The Dollu Kunita is the drum dance of Karnataka. It is also danced by only men and is quite a vigorous dance having elements of acrobatics. This dance is performed by the Kuraba (shepherd) community living in the districts of Chitradurga, Shimoga and Bellary, A legend is associated with the dance. The legend in short is as follows : Shiva, the Lord of Kailas mountain, pleased with the tapasya of a demon devotee, granted him the wish of having the Lord inside his body. When Lord Shiva entered into the body of the demon, the Kailas becomes gloomy and unworthy of living. Lord Vishnu was approached to find a solution for the problem. With divine powers Vishnu severed the body of the demon and brought out Lord Shiva who did not like it at all. To pacify Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu made a drum out of the torso of the demon. That drum is Dollu. Lord Vishnu took the drum and started dancing while playing it. That was the first Dollu Kunita that pacified Lord Shiva. From that day to please Lord Shiva the dance is performed by the Kuraba community.
In many parts of the country drums with two faces, which are slung from the neck for playing are called either Dhol or Dholak. Generally Dhol is barrel shaped. Dollu is cylindrical and shorter in length. The body is made of Pine wood. While the left face of the drum is of goat skin, the right is of sheep skin. The dancers play the drums loudly and dance vigorously. While dancing the drummers-cum-dancers make a pyramidal formation of three or four tiers by getting up on the shoulders of other dancers. The drumming of the dancers is complemented by indigenous trumpets, flute and cymbals.