Culture of Karnataka
The diverse linguistic and religious ethnicities that are native to Karnataka combined with their long histories have contributed immensely to the varied cultural heritage of the state. Apart from Kannadigas, Karnataka is home to Tuluvas, Kodavas and Konkanis. Minor populations of Tibetan Buddhists and tribes like the Soligas, Yeravas, Todas and Siddhis also live in Karnataka. The traditional folk arts cover the entire gamut of music, dance, drama, storytelling by itinerant troupes, etc. Yakshagana of Malnad and coastal Karnataka, a classical dance drama, is one of the major theatrical forms of Karnataka. Contemporary theatre culture in Karnataka remains vibrant with organizations like Ninasam, Ranga Shankara, Rangayana and Prabhat Kalavidaru continuing to build on the foundations laid by Gubbi Veeranna, T. P. Kailasam, B. V. Karanth, K V Subbanna, Prasanna and others. Veeragase, Kamsale, Kolata and Dollu Kunitha are popular dance forms.
Karnataka also has a special place in the world of Indian classical music with both Karnataka (Carnatic) and Hindustani styles finding place in the state and Karnataka has produced a number of stalwarts in both styles. While referring to music the word ‘Karnataka’, the original name given to the South Indian classical music does not mean the state of Karnataka. The Haridasa movement of the sixteenth century contributed seminally to the development of Karnataka (Carnatic) music as a performing art form. Purandara Dasa, one of the most revered Haridasas, is known as the Karnataka Sangeeta Pitamaha (‘Father of Karnataka a.k.a.Carnatic music’) Celebrated Hindustani musicians like Gangubai Hangal, Mallikarjun Mansur, Bhimsen Joshi, Basavaraja Rajaguru, Sawai Gandharva and several others hail from Karnataka and some of them have been recipients of the Kalidas Samman, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards. Kannada Bhavageete is a genre of popular music that draws inspiration from the expressionist poetry of modern poets. The Mysore school of painting has produced painters like Sundarayya, Tanjavur Kondayya, B. Venkatappa and Keshavayya.
Religions and spirituality
Adi Shankaracharya chose Sringeri in Karnataka to establish the first of his four mathas. Shri Madhvacharya was the chief proponent of Tattvavada (Philosophy of Reality), popularly known as Dvaita or Dualistic school of Hindu philosophy – one of the three most influential Vedanta philosophies. Madhva was a pioneer in many ways, going against standard conventions and norms. According to tradition, Madhvacarya is believed to be the third incarnation of Vayu, after Hanuman and Bhima.The Haridasa devotional movement is considered as one of the turning points in the cultural history of India. Over a span of nearly six centuries, several saints and mystics helped shape the culture, philosophy and art of South India and Karnataka in particular by exerting considerable spiritual influence over the masses and kingdoms that ruled South India.
In the twelfth century, Veerashaivism emerged in northern Karnataka as a protest against the rigidity of the prevailing social and caste system. Leading figures of this movement were Basava, Akka Mahadevi and Allama Prabhu, who established the Anubhava Mantapa which was the center of all religious and philosophical thoughts and discussions pertaining to Ligayats. These three social reformers did so by the literary means of ‘Vachana Sahitya’ which is very famous for its simple, straight forward and easily understandable Kannada language.
The Jain philosophy and literature have contributed immensely to the religious and cultural landscape of Karnataka. Islam, which had an early presence on the west coast of India as early as the tenth century, gained a foothold in Karnataka with the rise of the Bahamani and Bijapur sultanates that ruled parts of Karnataka. Christianity reached Karnataka in the sixteenth century
Languages and literature
The Kannada language is the official language of the state, Tulu, Kodava Takk and Konkani are other major native languages that share a long history in the state. Kannada features a rich and ancient body of literature covering topics as diverse as Jainism, Vachanas, Haridasa Sahitya and modern literature. Evidence from edicts during the time of Ashoka the Great suggest that the Kannada script.
Kuvempu, the renowned Kannada poet and writer who wrote Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate, the state anthem of Karnataka was the first recipient of the “Karnataka Ratna” award, the highest civilian award bestowed by the Government of Karnataka. Contemporary Kannada literature is well recognized in the arena of Indian literature, with seven Kannada writers winning India’s highest literary honour, the Jnanpith award, which is the highest for any language in India.
As per the 2001 census, Karnataka had a literacy rate of 67.04%, with 76.29% of males and 57.45% of females in the state being literate. The state is home to some of the premier educational and research institutions of India such as the Indian Institute of Science, the Indian Institute of Management, the National Institute of Technology Karnataka and the National Law School of India University.
