Karnataka lies on the western half of the Deccan Plateau bounded by Andhra Pradesh in the east, Maharashtra in the north, and Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the south, with a long coastline to the west. The hills of Western Ghats, rich in biodiversity, seperate the narrow coastal plains from the plateau. The natural resources include forest hardwoods such as teak, rosewood and sandalwood, which have supported a variety of crafts.

Bamboo was abundant in the region before it was depleted by excessive industrial use. The region is well developed with coffee and cardamom plantations, tea, timber, mineral and hydro electricity. Sandalwood and gold are prized resources. The Kaveri, a sacred river that originates in the Western Ghats in Kodagu district, has supported irrigated agriculture. The state has seen significant industrial growth since Independence, particularly in the area of software and IT industries centred around Bangalore. Karnataka`s history is reflected in an array of monuments; the 6th to 8th century Hindu temples at Badami and Aihole, the Deccan Sultanate`s medieval citadels of Bidar, Bijapur and Gulbarga, the Vijayanagara ruler`s capital at Hampi, Tipu Sultan`s 18th century frt at Srirangapattana, and the ornate 20th century palace in Mysore, among many others. Hence, Karnataka possesses a diverse cultural heritage. The folk theatre has an ancient tradition, the two principal forms being Yakshagana and shadow puppet theatre. The state is famous for its craftsmanship in sandalwood carving and rosewood inlay. Its craft repertoire is replete with many traces: royal patronage, Hindu and Islamic influences, colonial impact, and contemporary fashions. Silks, wooden toys, cotton weaving, leather puppets, bidri ware, stone carving and lace making, among others make Karnataka a state rich in craft.

Notable crafts

  • Metal casting
  • Stone carving
  • Wood carving
  • Wood and lac turner
  • Channapatna
  • Sandalwood carving
  • Soapstone carving
  • Mysore painting
  • Ganjifa cards
  • Sheet Metal emboss
  • Terracotta
  • Tibetan carpets
  • Rosewood inlay
  • Yakshagana costume
  • making
  • Bhoota figures
  • Bronze casting
  • Mooda - rice
  • packageing