Karnataka, the land of history and heritage has the highest number of GI Tags in India. A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country). The use of a GI may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.
Byadagi chilli (Kannada: ಬ್ಯಾಡಗಿ ಮೆಣಸಿನಕಾಯಿ) is a famous variety of chilli mainly grown in Karnataka. It is named after the town of Byadagi which is located in the Haveri district of Karnataka. The business involving Byadagi chillis has the second largest turnover among all chilli varieties of India. An oil, oleoresin extracted from these chillies is used in the preparation of nail polish and lipsticks. Byadagi chilli is also known for its deep red colour and is less spicy and is used in many food preparations of karnataka. They are also known as kaddi (meaning stick-like) chillies. The quality of chilli varieties is measured in terms of the extractable red colour pigment; this colour is measured in ASTA colour units. Byadagi Chilli has an ASTA colour value of 156.9. The higher the ASTA colour unit, the better the quality of chilli and therefore the higher the price. The Byadagi chilli has negligible capsaicin content making it less pungent than other chilli varieties.Byadagi chilli is an important ingredient in spicy preparations like Bisi bele bath, sambar, chutneys and other food items of South India and is widely used in the Udupi cuisine. It is also used in meat preparations because of the bright red colour that it imparts to the meat.Earlier Byadagi Chilli was grown mainly for the purpose of using it in food items as a spicy ingredient but recently, it has also been grown for the extraction of oleoresin, a red oil from the pods. Oleoresin is used in the preparation of nail polish and lipsticks.
Udupi Mattu Gulla Brinjal
Mattu village is famous for a particular variety of brinjal (eggplant) that is grown only in this village. The brinjal grown here is light green in colour and is spherical, unlike the usual purple-coloured variety. The first brinjal harvested is offered to Lord Krishna at Krishna Matha, Udupi. The seeds for growing this type of brinjal is said to be given by Shri Vadiraja swamiji. This village is also famous for a bridge named as Annekatta which connects this tiny village to Katapady. This village lies in the midst of Arabian sea in the west and a small river in the east side. Shree Vadhirajacharya, a monk, was daily offering food to Hayagreeva or Hayavadhana (Narayana in Horse's face). He used to close the door and a horse steps up on his shoulder to eat it. Vadhirajaru used to return empty vessel always. This enraged other brahmanas, and in turn they mixed poison, thinking that Vadhirajaru has eaten it, as usual he offered food, the horse came and ate fully without leaving a trace. But to their surprise, other Brahmins saw Shri Krishna, Udupi's Idol turning blue in color. So other brahmnas felt guilty and went to Vadhirajaru for pardon. Vadhirajaru with his divine powers gave some seeds of Brinjal to Mattu Brahmins to sow it. The brinjal grown there is bought and being offered to Krishna as Nayvedhya. Slowly the blueishness vanished away. So even now "Mattu Gulla" is famous for non-septic in nature.
Malabar Arabica Coffee
Monsooned Malabar is a process applied to coffee beans. The harvested beans are exposed to the monsoon rain and winds for a period of about three to four months, causing the beans to swell and lose the original acidity, resulting in a smooth brew with a practically neutral pH balance. The coffee is unique to the Malabar Coast of Karnataka . The blend is heavy bodied, pungent, and considered to be dry with a musty, chocolatey aroma and notes of spice and nuts.The origins of Monsooned Malabar date back to the times of the British Raj, when, during the months that the beans were transported by sea from India to Europe, the humidity and the sea winds combined to cause the coffee to ripen from the fresh green to a more aged pale yellow. Legend has it that in the past, when wooden vessels carried raw coffee from India to Europe, during the monsoon months taking almost six months to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, the coffee beans, exposed to constant humid conditions, underwent characteristic changes. The beans changed in size, texture, and appearance, both as beans and in the cup. Modern transportation reduced the length of this journey and better protected the beans from weathering and humidity. However, the Europeans noticed that the coffee beans now arriving in their ports lacked the depth and character of the coffee beans received in days gone by.It was determined that in the past the coffee beans had been transformed by exposure to the sea air and monsoon winds and rain. An alternative process was implemented to replicate these conditions, so that these coffee beans could be enjoyed once again. It was observed that a typical ambiance could be simulated along the coastal belt of southwest India during the monsoon months bringing about the same characteristic transformation to the ordinary cherry coffee beans. Thus was born the ritual called "monsooning." Arabica variety with this process is called Malabar Monsoon Arabica Coffee.
