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Geography of Karnataka


Geographically, Karnataka occupies three natural regions like the Coastal strip, the Sahyadris and the Deccan plateau. They are known in Kannada as Paschima Karavali,  Malnad and Maidan respectively.

The Sahyadris are covered with evergreen forests. They drop abruptly towards the Arabian Sea, thus forming a natural barrier between the plateau and the coastal regions. Four passes provide access to the coast. They are the Subrahmanya Ghat, the Charmadi Ghat, the Shiradi Ghat, and the famous Agumbe Ghat. The western Ghats slope gently towards the Bay of Bengal. This is the plateau region drained by the two principal rivers Krishna and the Kaveri. The average elevation of the plateau is about 610 meters above sea-level. (Interactive map of Karnataka)

The western strip across the Arabian sea is humid & warm in summer, water-soaked in monsoon, profuse with coconut grooves & paddy fields criss crossed by strips of silvery streams & sparkling stretches of sand.

The hilly uplands of Malnad, One of the wettest regions of the world, where the bamboo flourishes wild & areca, teak, rosewood & matti are grown. It is also the home of the stately gaur & langur. In its southern reaches frequent kheddas are held to capture roaming groups of elephants. Also the swift deer & the deadly tiger, whose eyes burning bright in forest night roam animatedly in the forests.

The east of the ghats is strikingly bare. This elevated stretch is supposed to be the oldest land on the earth where ancient rocks of earth are seen jutting in & out odd shapes. Rivers like Cauvrey, Sharavathi & Ghataprabha pass through upgraded valleys & resulting in water-falls & occasional rapids. The torrental fall of these rivers have been harnessed to generate hydro-electric power in an area where black coal is scarce.

 There are seven river systems in Karnataka which with their tributaries, drain the state. The river Cauvery is an Inter-State river and is one of the major rivers of the Peninsular flowing east and running into the Bay of Bengal. The principal tributaries of Cauvery are the Harangi, the Hemavathy, the Lakshmanathirtha, the Kabini, the Shimsha, the Arkavathi and the Suvarnavathy. The river Krishna is also an Inter-State river in Southern India flowing through Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The principal tributaries of Krishna in Karnataka are Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Bhima and Tungabhadra.

 The climate is salubrious for the major part of the year. Karnataka enjoys a tropical climate with three distinct seasons-hot and dry from February to May; rainy with plenty of sunshine from June to October; and cool from November to January. Much lower temperatures are experienced in the North and Northeast during nighttime. The South has a tropical rainforest climate with temperatures averaging 28 degrees Celsius almost all year round.



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