Ilkal is famous for handloom sarees, popularly known as Ilkal sarees. These sarees are worn by women of North Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra state. The sarees made here have a distinctive pattern and are usually made from cotton. They are best suited for weather conditions prevailing in the region. Recently sarees made in Ilkal are worn by high society ladies as a fashion statement. There are many wide variety of sarees are made here with variable cotton and silk ratios. Ilkal is also famous for its red granite stone, which is exported all over the world.
Ilkal is located at 15.97°N 76.13°E / 15.97; 76.13. It has an average elevation of 585 m. Ilkal is famous for pink granite(ruby red), it is exported all over the world. The town is surrounded by the levelled surface and small hills in certain directions which has an abundant resource of the granite stones. The majority of the soil found here is the rich, fertile Black soil with a semi-arid region type.
As of 2001 India census, Ilkal had a population of 51,956. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Ilkal has an average literacy rate of 62%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 72%, and female literacy is 52%. In Ilkal, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age. Most of the people in the place carry put the occupation of weaving Ilkal sarees, known for its traditional and cultural value. The people of this occupation are mostly the Devangas and other OBC sectors. The caste diversity mostly includes that of the sects like Lingayats, Marvadis and Devangas among Hindus. Muslims and Jains also constitute a major part and the Christians a minor part of the population.
Jurisdiction: Ilkal Taluk Constituency: Ilkal Present MLA: Vijayanand S Kashappanavar Type of Local Government: City Municipal Corporation, ( Nagara Sabhe ).
Shri Vijay Mahantesh—A saint (ajja), who followed the foot prints of lord BASAVA and showed the way of living life with peace and harmony. It is believed that, he never disappoints his devotees. A temple (math or gaduge) is built in his name, by the devotees. Every year in the month of September (Shravan masa—Hindu calendar), i.e. last Monday of that month a fair is held, where a chariot decorated with flowers is being pulled by the devotees or followers of the math. A possession will be held in the evening in which a well decorated palanquin is taken around the town.
Ilkal has had 2 Famous saints, 1 from Hinduism, and 1 from Islam.Hindu Saint—Shri Vijay Mahantesh—Shri Vijay Mahantesh Math.
Islam Saint—Murtuza Shah Quadri. -- Murtuza Shah Quadri Dargah.
The people from Ilkal are very industrious and are backed by good background of business. The main source of income is the granite business and weaving is a widespread occupation. The agricultural land is not arable, and it faces the threat of pollution because of the granite activities involved and water shortage. Hence, the agriculture provides a very little employment opportunity to the locals. Jowar, Sunflower are the major crops grown here, and the agriculture is rain dependent.
As stated above, Ilkal is also famous for Ilkal sarees, which are a specific designed border. These will be dazzlingly authentic, to wear in any functions. The Ilkal pure silk saree costs anywhere between Rs.4000 and 12000, whereas an Ilkal chamka (alternate thread of cotton and silk) saree costs somewhere between 600 and 2000. Most of the handloom weaving culture is replaced by the powerloom weaving styles and the industry is gradually dwindling because of competitions, lack of creative skills and innovations and lack of support. The main competitor for the industry is Gajendagad.
The granite brings in a lot of revenue and the business is well established. The quarries and mines nearby are excavated for the raw stone, processed and polished and marketed. It is an important export commodity from the place and the town has welcomed an immense urbanization from the states as far as Rajasthan and Orissa. The nearby villages like Hoolageri and other have widely benefited and affluenced and it is main employment for the people of the regions. The important products are Ruby Red, Ilkal Chocolate.
Ilkal is also known for the Shri Vijay Mahantesh Vidya Vardhak Sangha institute (S.V.M.), which supports the following four colleges:
1. S.V.M. Arts Science and Commerce College.
a. PUC I and II year, Arts Science and Commerce. affiliated to Karnataka Secondary Education Board.
b. Bachelors degree such as BA ( History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology etc), BSc ( Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Electronics, Computer Science etc) and B.Com. affiliated to Karnatak University, Dharwad
2. S.R.Kanthi College of Education offers two year B.Ed course established in the year 1986 and affiliated to Rani Chennamma University Belgavi. 2. S.V.M. Ayurvedic College.
offering a 4.5 year Degree in Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi Medical University, Bangalore.
3. S.V.M. Institute of Management Studies.
Offers a 2 year Full Time MBA program in Finance/Marketing/HR/Systems, affiliated to Karnatak University, Dharwad.
4. Other courses that S.V.M. offers
Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Chemistry.
Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Application.
Bachelor of Business Administration.
5. Margadarshan PolyTechnical College
Shri Charantimath PolyTechnical College
Offers Diploma in Engineering Studies for various courses
6. S.V.M English and Kannada Medium School
A.C.O English and Kannada Medium School
Offers complete education from Nursery to SSLC both in English and Kannada as the medium of languages.
7. Other schools and colleges offering education are:
Guru Mahantesh School, Makkala Mane School - Primary Kannada Medium
Basava Public School - CBSE Model School
S R Kanthi Girls High School
Poornapragnya Model School - CBSE Primary School
8. JECEE High School Ilkal 9. Maheshwari Education Academy