Department Functions

  • Excavation
  • Exploration
  • Numismatics
  • Conservation
  • PPP
  • Epigraphy
  • Publications
  • Museums
  • Registration of Antiquities
  • Heritage Walk, Heritage Club
  • Seminar
  • Exhibition
  • Workshop


Excavation is the exposure, processing and recording of archaeological remains. An excavation site or “dig” is a site being studied. Such a site excavation concerns itself with a specific archaeological site or a connected series of sites, and may be conducted over as little as several weeks to over a number of years.

The Karnataka Archaeology Department is a pioneer in the field of excavations. The excavations carried out by this Department in various megalithic. Neolithic, Pre-historical, medieval sites have yielded desired result.

Department conducted the excavations at Hallur, Heggadehalli, Komarnahalli, Tadakanahalli, T.Narasipura, Talakadu,  Hampi, Annigere, Sannathi, Kunthidibba partly. The reports of excavations have been published.

The site of Sannati in Chittapur taluka was discovered in 1965 and from surface explorations at this site a very rich collection of antiquities has been made including terracotta figurines, coins, stone sculptures and inscriptions. All these antiquities definitely prove the existence of Buddhism in this part of Karnataka. In the site itself there are monumental evidences such as the remains of Buddhist Stupas.

Foreign scholars are also allowed to undertake excavation/exploration under the guidance of the Department. Eg : Tungabhadra corridor,

The expert of this Department was one of the members of Central team sponsored by the Archaeological Survey of India who actively participated in the excavation carried out at Behrain in the Middle East during 1984-85. There, the discovery of Indus seal in the excavations is very remarkable.


Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information or resources

Kummatadurga in Koppal district was extensively surveyed with its forts and ruins. It threw more light on Kumararama who had a heroic death on the battle field.  It is not only a piece of great research work but strenuous one. 

The temples of Raichur & Bellary districts have been surveyed in detail and publication has been brought out.  


Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. The Department has in its credit a record number of Treasure Trove in the form of numismatic coins.


  • Old buildings of historical and architectural importance must be preserved in good condition, so that a strong sentiment or feeling of belonging for our history, and culture, is cherished as it is treasure of history, left by our rulers and builders should be preserved and conserved for future generations.
  • Conservation/reuse/recycling often also helps to save money and a resource, as it is cheaper to repair and reuse something than to demolish it and build totally new one. It helps us to save expensive resources in preserving the identity of the place, without altering its original features
  • Monuments are contemporary sources and living examples which speak about the architectural glory of the past in volumes and depict Indian Culture. Preservation of these monuments and heritage site is not only our responsibility but also our Yeoman Service to the mankind.   
  • Keeping in view this aspect a conservation wing was established in 1974 under the Department of Archaeology and Museums to facilitate the conservation of monuments. The conservationists who are very well trained have been in charge of the conservation work. The principles of conservation are strictly adhered to with a proper approach to the monuments in a comprehensive way such as structural repairs, chemical preservation and environmental protection.

Public Private Participation (PPP)

PPP concept along with Government (Public Private Participation) has been introduced for the purpose of conservation of monuments with an expenditure ratio.

Government  (40)          :        Private  (40)           :           Public  (20)

This venture has been in fact a great success. The Dharmastala Manjunatheshwara Dharmothana Trust is functioning as a strategic partner under the tutelage of Dharmadhikari Dr.Veerendra Hegde. It is being continued uninterruptedly.

Private Organizations are allowed to partake in this venture. Individuals who are interested in the conservation and preservation of monuments can do so by obtaining prior permission from Department. Of course the investment for this purpose has to be borne by them. NRIs can also contribute and participate.

The TVS Motor Company has taken keen interest in the conservation and preservation of monuments and successfully carried out the conservation of

  • Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple and Lakshmiramana Temple in the Mysore Palace complex were partially taken care of by them by installing Dwajasthambas.
  • The Mahabaleshwara Temple and Narayanswamy Temple atop Chamundeswari Temple
  • The Chamundeswari Temple Chariot House and Kysale at  Chamundeswari Hill, Mysore District.
  • Garbhagudi of Sri Chamundeswari Temple
  • The Gunjanarashimswamy temple at T.Narasipura in Mysore District was conserved with the financial assistance of the Dr.Varadaraja Iyengar to the tune of Rs.2.00 crore with their conservation experts and guidance imparted by this Department.
  • The Hampi foundation headed by the Jindal Company successfully carried out the conservation of Chandramouleshwara Temple at Anegundi in Gangavathi taluk, Koppal District. 
  • Sri Sowmyasomeshwara Temple at Hampi in Hospet Taluk, Bellary District.

Epigraphy :

Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions or epigraphs.  In Udagollam near Siraguppa of Bellary District two Asokan Rock edicts were discovered.    Almost all the inscriptions in the Hampi Region have been published along with the Bellary District


Before 1956, the erstwhile State of Mysore could boast of only a couple of Museums in the State. The reorganisation of States and the unification of Karnataka in 1956 added the Museum of Art and Archaeology of the Kannada Research Institute, Dharwar. Since then, a large number of museums, both Governmental and private, have come into existence. Today Karnataka can be proud of as many as 28 museums. The concept of museum has changed from that of a storehouse of curios to that of an institution, dedicated to educate the public.

The State is today conscious that a museum can make the public to realize visually what cannot be done otherwise. Therefore, the State is aiming at the establishment of museums in every district besides helping the existing museums, enrich and develop. For, such Museums are not only essential to save and store our art treasures and heritage, but bring rich art closer to people, to see and appreciate. In the following paragraphs an attempt is made to give an account of Museums in Karnataka, the nature of their collections and the service they are rendering to the community. Now to deal with the statistical part of the distribution of the museums, it may be stated that under the direction of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, there are 9 institutions, which have been classified as Museums. They include an art gallery. Under the Archaeological Survey of India, there are 4 museums and 3 sculpture sheds. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has 3 organizations, the chief of which is the Visveshwariah Industrial and Technological Museum with its headquarters in Bangalore. It is a matter of great pride to find that there are 3 University Museums and as many as 5 private museums.

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