Tourism in Karnataka

Historical Places in Karnataka Archeology in Karnataka Dams in Karnataka Districts of Karnataka
Beaches in Karnataka Hill Station in Karnataka Islands of Karnataka Waterfalls in Karnataka
Birds Sanctuaries in Karnataka National Parks in Karnataka Wildlife Sanctuary of Karnataka Rivers in Karnataka
Holiday Resorts Fairs in Karnataka Festivals in Karnataka Temples in Karnataka

Tourism in Karnataka

Adichunchanagiri in Mandya dt, 21 km. from Nagamangala and 66 km
from Mandya is a noted centre of Bhairava worship on a hill. It was formerly a
Natha Pantha centre and is now a seat of the Swamy of the Vokkaliga
community. The Gangadhareshwara Temple of the place attracts piligrims in thousands during its annual Jatra. The place has a Peacock Sanctuary too.
The Matha provides accomodation in its guest house to visitors. The place can be reached by bus too.

Aihole is a great centre of Badami Chalukyan art. The temples numbering
over 100 of different styles were raised from the 6th to the 12th century and
many experiments in temple construction were carried out, making Percy Brown
to call it “one of the cradles of temple architecture.” It is 510 km. from Bangalore,
24 km. from Hungund and can be reached from Bagalkote. It has a Jaina and

a Vedic rock-cut shrine, both of about 6th Century A.D., the former having
fine Tirthankara images in the round and the latter Nataraja dancing, Matrikas
surrounding him, in life size but in relief. The place has the Durga Temple
which is apsidal and the Ladkhan which is square in plan. Other important
temples are Huchimalligudi, Gaudaragudi and Chakragudi, all in a variety of
designs. The Meguti on a hill is a Jaina basti which has the famous Aihole
inscription of Pulikeshin II and also a Buddhist two-storied rock-cut shrine
below it. The temples here are full of plastic art, and to a student of temple

architecture a visit to Aihole is a must. Siddanakolla near it has a beautiful
Lajj’agowri sculpture in a rare sitting posture near a small pond, besides the
Siddesvara Temple of Badami Chalukya period.

Amritapura in Tarikere taluk Chikmagalur dt. 247 km. away from Bangalore
is known by its Amriteshwara temple (Hoysala) built by Amrita Dandanayaka
during the 12th century. It has a star shaped ground plan, and like many
other Hoysala temples, is full of plastic art, and is one of the finest in the style.
The earliest inscription found in the temple is of 1197 and the temple has a
wonderful life-size image of seated Saraswathi.

Anegundi is to the North of Hampi across the Tungabhadra and is to be
reached by crossing the river with basket boats from Talawar gatta (Humpi) or
by road from Ganagavati. It has the famous Huchappayan Matha, now in ruins
with fine Chalukyan glazing pillars and worn out paintings on its ceiling. The
ruined palace of the last rulers, Aravidu dynasty, is seen here and their
descendants also stay at Anegundi. There is Navavrindavanas or the Samadhis
of nine Madhwa Saints in an island Kuregadde of the Tungabhadra. There is
the cave shrine of Sheshashayi, the Ranganatha temple, Gagan mahal, an
interesting Indo-Saracenic structure and a Jaina basti which has a wonderful
decorative Chalukyan door frame.

Annigeri in Dharwad district, 30 km. from Hubli on the Hubli-Gadag line
has the famous Amriteshwara temple of Kalyana Chalukya period. It was the
headquarters of the once famous rich province of Belvola-300. It was the last
capital of Chalukya Someshwara IV (1184-89). It is the birth place of great
Kannada Poet Pampa and has a Jain basadi of Parshwanatha. A partially ruined

Banashankari Temple and seven mosques are seen at the place, in addition to
two Veerashaiva Mathas. Near the railway station is an ancient Veerabhadra
temple with some astounding erotic figures.

Aralaguppe is a place in Tumkur dt., six km. from Banasandra railway
station where there is a famous Kalleshwara temple in the Ganga-Nolamba
style of the 9th century A.D. Its ceiling has wonderful dancing Shiva sculpture
with musical accompanists and eight Dikpalas surrounding him with all their
paraphernalia. There is a Chennakeshava temple of the Hoysala style. The
image of Vishnu in the garbhagriha is magnificent. There are four Ganga temples
at the place. Arasikere, a commercial town and a railway junction in Hassan district,
famous for its coconut gardens and is 41 km. from Hassan and 176 km. from
Bangalore. The Kattameshwara temple here, is also called Chandramoulishwara
372 A Handbook of Karnataka
and referred to as Kalmeshwara in a record of 1220 A.D. It is a fine Hoysala
monument with a rare polygonal frontal mantapa with special design. There is
a fine Haluvokkalu Temple. There is also Sahasrakuta Jinalaya built in 1220
in the Hoysala style by Racharasa, a minister of Ballala II. Malekal Tirupathi
near Arasikere has a Venkataramana temple visited by many devotees.

Avani in Kolar dt. is 13 km. from Mulabagal, and the place has a Shankara
Matha and a wonderful complex of temples of the Nolambas who were ruling
from Henjeru or Hemavati in the Madakshira taluk in Andhra Pradesh during
the A.D. 9th and 10th Centuries. An early record calls it as the ‘Gaya of the
South’. According to a legend, sage Valmiki had his Ashrama here, and Sita
gave birth to the twins at the same spot. There are Rameshwara,
Lakshmaneshwara, Bharateshwara, Shatrughneswara and also Sita and
Subrahmanya temples. The Lakshmaneshwara, here is full of plastic art and

the most ornate. On the hill here Agni Tirtha, a pond, and the Ekantha
Ramaswamy Temple are also seen.

Bagalkote now the head quarters of the newly formed dt. likely to be
submerged due to Almatti dam, has been planned to shift to a near by place
called Navanagara, is famous from early times and was the capital of Bagadage
– 70 under the Later Chalukyas, later ruled by the Adilshahis and the Marathas.
Now it is famous for its Cement Production.

