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Karnataka


While the Kadambas ruled in the north the Gangas ruled the southern parts of the state from the 4th century to the 10th century A.D. The Gangas contributed greatly to the art and culture of Karnataka. The monolithic statue of Gomateshwara at Sravanabelagola was created during the Ganga period.
Other dynasties that held sway over large parts of Karnataka at various times were the Satavahanas, the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas and the Hoysalas.
The last great empire of which Karnataka was the base was the Vijayanagar empire.
During British rule, Kannada-speaking people were scattered among the princely states of Mysore, Hyderabad and the British provinces of Bombay, Madras and the small territory of Coorg.
After independence they were able to come together in a single state which had Mysore as its nucleus.
The new state was at first called Mysore but on November 1, 1973 the name was changed to Karnataka.

Karnataka is famous for its goldfields which have now closed down and sandalwood.
Three-fourths of the people live in the countryside but Bangalore, the capital, is one of our fastest growing cities. Its pulsating computer industry and the technological and scientific research being carried on in the city draw scientists, students and businessmen from all over India and abroad, giving Bangalore a cosmopolitan air.
According to legend Bangalore was founded in 1537 by a feudal chieftain named Kempe Gowda at a spot where he was given a handful of boiled beans by an old woman, when he was lost in the forest. Bangalore means 'city of boiled beans'.
Bangalore has beautiful parks and was once known as the 'garden city'.
Mysore is famous for its palaces and the Dassara festival which is celebrated in traditional pomp and splendour here during September-October. The Krishnaraja Sagar dam and the fabulous Brindavan gardens stretching out in terraces below it are nearby.
A Muslim saint Babu Budan introduced coffee beans into India in the 1600's and planted them in the south of Karnataka. Today Karnataka produces two-thirds of all the coffee grown in India.
Hampi the capital of the mighty Vijayanagar empire drew travellers from all over Europe and Asia in its heyday; today its magnificent ruins draw tourists from all over the world. Srirangapattna the island fort, once the capital of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan is another tourist attraction.
Bijapur's Gol Gumbaj the tomb of Mohammad Adil Shah, was built in 1659. It has the second largest dome in the world.
For those interested in wildlife, Nagarhole and Bandipur are excellent sanctuaries especially for viewing elephants and gaur.


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