Monsooned malabar robusta
Another Coffee Variety of same Process is monsooned malabar robusta
Coorg Green Cardamom
A fragrant spice, used in most chai recipes, cardamom is one of the mildest but most effective digestive stimulants. Removes excess Kapha from the stomach and lungs, and combined with fennel, it acts a soothing digestive for nervous stomach disorders in children. The queen of spices (just ask the spice mistress), cardamom stimulates the heart and mind and offers clarity and joy. The Coorg Cardmom has more unique features.
Devanahalli is also known for its pomelo-a fruit whose local flavour is not found anywhere else in India. Interestingly, the Devanahalli Chakotha or Pomelo was on the verge of extinction a few years ago, Soaring land prices and the location of the new Bengaluru international airport had almost sounded the death knell of this wonderful fruit. Chakotha is a thick, yellow-skinned fruit. It is the largest citrus fruit in the world and belongs to the Rutaceae family. It is known in the West as pomelo, Shaddock, Batavia lemon and its scientifically name is Citrus Grandis. The fruit is consumed as it is and is also used in cooking to make desserts and jellies. It can weigh up to 10 kg. What makes it imperative to preserve the Devanahalli Chakotha is that the type of Pomelo grown here cannot be grown anywhere else. The unique nature of Devanahalli soil-loamy, clay and neither too dry nor moist- disallows the fruit from being taken to other locations in the state for cultivation. The Chakotha of Devanahalli is unique in the sense that its outer rind is thick and light yellow in color and its flesh is pinkish and mildly juicy.
The appemidi is not just any old mango. It is at the heart of the mango pickle industry and Karnataka's food culture. Its fragrance is so strong that adding just a few midis to an ordinary mango pickle can change its taste and smell. Among the tens of varieties of mango pickle, appemidi pickles are the most sought after as they remain fresh for years. In the land of their origin, appemidis are also used to make gojju, sasve, appehuli, chutney and thambli, which is a good digestive. he appemidi is a native of the forests of the Western Ghats, where there are natural plantations of centuries-old mango trees in the valleys of the Aghanashini, Kumudvati, Kali, Varada, Bedthi and Sharavathi rivers in Uttara Kannada and Shimoga districts. The trees are also found in places like Chittoor and Khanapur in Belgaum and parts of Chikmagaloor district. A wild appemidi tree can yield several tonnes of tender mango, with features varying from tree to tree. The appemidi can have as many names as its diversity demands. But being a soft-wood variety, the appemidi treeis ideally suited for building fishing boats. In the last five decades, the forests in the area have been cut down to make way for hydroelectric projects and construction, and for timber. In the process, thousands of appemidi trees have been felled.
Kamalapur Red Banana
Banana cultivation is known to be difficult. Lot of inputs like compost, water, labour costs make this crop an expensive one to grow. In arid areas like Gulbarga, banana cultivation is not known to be profitable. But one special variety of banana, has been grown in the district, and a lot of farmers are concerned about saving this traditional variety. This is the red banana, grown in and around Kamalapur of Gulbarga district. Although a small town, Kamalapur has gained recognition thanks to this variety of banana. Red banana cultivation is entirely different from other varieties. Plantation starts in June to August and requires a large quantity of compost. The banana is being grown in this area from hundreds of years. he red banana has medicinal properties and many nutrients.