Badami the ancient capital of the Early Chalukyas is 500 km. from Bangalore
and 113 km. from Bijapur, was also known as ‘Vatapi’ and ‘Badavi’. Its fort
was raised by Chalukya Pulakeshin I in 543. He made it his capital and it
lasted till 753 A.D. The place is known for its wonderful rock-cut shrines of
Vedic tradition. The fort was renovated by Hyder, and Tipu-built a fine mosque
here. The first rock-cut shrine has 18 armed unique Nataraja, at the outset
engaged in Tandava dancing, a remarkable figure. On the ceiling of one of the
caves is Nagaraja and Vidhyadhara couple. Figures of funny Kubjas or dwarfs
are seen in variety of poses. There are more than life-size Bhuvaraha and
Trivikram figures in the II cave. The third cave is the most important and it is
called the Vaishnava cave caused to be wrought in 578 A.D. by Mangalesha
and here are figures of Paravasudeva seated on coiled serpent, Bhoovaraha,
Narasimha and Harihara, all engraved in vigourous style, and are taller than

life-size figures. There are also bracket figures with secular scenes on the
pillars in the rock-cut shrines. The cave at the top is a Jaina, full of figures of
Thirthankaras, Yakshas and Yakshis. The Gommata figure here has long locks.
The ‘Upper Shivalaya’ on the rocky fort on the other bank of Agasthya pond
has been identified as an earlier Vaishnava Temple, ‘ Malegitti Shivalaya’ as of
Surya and Lower Shivalaya as of Ganapathi. The Jambhulinga Shrine housing
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is another important monument of the place. Queen
Vinayavathi built it in 699 A.D. Badami rock-cut shrines are engraved in hard
red sand-stone and the figures here are of unrivalled beauty. Banashankari
Karnataka, The Tourist Paradise 373
near by, has the Banasankari temple, a big pond encircled by open pillared
mantapas and an old temple of Rashtrakuta times. Annual Jatra gather on
Banada Hunnime in the month of January.

Bagali, situated at a distance of nine km. from Harapanahalli, on the
Hadagali Road in Davanagere dt. was known as ‘Baguli’. Here is a complex of
temples called Kalleswara which is mentioned in an inscription of 1013. There
are twin temples of Later Chaklukyan times with attractive intricate plastic art
of erotic sculptures on their outer walls and 59 shining polished pillars inside
the temple and its Kapotas’ have most peculiar erotic figures. The A.S.I. has
maintained a sculpture shed near this magnificent Chalukya monument.

Banavasi in Uttara Kannada District was the traditional capital of the
Kadambas is found mentioned as Vanavasi, Vyjayanthi, Banousi in several
inscriptions. It is a very ancient place, as Ashoka is said to have sent his
Buddhist missionaries to ‘Vanavasa’ and a family called Chutus the feudatory
line of the Satavahanas was ruling from here. The place is on the bank of the
Varada river and its laterite fort is surrounded by the river on its three sides.
Recent excavations at Banavasi have brought to light some Buddhist brick
monuments. Chutu prince Nagashri built a Buddhist Vihara, a tank and
installed a Naga image at the place according to a Prakrit record of the place.
The striking monument at Banavasi, the Madhukeshvara temple has been
renovated and expanded by Kalyana Chalukyas, Vijayanagara and the Sode
rulers. The Kadamba Nagara (stepped pyramidical) shikhara is seen on the
garbhagriha of this temple. Around this main temple are shrines of Vithoba,
Ardha Ganapathi, Rama etc., and to its left is Parvati Shrine and to the right,
Narasimha temple of Vijayanagara times. The temple has an intricately carved
monolithic cot with highly artistic designs. Records here indicate that Buddhism
and Jainism were popular at this place. Not far away from Banavasi is Gudnapur
with a massive tank and a Jain temple now housing Veerabhadra. There must
have been a Manmatha temple at the place as indicated by the recently
discovered Gudnapur inscription of Kadamba Ravi Varma.

Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka from 1956 and it took the status of a
capital in modern times from 1831 when the British Commissioners took over
the administration of Mysore State from the Mysore Prince. The place name is
found mentioned in a 9th century record of Begur as ‘Benguluru’ ‘Bengu’
meaning a Shrub colloquially called Rakta Honne (Benga trees) . Kempegowda
II gave the same name to the new town. He founded i.e., at the present Mega
City. Earlier, it was the headquarters of the Yelahanka Nadaprabhus who ruled
under Vijayanagara Empire and built the new town with the fort. Kempegowda
II is believed to have raised the fort in 1537 as per the orders of Emperor
Achutharaya of Vijayanagara. The old Gavipura natural cave shrine of
Gangadhara built during the Ganga period came to be expanded during the
Vijayanagara period and the monolithic Basava in Basavanagudi was got
374 A Handbook of Karnataka
engraved by this family. The family also built the most beautiful Someshwara
Temple at Ulsoor. The dynasty also created many tanks which include the
Ulsoor tank, Dharmambudhi tank (present Bus Stand), Chennamba tank (now
called Chennamma tank) near BSK II stage and Kempambudhi tank. In 1637
Bijapur Army conquered Bangalore and granted it as Jagir to Shahji, Shivaji’s
father. Shahji and his son Ekoji had Bangalore under their control till 1687
when it was conquered by the Mughul army and the city was given on lease to
Chikkadevaraya of Mysore. He built the Venkataramana temple and a new fort
beside the existing old fort. Bangalore which had grown as an industrial and
commercial centre under the Kempegowda family and the Marathas, was further
developed by Chikkadevaraya as he invited weavers from Baramahal

