(Last Updated on : 14/08/2012)
The state of Karnataka has a large number of population, out of which a majority lives in the villages. The state is situated in south India and is considered one of the most prosperous states in the country. The villages of Karnataka are quite rich in various fields like education, agriculture, industry, tourism, etc. and they exhibit the real cultural identity of the state. The pictorial villages of Karnataka with mud houses, age old temples, etc. attract many tourists from all over the country, every year.
The residents in the villages of Karnataka like to live together in peace and tranquility. They follow different religious beliefs. The Hindus comprise a major portion of the total rural population in the state. The other major religious communities living in the villages of Karnataka include the Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc. Apart from these, there are also a few tribal communities reside in the villages of Karnataka. The major tribes include Bedar, Dubla, Hakkipikki, Jenu Kuruba, Kadu Kuruba, Kattunaikkan, Konda Kapus, Sholaga Tribe, Toda, etc. All the tribal communities have their own culture and tradition and they follow their traditional customs. The residents in the villages of Karnataka speak in different languages. Kannada is the most widely spoken language in the villages of Karnataka and is also the official language of the state. Apart from Kannada, the other major languages include Urdu, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Tulu, Hindi, Konkani, Malayalam, Kodava Takk, etc.
The educational status of the villages of Karnataka is quite remarkable. The state has one of the highest literacy rates among all the states of India and the female literacy rate in the villages is also quite high. The rural people are provided primary education through the government primary schools established in many villages of Karnataka. After completing the primary education, the students can opt for higher education in the colleges and universities mostly located in the urban areas. Though the literacy rate among the rural population is quite good, the governmental authorities of Karnataka have taken many steps to spread the light of education in all the villages of Karnataka.
The main occupation of people in the villages of Karnataka is agriculture. Like most of the other states in India, a majority of people in Karnataka are dependent on agriculture for earning their livelihoods. Many villagers in Karnataka cultivate the crops like coffee, raw silk, sandalwood, etc. and the high quality of these crops has made the state famous all over India. A major portion of the total coffee production in India come from the villages of Karnataka and the villages also contribute a major portion of India's total ragi (finger millet) production. The other major crops cultivated in the villages of Karnataka include rice, jowar, maize, pulses, cashew, coconut, areca nut (betel nut), cardamom, chilies, cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, etc. Many villagers in Karnataka are also involved in horticulture, cottage industry and mineral based industries.
Many villagers are involved in making different arts and crafts products. The villages are quite famous for their aesthetic craftsmanship in sandalwood and rosewood. The most unique and outstanding items produced by the villagers in Karnataka include furniture, in-lay work, coffee tables, wall hangings etc. The villagers also produce high quality silks, wooden toys, leather puppets, Bidriware, other artifacts, etc.
The villages of Karnataka nicely preserve the past glory and cultural heritage of the state. The people celebrate various fairs and festivals throughout the year and retain the state's art and crafts by performing various dances and music forms. They celebrate the fairs and festivals together, regardless of their religious beliefs or caste differences. Music is an integral part of village society in Karnataka and the people perform both the major styles of Indian Music (Karnataka and Hindustani) side by side. The people in the villages of Karnataka celebrate all regional and national fairs and festivals with equal fervour, enthusiasm and excitement. The fairs and festivals have always been an integral part of village life in Karnataka and they act as popular occasions for social interaction and enjoyment. The major religious fairs and festivals celebrated in the villages of Karnataka include Dussehra, Makar Sankranti, Ganesh Chaturthi, Yugadi, Karaga, Hampi Festival, Hoysala Mahotsava, Vairamudi festival, Tula Sankramana, Diwali, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Milad-un-Nabi, Muharrum, Rajyotsava Day, Banashankari Temple Fair, Sri Vithappa fair, Godachi fair, Shri Yellamma Devi fair, etc. Apart from these, the people also celebrate different traditional and social festivals like Buffalo race.
The villages of Karnataka present the real identity of the state, with the great diversity in their culture and a rich heritage and tradition. Though the people in the villages follow different religious paths, speak different languages and celebrate different festivals, they have unity and affection in common. They always try to maintain a healthy relationship with their neighbours and also help each other whenever there is a need.