Karnataka is a state in south western India which was created on the 1st of November 1956 under the State Reorganization Act. Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka and also a major IT hub not only nationally, but on an international level.
Kannada is the official and widely spoken language and English is used for official purposes. Karnataka is the eighth largest state in terms of area and ninth largest in terms of population. The state comprises of 30 districts. Karnataka covers a total area of 191,976 sq. kilometers.
Karnataka has its history embedded from the Paleolithic age. Gold was exported to Harappa from the mines in Karnataka. The Mauryan Empire of Ashoka was mainly based in the state. Many dynasties and empires have found their home in Karnataka such as the Chalukyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and Rayas. Karnataka was previously known as the “State of Mysore” and was renamed in 1973.
Why Visit Karnataka?
Karnataka is a tourist’s delight. The array of tourist spots include ancient heritage temples, lush green forests, mesmerizing beaches, cluster of hill ranges and modern and cosmopolitan cities. Karnataka is the juncture where the past meets the future. Western Ghats adorn the state with scenic places like Agumbe, Madikeri and Kudremukh. The state houses more than 25 wildlife sanctuaries and five national parks such as Bannerghatta National Park, Nagarhole Park and more. There are many ancient heritage temples built in the 14th century such as Belur, Halebidu and the Badami caves.
The Jog Falls in Shimoga is India’s tallest waterfall and there are scores of other waterfalls in the state. Beaches are dotted throughout Karnataka’s coastline; the famous beaches include Karwar, Gokarna and Murudeshwara. Karnataka is now a major hub for healthcare tourism and has the highest number of approved alternate therapies and health systems in India.
Exploring the Culture of Karnataka
The state has a very diverse and rich cultural legacy. The folk arts represent a gamut of drama, music, dance and various other activities. Karnataka has contributed immensely to the classical music genre as both Hindustani and Carnatic styles have a lot of stalwarts from the state. The Haridasa movement in the 16th century contributed to the development and upliftment of Carnatic music. Gamaka is another genre of classical music in the state.
Women here wear saris, though the style of wearing differs in different districts. Dhoti is known as Panche, which is the traditional attire of men. Mysore Peta is a headgear worn by men in Southern Karnataka, while a pataga is worn in the northern part of the state.
Ragi and rice are the staple food in South Karnataka and Sorghum and Jolada Roti are eaten in North Karnataka. A wide range of food choices are present and you’ll never have to worry about what to eat. Other famous dishes are Ragi Mudde, Uppittu, Masale Dose, Bisi Bele Bath and Maddur Vade. The vast gamut of sweets includes Belgaavi Kunda, Mysore Pak, Dharwad Peda and Gokak Karadantu. Udupi cuisine from coastal Karnataka is popular throughout India.
Facts for Tourists
The best time to visit Karnataka is during the winter with the peak season being October to March. If you plan to enjoy the captivating flora and fauna in the state; a visit during the monsoon season would be the best. Nudity is an offense on the beaches and women are advised not to wear low necklines or revealing clothes while visiting temples.