(Tamilnadu) area to come and settle down in Bangalore. Later Bangalore was
granted as Jahgir to Haider and when he usurped power from the Wodeyars,
he strengthened the new fort by using granite blocks.
He built a palace near the Venkataramana temple and started Lalbagh, the
famous Botanical Garden of Bangalore. Later a beautiful Glass House was
built in 1889 due to the efforts of the overnment modeled on the Crystal
Palace of England. This imposing structure has been renovated with attractive
imported coloured glasses. Bangalore was captured by the British in 1791
under the leadership of Lord Cornwallis and it was returned to Tipu after he
signed a treaty with them. He dismantled the existing fort as it was found to be
more useful to his enemies than to himself. Under Haider, Bangalore grew as
a prosperous commercial city also catering to the needs of luxury of the
Srirangapattana court. But under Tipu, its trade declined. The British who
defeated Tipu in 1799 handed it over to the Mysore Hindu Prince. Diwan
Purnaiah rebuilt the demolished fort. The British stationed their troops in
1809 at Ulsoor and a twin town, Bangalore Cantonment emerged helping
introduction of European way of life and modern ideas to the old Bangalore
town which became the capital in 1831. The Atharakacheri, High Court, Central
College, and Museum buildings were raised in the European Renaissance style
and English education was introduced into Bangalore.Many churches in
European Renaissance style were built in Bangalore during this period. Modern
Textile mills like Binny Mill were started in the city. The city came to have a
municipality in 1862 and the Cantonment area also had a separate Municipality
called Civil and Military Station. The two came to be merged in 1949 to form

the Bangalore City Corporation. After Independence, many Central Government
Industries were started in the city. There are ancient temples at Begur, Madiwala
(Tavarekere), Kadugodi, Hesaraghatta and Dommalur. Other temples like Gavi
Gangadhara in a natural cave, Basavanagudi with monotithic Nandi,
Rangaswamy temple built around 1600 in the Rangaswamy Temple street, the
Someshwara temple at Ulsoor and Kadumalleswara temple in Malleshwaram
which had received a grant from Ekoji, are some of the interesting monuments.
In addition, a large number of new temples have come up.

Temple of the Tigala community celebrates the famous Karaga festival on the full moon day of Chaitra. Satya sai Baba Ashram otherwise called ‘Brindavan’
started its activities about more than 2 decades at Kadugodi. Besides havbing
a huge Prarthana Mandir, the Ashram runs several educational institutions.
Its Bangalore Branch of the High Tech Mega Hospital has been widely
appreciated for its dedicated services and utmost cleanliness. Omkar Hills,
situated on the outskirts of Bangalore near Kenchenahally is an important
religious centre with serene natural settings, where a huge Banyan tree crowns
a circular hillock. Alround the sumit of this hillock a series of mantapa
symbolizing the religious insignia of all the major religions Hinduism, Jainism,
Buddhism, Christianity and Islam have been built with brick and cement in
respective traditional styles of architecture. The Omkar Ashram has also
takenup the stupendous task of building the 12 Jyotirlinga temples being a
miniature representation of respective architectural styles of India. Every year
devotees throng this spot especially during the swamiji’s birthday. A huge
Electronic clock designed by HMT having a temple gong and Shanka for the
hourly time beatings are embedded, which gives a pious and pleasant sound
to a distance of nearly 1.5km radius. Being just 13 km. from the city this is an
important religious place for peace aspiring tourists and devotees. The Art of
Living Centre Ashram has recently been built by Saint Ravishankar on the
Kanakapura Road near the city. Special Bhajans and Art of Living courses are

organized on weekly basis. Of late it is attracting tourists from India and also
abroad. A huge Rajarajeshwari temple built in Dravidian style at Kenchenahalli
on the Mysore Road and the Meenakshi Temple on the Bannerghatta road
have been raised more than a decade ago are attracting a large number of
devotees Amrita Anandamayi Ashram has also started its branch in the city

and has been attracting thousands of devotees regularly.

ISKCON now situated atop a small hillock arranged in a row of rising
shikaras overlooking the hillock is an attractive spectacle. It spreads in an
area of seven acres on the West of chord Road in Rajajinagar is an hitech
temple complex and is regarded as an important tourist destination of this
garden city. The temple complex has been architecturally designed in such a
way that it is visible as a glowing hillock during night and can be described as
a visual bounty. How this huge temple complex came to be created makes an
interesting episode. About 25 years ago ISKCON was founded (1978) in a
rented building (Rs.2000 PM) and made a humble beginning. Later on with the
efforts of the organisers it gained prominence and today it is one among the
most celebrated 108 ISKCON branches functioning all over the world. Its
natural elevation of the land area has been fully exploited and an attractive
but, complicated architectural designing has been accomplished with utmost
cleanliness and perfection. There are five typical Dravidian shikharas built at
three stages with a tall attractive rayagopura at the main entrance. The central
garbhagriha has been designed on the Egyptian Pyramidical Model with three

cells in a row comprising the images of Sri Nitay Gowrang in the first cell to the
left Sri Radhakrishna Chandra in the central cell and Krishna-Balarama in the
cell to the right. There are short but, attractive Dravidian styled shikharas
above all the three cells. There is a spacious/pentagonal central hall in front
of the three garbhagrihas with a hallow domical ceiling decorated with delicate
stained glasses intercepted by brass partitions. The pentagonal roof drops have
excellent Mysore traditional glass paintings depicting Krishna’s life history.
The artistic designing of this pentagonal hall has been a beautiful creation
with aesthetic outlook has been largely appreciated.
Besides these there are small shrines dedicated to Sri Venkatesha and Sri
Narasimha with separate short Dravidian styled shikhars. Facing the main
temple is a 56 ft. tall dwajasthambha covered with gold plated decorated brass
sheets. Special pujas are offered thrice daily one at sunrise, at noon and in
the evening. Annually special pujas are performed during Gokula Ashthami
(Lord Krishna’s birthday), Nandotsava and Vaikuntha Ekadashi. Daily delicious
prasadam prepared with utmost hygienic method are offered to the devotees
visiting the temple. Another impressve programme of this organisation is the
‘Akshaya Patra’ yojana initiated mainly to cater the needs of less privileged
children studying in government schools in the rural areas. Recently, the
same scheme is being extended in and around the city of Hubli. Being very
much inside the Mega city The ISKCON temple offers a beautiful, serene and

calm atmosphere for the visiting devotees. ISKCON also conducts elocution
competitions on the Krishna’s lifetime episodes and also on other Vaishnava
philosophy. It conducts also several cultural activities all through the year.

