Karnataka, Karnataka Travel, Karnataka Tour

Karnataka, Karnataka Tour


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Karnataka History

History of Karnataka

In the ancient times, Karnataka was known as Karunadu (elevated land). The course of Karnataka's history and culture can be seen from the remains of the pre-historic times. The hand axe found at the Lingasugur in Raichur district was one of the earliest finding of the stone age. The history of Karnataka is also intimately interwoven into the great epic Ramayana. Some of the major parts of Karnataka were ruled by the Mauryans. Chadragupta Maurya, the India’s first great emperor, embraced Jainism at Sravanabelagola. He became a Jain monk and gave up all his worldly possessions including his large empire. His grandson Ashoka raised edicts on the carved stone pillars in Raichur and Chitaradurga. By the 1st century B.C., the Satavahanas succeeded the Mauryas and built Buddhist Viharas and Stupas. Around fourth century A.D., the Ganga dynasty came to power and erected the massive statues of Lord Gomateswara and the Jain temples at Sravanabelagola. In the 6th century, came the Chalukyas. The Chalukyas evolved the Chalukya style of architecture and built some of the very early Hindu temples in India. Then came the Rashtrakutas who encouraged art and poetry. The Hoysala's ruled from the 11th to the 13th century and built more than 150 temples in Somnathpur, Halebid and Belur, each one is a master piece in its own way. 

The Vijayanagara empire was one of the greatest of all medieval Hindu empires, that brought the development of intellectual pursuits and fine arts. The Vijayanagara empire have its capital at Hampi and were defeated by the Deccan Sultan in 1565 A.D. With the destruction of the Vijayanagar empire came the Muslim influence which continued during the next few centuries and the Bijapur became the most important city of the region. Yusuf Adil Shahi of Constantinople founded the kingdom of Bijaipur. His successors enriched Karnataka by building mosques which are much better than the mosques built by the other Muslim rulers in India. On of these mosque is the Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur. The Gulbarga Fort in Gulbarga was built by the Raja Gulchand and later developed by Allaudin Bahmini, the founder of the Bahmini Kingdom. 

After the fall of Vijaynagar Empire, various saints and singers came in Karnataka. Hyder Ali and his valiant son Tipu Sultan were the famous figures in the history of that time. They expanded the Mysore kingdom on an unprecedented scale and by their resistance against the British, became the world famous. Tipu was a great scholar and lover of literature and also made rich gifts to the Hindu temples. Tipu Sultan, the tiger of Karnataka was killed in the battle of Srirangapatana in 1794 AD, and the Mysore throne was handed over to the Wodeyar's. Now, all these great dynasties have gone and they have left behind various temples, forts, palaces and ruins which represent a 900-year old history when Hindu art and architecture reached its most highest point in the South Indian history. 

The whole of Karnataka came under the control of the British in the beginning of the 19th century. Before the Kannada-speaking areas of India were merged to make the greater state of Karnataka, the Karnataka was known as Mysore and had its capital in Mysore. In 1947, when India became independent, the Maharaja of Mysore was appointed as governor. This unified state was renamed as Karnataka on November 1, 1973 and Bangalore was made its capital. Bangalore is the new metropolitan city of India, with a strong industrial base and one of the leading tourist cities in India.

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