Bangalore Blue Grapes
Bangalore Blue, characterized by its 'foxy flavour', is exclusively grown in Bangalore Urban, Chikkaballapur and Kolar districts. Its cultivation has been going on for the past 150 years in about 5,000 hectares. The livelihood of over 15,000 farmers in the Nandi Valley depends on their cultivation. Authentic Bangalore Blue grapes need to be grown in red sandy loam soil at a day temperature of about 35-37 degrees Celsius and night temperature of 12-15 degree Celsius which is unique to Bangalore and its surrounding areas. The grapes develop their typical colour and slip skin nature (thin skin) at this temperature.
Coorg orange has global recognition and has attracted the attention of the customers at the global level due to its colour and taste. In 1960s, oranges were grown in 50,000 to 60,000 hectare land. However, over the years, disease attacked orange plants. As a result, the land under orange cultivation was reduced to 3,000 to 4,000 hectares. After the price of coffee rised in the international market, orange estates have disappeared in Kodagu.
Mysore Betel Leaf
Tambula is a enlightening tradition of India since ancient time from ordinary people to the Maharajas. After their dinner, people chew tambula, consisting of betel leaves, areca nut and lime with necessary perfuming ingredients. Mysore betel leaves are special for tambula because of its special taste.
A popular variety of banana locally known as Nanjangud Rasabaley has also made Nanjangud famous all over the region. The fruit evokes tremendous appreciation for its taste among the older generation of the region. A variety of banana that offers a distinctive taste, "Nanjangud rasabale" has tickled the taste buds of people from far and wide. The "Nanjangud rasabale," which has unique characteristics, is identified by its distinct aroma when it ripens fully. The fruit is also characterised by its medium size and gall formation in the pulp. A major characteristic of the fruit is its long shelf life, as it survives for around a fortnight after its starts ripening.
Mysore Mallige (Jasminum sambac)
This is the most well-known variety, which derives its name since it is grown mostly around Mysore city and partly in Srirangapatna taluk in Mandya district in Karnataka state. The Jasmine's association with the city of Mysore, the royal city of palaces, patronized by the Wodeyar of the Kingdom of Mysore, because its fragrance is as powerful as the famous Dasara festival held every year in the city during October. Mallige grows in profusion in the open areas either in exclusive farmland, in front or at the backyard of houses.
Mysore Mallige, mostly grown in and around Mysore city is a viable crop for small farmers. Farmers reap two crops of this seasonal flower.
Hadagali Mallige (Jasminum auriculatum)
Hadagali Mallige is known for its rich fragrance and shelf life. Locally known as “Vasane Mallige”, (fragrant Jasmine), it is grown mainly in Hoovina Hadagali and surrounding areas in Bellary district of Karnataka.
Udupi Mallige (Jasminum sambac)
The cultivation of Udupi Mallige is of relatively recent origin. Cultivation of this variety of jasmine started in Shankarapura in Udupi district about 100 years ago. It is found extensively in Bhatkal, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada, and has been found more economically viable among all the three varieties. The flower is in high demand in places such as Mumbai, besides the coastal region. Every home in this region has 0.5 to 1 acre (2,000 to 4,000 m2) of land in front of the house for Jasmine growing.
Dharwad pedha (Kannada: ಧಾರವಾಡ ಪೇಡ) is a sweet delicacy unique to the state of Karnataka, India. It derives its name from the city of Dharwad in Karnataka.This sweet's history is around 175 years old. origin to Thakur family which migrated from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh to Dharwad after the dreaded plague broke out there sometime in early 19th Century. With meagre funds, Shri. Ram Ratan Singh Thakur (first generation sweet maker) started making ‘pedhas’ and selling them and gradually, it started becoming popular.
