Karnataka - Geography
Karnataka, the seventh largest state of India, is located between 11°30' and 18°30' N latitude and 74°15' and 78°30' E longitude. The state is bounded by Goa in the North - West, Maharashtra in the North, Andhra Pradesh in the East, Tamil Nadu in the South and South - East and Kerala in the South - West. Bangalore is the state capital. Based on physiographic features Karnataka is commonly divided into four regions: (1) the coastal region, (2) The Malnad or hilly region, (3) the northern plateau and (4) the southern plateau.
The state observes diverse climates from arid to semi-arid in the plateau regions, sub-humid to humid tropical in the Western Ghats and humid tropical monsoon climate in the west coast plains. About 77% of the total geographical area of the state, covering the interior part is arid or semi-arid with the state contributing 15% of the total semi-arid or 3% of the total arid areas of the country.
Karnataka, the 7th largest state in terms of area in India. It is situated on the western edge of Deccan plateau and with Maharashtra and Goa to its north, Kerala and Tamil Nadu to its south, Andhra Pradesh to its east and Arabian Sea to its west. Karnataka is the parts and parcel of southern Indian and partly link between the south and the rest of India. The state is mainly divided into three parts - the coastal region, the Western Ghats and the vast plains from ghats to the east. Karnataka has a series of uplands with an average height of 610 meters above sea level. The coastal region of this state is 320 km long. Major rivers Sharavathi and Kalindi flow towards west. Here some of rivers have torrential stream, which are in full flow during monsoon.
Karnataka has four natural regions – the west coast, the Western Ghats or malnad, the northern maidan and the southern maidan. These four natural regions have distinct characteristics.
The coastal region, a narrow belt that lies between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, encompasses the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada. The coastal belt has an average width of 50 to 80 km, and a length of about 267 km. This region receives heavy rainfall, in the range of 2,500 mm to 3,000 mm. Coconut groves and paddy fi elds typically dominate the landscape.
Karnataka has 320 kilometres of coastline lined with coastal plains and undulating hills of 50 to 80 km and high hills further east. Fishing is a major source of livelihood with about three lakh people directly or indirectly engaged. Within the agriculture sec-tor, the share of fisheries is increasing albeit marine fish production has witnessed considerable variation. The per-unit effort and return on investment in marine fishery is de-clining. A study cited estimates that over the last 20 years the peak catch in the state was 0.22 million tons against a projected maximum sustainable yield of 0.15 million tons. There has been substantial increase in trawler trips in recent years. Particularly selec-tive scooping exerted tremendous pressures on benthic organisms and their survival
The Western Ghats or malnad includes the districts of Chikmaglur, Hassan, Kodagu, Shimoga and the uplands of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Belgaum and Dharwad districts. It receives rainfall in the range of 1,000 mm to 2,500 mm. Much of the dense rain forest area of the state lies in this region, which is rich in teak, rosewood and bamboo. Commercial crops include coffee, areca nut, pepper, cardamom and rubber. The ghats run from north to south; average height of 610-915 meters above sea level; some peaks rise above 910 meters and when overlapping with Nilgiris, they rise to a height of 2,440 meters above sea level. Most of the major rivers originate from ghat and moves towards west to east towards Bay of Bengal. Krishna, with its tributaries like Ghataprabha and Tungabhadra, is among these mighty rivers. In the southern part there are Cauvery river with its tributaries like Shimsha, Hemavati and Kapila. These rivers are the major sources of irrigation. The state exhibits sub-regional climatic variations within tropical monsoonal zone.
The southern maidan or plateau is the basin of the river Cauvery, which has its origins in Kodagu, and lies adjacent to the Western Ghats in the west and the south. The Cauvery and its tributaries – the Hemavathy, the Harangi, the Tunga and the Bhadra nurture this region. Its elevation is between 600 meters and 900 meters above sea level. Rice, sugarcane, ragi, coconut and mulberry are the principal crops.
The northern maidan or plateau, elevated at 300 meters to 600 meters, primarily includes the Deccan plateau, with its rich black cotton soil. The Krishna and its tributaries – the Malaprabha, Ghataprabha, Tungabhadra, Bheema and Karanja – sustain agriculture here. It is a low rainfall area where jowar, cotton, oilseeds and pulses are cultivated. Sugarcane is grown in irrigated areas.
Karnataka is second only to Rajasthan in the extent of arid land in the state. According to the 1997 NSSO figures, the percentage of irrigated land in the state is 19.33 percent, which is considerably less than the all-India average of 35.39 percent. Even though the percentage of irrigated land in the state has increased since then, Karnataka still has less land under irrigation than the all-states’ average as well as the other southern states.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|