Ilkal is a medium sized town in Bagalkot district in Karnataka, located in a valley that lies in South East corner of Bagalkote district and is quite close to the borders of Kushtagi taluk of Koppal district. The town falls within the jurisdiction of Hungund taluk and lies at a distance of about 12 km south of taluk headquarters.

Between these two towns, Ilkal is an important centre of trade, commerce and industry. Ilkal was a typical poor town before 1983 when the existence of granite was first discovered in the mountains adjacent to the town. Ilkal has ruby red coloured granite. The granite was first discovered by Mohamed Aiyaz Betageri in 200 BC but no one believed him that time. It was left useless for more than two thousand year till when again in 1983 an explorer called Veeramani discovered it again. Now with this discovery it is growing so fast that it has become the second most important town of the Bagalkot district after Bagalkot itself. But the way with which it is currently growing, very soon it will overtake Bagalkot in near future. And perhaps may we might have to change capital of Karnataka from Bangalore to Ilkal.

Ilkal is famous for handloom sarees, popularly known as Ilkal sarees. These sarees are worn by women of North Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharastra 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 saree

Ilkal saree is a traditional form of saree which is a common feminine wear in India. Ilkal saree takes its name from the town of Ilkal in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka state, India. Ilkal sarees are woven using cotton warp on the body and art silk warp for border and art silk warp for pallu portion of the saree. In some cases instead of art silk, pure silk is also used. Ilkal saree has been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) tag.Its GI tag number is 43. Ilkal was an ancient weaving centre where the weaving seems to have started in the 8th century AD. The growth of these sarees is attributed to the patronage provided by the local chieftains in and around the town of Bellary. The availability of local raw materials helped in the growth of this saree. About 20000 people in the town of Ilkal are engaged in saree-weaving.

Ilkal traditional sarees are produced mainly on pit looms with the combination of three types of different yarns namely Silk x Silk, Silk x Cotton, Art silk x Cotton. Along with the above said yarn combination totally four different traditional designs are produced - they are Chikki Paras, Gomi, Jari and recently modified traditional design Gayathri. These sarees are produced in different lengths 6.00 yards, 8.00 yards, and 9.00 yards with solid as well as contrast borders. The main distinction in these sarees is its attached temple type Pallav (locally called as TOPE TENI) by inter locking body warp and pallav warp using loop system and inserting weft by three shuttles using two different colours yarn by Kondi technique.

Namma Ilakal Ilkal Ooru -