Karnataka is a state in the south-western part of India, bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west. The capital and largest city is Bangalore. Karnataka experiences four seasons, winter, summer, monsoon, and post-monsoon. The yearly rainfall is quite high, 3.6 m in the coastal zone, with some places receiving up to 10 m per year. The north interior and south interior zone have much less rainfall and some places in the rain shadow have only 1 m per year.

The geology of Karnataka has four main complexes, Archean, Proterozoic, Deccan and recent alluvial deposits. The Archean complex is made up of Dharwad schists, granitic gneisses, and charnockite rocks. The Proterozoic non-fossiliferous sedimentary formations of the Kaladgi and Bhima series. The Deccan trappean and intertrappean deposits and the tertiary consisting of huge layers of basalt. Some areas are covered by recent laterites and alluvial deposits, typically laterite cappings of the Deccan Traps.

Its quite typical for India that most of the area is covered by insoluble rocks, as a result there is very little karst and caves. There is a small area of limestones which has only small caves but spectacular pinnacle formations, typical for tropic karst. Most caves are temple caves which were artificially dug into the softer rocks. The cave temples at Badami and the rock-cut temples at Aihole are popular tourist destinations.