Karnataka, called as Karunadu (elevated land) in ancient times. The course of Karnataka's history and culture takes us back to pre-historic times.The earliest find of the stone age period in India was a hand axe at Lingasugur in Raichur district. The Ashoka's rock edicts found in the state indicate that major parts of Northern Karnataka were under the Mauryas.
Chandragupta Maurya, the great Indian emperor abdicated the throne and embraced Jainism at Shravanabelagola. Adding new dimensions to the cultural and spiritual ethos of the land, many great dynasties left their imprint upon the aesthetic development of Karnataka's art forms.
Prominent among them were the Chalukyas, the Hoysalas and the mighty Vijayanagara Empire.
The Chalukyan's built some of the very early Hindu temples in India. Aihole turned up as an experimental base for the dynamic creations of architects. The Hoysala's who ruled from the 11th to the 13th century chiseled their way into the pages of glory by building more than 150 temples, each one is a master piece in its own way.
The amazing dexterity and fluidity of expressions at Somnathpur, Halebid and Belur open themselves to the wide eyed wonder in one's eyes. Vijayanagara, the greatest of all medieval Hindu empires and one of the greatest the world over, fostered the development of intellectual pursuits and fine arts.
"The eye of the pupil has never seen a place like it and the ear of intelligence has never been informed that there existed anything to equal it in the world" is what Abdur Razaaq the Persian ambassador had to say about Krishnadevaraya's time
The Vijayanagara empire with its capital at Hampi fell a victim to the marauding army of the Deccan Sultan in 1565 A.D. As a consequence of this, Bijapur became the most important city of the region.
This city is a land of monuments and perhaps no other city except Delhi has as many monuments as Bijapur.The Bahmani Shahis and the Adilshahis of Bijapur have played a notable part in the history of Karnataka by their contribution to the field of art and architecture and also by their propagation of Islam in the state.
Hyder Ali and his valiant son Tipu Sultan are notable figures in the history of the land. They expanded the Mysore kingdom on an unprecedented scale and by their resistance against the British, became personages of world fame.
The Early Karnataka
The evidence of Maurayan dynasty in Karnataka is the Ashoka's rock edicts found in the state. The great Chandragupta Maurya ruled the state and adopted Jainism at Shravanabelagola. After him many other dynasties like the Chalukyas, the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagars ruled it. These dynasties added value to the cultural and spiritual value of the state.
At Aihole in Karanataka, the Chalukyas constructed the early Hindu temples in India. These temples are regarded as the architectural wonders. Similarly, the Hoysala's who ruled from the 11th to the 13th century, built more than 150 temples having excellent architecture.
The Fall of Vijayanagar Empire
The grand Vijayanagar dynasty disintegrated with its capital at Hampi after the attack of the Deccan Sultan in 1565 A.D. Therefore, Bijapur was established as the capital and many monuments were build around the city. It was ruled by the Bahmani Shahis and the Adilshahis, who have contributed a lot to the architecture, art and the spread of Islam in the state.
The Muslim Domination and The British Control
Later, the state was ruled by Hyder Ali and his brave son Tipu Sultan. They were responsible for the expansion of the Mysore kingdom. Tipu was a great scholar and lover of literature. He was a good administrator and offered expensive gifts to the Hindu temples. Tipu Sultan was also known as "Tiger of Karnataka", since he fought bravely with the British and never allowed them to overpower Mysore . He was killed in 1799 A.D. and thus the throne of Mysore went into the hands of Wodeyar's. In the beginning of the 19th century, entire Karnataka came under the control of the British
After India's Independence, the state of Mysore was governed by the Maharaja of Mysore, who was appointed by Independent India. But later, on November 1, 1973, the integrated state was renamed as Karnataka.
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