Karnataka produces 9,000 metric tons of mulberry silk of a total of 14,000 metric tons produced in the country, thus contributing to nearly 70% of the country's total mulberry silk. In Karnataka, silk is mainly grown in the Mysore district. The growth of the silk industry in the Kingdom of Mysore was first initiated during the reign of Tipu Sultan. Later it was hit by a global depression, and competition from imported silk and rayon. In the second half of the 20th century, it revived and the Mysore State became the top multivoltine silk producer in India. The story, how sericulture took roots in these parts lay buried deep in history, relics sparse. Every saree produced here comes with an embroidered code number and a hologram to prevent misuse. Mysore silk sarees are also undergoing an innovating change with the use of kasuti embroidery, thickly woven pallus (the part of the saree worn over the shoulder), bandhini techniques and new colours like lilac, coffee-brown and elephant-grey.
Molakalmuru Silk Sarees
Molakalmuru is best known for its hand-woven silk sarees of exquisite design and craftsmanship. Weaving is a major occupation of the people in this region. Molakalmuru sarees have prints of fruits, animals and birds on them. It is said that Nalvadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar appreciated the finesse of these sarees during his visit to the place during 1914. The beautiful floral designs and the rich pallu make these sarees attractive and gorgeous. The long border sarees have a contrast border and the traditional touch is their speciality. The small or narrow border sarees are popular, and are woven with peacock, mango, bugudi and chakra border designs. The peacock border saree is made from pure mulberry silk and this design is a replica of the Maharaja peacock design. Sarees with multicolour checks are of Molakalmuru origin and have a contrast border. These sarees are woven under three shuttle looms. Sarees with the abstract temple motif is the speciality of Molakalmuru silk weavers. The border of the saree interlocks with the shell saree to give a temple design. Temple border sarees are woven with plain pallu and have a contrast colour combination. Butta sarees, of Molakalmuru origin, are woven under dobby looms and have a melange of both traditional and computer designs. The buttas are there on both sides of the border. There are also double border sarees which are available in two contrast colours. One is a silk brocade saree with jari that makes it a beautiful wedding saree. Designer sarees with ethnic multi-design and different colour combinations may take nearly 40 days to weave.
Ilkal saree (Kannada: ಇಳಕಲ್ ಸೀರೆ) is a traditional form of saree. Ilkal saree takes its name from the town of Ilkal in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka state, India. Ilkal sarees are woven using cotton warp on the body and art silk warp for border and art silk warp for pallav portion of the saree. In some cases instead of art silk, pure silk is also used. Ilkal was an ancient weaving centre where the weaving seems to have started in the 8th century AD. The growth of these sarees is attributed to the patronage provided by the local chieftains in and around the town of Bellary. The availability of local raw materials helped in the growth of this saree.
The uniqueness of saree is joining of the body warp with pallav warp with a series of loops locally called as TOPE TENI technique. The weaver will gait only 6 yards, 8 yards, 9 yards warp due to above TOPE TENI technique. KONDI Technique is used for weft through inserting 3 shuttles (లాళి).
Pallau portion-Design: “TOPE TENI SERAGU” Normally in tope teni seragu 3 solid portions would be in red colour, and in between 2 portions in white colour.
Tope Teni seragu has been regarded as a state symbol and was greatly respected during festival occasions.
Traditional Borders: (i) Chikki, (ii) Gomi, (iii) Jari and (iv) Gadidadi, and modern Gayathri are unique ones in Ilkal sarees - width ranging from 2.5” to 4”
Border Colour Uniqueness: Red usually or Maroon dominates.
The peculiar characteristic of the saree is joining the body warp with the pallu warp which is locally called as TOPE TENI. This technique is only used exclusively at Ilkal. If anyone requires Ilkal saree one must prepare a warp for every saree. Warp threads for body is prepared separately. Similarly pallu warp is prepared separately either with art silk or pure silk depending upon the quality required. Thirdly border portion of warp is prepared as like the pallu warp either art silk or pure silk and the colour used for pallu and on border will be one and the same. In general, the length of the pallu will range 16” to 27”. The pallu threads and body threads are joined in loop technique, a typical method which is locally called as TOPE TENI.
