The Kannada words “karu” and “naadu”, meaning elevated land, or in another interpretation black region (a reference to the black cotton soil) gave the state its name. The British referred to the region as Carnatic, sometimes Karnatak to describe the peninsular area.
About 75 percent of the state was literate according to the 2011 census, higher than the national average of 72 percent. The gross enrollment rate was 99.4 percent in 2016, a positive indicator of education in the state. Karnataka also houses an Indian Institute of Science and an Indian Institute of Management in its capital city, both of which are the highest-ranking educational institutions across the country.
As one of highest contributors to the country’s economy, Karnataka’s agricultural sector contributes over 869 billion Indian rupees to the gross domestic product. Coffee accounts for a significantly large area in the state, producing over 1,150 kilograms per hectare in fiscal year 2016. Nearly 56 percent of people in the state had jobs in agriculture or related fields. Karnataka is also famous for its silk industry and contributes to nearly 45 percent of the country’s total mulberry silk production mainly from Mysore district.
On the manufacturing side, Karnataka houses the largest public sector industries in the country. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited among other important public companies are in Bengaluru, in addition to Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited in the coastal city of Mangaluru.
Bangalore (officially Bengaluru), the capital city of Karnataka is the third most populated city in the country. It is the IT capital, often referred to as the Indian Silicon Valley, where most of the country’s IT exports come from. Home to the Kannada film industry, Bangalore is a cosmopolitan metro, it is one of the most demographically diverse regions making it a melting pot of Indian culture.
Karnataka’s richness comes not only from its thriving economy and technological advancements but also from its culture. Ranging from Mysore Palace’s one- of-a-kind Dusshera celebrations to the historical structures erected and strewn across by the rich kingdoms before colonization; historical Hindu temples and the bounty of nature changing with the terrain of its land, Karnataka is also a favorite for tourists, more domestic than international.