Bhakti Vedantha, a monthly magazine dedicated to spread the gospel of
Vaishnava philosophy and also the spiritual ideologies of ISKCON is being
published regularly. Vishwa Shanti dhama, Lord Shiva (near Air Port) etc., are
the new additions to the long list of temples in Bangalore.
The Muslims have the Taramandal Sangeen Jamia Masjid built by a Mughal
Officer in around 1687. The Ibrahim Shah Shahib’s Mosque at Kumbarpet
was raised in 1761, the Jamia Mosque at the City market is the creation of the
1940s and it is a vast modern building, equally impressive, built by using
white marble. There is a dargha of Mastansab Wali at Cottonpet which is highly
respected by Hindus as well as Muslims.
The oldest Church in Bangalore is St. Mary’s Basilica in Shivajinagar
supposed to have been originally built in around 16th Century, but took the
existing shape in 1832. There is the Trinity Church of the Anglicans on the
M.G. Road and St. Marks Cathedral on the same road. St. Patrick church was
originally for Irish Catholic soldiers and St. Andrew’s, on the Cubbon Road for
the Scottish soldiers. The Catholic Cathedral is St. Xaver’s, a large granite
building. The London Mission raised the Hudson Memorial Church. There are
many Jain Basadis of which the one in Gandhinagar and Jayanagar notable
though modern. The Sikhs have their Gurudwara at Ulsoor, and Parsis have

Their fire temple. Bangalore has beautiful gardens like Lalbagh and the Cubbon Park, which are the pride of the city. One of the fine large modern buildings
raised by using granite is Vidhana Soudha built in traditional Dravidian style.
Of late the government has constructed Vikasa Soudha beside Vidhana Soudha
immitating the same traditional Dravidian style of Vidhana Soudha is nearing
completion. Tipu’s palace is a wooden structure and Bangalore Palace is
modelled on the Windsor Palace of Britain. Bangalore has the Govt. Museum,
Sir M. Visveswaraya Industrial Museum and the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetorium.
Bangalore is well connected by roads, railways and airways and has pleasant
weather, attracting tourists from far and near. Bangalore being a celebrated
education and advanced technical as well as higher research facilities boasts
of the ——— has Bangalore University, Indira Gandhi National Centre for
Arts (South Zone) (IGNCA) started recently, Agricultural University, the Indian
Institute of Science, Institute for Astrophysics, Indian Statistical Institute,
Institute for Social and Economic change (ISEC), National Law School, Regional
Institute of English, National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL), Indian Institute
of Information Technology (IIIT) and many others. Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) and Institute of Management and all modern amenities

for education. It has industries producing tractors, railway coaches, aeroplanes,
etc. and finer things like silk sarees and sandal wood images. It is called the
electronic and Silicon City of India, for its unparallel progress in the field of
computer science and Information Technology.
International Technological Park: The 28 hectares International Tech Park,
Bangalore is located in Whitefield – 12 kms from Bangalore Airport and 18
kms from the city centre. It currently comprises of four buildings – ‘Discoverer’,
‘Innovator’, ‘Creator’ and ‘Explorer’ totaling close to 1.6 million sq.ft. of office,

production, commercial and retail space. All these buildings are centrally airconditioned,
set in attractively landscaped surroundings, the buildings have a
very a modern facade with granite cladding for the lower three floors and
glittering glass and aluminium paneling for the floors above. The four buildings
are connected at the lower ground floor level which houses the Tech Park Mall.
The Mall comprises of various amenties, services and recreational centre
complementing the ‘work, live play’ environment. Office space modules are
customed to the tenants requirements and a number of configurations are

possible. Office units are available for lease or purchase. Apart from the
world class services and amenities, the buildings are provided with reliable
power by a Dedicated power plant, water supply, communications network
with five leading service providers located in the park and other necessities.
The ITPL is built on the plug-and-play concept, providings tenants with all
necessary amenities, ample car parking, a state-of-theart Building Management
System and more, making business a pleasure. Adding to these benefits is the
fact that the International Tech Park ahs become a landmark in the IT scenario,
and a perfect address for any business in IT or IT – enabled services. It has a
Residential Tower of 51 apartments, infrastructure and other facilities. The
Residential Tower is ideal for those who wish to live close to their offices.
There’s a separate parking lot with space allotted for each apartment as well
as a children’s playground. The residents enjoy complete benefits of the Tech

Park Mall which provides business convenience to the tenants like banking,
shopping, restaurants and travel reservations and Health Club. The Residential
Tower is a safe place to live in with round-the-clock security and other safety
features. The IT Corridor of Bangalore runs between Electronic City till Old
Madras Road which possesses hundreds of Software as well as Hardware
companies, a real tourist spot frequented regularly by people across the Globe.

Bankapura in Haveri district about 80 km. away from Dharwad is in
Savanur taluk The town was built by Bankeya, a commander of Amoghavarsha
Nripatunga (9th century) and later under the Chalukya many beautiful temples
were raised in the city including the wonderful Nagareshwara temple in the
fort. There is another Chalukya temple in the town called Siddeshwara. When
the place was conquered by Ali Adilshah in about 1567, his records claim to
have destroyed many temples and the Nagareshwara inspite of the damage it
has suffered is a magnificent monument. There is a beautiful mosque in the
fort. Pancharabhavi, a swimming pool like structure in the town has an attractive
queer design. Bankapur has the Kilari Cow Breeding Centre and a rabbit
breeding centre with its office inside the fort. The Bijapur commanders, who
had this place as their headquarters, later shifted to Savanur, and were famous
as Savanur Nawabs.