The distinctive feature of Ilkal sarees is the use of a form of embroidery called as Kasuti. The designs used in Kasuti reflect traditional patters like palanquins, elephants and lotuses which are embroidered onto Ilkal sarees. These sarees are usually 9 yards in length and the pallu of the Ilkal saree (the part worn over the shoulder) carries designs of temple towers. This pallu is usually made of red silk with white patterns. The end region of the pallu is made up of patterns of different shapes like hanige (comb), koti kammli (fort ramparts), toputenne (jowar) and rampa (mountain range). The border of the sari is very broad (4 to 6 inches) and red or maroon in colour and is made of different designs with ochre patterns. The saree is either made of cotton, or a mixture of cotton and silk or in pure silk. The colors traditionally used are pomegranate red, brilliant peacock green and parrot green. The sarees that are made for bridal wear are made of a particular colour called Giri Kumukum which is associated with the sindhoor worn by the wives of the priests in this region.
The design woven in the length wise borders are mainly three types :-
Gomi (more popularly known as Ilkal dadi)
Paraspet (Sub-divided into chikki paras and dodd paras)
Main Body design
With above broad parameters the Ilkal sarees differ in matters of size, nature and quality of yarn used for different portion of saree as also colour combination and combinations of designs on the borders and main body of the saree. The beauty of Tope-teni seragu is further enhanced at times by weaving in its middle portion, yet another design known as ‘Kyadgi’.
Kasuti (Kannada: ಕಸೂತಿ) is a traditional form of embroidery practiced in the state of Karnataka, India. Kasuti work which is very intricate sometimes involves putting up to 5,000 stitches by hand and is traditionally made on dresswear like Ilkal and Kanchivaram sarees.Kasuti work involves embroidering very intricate patterns like gopura, chariot, palanquin, lamps and conch shells. Locally available materials are used for Kasuti. The pattern to be embroidered is first marked with charcoal or pencil and then proper needles and thread are selected. The work is laborious and involves counting of each thread on the cloth. The patterns are stitched without using knots to ensure that both sides of the cloth look alike. Different varieties of stitches are employed to obtain the desired pattern. Some of the stitches employed are Ganti, Murgi, Neyge and Menthe. Ganti is a double running stitch used for marking vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, Murgi is a zig-zag stitch, Neyge is a running stitch and Menthe is a cross stitch resembling fenugreek seeds.
Sandur Lambani embroidery
A unique facet of the costume of the Lambadi woman is its elaborate embroidery. This is usually combined with mirror work to produce the glitter and colour that are integral parts of the Lambadi costume. The clothes of the Lambanis reflect their love of life and evolved across the centuries to suit local climatic and social conditions. Traditionally this embroidery was done on personal items of girls to be married. It was done elaborately on different household accessories that went into the bride's trousseau. The traditional costume of the Lambadi woman glitters with small pieces of mirror, coins and costume jewellery.
The Lambani women's costume comprising of Lehenga, Choli and Odhni are embroidered with bright rainbow-coloured fabrics covered with a mosaic of patchwork mirrors. Their work is sought after by collectors for its vibrancy of pattern and colour, and for the unusual technique of sewing hundreds of small mirrors into the compositions. Each piece depicts an aspect of the Lambani creation myths.
This style of embroidery has been handed down from mother to daughter through many generations. Thus making every daughter of the house a lambani artist.
Some of the most important features of the Lambani embroidery are:
Exquisite needle work which is done on different kinds of fabric to create interesting patterns is done by nomadic women of the Banjara tribe only.
Banjara embroidery is a unique combination of intricate appliqué, patchwork and also fine embroidery.
This embroidery is done with mix of different kinds of rawmaterial like mirrors, shells, alluminium buttons and jewellery pieces.
Lambani embroidery also to a large extent comprises of the quilting technique which is done on the edge of the garment and is called "katta".
The colours on their garments signify their lifestyle. The most commonly used colours are red and yellow. Red signifies marriage and fertility while yellow signifies vitality and strength.
