Education in Karnataka Through the Ages

Vocational Education
In ancient and medieval India, the caste determined a particular vocation. Each person of a particular caste followed his or her family profession known as kulada kasabu or kulavidya. Sculptors, painters, weavers goldsmiths, copper and brass smiths, gudigars (artisans), temple builders, physicians, purohits (priests), astrologers, one and all followed their hereditary professions. The young were exposed to these skills from their childhood and with intensive training became masters in their particular family-art or craft. Cave temples of Ajanta, Ellora, Badami, Bahubali statue of Shravanabelagola, and temples of Belur and Halebidu speak volumes of the superb knowledge these master- craftsmen received and exhibited. Similar is the case of skillful mastery of panchaloha (alloy of five metals) images visible in innumerable temples of south India. From sandalwood carving and ivory carving to Bidari work, from Ilkal saris to gold and silver filigree work on silk and brocades, Karnataka has made its name through centuries. One is wonderstruck that with no mechanical help or machines such masterpieces big and small could be shaped out of sheer manual skill.
In addition to the social milieu, it was with deep dedication and devotion to the God Almighty that these crafts and skills were practiced. They received very little in the form of remuneration in return. It was cash, kind or land after completion of assignment. But they were a contented lot. The meager returns did not come in the way of their attaining excellence. Most of these masters are anonymous but have left a legacy, which leaves generation after generation wondering at their extraordinary skills.

Education for crafts and commerce
Although divided into the four varnas (castes), the medieval society in Karnataka was not as rigid as described in the Dharmasastras. The shudras freely entered the army. This naturally led to their getting training in arms and warfare. Devala Smriti...