Wood carving in Karnataka began in Gulbarga during the period of the Nayakas. Craftsmen skilled in doing intricate carving in different kinds of wood were brought to work in the palaces of the Nayakas. These craftsmen had an eclectic style as they were skilled in incorporating regional forms and methods.
The process of wood carving begins with making a sketch on the wood and outlining the basic shape with a chisel. While rough cutting is done with flat chisels, carving tools are used for the fine carving. A smooth finish is given by filing and sandpapering the surface. Wood like shivani, neem and teak is used for making carved doors and pillars, deities and wall panels depicting mythological scenes. The craftsmen derive inspiration from Hoysalan, Chalukyan and Rastrakutan styles. A recent innovation is the use of metal images in the wood carving, especially for the main deity.