There are 481 degree colleges affiliated with one of the universities in the state, viz. Bangalore University, Gulbarga University, Karnatak University, Kuvempu University, Mangalore University and Mysore University.In 1998, the engineering colleges in the state were brought under the newly formed Visvesvaraya Technological University headquartered at Belgaum, whereas the medical colleges are run under the jurisdiction of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. Some of these baccalaureate colleges are accredited with the status of a deemed university. There are 123 engineering, 35 medical and 40 dental colleges in the state. Udupi, Sringeri, Gokarna and Melkote are well-known places of Sanskrit and Vedic learning. An Indian Institute of Technology Muddenahalli has been approved by the central government as part of the 11th 5 year plan. This will be the first IIT in Karnataka State. In addition, a 600 crore Visvesvaraya Institute of Advanced Technology (VIAT) is being constructed in Muddenahalli-Kanivenarayanapura.
Deccan Herald and Prajavani. Presently the Times of India and Vijaya Karnataka are the largest-selling English and Kannada newspapers. Udayavani, Kannadaprabha, Samyukta Karnataka, Vaartha Bharathi, Sanjevani, Eesanje, Hosa digantha, Karavali Ale are also some popular dailies published from Karnataka. A vast number of weekly, biweekly and monthly magazines are under publication in both Kannada and English.
Doordarshan is the broadcaster of the Government of India and its channel DD Chandana is dedicated to Kannada. Prominent Kannada channels include Udaya TV, Udaya Varthegalu, Udaya Movies, Udaya Comedy, Chintu Tv, U2, ETV Kannada, Zee Kannada, TV 9 Kannada, Asianet Suvarna, Suvarna News 24/7, and Kasturi TV.
Karnataka occupies a special place in the history of Indian radio. In 1935, Aakashvani, the first private radio station in India, was started by Prof. M.V. Gopalaswamy at Mysore. The popular radio station was taken over by the local municipality and later by All India Radio (AIR). Aakashavani as its own. Some of the popular programs aired by AIR Bangalore included Nisarga Sampada and Sasya Sanjeevini which were programs that taught science through songs, plays and stories. These two programs became so popular that they were translated and broadcasted in 18 different languages and the entire series was recorded on cassettes by the Government of Karnataka and distributed to thousands of schools across the state. Karnataka has witnessed a growth in FM radio channels mainly in the cities of Bangalore, Mangalore and Mysore which has become hugely popular.
Mysore Dasara is celebrated as the Nada habba (state festival) and this is marked by major festivities at Mysore. Ugadi (Kannada New Year), Makara Sankranti (The harvest festival), Ganesh Chaturthi, Nagapanchami, Basava Jayanthi, Deepavali, and Ramzan are the other major festivals of Karnataka.
Rice, Ragi, Jolada rotti, Sorghum form the staple food in Karnataka. Bisi bele bath, Jolada rotti, Ragi mudde, Uppittu, Masala Dose and Maddur Vade are some of the popular food items in Karnataka. Among sweets, Mysore Pak, Belgaavi Kunda, Gokak karadantu, and Dharwad pedha are popular. Apart from this, coastal Karnataka and Kodagu have distinctive cuisines of their own. Udupi cuisine of coastal Karnataka is popular all over India.
Saree is the traditional dress of women in Karnataka. Women in Kodagu have a distinct style of wearing the saree, different from the rest of Karnataka. Dhoti, known as Panche in Karnataka is the traditional attire of men. Shirt, Trousers and Salwar kameez are widely worn in Urban areas. Mysore peta is the traditional headgear of southern Karnataka,
Karnataka’s smallest district, Kodagu, is a major contributor to Indian field hockey, producing numerous players who have represented India at the international level. The annual Kodava Hockey Festival is the largest hockey tournament in the world. Bangalore has hosted a WTA tennis event and, in 1997, it hosted the fourth National Games of India. Karnataka has been referred to as the cradle of Indian swimming because of its high standards in comparison to other states.
One of the most popular sports in Karnataka is cricket. The state cricket team has won the Ranji Trophy six times, second only to Mumbai in terms of success. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore regularly hosts international matches and is also the home of the National Cricket Academy, which was opened in 2000 to nurture potential international players. Many cricketers have represented India and in one international match held in the 1990s; players from Karnataka composed the majority of the national team. The Karnataka Premier League, an inter-regional Twenty20 cricket tournament is a cricket tournament played in the state. The Royal Challengers Bangalore, an Indian Premier League franchise, is based in Bangalore.
Notable sportsmen from Karnataka include Prakash Padukone who won the All England Badminton Championships in 1980 and Pankaj Advani who has won three world titles in cue sports by the age of 20 including the amateur World Snooker Championship in 2003 and the World Billiards Championship in 2005.