Carnatic, an ancient province of British India, on the E. coast of the peninsula, extending from Cape Comorin to lat. 1G° N., with an average breadth of about 90 m.; area, about 50,000 sq. m.; pop. estimated at 7,000,000. The province is separated into two parts by the Eastern Ghauts, which run parallel with the coast, and which cause a considerable differ-ance in climate between the table land and the seaboard; the latter in dry weather is the hottest part of India, the thermometer sometimes standing at 130° in the shade. The principal rivers are the Pennar, the Palar, and the Coleroon. The inhabitants are chiefly Hindoos. The Carnatic includes the cities of Madras and Pondicherry, besides the important towns of Arcot, Madura, Tanjore, Trich-inopoly, Nellore, and Vellore. It originally formed the Hindoo kingdom of Carnata, and after various changes was finally included in the dominions of the nabob of Arcot; and the contentions arising from a disputed succession first brought the French and English into collision, and ended in the transfer of the Carnatic to the East India company in 1801, the reigning nabob, Azim ul-Omrah, receiving a pension equal to one fifth of the revenue, and his chief officials being provided for. The last titular nabob died in 1855, without heirs.
The Carnatic is now included within the administration of the presidency of Madras. The principal occupation of the inhabitants is agriculture, the land being held either by Brahmans, who cultivate it by hired labor, or by the farmers themselves. Rice is the chief production, of which two crops a year are raised where the facilities of irrigation are good. Cotton is raised in favorable situations, and upon the high land in the interior of the province millet, sugar, and indigo are produced.