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(kärnä`təkə), formerly


(mīsôr`), state (2001 provisional pop. 52,733,958), 74,122 sq mi (191,976 sq km), SW India, bordering on the Arabian Sea. It is bordered on the north by the states of Goa and Maharashtra, on the east by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, on the south by Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and on the west by the Arabian Sea. The capital is BengaluruBengaluru
, formerly Bangalore
, city (1991 pop. 2,651,000; metropolitan area 4,130,288), capital of Karnataka state, S central India, 3,000 ft (914 m) above sea level.
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Most of the area is a plateau (alt. 1,000–3,000 ft/305–915 m) traversed by the upper Kaveri, Tunga, and Bhadra rivers, flowing east. These plus its many other rivers are used for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. Coffee is the major crop, but cotton, millet, sugarcane, rice, and fodder are also grown. The state has the most valuable sandalwood forests in India. Karnataka produces nearly all of India's chromite and has considerable deposits of iron ore and manganese. The gold mines at Kolar are now closed, but some gold is still mined near Hutti. There is an excellent road and railway system, and the state manufactures steel and steel products, computer components and software, automobiles, and airplanes. At Karwar is a major modern Indian naval base. The population is largely Hindu and speaks Kannada (Kanarese). The linguistic uniformity of the state and its excellent education system contribute to one of India's highest literacy rates. Karnataka is governed by a chief minister and cabinet responsible to a bicameral legislature (with one elected house) and by a governor appointed by the president of India.

The region was part of the empire of the Mauryas (c.325–185 B.C.). From the 3d to the 11th cent. it was ruled by the Kadambas, Western Gangas, Chalukyas, and others. In 1313 it was conquered by the Delhi SultanateDelhi Sultanate,
refers to the various Muslim dynasties that ruled in India (1210–1526). It was founded after Muhammad of Ghor defeated Prithvi Raj and captured Delhi in 1192.
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, but it was soon lost to the VijayanagarVijayanagar
[Sanskrit,=city of victory], ruined city, SE India. It was the capital (14th–16th cent.) of the Hindu Vijayanagar empire, which embraced all India S of the Kistna River and shielded S India from the Muslim kingdoms of the north.
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 kingdom. The area was the site of some the earliest European settlements in India. In the late 18th cent. the Muslim leaders Haidar AliHaidar Ali
or Hyder Ali
, 1722–82, Indian ruler. A Muslim of peasant stock, he rose by military brilliance to command the army of the Hindu state of Mysore.
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 and his son, Tippoo SahibTippoo Sahib
or Tipu Sahib
, 1749–99, Indian ruler, sultan of Mysore (1782–99); son and successor of Haidar Ali. He fought in his father's campaigns against the Marathas and the British but, after his succession, made peace with the British in 1784.
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, conquered the Hindu rulers of the kingdom of Mysore, but were defeated in 1799 by the British, who restored the Hindu dynasty and thereafter provided protection. In 1947 the state of Mysore acceded to the Indian Union. For centuries Kannada-speaking peoples had been fragmented by division into different regions; in the 1950s Mysore was granted additional territories, doubling its area and largely consolidating the linguistic group. In 1973 the state was renamed Karnataka.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(until 1973, Mysore), a state in southern India, on the Arabian Sea. Area, 192,000 sq km; population, 29.3 mil-lion (1971). Approximately twothirds of the state’s population speaks Kannada, the remainder speaking Telegu, Urdu, Marathi, and Tamil. The city of Bangalore is the administrative center.

Natural features. Karnataka occupies the southwestern part of the Deccan Plateau and contiguous areas of the Western Ghats (elevations up to 1,923 m) and Eastern Ghats, as well as the northern part of the Malabar Coast. The mountains, composed basically of granite, are deeply dissected by river valleys. The largest rivers—the Krishna (with its tributary the Tunga) and the Cauvery—are characterized by monsoonal regimes with summer high waters. These rivers are widely used for irrigation. The west is dominated by deciduous and evergreen tropical forests, and the east has savannas.

Economy. Agriculture constitutes the basis of Karnataka’s economy. More than half of its territory (about 11 million hectares) is being worked. Rice (12 percent of the sown area) is the chief crop of the alluvial, lowland Malabar Coast. Coconut palms are grown on the sandy coast, and in more arid areas of the interior there are millet crops, the most important of which are durra and raggee. (Approximately 80 percent of India’s crop of raggee is planted in Karnataka.) Wheat and legumes (found almost everywhere) are also raised. The area between the Krishna and the Tunga (North Karnataka) is an important cotton region (about 10 percent of the sown area). Other industrial crops include peanuts and tobacco (in the northwest). In Coorg (the southern region), coffee (60 percent of the total Indian harvest), sugarcane, tea, and rubber plants and pepper, cardamom, and other spices are cultivated. Fruits are also grown. With the exception of the Malabar Coast, agriculture requires artificial irrigation, since precipitation varies considerably from season to season. Approximately 300,000 hectares are irrigated. Work is under way to establish a large irrigation system on the Tunga. Cattle and, in the mountain pastures, sheep and goats are bred. Valuable woods—sal, teak, and sandalwood—are procured in the forests of North Karnataka and Coorg. The Malabar Coast is an important fishing region, yielding up to a third of India’s marine fish catch (including mackerel and sardines).

Large amounts of iron ore, gold (the Kolar region produces nearly 99 percent of India’s total), manganese and bauxite (in the Belgaum region), and chromite are mined. There is a textile industry (80 percent of Indian silk production, as well as production of wool and cotton fabrics). Metallurgy (the ferrous metallurgy plant in Bhadravati, the aluminum plant in Belgaum) and machine building (chiefly in Bangalore; the industry includes machine-tool building and electrical engineering) are developing. Other economic sectors include glass and ceramics, china (Bangalore), cement (Belgaum, Dharwar, Bijapur, and elsewhere), wood processing, leather, food processing, and the production of sandalwood oil and chemical fertilizers. Bangalore and Mysore are the leading industrial centers. The coasting trade is developed. Mangalore is the chief port.


History. From the third to the 11th centuries the territory of Karnataka, then called Mysore, was ruled by the dynasty of West Gangas, frequently a vassal of the powerful empires of the West Calyukas, Rashtrakutas, and Cholas. Between the 12th and the mid-14th centuries almost the entire territory of Mysore became part of the Hoysala state and subsequently (until the late 16th century) of the Vijayanagar state. In 1399 the principality of Mysore emerged as a vassal state of Vijayanagar. In 1610 Mysore gained its independence (led by the Wadijar dynasty). In approximately 1761, Haidar Ali seized power in the principality. Under his rule and that of his son Tipu Sultan (ruled 1782-99), Mysore became the most powerful state in South India, seizing parts of Malabar, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. In the second half of the 18th century, as a result of the four Anglo-Mysore wars, the territory of Mysore was reduced to the proportions of the Mysore plateau. The Wadijar dynasty was reestablished. Mysore became a vassal principality of Great Britain.

After India achieved independence (1947), Mysore became one of the states of the republic. Regions populated by the Kannada were joined to Mysore from neighboring states (Bombay, Madras, Hyderabad) by the administrative reform of 1956.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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