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Bayaluseeme or Bayalu Seeme is the area lying to the east of Malenadu, a region of Karnataka state in South India. The area is largely open plain, with few hillocks. It includes the districts of Dharwad, Belgaum, Gadag, Haveri, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Bellary, Chitradurga, Davangere, Tumkur, Hassan and Mandya.
This name is possibly derived from Kannada word bayaluseemae, meaning "plain ground" or "open ground" as it gives an unobstructed view of the neighbouring locality. It is also sometimes called Maidan. Maidan is a Persian term, which translates literally as 'field', and may be used to describe any open plain, park or square.
The food, dialects, and lifestyles in Bayalu Seeme vary greatly with location. Bayalu Seeme is an unofficial region of Karnataka state of southern India. It lies on the Deccan plateau, east of the hilly Malnad region, which includes the eastern foothills of the Western Ghats range.
Bayalu Seeme has a gently rolling surface, punctuated by several of the large rivers that rise in the Western Ghats and flow eastward to empty into the Bay of Bengal. It is often subdivided into the northern and southern Bayalu Seeme.
Northern Bayalu Seeme
Northern Bayalu Seeme is a dry, mostly treeless expanse of plateau, lying between 300 and 700 meters elevation. It covers Belagavi District, Bellary District, Bidar District, Bijapur District, Chitradurga District, Dharwad District, Gulbarga District and Raichur District. It is drained by the Krishna River and its tributaries the Bhima River, Ghataprabha River, Malaprabha River, and Tungabhadra River. It mostly lies within the Deccan thorn scrub forests ecoregion, which extends north into eastern Maharashtra and east into the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh.
Southern Bayalu Seeme
Southern Bayalu Seeme, also known as the Southern Karnataka Plateau, is made up of the low rolling granite hills from 600 to 900 meters elevation. It is bounded on the west by the Western Ghats and on the south and east by ranges of hills, and on the north it drops to the lower-elevation northern Maidan. It includes Bengaluru Urban District, Bengaluru Rural District, Chamarajanagar District, Hassan District, Kolar District, Mandya District, Mysuru District, and Tumakuru District. Most of the southern Maidan is covered by the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests ecoregion, which extends south into eastern Tamil Nadu.
Bayalu Seeme lies in the rain shadow of the Western Ghats, and is generally much drier than coastal Karnataka and the Western Ghats. The region was originally covered by extensive, open-canopied Tropical dry deciduous forests, characterized by the trees Acacia, Albizia and Hardwickia. But much of the original forest has been cleared for agriculture, timber, grazing and firewood.
Overexploitation of the forests for fuelwood and fodder has resulted in much of the original forest being degraded into thickets and scrublands. Canthium parriflorum, Cassia auriculata, Dodonea viscosa, Erythroxylum monogynum, Pterolobium hexapetalum and Euphorbia antiquorum are species typical of the thicket and scrubland vegetation.
Some of the larger cities and towns of the Maidan include Bangalore, Mysore, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Bellary, Raichur, Hubli-Dharwad, and Davangere. Grazing and agriculture are the mainstays of the region, and the main crops include cotton, sorghum, millet, and peanuts.