Gazetteer Work in Karnataka
The genesis of the Gazetteer units at the Centre and in most of the states can be traced to the recommendations of the Expert Committee appointed by the Union Government in 1955. By that time, in a few states (like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu) Gazetteer units were already functioning for some years. Therefore, the various other State Governments also set up offices for preparation and publication of District Gazetteers at the instance of the union Government, and left it to the individual states to employ larger or smaller staff.
The Gazetteer unit in this State was started in the middle of the Second Plan Period in 1958 and the scheme has been continued till this date. The unit was earlier attached to the General Administration Department for purposes of administration. It is at present under the administrative control of the Department of Information, Tourism and Kannada & Culture. There is an Advisory Committee of distinguished men of letters with the Chief secretary as the Chairman.
The first re-oriented series started after the dawn of Independence and there was no hierarchy doing this work. Since it was a new venture of an extra ordinary character, the approach to this State was prudently cautious; drawing upon the examples of the units of neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. As such the department was set up to bring out independent district Gazetteers coupled with the revision of gazetteers. Each Gazetteer is similar to an encyclopaedia on various information of the districts considered to be most valuable, authentic and comprehensive publication depicting all aspects of history, culture, folklore, etc, of the region. After collecting various source materials the preparation of chapters covering people, history, sociology, economics, banking, trade and commerce, industries, education and medical services, other departments and places of interest ; giving highlights of the district based on Government Plan Programmes and policies. Therefore the publication of the Gazetteer constitutes an authenticated source for the use of Government departments, general public and for historical research.
Realizing the importance of Gazetteer publication, Government has also taken up along with Kannada, the English versions of Gazetteer publication for the purpose of popularizing its rich history and culture outside the state and country. The district Gazetteer volumes of Kodagu, Dharwad, Gulbarga, Bijapur Mandya, Kolar, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi have been brought out as revised editions in Kannada. Translated versions of Kodagu, Dhar wad, Gulbarga, Bijapur and Mandya district gazetteer volumes from Kannada to English have been brought out by the end of June of 2011.
1. Publication of revised editions of District Gazetteer volumes and State Gazetteer volumes both in Kannada and English.
2. Publication of revised edition of 'A Hand Book of Karnataka' both in Kannada and English.
3. Publication of Taluk Gazetteers of Karnataka State both in English and Kannada.
4. Special Publication like Tourism Gazetteer, A Journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar(reprint) in three volumes by Sir Francis Buchanan.
5. Scanning and reprinting of rare gazetteer volumes which are in demand.
- Karnataka Gazetteer Department was established during the year 1958.
- The department has brought out all the 20 district Gazetteers in English. The publication of the revised district Gazetteers is in progress.
- Karnataka is the first State in the country to publish the State Gazetteers in two parts in English (1982 & 1983) and three parts in Kannada (1984 to 1986).
- Decennial supplements to the Karnataka State volume were published in 1994 (English) and 1996 (Kannada).
A Handbook of Karnataka both in English and Kannada was published in 1996. The revised edition was published in 2001, 2005 and 2010 in English.
- From 1992 the department has started publishing district Gazetteers in Kannada. Kodagu, Dharwad, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Mandya, Kolar, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi(ready for release) district Gazetteers have so far been brought out till date.
- Translated versions of district Gazetteers (which were published since 1992). Kodagu ,Dharwad, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Mandya, and Dakshina Kannada(ready for release) have been brought out respectively.
- Under the Reprint scheme, the department has brought out Pre-independence gazetteers - Dharwad, Kanara, and Belgaum (James M. Campbell), South Canara(John Sturrock and Harold A. Stuart), Bellary(John Kelsall), Mysore and Coorg in three volumes(B.L.Rice)
- website address: http://karunadu.gov.in/gazetteer , http://www.karnic.in/gazetteer
- Get in touch us at email: kargaz@.nic.in, Karnatakagazetteer@gmail.com