Basava Kalyana, the taluk headquarters in Bidar Dt, is 80 km. away from
Bidar. It was the capital of the Later Chalukyas, It has an old fort renovated by
the Bahamanis and inside it is an rchaeological Museum. Not much ancient
remains of the Chalukyan or the Kalachuri times remain here except the
dilapidated Narayanapur temple of the Chalukyas in the outskirts of the town.
There is a modern Basaveshwara temple, Prabhudevara Gadduge,celebrated
Jurist of the Kalyana Chalukyan period. Vijnaneshwara’s Cave, Madivala
Machiah’s Pond, Akka Nagamma’s Cave, fully renovated Siddheshwara temple
and a new structure called Anubhava Mantapa. The Qaji’s mosque is an
impresive structure. There is also Raja Bagh Sawar Dargah. Basava Vana has
been formed to commemorate the eighth birth centenary of Saint Basaveshwara.

Basavana Bagewadi in Bijapur dt. is 43 km. to the east of Bijapur and is
a Tq. headquarters where Sharana Basaveshwara was born (12th Century). It
was an agrahara. Basaveshwara was the son of the head of this institution.
The main temple here the Basaveshwara, is of Chalukyan style, but called as
Sangamanatha in records. The Samadhis of Siddharameshwara and
Gurupadeshwara of the Inchageri school of spiritual pursuit are seen here. A
spot here identified as Basava’s ancestral house is declared as protected zone
by the Trust.

Basaral in Mandya district, 25 km. away from Mandya is to be visited for the highly embellished Mallikarjuna temple of Hoysala style. It was built by
Harihara Dandanayaka in 1234. Its walls are decorated with Ramayana,
Mahabharata and Bhagavatha stories besides several other sculptures of
different sect.

Belavadi in Chikmagalur dt. is known for its fine Veeranarayana temple of
the Hoysalas. It is a triple (‘trikuta’) shrine with its cells housing beautiful
images of Veeranarayana, Venugopala and Yoganarasimha of wonderful
workmanship. It has a record of 1206 and the temple must be previous to it
and the place is 29 km. from Chikmagalur. The local people claim that it was

the Ekachakranagara of Mahabharata days. There is also a Ganapathi temple
called as Huttada Ganapathi.

Belgaum, ancient ‘Venugrama’ (Bamboo village) is the District Head
Quarters and was also Divisional Headquarters till recently, 502 kms away
from Bangalore, on the Bangalore-Pune National Highway. It was the capital of
the Rattas who shifted to this place from Saundatti during the close of 12th
century A.D. The place has a fort inside which built by one Ratta Officer called
Bichiraja in 1204 A.D. exhibits the execution of a totally refined style of temple architecture. It has excellently and artistically carved Kamala Basadi having
huge protruding lotus petals of stone (Kamala) in its ceiling and this beautiful
structure in Chalukyan style houses Neminatha Teerthankara image. The place
came under the Sevunas (Yadavas) and Vijayanagara and later conquered by
Mahamood Gawan in 1474 on behalf of the Bahamanis. The fort was
strengthened by the Adilshahis and there is an excellent structure, Safa Mosque
with three entrances, has rich floral and impressive calligraphic designs. Two

of its pillars have Kannada Inscriptions in Nagari Scripts, one of 1199 of Ratta
King Kartaveerya IV and another of 1261 is of Sevuna (Yadava) Krishna. The
Persian Inscription here states that the mosque was built by Asad Khan, Bijapur
Commander. The Jamia Masjid in the fort was built by Sher Khan in 1585-86,.
There is a dargah of Khanjar Wali near it. Belgaum later came under the Mughuls
(who called it Azamnagar) and the Marathas till its conquest by the British in
1818. Then the British founded their Cantonment here and made it the headquarters
of Maratha Light Infantry. The St. Mary’s Church here was built in
1869. The Maruthi temple here is quite vast and has some antiquities of
Chalukyan times. The fort has Chalukyan Pillars spread all over. The
Kapileshwar temple in Shahpur area was of Chalukyan times, now totally
renovated. Shapur a suburb of Belgaum was in Sangli State. Vadgaon –
Madhavapur another suburb of the Belgaum city was in a separate state called

Junior Kurundawad. Near Vadgaon, a Satavahana settlement has been
indentified with the head of stucco Buddha figure has been excavated. Belgaum
has a City Corporation. It is a place with pleasant weather. It played a leading
part in the freedom movement. The Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College here
has a highly educative pathological museum.

Belgami, ancient ‘Balligave’ or ‘Baligrama’, the capital of the prosperous
province of antiquity called Banavasi – 12,000, is 12 km. away from the taluk
hq. viz., Shikaripur and three km from Shiralkoppa. It was the place where
Allamaprabhu was born and Akkamahadevi was married to Chalukya Governor
of the palce called Kaushika or Keshimayya. The palace has the Kodimatha

which was the Kedareshwara Matha of the Kalamukhas who were known for
their learning. They ran a centre of learning Ghatikasthana or a University
here. The Matha is a beautiful Chalukyan triple shrine on the bank of a tank.
The Tripurantaka temple adorned by the narrative panels of Panchatantra
stories, is another Chalukyan temple. Allamaprabhu is believed to have been
attached to this temple. It was a cosmopolitan town with Mathas of five various
denominations. A Buddhist Tarabhagavathi image has been found here. There
was also a Buddhist Vihara here. There is a small agareshwara temple, the
Panchalingeshwara temple and Veerabhadra temple which are all Chalukyan.
The Kalika temple is of Vijayanagara times. Hoysala Vishnuvardhan’s famous
queen Shantala, and the builders of the Belur Temple, Dasoja and Chavana
belonged to this place. A Chalukya general installed a Bherunda Stambha to
commemorate his victory. The place has a museum run by A.S.I. Belgami had
been a great centre of learning and cultural activity.

Bellary is a district headquarters, situated at a distance of 306 kms to the
north-west of Bangalore. It has spread round two rocky hills, and one of them
called Balahari Betta has a temple. The fort built round the hill in Vijayanagara
times is still intact. It passed into the hands of Bijapur, Marathas, the Nizam
and Haider. After the fall of Tipu, the town was ceded to the British by the
Nizam. The Durgamma (Ballaramma) temple here has the deity represented
by the heap of earth. The place has two large mosques. A Government Medical
College was founded here in 1961 Bellary now has grown as a great centre of
apparel manufacturing.

