Karnataka Geography

Geography of Karnataka states that Karnataka is the eighth largest state in India. Mysore was renamed as Karnataka on the first day of November, 1973.

Snapshot at the geography of Karnataka

  • Area - 191791 square kilometers.
  • Latitude - 74° to 78° East.
  • Longitude - 11° to 18° North.
  • Boundaries - Deccan Plateau to the west, Goa and Maharashtra in the north, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the south and Andhra Pradesh to the east.
  • Population - 44977201.
  • Rate of Literacy - 55.98%
  • Number of Districts - 30.

Karnataka Geographical Division

Moreover, talking about the land of Karnataka, it can be said that Karnataka is divided into a number of natural regions. An estimate of the natural regions are as follows:
  • Karnataka Northern Region - This region includes the districts of Bidar, Belgaum, Gulbarga and Bijapur. In fact, the region largely includes the Deccan Trap. Karnataka Norther Region contains the barren plateau region of Karnataka, with an elevation ranging between 300 to 600 meters.

  • Karnataka Coastal Region - Karnataka Coastal Region forms an important part of Karnataka geography. The region covers the Western Ghats, edges of the Karnataka Plateau, Uttara Kannad districts and Dakshina Kannad.

  • Karnataka Central Region - Karnataka Central Region encompasses the districts of Chitradurga, Raichur, Chikmagalur, Dharwad, Shimoga and Bellary. Karnataka Central Region represents the Tungabhadra region and is known to possess an elevation between 450 to 700 meters.

  • Karnataka Southern Region - Bangalore, Hassan, Kodagu, Bangalore Rural, Mandya, Mysore, Kolar and Tumkur fall under Karnataka Southern Region. This region largely comprises of the Cauvery basin. Karnataka Southern Region is closed in the southern and the western part by the Western Ghats. In the northern part, the area is enclosed by the high plateaus. Although, the general elevation of the region is estimated to be 600 to 900 meters; yet, residual heights are found in the Biligirirangan hills.


    Karnataka weather is the most important part of the geography of Karnataka. Karnataka weather is characterized by an equable climate particularly in those areas which are hilly or having a high plateau.

    Karnataka weather is at its zenith in Bangalore: Bangalore is known as an air-conditioned city. The climate is pleasant throughout the year in Bangalore. Moreover, Bangalore gets its share of both summer and winter showers that keeps it invigorating cool throughout the year. A quick survey at the basics of weather would elucidate the characteristic feature of the Karnataka weather. Some of the integral features of Karnataka weather are:

    • Atmosphere
    • Climate
    • Clouds
    • Precipitation
    • Wind

    Moreover, Karnataka weather is dynamic; it changes from place to place owing to its altitude, topography and its distance from the sea. The hills and plateau in Karnataka show a different climatic trait compared to the plains, viz. the average rainfall in the Western Ghats is 254 centimeters, whereas in the parts of the Kanara coast, it is nearly 762 centimeters; moreover in the plains rainfall is considerably low!

    Soil and Vegetation

    Soil and vegetation in Karnataka forms an interesting area of study. In Karnataka, soil and vegetation shows a varied trait with different kinds of soils spread in different regions.

    The soil in Karnataka is varied with red clay and laterite soil, red soil mixed with clay and sand, black soil or split; and it is owing to the availability of the different kinds of soil in different region that influences the cropping pattern of Karnataka. The soil and vegetation in Karnataka are two complimentary terms that go hand in hand with each other.

    It is noteworthy that in Karnataka about 61.95% of the land is cultivable; that is to say that the soil and vegetation produce a complete sync in Karnataka. In fact, the percentage of cultivable land in Karnataka is higher than any other state in India.

    This sync in soil and vegetation supports the growth of different kinds of trees such as:
    • Sandalwood
    • Teak
    • Rose Wood
    • Honne
    • Jack
    • Mango
    • Mathi
    • Nandi
    • White Cedar
    • Bamboo
    • coconut, etc.

    Flora and Fauna

    Flora and fauna of Karnataka is like a multi-cuisine platter! The wide range of flora and fauna in Karnataka are indeed a source of delight for the tourists.

    The geography of Karnataka boasts of a wide variety of flora and fauna that are spread throughout its length and breadth. In Karnataka, one can find many varieties of mammals, birds, a wide range of insects, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, etc.

    The state animal of Karnataka is Indian Elephant and the state bird is Indian Roller. Further, the state tree is Sandalwood (Santallum album); whereas the state flower is Lotus.

    Some of the important mammals that constitute the flora and fauna of Karnataka are:

    panther leopard sambar wild pig elephants sloth bear spotted deer common langur bonnet macaque porcupine leopard cats rusty spotted cat Asiatic wild dog, etc. Karnataka houses as many as 25% of elephants and about 10% of tigers found in India. In fact, the mountains of the Western ghats are the biodiversity hot-spot. Moreover, two sub-sections of these Western Ghats, namely Talacauvery and Kudremukh are the tentative world heritage site.


  • West Flowing Rivers

Last Updated on 26th March 2013

  Geography of Karnataka