Ramanuja, founder of the Vishishtadvaita philosophy found sanctuary in Karnataka at a time when the Hoysala empire, ruled by Vishnuvardhana, were at their zenith. Adi Shankaracharya, founder of the Advaita philosophy chose Sringeri as the site for the first Matha. Madhvacharya, founder of the Tatva-vada philosophy, was the son of Karnataka. As such,south Indian Brahmins belong to any one of three specific sects (schools of philosophy), being:
*the Smartha sect - adherents of the Advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Shankaracharya.
*the Vishishtadvaita (Srivaishnava sect - adherents of the Vishishtadvaita philosophy propounded by Ramanuja.
Each of these sects encompasses several sub-castes of Brahmins. These include:
*Shivalli Smarta Brahmins from coastal Karnataka
*Halenadu Karnataka Brahmin also known as Mooguru (Muguru) Karnataka Brahmins
*Yajurveda Madhva Brahmins
*Deshastha Brahmin Deshastha Brahmins
*Gopala Krishna Adiga - Famous Writer and pioneer of navya sahitya in Kannada
*Bhimsen Joshi - Hindustani classical singer
* C. Aswath - Popular Light Music Singer.
* Shimoga Subbanna - Popular Light Music Singer.
* Raju Ananthaswamy - Popular Light Music Singer.
* Archana Udupa - Popular Light Music Singer.
* Ghatam Udupa - Internationally renowned Ghatam artist.
* Vijay Prakash - Popular Bollywood singer
* Raghu Dixit - Famous singer of contemporary and rock style
* Bellary M Raghavendra - Carnatic classical singer and brother of singer Vani Sateesh
*Ramakrishna Hegde (Former chief minister of Karnataka)
* Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri (Ex Primary and Secondary Education Minister of Govt of Karnataka)
*Tagaduru Ramachandra Rao (Veteran freedom fighter, known as Mysore Gandhi and first freedom fighter political prisoner of Mysore State)
*Shakuntala Devi (Human computer fame)
*Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Yoga teacher)