Belur in Hassan district (222 kms. from Bangalore) also a Taluk Head
Quarters is famous for its magnificent Hoysala temple complex. The
Chennakeshava temple here was completed in 1116 A.D. by Hoysala
Vishnuvardhana to commemorate his victory over the Cholas Calling the god
as Vijaya Narayana. The magnificent image is 3.7 mtr. tall and the temple
standing on a platform has exquisite plastic art work on its outer walls and
bracket figures of dancing girls in various poses, in perfect proportion. There
are shrines of Kappe Chenniga, Andal, Saumya Nayaki, etc., in the precincts
of this temple enclosed by a Prakara with ‘gopura’ (entrance tower) built by
Belur Nayaka, a Vijayanagar feudatory. The temple here is a classic example
of Hoysala art and Belur was one of the Hoysala capitals.

Bhadravati, an industrial town in Shimoga dt., 256 km. away from
Bangalore, was formerly called ‘Benkipura’. There is a 13th Century
Lakshminarasimha Temple in Hoysala style here. The Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Works, a Cement Factory (1938) and Paper Factory (1935) function at
this place on the banks of the Bhadra river.

Bhagamandala, Kodagu dt. 288 km. from Bangalore and 35 km. from
Madikeri is on the banks of the Cauvery. It has a Shiva temple called
Bhagandeshwara. It has gabled roofs covered with copper plates and has
magnificent wooden carving representing Shaivapuranas gaily painted. The
attractive wooden figures, big and small engage the attention of the onlooker.
Ganapathi, Vishnu and Subrahmanya are other shrines here. This serene place
with natural beauty will have big jatra on Tula Sankramana.

Bidar, the District headquarters, described as Viduranagara, a place of
Mahabharatha times, is 740 kms. to the north of Bangalore. It is a cool place,
being at an altitude of 664 metres. The Bahmanshahi rulers made it their
capital, in c, 1426 and fortified it. It is still intact. Inside it are the Solha Kamb
mosque (1423) and palaces like Takht Mahal, Chini Mahal and Rangeen Mahal;

some of them are highly decorated with mosaic and wood work etc. The fort
has magnificent doorways and massive bastions. Gawan’s Madrasa in the town
is a gorgeous imposing building of Indo-Saracenic style. After the decline of
Bahamanis, the Barid-Shahis ruled over Bidar and it was taken over by the
Bijapur rulers in 1619. Later it fell to Aurangzeb, and finally it came under the

Nizam. Jharani Narasimha temple here is quite famous. Ashtur near Bidar
has tombs of Bahmani Sultans which are tall structures, and one of them has
paintings. The Gurudwara at Bidar is built at Nanak Zhira, which is described
as a fountain created by Guru Nanak during his visit.

Bijapur, the district headquarters, 579 km. away from Bangalore is one of
the most important centres of Indo-Saracenic art, being the capital of the
Adilshahis of Bijapur (1489-1686). The place is found mentioned as ‘Vijayapura’
in as inscription of 12th Century A.D. The Gol Gumbaz here has the biggest
dome in India, 126 feet in diametre at its base and is the Mausoleum of
Mohammed Adilshah (1626-56). It has an astonishing whispering gallery and
it covers an area of 15,000 square feet. Ibrahim Rauza is a marvellous
mausoleum of Ibrahim II (1580-1626) which stands on a platform supported
by rows of arches, and at one end is the mosque and at the other the tomb.
Henry Cousens called this, ‘the Tajmahal of the South”. Anand Mahal, Gagan
Mahal, Asar Mahal etc. are the other important monuments of this place. There
are fine tanks like Tajbavadi and Chandbavadi.Asar Mahal has attractive
paintings now fading away due to weathering. The fort round the town has 96

bastions and six imposing doorways.Mulk-Maidan here is a huge gun weighing
55 tons. Near Gol Gumbaz is a Museum. The place has a Municipal Corporation.
It has many grand artistic mosques like Kali Masjid, Mecca Masjid, Malika
Jahan’s Mosque and the Jami Masjid, the biggest one with a proportionate
large dome. The Mahtar Mahal, the entrance of mosque has delicate stone

brackets of intricate workmanship. To the west of the citadel is a Dattatreya
temple, where a pair to sandals of Narashimha Saraswati are worshipped and the shrine was raised by Ibrahim II. There is a Parshwanatha basadi (1927) in
the city and many modern temples of which twenty Shivalinga temple (1954) is
notable. Bijapur had a population of over one million in its hay days and was
a great commercial centre, called as “the Queen of Deccan”. After its take over
by Aurangzeb, the city lost its importance. It regained its importance after the
British who made it their district headquarters during 1870s.

Chamarajanagar, the district head quarters, newly carved out of Mysore
dt. is 56 kms. away from Mysore, formerly called Arikutara situated in Punnata
Nadu during the Ganga period. It was the birth place of Chamaraja OdeyarVTII,
in whose memory the Chamarajeshwara temple was raised (1825), It also has
Parshwanatha basadi, Lakshmikantha and Virabhadra temples of early Times.
Narasamangala, an ancient place close by, having an intact temple of the Ganga
period is another important place with rich antiquities to be essentially visited
by the tourists.

Chikmagalur, the district headquarters of the coffee growing Malnad area, is 251 kms. from Bangalore and was known as ‘Kiriya Mugali’ in inscriptions
and ‘Piriya Mugali’ is Hiremagalur, an extension of this town where there is a
Kodandarama temple of Hoysala times. (Mugali is the name of a plant). The
Sangeen Mosque here is an old structure. Jarni Mosque built during the 19th
century is the largest one in the district. St. Joseph’s Cathedral and St. Andrews
Church (1880) are the other impressive monuments. The Kattiramma temple
here has a priest of the SC community. The Kannika Parameshwari and the
Rukmini Panduranga are modern temples. The town is placed in the backdrop
of the Chandradrona Parvata or Bababudan Hill of the Western Ghats and
Inam Dattatreya Peetha is 35 km. from here.

