Karnataka Rajyotsava is celebrated on November 1 in honour of the day when the state was formed and named Karnataka. It is also called the Karnataka Formation Day. Initially when Indian states were divided on the basis of languages, the region occupied by Kannada speaking people was formed in 1956 and was called Mysore. 

After various developments, the name was changed to Karnataka on November 1 in 1973 under the chief ministership of Devraj Urs.

On this day, Rajyotsava awards are given to prominent Kannadigas who have achieved milestones in various fields. The government of Karnataka hosts the event.

On the occasion, in every school and public places, portrait of Ma Bhuvaneshwari, considered as the mother of Karnataka, is decorated and worshipped. Speaking about the history, a demand for separate state for Karnataka was made by Aluru Venkata Rao in 1905. It was known as Karnataka Ekikarana Chaluvali (Karnataka unification movement). 


After India became independent and was declared republic in 1950, Mysore State was declared as the state of Kannada speaking people on November 1, 1956. The boundaries included Kannada speaking areas of Bombay and Madras presidencies too.

The people of North Karnataka were not happy with the name Mysore as it was a name of one of the regions and did not depict the spirit and culture of the people of the entire state, they said. 
Their demands were considered and in 1973, Mysore state was renamed as Karnataka. 

Prominent writers including like K Shivaram Karanth, Kuvempu, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, AN Krishna Rao and BM Srikantaiah also fought for unifying Karnataka and forming a separate state. 

Karnataka has a state anthem titled "Jaya Bharatha Jananiya Tanujate" written by Kuvempu. He is the first among Kannada writers to be conferred with the Jnanpith Award.

Karnataka also has a state flag with a yellow and red colour. But this is contentious as according to the Indian constitution, no state can have a separate flag other than the national flag. 
Recently there was also a row in changing the design of the Kannada flag. The row remains and people believe that hoisting the Kannada flag is just expressing their loyalty to the state and not disregarding or disrespecting the national flag.