Karnataka is a state in the southern part of India. It was created on November 1, 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganization Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973.
Karnataka is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Goa to the northwest, Maharashtra to the north, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast, and Kerala to the southwest. The state covers an area of 191,791 km² (74,051 sq mi) or 5.83% of the total geographical area of India. It is the eighth largest Indian state by area, the ninth largest by population and comprises 29 districts. Kannada is the official and most widely spoken language.
The state has three principal geographical zones: the coastal region of Karavali, the hilly Malnad region comprising the Western Ghats and the Bayaluseeme region comprising the plains of the Deccan plateau. The bulk of the state is in the Bayaluseeme region, the northern part of which is the second largest arid region in India.The highest point in Karnataka is the Mullayanagiri hills in Chikkamagaluru district which has an altitude of 1,929 metres (6,329 ft). Some of the important rivers in Karnataka are the Kaveri, the Tungabhadra, the Krishna and the Sharavathi.
Karnataka consists of four main types of geological formations – the Archean complex made up of Dharwad schists and granitic gneisses, the Proterozoic non-fossiliferous sedimentary formations of the Kaladgi and Bhima series, the Deccan trappean and intertrappean deposits and the tertiary and recent laterites and alluvial deposits. Significantly, about 60% of the state is comprised of the Archean complex which consist of gneisses, granites and charnockite rocks. Laterite cappings that are found in many districts over the Deccan Traps were formed after the cessation of volcanic activity in the early tertiary period. Eleven groups of soil orders are found in Karnataka, viz. Entisols, Inceptisols, Mollisols, Spodosols, Alfisols, Ultisols, Oxisols, Aridisols, Vertisols, Andisols and Histosols.Depending on the agricultural capability of the soil, the soil types are divided into six types, viz. Red, lateritic, black, alluvio-colluvial, forest and coastal soils.
There are 29 districts in Karnataka – Bagalkote, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore Urban, Belgaum, Bellary, Bidar, Bijapur, Chamarajanagar, Chikkaballapur,Chikkamagaluru, Chitradurga, Dakshina Kannada, Davanagere, Dharwad, Gadag, Gulbarga, Hassan, Haveri, Kodagu, Kolar, Koppal, Mandya, Mysore, Raichur, Ramanagara, Shimoga, Tumkur, Udupi and Uttara Kannada.
Karnataka has the distinction of being the main gold producing State in the country. The state is the sole producer of felsite and the major producer of limeshell, iron ore, chromite and dunite. Karnataka hosts country’s 78% vanadium ore, 74% iron ore (magnetite), 42% tungsten ore, 38% asbestos, 33% titaniferrous magnetite, 30% limestone, 25% granite, 22% manganese ore, 19% corundum, 18% dunite, 17% gold (primary), 13% kyanite and 11% iron ore(hematite) resources.
The important minerals occurring in the State are bauxite in Belgaum, Chickmagalur, Uttar and Dakshin Kannada, Shimoga and Tumkur districts; Chromite in Hassan district and in two belts viz. Nuggehalli Arsikhera and Nanjangud in Mysore district; dolomite in Bagalkot, Belgaum,Bijapur, Chitradurga, Mysore, Uttar Kannada and Tumkur districts; dunite/pyroxenite in Chickmaglur, Hassan and Mysore districts; feldspar in Bangalore, Belgaum, Chitradurga, Hassan and Kolar districts; fireclay in Bangalore, Chitradurga, Dharwar, Hassan, Kolar, Shimoga and Tumkur districts; gold in Chitradurga, Dharwar, Gulburga, Hassan, Haveri, Kolar, Raichur and Tumkur districts; iron ore (hematite) in Bagalkot, Bellary, Bijapur, Chickmagalur, Chitradurga, Dharwad, Uttar Kannada, Shimoga and Tumkur districts; iron ore (magnetite) in Chickmagalur, Hassan, Uttar and Dakshin Kannada and Shimoga districts; kyanite in Chickmagalur, Chitradurga, Coorg, Mandya, Mysore, Shimoga and Dakshin Kannada districts; limestone in Bagalkot, Belgaum, Bellary, Bijapur, Chickmagalur, Chitradurga, Dawangere, Gadag, Gulbarga, Hassan, Mysore, Uttar and Dakshin Kannada, Shimoga, Tumkur and Udupi districts; magnesite in Coorg, Mandya and Mysore districts; manganese ore in Belgaum, Bellary, Chickmaglur, Chitradurga, Dawangere, Uttar Kannada, Shimoga and Tumkur districts; ochre in Bellary and Bidar districts; quartz/silica sand in Bagalkot, Bangalore, Belgaum, Bellary, Chickmaglur, Chitradurga, Dawangere, Dharwar, Gulburga, Hassan, Haveri, Kollar, Koppal, Mandya, Mysore, Uttar & Dakshin Kannada, Raichur, Shimoga, Tumkur and Udupi districts; and steatite in Bellary, Chickmaglur, Chitradurga, Hassan, Mandya, Mysore, Raichur and Tumkur districts.
Other minerals that occur in the state are asbestos in Chickmagalur, Hassan, Mandya, Mysore and Shimoga districts; barytes and pyrite in Chitradurga district; calcite in Belgaum, Bijapur and Mysore districts ; Copper in Chickmagalur, Chitradurga, Gulburga, Hassan, Uttar Kannada, Raichur and Shimoga districts; corundum in Bangalore, Bellary, Chitradurga, Coorg, Hassan, Mandya, Mysore and tumkur districts; fuller’s earth in Belgaum and Gulburga districts, Granite in Bagalkot, Bangalore, Bellary, Bijapur, Chamrajnagar, Gulburga, Hassan, Kolar, Koppal, Uttar Kannada, Raichur and Tumkur districts; graphite in Kolar and Mysore districts; gypsum in Gulburga district; molybdenum in Kolar and Raichur districts; nickel in Uttar Kannada district; sillimanite in Hassan and Dakshin Kannada districts; silver in Chitradurga and Raichur districts; titanium minerals in Hassan, Uttar Kannada and Shimoga districts ; tungsten in Dharwar, Kolar and Raichur districts; vanadium in Hassan, Uttar Kannada and Shimoga districts ; and vermiculite in Hassan, Mandya and Mysore districts.