Stone art is very ancient and via this, the worshipping of physical manifestation of the invisible mythological figures is continued. Hence stone art, sculpture and architecture are continued with a great passion. The art of stone carving is done professionally in fewer places. Karkala is one of them.
Karkala is a little town in the south of Karnataka located in the Udupi district. The name is derived from the name Kari-Kal which refers to Black Stone in “Tulu” (local language/ dialect in Karkala). The town is situated on top of a granite bed which is about 300-500 ft above sea level. Granite is locally referred to with another traditional name- ‘Krishnashila’ (Black Stone). Stone engraving is a local architecture found in this place.
The place Karkala has a huge belt of granite stone giving an opportunity to many highly talented stone artisans. As black granite is abundant in this area it is widely used in the stone. The artisans who belong to Acharya (a caste referred in locally) community are involved in engraving beautiful images and bringing life to stones. Breathe taking stone art and architecture of Karkala are inspired by the Hoysala (A dynasty of Historical Karnataka) style of sculpture. This art is generation based and shall continue. The artisans also engrave granite pillars which have symbolic meaning-mainly used in temple construction.