Karnātakā pronunciation (Kannada: ಕನಾ೯ಟಕ) (IPA: [kəɹnɑːʈəkɑː]) is one of the four southern states of India. The state was created in 1956 with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act. Originally named State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. It is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Goa to the northwest, Maharashtra to the north, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast, and Kerala to the southwest. The state covers an area of 191,791 km² or 5.83% of the total geographical area of India. It is the eighth largest Indian state by area, the ninth largest by population and comprises 29 districts. Kannada is the official and most widely spoken language.
Though several etymologies have been suggested for the name Karnataka, the generally accepted one is that Karnataka is derived from the Kannada words karu and nādu, meaning elevated land. Karu nadu may also be read as Karu (black) and nadu (region), as a reference to the black cotton soil found in the Bayaluseeme region of Karnataka. During the British Raj, the word Carnatic or Karnatak was used to describe this part of the region in general.
With an antiquity that dates to the paleolithic, Karnataka has also been home to some of the most powerful empires of ancient India. Great philosophers and musical bards patronised by these empires launched socio-religious and literary movements whose ennobling effects have been felt far and wide. Karnataka has contributed significantly to both forms of Indian classical music, the Carnatic and Hindustani traditions. Writers in the Kannada language have received the most number of Jnanpith awards in India. Bangalore, also known as Bengalūru, is the capital city of the state and is at the forefront of the rapid economic and technological development that India is experiencing.