The distinctiveness of the lambani embroidery is the random designs and bright colours that is so traditional to this tribe.
Using intricate methods of embroidery, the mirrors, shells, jewellery piece etc are affixed to cloth, which is made into dresses, bags, pillow cases, wall hangings, table mats etc. Exquisite purses, dresses, bed spreads and wall hangings are made with intricate needlework. These articles come from the experienced and deft hands of traditional craft women.
Navalgund is is famous as birth place of 'jamkhanas', the floor covering woven using cotton ropes or carpet. Weavers at Navalgund make Jamkhane (durries for daily use) with Pagadiatte - Chaupad motif and Jainamaaz (prayer mats) to be used by Muslims.
Mysore painting (Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು ಚಿತ್ರಕಲೆ) is an important form of classical South Indian painting that originated in and around the town of Mysore in Karnataka encouraged and nurtured by the Mysore rulers. Painting in Karnataka has a long and illustrious history, tracing its origins back to the Ajanta times (2nd century B.C. to 7th century A.D.) The distinct school of Mysore painting evolved from the paintings of Vijayanagar times during the reign of the Vijayanagar Kings (1336-1565 AD) The rulers of Vijayanagar and their feudatories encouraged literature, art, architecture, religious and philosophical discussions. With the fall of the Vijayanagar empire after the Battle of Talikota the artists who were till then under royal patronage migrated to various other places like Mysore, Tanjore, Surpur, etc. Absorbing the local artistic traditions and customs, the erstwhile Vijayanagar School of Painting gradually evolved into the many styles of painting in South India, including the Mysore and Tanjore schools of painting.
Mysore paintings are known for their elegance, muted colours, and attention to detail. The themes for most of these paintings are Hindu gods and goddesses and scenes from Hindu mythology. The most famous of the manuscripts detailing the various nuances of the Mysore school and listing out the various Gods and Goddesses, is the Sritattvanidhi, a voluminous work of 1500 pages prepared under the patronage of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. This pictorial digest is a compendium of illustrations of gods, goddesses and mythological figures with instructions to painters on an incredible range of topics concerning composition placement, colour choice, individual attributes and mood. The ragas, seasons, eco-happenings, animals, and plant world are also effectively depicted in these paintings as co-themes or contexts. Other Sanskrit literary sources such as the Visnudharmottara Purana, Abhilasitarthacintamani and Sivatatvaratnakara also throw light on the objectives and principles of painting, methods of preparing pigments, brushes and the carrier, qualifications of the chitrakar (traditional community of painters) the principles of painting and the technique to be followed. The ancient painters in Mysore prepared their own materials. The colours were from natural sources and were of vegetable, mineral or even organic origin such as leaves, stones and flowers. Brushes were made with squirrel hairs for delicate work but for drawing superfine lines a brush made of pointed blades of a special variety of grass had to be used. Due to the long-lasting quality of the earth and vegetable colours used, the original Mysore paintings still retain their freshness and lustre even today. Mysore Paintings are characterized by delicate lines, intricate brush strokes, graceful delineation of figures and the discreet use of bright vegetable colours and lustrous gold leaf. More than mere decorative pieces, the paintings are designed to inspire feelings of devotion and humility in the viewer. The painter’s individual skill in giving expression to various emotions is therefore of paramount importance to this style of painting. The first stage of Mysore Painting was to prepare the ground; paper, wood, cloth or wall grounds were variously used. The paper board was made of paper pulp or waste paper, which was dried in the sun and then rubbed smooth with a polished quartz pebble. If the ground was cloth it was pasted on a wooden board using a paste composed of dry white lead (safeda) mixed with gum and a small quantity of gruel (ganji). The board was then dried and burnished. Wood surfaces were prepared by applying dry white lead, yellow ochre and gum, and walls were treated with yellow ochre, chalk and gum. After preparation of the ground a rough sketch of the picture was drawn with crayon prepared from the straight twigs of the tamarind tree. The next step was to paint the furthest objects such as sky, hill and river and then gradually animal and human figures were approached in greater detail. After colouring the figures, the artists would turn to elaboration of the faces, dress and ornaments including the gesso work (gold covering), which is an important feature of Mysore painting.
