kallu’).The King found this humble meal taste better than the richest fare. To commemorate this incident, he called the place “Bende Kallu Ooru” (place of baked beans). Bangalore today is getting popular though for a different variety of Beans-Java Beans. You can see Grand old structures, Lal Bagh and the Bull Temple here
MYSORE: Mysore is the second biggest City of Karnataka State, which still preserves its age-old glory that in its majestic palaces, forts and gardens. The beautiful Mysore silk saris and sandalwood oil are few of shopper’s delights. Mysore is also known for its famous Carnatic Classical music and dance.
AIHOLE: The region is arrayed with plethora of most beautiful temple complex. An ideal place for historic lover, Aihole displays some of the splendid temple ruins in particular. All the temples have exquisite, intricate carvings that were done between the 5th and 8th centuries.
BADAMI: Badami town is situated amidst a ravine between two rocky hills housing the magnificent rock cut cave temples as well as the Chalukyan style structural temples. The town has been noted for its several cave temples, carved out of rock.
BIJAPUR: Bijapur is recognized for its ancient monuments representing South Indian style of architecture. The majestic Gol Gumbaz is the main allure of this city. It is the biggest dome in India and the second largest in the world. Tourists are attracted to Bijapur to site the magnificent monument constructed by the Adil Shahi.
HAMPI: The famous Vijayanagara ruins speak out loud about the history. Rocky hills and the mighty River flowing through the rugged landscape, dominate the terrain of Hampi. Guarded by the turbulent river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite cliffs on the other three sides, the magnificent ruins of Hampi enumerate the glory of grandeur and incredible wealth.
MANGALORE: Nestling on the coastal edge, Mangalore enjoys the privilege of being the major commercial center with its own modern port. The city is a center for the exporting coffee and cashew nuts to other countries. Its major industries are beedi’s, tiles, cashew, coffee and fishing
PATTADAKKAL: Pattadakal, in Karnataka, showcases some of the rare specimen of temple art. The temples were constructed during the Chalukya Dynasty, depicting a marvelous blend of north and south Indian architectural. A majestic array of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctum is the highlights of the town.
HASSAN: The town of Hassan has been named after the town’s presiding Goddess”Hasanamba” and is called Karnataka’s temple-architecture capital. Hassan dates back to the 11th century, under the rule of the Hoysala Dynasty (11-14th century), who were largely influenced by Jainism. Famous sightseeing places include Belur, Halebeedu and Sravanbelagola
COORG: Coorg (Kodagu) is a mountainous district known for its beautiful scenery and hospitable people. Those travelers who love nature, the unspoiled charm of villages should get off the beaten track and visit Coorg, a wild and rugged region located in the state of Karnataka. The wooded slopes, quaint villages, colorful scenery and undulating landscape with lovely coffee plantations, endless mountain ranges, ridge after ridge of grassy and forest clad slopes rising to the sky, give Coorg its unique & irreplaceable character.
KARWAR: Karwar is situated just 100 km from Goa makes a good starting point, for the voyage of discovering the thrills of the sea, sand and sun. Karwar has all the makings of a perfect holiday with gentle waves, palm-laced beaches, silver sand, and calm, peaceful alleys. Once an important trade centre, this charming town is complemented by glorious weather and an excellent beach.