There is a popular saying ‘Throw a stone over your shoulder in Dharwad, it is bound to hit the house of either a Poet or a Writer or a Singer‘. Dharwad has earned the reputation of being called as ‘Cultural Capital of Karnataka’.
Dharwad Region’s Cultural Life blossomed with some of the finest Poets, Writers, and Thinkers at the beginning 20th century. Hindustani Classical Music is a genre that inspires a possessive devotion among people from the region.
Contribution of Dharwad in Music Field
Who can deny the fact that some of the best Hindustani Musicians have emerged from the Dharwad region? Many musicians born in the early part of the 20th century, not only made an incredible mark for themselves but etched the name of Dharwad eternally on the map of Hindustani Music.
Pandit Sawai Gandharva, Mallikarjun Mansur, Basavaraj Rajguru, Gangubai Hangal, Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Puttaraj Gawai have made Dharwad the Cradle of Hindustani Music.
- Pandit Sawai Gandharva well known classical vocalist who trained many singers like Gangubai Hangal, Bhimsen Joshi, and Basavaraj Rajguru.
- Gangubai Hangal, The Queen of Kirana Gharana was known for her deep and powerful voice. Gangubai represented the authentic Kirana Gharana tradition.
- Pandit Basavraj Rajguru was a leading Indian classical vocalist in the Kirana Gharana, Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi is known for the Khyal form of singing.
- Mallikarjun Mansur had expertise in the Khyal style in the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana (singing style).
Contribution of Dharwad in Literature Field
Dharwad has nurtured some of the best writers in Kannada, has many iconic places that bear an association with the Language and State’s Culture. Karnataka Vidyavardhaka Sangha also played a crucial role in bringing literary enthusiasts together.
Places such as Sadhanakeri in front of Varakavi D R Bendre’s house is that serene location from which the poet drew inspiration to write his poems.
Dharwad has the reputation of earning 3(out of 8) Jnanapeeta awards to Karnataka. Da Ra Bendre, V.K.Gokak, Girish Karnad had a close association with Dharwad.
- Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre popularly known as Da Ra Bendre is generally considered as one of the greatest Kannada lyric poets of the 20th century. Da Ra Bendre wrote with the pen name ‘Ambikatanayadatta’. Da Ra Bendre described Sadhanakeri as a place of inspiration for his poems praising the beauty of nature. He was honored with the Padma Shri award in 1968 and his collection of poems ‘Naaku Tanti’ earned him the Jnanapeeta Award.
- Vinayaka Krishna Gokak (VK Gokak) was a major writer in the Kannada language and a scholar of English and Kannada Literatures. His epic ‘Bharatha Sindhu Rashmi’ has earned him Jnanapeeta Award in 1990. He completed his education in Majid High School, Savanur, and attended the Karnataka College, Dharwad where he studied Literature.
- Girish Karnad was an Indian Actor, Film Director, and Kannada writer. He was awarded the Jnanapeeta award for his immense contributions to Kannada Literature and Theatre in 1998. Girish Karnad had earned a Bachelor of Arts(B.A) degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Karnatak Arts College, Dharwad (affiliated to Karnataka University).
Contribution of Dharwad in Fine Arts Field
- D V Halbhavi established Halbhavi School of Art, Dharwad which has the distinction of being Karnataka’s first school of Arts in the year 1935. The school, which was founded under the aegis of Dharwad Fine Art Society, has provided Art education to thousands of students during the last 76 years. The school also introduces students to complementary fields such as Theatre, Literature, and Music
- Kumareshwara Fine Arts College (1991) was founded by K.N. Neglurumatha at Haveri. V.R.Sutar started Gangambika Memorial Art School (1993) at Dharwad.
- Apart from this in 1966, Dandavathi Math in Dharwad opened an Arts School for mentally deranged children. Hubli’s Fine Arts Society and Dharwad’s Rainbow Kalavrindha were also running Art Schools. (Information Courtesy: Gazetteer, Karnataka Government)
Lalitha Kala Akademi Regional Centre
Recognizing the immense contribution of Dharwad towards the Music, Literature, and Arts field, Central Government has decided to set up Lalitha Kala Akademy Regional Centre in Hubballi-Dharwad.
Lalitha Kala Akademy at present has only one regional centre in South India and Hubballi-Dharwad’s LKA will be second in South India.
The Lalitha Kala Akademy will act as a catalyst for artists to get equal exposure as some of the bigger cities artists get and will make Art Field more vibrant in North Karnataka region.
As per plan, Lalitha Kala Akademi Regional Centre, Hubballi-Dharwad will have Art Galleries, Painting Studio, Sclupture Ceramic and Graphics Workshops and other facilities spread over two acres of land.