Gesso work was the hallmark of all traditional paintings of Karnataka. Gesso refers to the paste mixture of white lead powder, gambose and glue which is used as an embossing material and covered with gold foil. The gesso work in Mysore paintings is low in relief and intricate. Gesso was used in Mysore painting for depicting intricate designs of clothes, jewellery and architectural details on pillars and arches that usually framed the deities. The work was taken up in the morning when the base of the gold work on the painting was still moist so as to hold the gold foil firmly. After allowing the painting to dry, glazing was carried out by covering the painting with thin paper and rubbing over it with a soft glazing stone known as kaslupada kallu. When the thin paper was removed the painting shone brightly and looked resplendent with the combination of gold and a variety of colours.
Mysore Rosewood Inlay work
British writers mention the existence of thousands of workers in Mysore involved in inlaying etched ivory motifs into rosewood to create intricate wood work. Even now an estimated 4000 people in Mysore are involved in rosewood inlay work though other media like plastic have replaced ivory. This intricate work involves many stages. The first step is to design and draw the images and patterns on the rosewood. Then the rosewood is cut into proper shape by carpentry. The motifs that have to be inlaid are then carefully handcut to shape. The areas where the motifs have to be inlaid on the rosewood, are carefully scooped out. Next the motifs are inlaid and fixed. The wood is then smoothened using sandpaper and polished to give a bright look.
Mysore sandal soap
In the early 20th century, the Mysore Kingdom in India was one of the largest producers of sandalwood in the world. It was also one of the major exporters of the wood, most of which was exported to Europe. During the First World War, large reserves of sandalwood were left over because they could not be exported due to the war. In order to make good use of these reserves, Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, the king of Mysore established the Government Soap Factory in Bangalore. This factory, which was set up in 1916, started manufacturing soaps under the brand-name Mysore sandal soap using sandalwood oil as the main ingredient. A factory to distill sandalwood oil from the wood was set up at Mysore in the same year. In 1944, another sandalwood oil factory was set up at Shimoga. After the unification of Karnataka, these factories came under the jurisdiction of the Government of Karnataka. In 1980, the Government decided to merge these factories and incorporate them under a company named Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited. Sharabha, a mythological creature having a body of a lion and the head of an elephant, was chosen as the logo of the company. This was because the creature represents the combined virtues of wisdom, courage and strength and symbolizes the company's philosophy. The company has since diversified and manufactures incense sticks, talcum powder and detergents; apart from soaps.
Mysore Sandalwood oil
Mysore Sandalwood oil are most valuable & demanded all over world in comparison to the Sandalwood oil manufactured in any part of the world, India meets 80% demand of sandalwood oil in the world because of the best quality.
The state of Karnataka, referred to as the Capital of Agarbathi (Incense Sticks), is the leading producer of the agarbathi in India, with Mysore and Bangalore being the main manufacturing centres. The Mysore region is recognised as a pioneer in the activity of agarbathi manufacturing and this is one of the main cluster activities that exist in the city. This is due to the fact that it has a natural reserve of forest products especially Sandalwood, which provide for the base material used in production.
Ganjifa or Ganjeefa was a popular card game in ancient India. Played extensively in the Mughal period, Ganjifa is now known more for the art work on the cards than the game itself. Cards made for royalty were inlaid with precious stones and were also made of ivory, mother-of-pearl and wafers of lac. In Mysore, this game was known as "Chadd" (God's play). One of the finest exponents of Ganjifa Art, Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhatta is a resident of Mysore and has set up an International Ganjifa Research Centre at Mysore. The cards are generally circular and sometimes rectangular in shape with lacquered backs with exquisite paintings on them
Kinnal Craft or Kinhal Craft (Kannada: ಕಿನ್ನಾಳ ಕಲೆ ), is a traditional wooden craft local to the town of Kinhal, or Kinnal, in Koppal District, North Karnataka, India.The town is famous for Kinhal toys and religious idols.
