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The State of Karnataka is bounded by Maharashtra and Goa States in the North and North-West; by the Arabian sea in the West; by Kerala and Tamil Nadu States in the South and by the State of Andhra Pradesh in the East. The State extends to about 750 kms from North to South and about 400 kms from East to West, and covers an area of about 1,91,791 sq.kms.
The State has three principal geographical zones: the coastal region of Karavali, the hilly Malenadu region comprising the Western Ghats and the Bayaluseeme region comprising the plains of the Deccan plateau. The bulk of the State is in the Bayaluseeme region, the northern part of which is the second largest arid region in India. The highest point in Karnataka is the Mullayanagiri hills in Chikkamagaluru district which has an altitude of 1,929 metres (6,329 ft). Some of the important rivers in Karnataka are Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Krishna, Malaprabha and the Sharavathi.
Nearly 56% of the workforce in Karnataka is engaged in agriculture and related activities. A total of 12.31 million hectares of land, or 64.6% of the state's total area, is cultivated. Much of the agricultural output is dependent on the southwest monsoon as only 26.5% of the sown area is irrigated.
Since the 1980s, Karnataka has emerged as the leader in the field of IT (information technology). India's two biggest software firms, Infosys & Wipro are also headquartered in the State. The State capital, Bangalore, is also known as Silicon Valley of India.
Karnataka also leads the nation in biotechnology. It is home to India's largest biocluster, with 158 of the country's 320 biotechnology firms being based here. The State also accounts for 75% of India's floriculture, an upcoming industry which supplies flowers and ornamental plants worldwide A majority of the 3500 crore silk industry in India is headquartered in Karnataka State.
Air transport in Karnataka is fast expanding sector. Karnataka has airports at Bangalore, Mangalore (Dakshin Kannada), Hubli (Dharwad) , Belgaum, Hampi and Bellary with international operations from Bangalore and Mangalore () airports. Major airlines such as Kingfisher Airlines is based in Bangalore.
Karnataka has a railway network with a total length of approximately 3,089 kilometres. Coastal Karnataka is covered under the Konkan railway network. Karnataka has 11 ports, including the New Mangalore Port, a major port and ten other minor ports. The total lengths of National Highways and state highways in Karnataka are 3,973 kilometres and 9,829 kilometres respectively.
The State is home to some of the premier educational and research institutions of India such as the Indian Institute of Science, the Indian Institute of Management, the National Institute of Technology Karnataka and the National Law School of India University.
There are 481 degree colleges affiliated with one of the universities in the State, viz. Bangalore University, Gulbarga University, Karnatak University, Kuvempu University, Mangalore University and Mysore University. In 1998, the engineering colleges in the state were brought under the newly formed Visvesvaraya Technological University headquartered at Belgaum, whereas the medical colleges are run under the jurisdiction of theRajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.
Karnataka hosts numerous spots of interest for tourists. There is ancient sculptured temples, modern cities, scenic hill ranges, unexplored forests and endless beaches. Karnataka has been ranked as the fourth most popular destination for tourism among the States of India..