Chamarajanagar was earlier known as Arikottara. Chamaraja Wodeyar, the Wodeyar king of Mysuru was born here and hence this place was renamed after him. The geographical area of Chamarajanagar district is about 5,101 Km2. The district is located in the southern tip of Karnataka state and lies between the North latitude 11o 40‘58” and 12o 06‘32” and East longitude 76o 24‘14”and 77o46‘55”. It falls in the southern dry zone. Topography is undulating and mountainous with north south trending hill ranges of eastern ghats.
Being the southernmost district of Karnataka, Chamarajanagara district borders the state of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It borders Mysore district of Karnataka to the west and north, Mandya and Bengalore districts of Karnataka to the north-east, Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu to the east, Salem and Erode districts of Tamil Nadu to the south-east, Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu to the south and Wayanad district of Kerala to the south-west. Most of the district lies in the leeward region of the Nilgiris and consists of mainly semi- arid rain-dependent flatlands along with forested hills. Since 2000, the district has been subject to severe drought conditions and many of the labouring poor migrate to the neighboring Mysore or to plantation belts of Coorg and Kerala in search of seasonal labour. Industrial activities are restricted only to Kollegal belt and with a narrow focus on sericulture development. With the decline of the sericulture industry several settlements such as Mullur, Mudigunda, Mamballi and Hanur have been subject to a process of deindustrialization.