Kinhal has an immensely rich artistic heritage. It was once a flourishing centre for crafts, the most well-known being exquisite carvings in wood. The famous mural paintings in the Pampapateshwara Temple, and the intricate work on the wooden chariot at Hampi, are said to be the work of the ancestors of the Kinhal artisans of today. Old paper tracings found in the ancestral house of one of the artisans further substantiates this belief.
The artisans are called chitragars. Lightweight wood is used for the toys. The paste used for joining the various parts is made of tamarind seeds and pebbles. Jute rags, soaked, slivered into pieces, dried, powdered, and mixed with saw dust and tamarind seed paste is made into kitta. A mixture of pebble powder paste with liquid gum is used for embossing the ornamentation and jewellery on the body of the figure. Once the components of the figure are assembled, kitta is applied by hand all over, and small pieces of cotton are stuck on it with the tamarind paste. Over this is applied the pebble paste which forms the base for the application of paint.
Previously, toys depicting people involved in various occupations were popular; now the preference is for figures, animals, and birds. Garuda, the epic bird, has 12 components while Lord Ganesha on a throne has 22 components. The styling is realistic and the designing and chiselling has a master touch. In the festival season, clay toys and images are made, often out of cowdung and sawdust.
Channapatna toys are a particular form of wooden toys (and dolls) that are manufactured in the town of Channapatna in the Bangalore Rural district of Karnataka state, India. This traditional craft is protected as a geographical indication (GI) under the World Trade Organization, administered by the Government of Karnataka. As a result of the popularity of these toys, Channapatna is known as Gombegala Ooru (toy-town) of Karnataka. Traditionally, the work involved lacquering the wood of the Wrightia tinctoria tree, colloquially called Aale mara (ivory-wood).
The craft has diversified over time; in addition to the traditional ivory-wood, other woods—including rubber, sycamore, cedar, pine and teak—are now used as well. Manufacturing stages include procuring the wood, seasoning the wood, cutting the wood into the desired shapes, pruning and carving the toys, applying the colours and finally polishing the finished product. Vegetable dyes are used in the colouring process to ensure that the toys and dolls are safe for use by children. As of Oct 2006, more than 6,000 people in Channapatna, working in 254 home manufacturing units and 50 small factories, were engaged in the making of these toys. The Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation (KHDC) provides assistance with marketing efforts.
Bidriware (Kannada: ಬಿದ್ರಿ ಕಲೆ ) is a metal handicraft that originated in Bidar, Karnataka, in the 14th century C.E., during the rule of the Bahamani Sultans. The term 'Bidriware' originates from the township of Bidar, which is still the chief centre for the manufacture of the unique metalware. Due to its striking inlay artwork, Bidriware is an important export handicraft of India and is prized as a symbol of wealth. The metal used is a blackened alloy of zinc and copper inlaid with thin sheets of pure silver.
The origin of Bidriware is usually attributed to the Bahamani sultans who ruled Bidar in the 13th–15th centuries. Abdullah bin Kaiser, a craftsman from Iran was invited by the Sultan to work on decorating the royal palaces and courts. According to some accounts, Kaiser joined hands with local craftsmen and gave birth to Bidriware. Since then, the craft has been handed down succeeding generations mostly among the local Muslim and Lingayat sects.
Karnataka Bronze Works
Metal works in Karnataka is not confined to any particular area or city. While some regions are famous for bronze casting, others are known for bell metal works. Metal work industry is an important part of Karnataka people as numerous families are involved actively in it. Many articles for religious purposes are made of metal. Karkala, famous for Jain statues and Udupi are the major centers for such works. Mangalore is famous for the bell metal works and Nagamangala is famous for bronze casting. Most attractive pieces of bronze work are the human figures made out of it.