Art & Culture of Karnataka

Art & Culture of Karnataka

Every state has their own culture, including Karnataka, one of the southern states of India. It is derived from the diversity in languages as well as the religious aspects of the state. Karnataka is considered home to many different people, including Tuluvas, Konkanis, Kodavas, as well as other tribes. Music, painting and dance, play a big part.

Carnatic music is typically found in the Southern part of India and is believed to have come from the gods and goddesses. The music is not predominantly based on the instruments used, but instead of the vocals and the music is written with that in mind. Some of the most popular singers are R. Vedalli, K.J. Yesudas, Manda Sudharani, Vijay Siva, and many others.

In the area of Hindustani music, Karnataka has reached one of the top pinnacles in the genre. Many of the singers that come from this area have claimed many high profile awards including the Kalidas Sanman, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan. They have many extremely popular singers such as Gangubai Hangal, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Basavaraj Rajguru and others.

There are many popular painters in the Karnatakan art genre and they have been influenced by other cultures including that of Bengal. Some of the most famous painters from this area are Sundarayya, Alasinrayya, and Tanjavur Kondayya all of whom were supported by King Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. There are many different academies in Karnataka that are dedicated to the visual arts and are reminders of that including Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts, Venkatappa Art Gallery and Jaganmohan Art Gallery.

Another big part of the Karnataka culture is the folk arts, which includes classical dancing and puppetry. One of the best known dances is called kunitha and are ritualistic dances, which includes a dance called dollu kunitha. It is typically performed by men who are from the Kuruba or shepherd caste and is accompanied by drum beats and singing. Puppetry or togalu gombeyaata, it translates to “a play with leather dolls” and there is a huge varied collection of dolls at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat.