Karnataka has a long history of prosperous agricultural communities and powerful dynasties, the most famous being the Hoysalas and Vijayanagar rulers.
The Hoysala dynasty (1000-1346) has left a legacy of ornate temples with exquisite sculptures, as at Halebidu, Belur and Somnathpur.
The power and prosperity of the Vijayanagar Dynasty (1336—1565) is reflected in the grandeur of the ruins of Hampi.
The Vijayanagar rulers had to give way to the Bahamani dynasty, and Muslim rulers took over northern Karnataka.
In the south, the Wadiyers of Mysore, who were Hindu kings, became important. However, they were replaced by a general Hyder Ali, and then his son Tipu Sultan. Finally, half his kingdom was annexed by the British.
The state of Karnataka came into being in 1956, with Bengaluru as its capital.