Chitradurga, the famous hill fort town, the district headquarters, 202 km.
away from Bangalore is on the Pune-Bangalore road. It had a feudatory dynasty
of Vijayanagara, called the Nayakas known for their heroic exploits. They built
this hill fort with seven rounds of ramparts, a picturesque sight. In the high
forts there are temples of the Sampige Siddheswara, Hidimbeshwara (a cave

shrine), Ekanatheshwari, Phalguneshwara, Gopalkrishna, etc., amidst thick
rocky surroundings. Those who know the heroic history of Chitradurga rulers
will go into raptures while seeing the magnificent bastions, doors and ramparts
of this vast hill-fort. The Galimantapa, opposite to the Hidimbeshwara is a
unique tall stone structure. Near Rangayyana Bagilu is the Archaeological
Museum. In the town are temples of Chennakeshava, Venkataramana, Anjaneya
etc. and the Murugharajendra Brihanmatha is a venerable centre of the
Veerashaiva sect.

Dambal or Dhammavolal now in Gadag dt. is 21 kms. from Gadag. It is
also known as ‘Dharmapolalu’ in ancient inscriptions. It was a Buddhist Centre
too. The Doddabasappa and the Someshwara are the two notable Chalukyan
temples here and the Doddabasappa has multigonal star-shaped
garbhagriha.With fine sculptural representations and a huge Nandi image. The
Someshwara could have been an old basadi. In the old ruined fort, there is a
huge Ganapati image in a small shrine. The town has a 400 year old vast tank.
There is the Thontada Siddhalingeswara Matha at the place.

Davanagere, now a district Headquarters, 267 km. from Bangalore, on the
Pune-Bangalore Road is also a modern industrial town that grew round a tank
where itinerant traders took rest. The tank had the name Davanikere,
‘Cattlerope Tank’, dauoni being the rope tying the cattle. It was earlier a suburb
of ancient centre Betur, a township under the Sevunas, and it was granted as
a Jahgir by Haider Ali to Appaji Ram one of his officers who was responsible
for its growth as a commercial centre. Davanagere grew as a centre of textile
industry. It has also grown as an educational centre with a medical and
engineering college. The Iswara of Anekonda Village is an important temple

Devala Ganagapura in Afzalpur taluk Gulbarga dt. is 651 km. away from
Bangalore. It is to be reached from Ganagapur railway station. Sri Narasimha
Saraswati who had stayed here for long and was granted a jahgir by the Bahmani
Sultan. The Saint had cured the Sultan of a serious (incurable) boil. The saint
is treated as an incarnation of Dattatreya and devotees from Maharashtra and

Karnataka throng the place daily.

Dharmasthala is a very prominent Shaiva Centre where Manjunatha (Shiva)
is worshipped by Madhwa Vaishnava priests of Shivalli tradition and the temple
administrator or Dharmadarshi is Jaina and the temple treats Bhutas (the
remnants of animistic cult, in which departed persons are deified and treated
as the ‘ganas’ of Shiva. It is 75 km. from Mangalore and is amidst hilly green
attractive settings. The temple has the main Manjunatha Linga and Devi. The
place has Chandranatha Basti and a Gommata monolith 11.9metres in height,
installed in 1980’s. The ‘Manjusha’ Museum here is unique. Buses are available
from all major centres of Karnataka and choultries for stay are plenty. There
is a well executed food serving system for all the tourists irrespective of their
caste or creed. The temple management runs many institutions of learning.

Dharwad, a district headquarters on the Pune-Bangalore Road, 437 km.
from Bangalore is the cultural headquarters of North Karnataka. It was the
home of Alur Venkatrao, the father of Karnataka Unification Movement, poet
Bendre and outstanding Hindustani Vocalists Mallikarjuna Mansur. Now a
part of Hubli – Dharwad Corporation, Dharwad became the district headquarters
when it came under the British from the Marathas in 1818, and grew to be a
centre of learning due to the English School opened in 1848, high school opened
by the Basel Mission in 1868 and the Training College was initiated in 1867
which became the centre of Kannada Movement. The Karnataka Vidyavardhaka
Sangha (1890) sowed the seeds of Kannada Renaissance.

Mentioned as “Dharawada” in a record of the 12th century of the Kalyana
Chalukyas, the place came under the Sevunas, Vijayanagara, Bijapur, Mughuls,
Marathas, and Haider and Tipu. The Vijayanagara rulers built a fort here which
was strengthened by Bijapur rulers. Its door-frame alone remains now. The
Durgadevi temple near the fort is renovated now and the Someshwara on

Kalghatgi Road has a Chalukyan temple and a tank. The Mailara Linga temple
at Vidyagiri is a Kalyana Chalukyan monument converted into a mosque by
Bijapur army but again changed as a temple by the Peshwas. The place has
many temples like Venkataramana, Nandikola Basavanna, Dattatreya, Ulavi
Basavanna etc. The Murugha Matha is a centre of religious activity. The Sanskrit

College is a four-storeyed building of the late 19th Century. The Karnataka
University (1949), the Agricultural University (1986) and the All India Radio
Station gave new life to the educational and cultural life of the the city. Dharwad
played a prominent part in the freedom movement. Dharwad firing in 1921
which killed three Khilafat Workers caused a stir in the country. Dharwad has

churches of the Basel Mission and the Catholics.

Doddagaddavalli is a village 14 km. from Hassan known for its Lakshmidevi
temple with five garbhagrihas, built in 1114 A.D. by a merchant called Kallahana
Rahuta. It is one among the; earliest Hoysala works. It is called Dakshina
Kolhapura and Lakshmi worshipped here represents Shakta Lakshmi. Bhairava
and other deities are also worshipped here.

