Karnataka is a state in south western India with a population of around 53 million people. The economy of the state is quite literally booming and has recorded the highest growth rate out of all the Indian states in the last decade. The software industry is the largest industry in the state and with profits of over $11 billion a year, the capital city Bangalore has gained the name the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. The government of Karnataka has recently been aiming to improve the infrastructure in the cities in order to encourage more companies to make the state their base and create more jobs for the population.
For many of the citizens in rural Karnataka, agriculture is the main trade. Over 64% of the land in the state is used for agriculture with rice, maize and pulses among the main cash crops in the state. The state is also the largest producer in India of coffee, cereals and raw silk which further add to its booming economy. Aside from agriculture, the state is also full of mineral depositories. Minerals found in the area include gold, quartz, limestone, iron ore and bauxite. Major mines are located throughout the state as well as steel and gold plants.
Karnataka has a distinct culture when compared to the other states in India. Due to the diverse ethnicities that call the state their home – the dances, music and festivals of the state vary greatly. Karnataka is home to a number of tribal communities among which are Tibetan Buddhists, Siddhis, Todas and Yeravas. Traditional folk arts make up the culture of most of these cultures and seeing the arts in action is definitely an awe inspiring experience.
The state also enjoys a special love for classical Indian music with Hindustani styles mixing with the local styles to create a unique mix of styles. A number of famous Indian musicians come from the state including Bhimsen Joshi, Gangubai Hangal and Sawai Gandharva. There are a number of festivals held in the state each year including both the national festivals, held throughout India as well as some local festivities. A popular festival is the Tula Sankramana festival when people of all ages get together in the Kodagu region of Karnataka to seek blessings from the holy god of water.