History & Culture
The history of Karnataka dates back to the period of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Hampi, situated in the Bellary district, was said to be the capital of Vali and Sugriva. Even the Pandavas are said to have stayed in the present day Chitradurga district of Karnataka. In the 4th century BCE, a local dynasty called Satavahana came to power and its rule lasted 300 years. The next rulers where the Kadambas, Chalukyas (500 to 735 BC), Pulikeshi II (609 to 642 BC) and the Rashtrakutas (753-973). Their rule saw some remarkable progress in architecture, religion and literature. The rise of the Muslim rulers, the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga and the Adil Shahi saw a propagation of Urdu and Persian literature. After the fall of the Maratha Peshwa (1818) and Tipu Sultan of Mysore (1799) Karnataka came under the British. After Indian independence, the Wodeyar Maharaja acceded to India and Mysore became an Indian state in 1950. On November 1, 1956, Mysore State was enlarged, including the state of Coorg and Kannada-speaking portions of neighboring areas. In 1973, the name of the state was changed to Karnataka.
The southern state of Karnataka, has a distinct art and culture. The diverse linguistic and religious ethnicities that are native to state of 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 Siddhi tribes plus a few other ethnic groups also live in Karnataka. The traditional folk arts cover the entire gamut of music, dance, drama, storytelling by itinerant troupes, etc. Yakshagana, a classical folk play, is one of the major theatrical forms of coastal Karnataka. Contemporary theatre culture in Karnataka is one of the most vibrant in India with organizations like Ninasam, Ranga Shankara and Rangayana active on foundations laid down by the Gubbi Veeranna Nataka Company. Veeragase, Kamsale and Dollu Kunitha are popular dance forms. Bharatanatya also enjoys wide patronage in Karnataka.