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With an antiquity that dates to the paleolithic, Karnataka has been home to some of the most powerful empires of ancient and medieval India.
The philosophers and musical bards patronised by these empires launched socio-religious and literary movements which have endured to the present day.
The state covers an area of 191,976 square kilometres (74,122 sq mi), or 5.83 percent of the total geographical area of India. With 61,130,704 inhabitants at the 2011 census, Karnataka is the eighth largest state by population, comprising 30 districts.
Kannada, one of the classical languages of India, is the most widely spoken and official language of the state alongside Konkani, Tulu, and Sanskrit.
As the "doctrine of lapse" gave way to dissent and resistance from princely states across the country, Kittur Chennamma, Sangolli Rayanna and others spearheaded rebellions in Karnataka in 1830, nearly three decades before the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
However, Kitturu was taken over by the British East India Company even before the doctrine was officially articulated by Lord Dalhousie in 1848.
The thus expanded state was renamed Karnataka, seventeen years later, in 1973.Karu nadu may also be read as karu, meaning "black", and nadu, meaning "region", as a reference to the black cotton soil found in the Bayalu Seeme region of the state.The British used the word Carnatic, sometimes Karnatak, to describe both sides of peninsular India, south of the Krishna.After India's independence, the Maharaja, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, allowed his kingdom's accession to India.In 1950, Mysore became an Indian state of the same name; the former Maharaja served as its Rajpramukh (head of state) until 1975.