Gadag-Betgeri is a twin city Municipality on the Dharwad-Guntakal Railway line, 80 km. from Dharwad and Gadag has become the district head quarters
since 1997. It is a great centre of Kalyana Chalukyan art with the large
Trikuteshwara temple, originally Rashtrakuta, later expanded by the Kalyana
Chalukyas into a vast complex, and it has Trikuteshwara temple complex triple

shrines once housing Shiva, Brahma and Surya. The Saraswati temple in its
precinct has the finest shining decorative pillars, and the Saraswati image,
though now damaged, is the finest examples of Chalukyan Art. Recently a
newly carved Saraswati image in the same Chalukyan style has been installed
as the earlier one had broken up. The place has the Someshwara and
Rameshwara temples of Chalukyan style, is also known for its religious
harmony. The Veeranarayana temple of Chalukyan times, completely renovated
in Vijayanagara times including the image of Narayana too replaced. The great
Kannada poet Kumaravyasa composed his famous Karnataka Bharatha
Kathamanjari by staying in this temple. Gadag has a mosque of Adilshahi times,
highly artistic. There is a Church too of the Basel Mission (Now C.S.I.). Betageri
has many artistic herostones, some dating back to 9th-10th centuries. (‘Kaldugu’
is the old name of Gadag and ‘Battakere’, ‘Round Tank’ of Betgeri). Gadag-

Betageri are famous for weaving industry, and of late, Gadag has excelled In
printing. To reach Lakkundi, Dambal, Itgi and Kukanur, Gadag is the gateway.

Gokarna situated in coastal Karnataka is 453 kms. from Bangalore and
about 55 kms. from the district head quarters Karwar, is described as a Shaiva
Centre, on par with Kashi and Rameshwar and the Mahabaleshwara Temple
here has indications of atleast being originally built during 11-12th Century
and the Portuguese destroyed it during the 18th century and it was renovated
then. There is a famous Ganapathi Temple and the deity here is two-armed,
standing, and is atleast 1500 years’ old. Tamragauri is another shrine here.
The Bhadrakali and Venkataramana temples, Jatayuteertha, Kotiteertha etc.,
are other holy places here. Gokarna has a long beach on the west and the
Western Ghat ranges closeby in the east and is in a wonderful natural settings.
Atmalinga brought by Ravana got struck here and his efforts to extricate it
resulted in his throwing the coverings of the Linga to Dhareshwar,
Gunavanteshwara, Murdeshwar and Shejjeshwar Temples (the last place is

near Karwar), according to tradition. All these places are in Uttara Kannada

Gulbarga, the district and divisional head-quarters, formerly in the Nizam’s State, is 623 km. from Bangalore, was the first capital of the Bahmanis from
1347. Kannada records call the place as ‘Kallumbarige’, and it was named
later by Muslims as Gulbarga, giving it a floral touch. The fort here was originally
built by one Raja Gulchand, a feudatory of the Warangal Kakatiyas, and was

rebuilt by All-ud-din Bahmani with 15 majestic towers. Inside the fort is the
huge wonderful mosque built by Muhammed Bahmani in 1367 and it covers
38,000 sq. feet area. The place has a huge sprawling complex housing the
tomb of Bande Nawaz, the great Sufi saint, who came to Gulbarga in 1413. His
tomb’s walls have paintings and a mosque built by the Mughuls is near the

tomb. The Khandar Khan’s mosque and Hirapur mosque (1585) built by
Chandbibi are some other monuments here, and the tomb of Sultan Hassan
and Firoz Shah are imposing structures. In all there are seven mausoleums of
Bahamani sultans. Sharana Basappa Appa’s tomb here is highly venerated.
The place has many modern temples and Gulbarga University is housed here.

outside the city in an attractive campus. The State Archaelogy Museum here
has Buddhist plaques brought from Sannati. The City has a Municipal

Halasi in Khanapur taluk, 14 km. from Khanapur Railway Station, and was the second capital of the Kadambas of Banavasi, It has the oldest basadi
of Karnataka, built by the Early Kadambas who patronised Jainism. But the
basadi is in dilapidated condition now. The huge Bhuvaraha Narasimha temple
here was rebuilt by the Goa Kadambas during the 12th Century A.D., and has

fine tall images of Varaha, Narasimha, Narayana and Surya. Halasi was the
headquarters of a major province called Halasige – 12,000 under the Kalyana
Chalukyas. The place has a fort, and also temples of Gokarneshwara,
Kapileshwara, Swarneshwara and Hatakeshwara. The place is in the
background of Western Ghats in lush green atmosphere.

Halebid (former Dwarasamudra) in Belur taluk, Hassan dt., 27 kms. away
from Hassan was the capital of Hoysalas after Belur. It has one of the finest
Hoysala temples said to have been started by Ketamalla, a commander of
386 A Handbook of Karnataka
Vishnuvardhana in a 1121 A.D. The twin Shiva Temples with a common platform
and two garbhagrihas, one besides the other have a common broad navaranga.
One of them houses Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara Linga and the other
Shanthaleshwara Linga. In front of the Hoysaleshwara is the Nandimantapa

and behind that is a shrine of Surya with a two-metre-tall image. The temple
doorways are highly ornate and impressive. Outer walls have rows of Intricate
figures narrating episodes from epics like Ramayana, Bharatha and Bhagavata.
The place has a Parshwanatha basadi with highly polished pillars in which onlookers
queer images are reflected. There is a Museum of the A.S.I. The

Kedareshwara temple is another monument built by Ketaladevi, Ballala II’s Queen. Chatchatnahalli (nearby) has an attractive Hoysala Trikuta temple with
rich architectural refinement built by Chatta Dandanayaka in 1220.

Hampi the site of the capital of Vijayanagara (1336), 10 km. from Hospet in
Bellary dt. was an ancient city and Buddhist remains of the early Christian era
are found here. Known as Pampakshetra, because of Pampadevi temple, is on
the banks of Tungabhadra. On the Hemakuta Hill behind the famous
Virupaksha temple of Chalukyan times, there is a Badami Chalukya temple.

Poet Harihara in Kannada has praised God Virupaksha during the 12th Century.
This, rocky hilly area with Anegundi to the north of the river is identified as
Kishkindha of Ramayana times. Virupaksha temple was provided with a long
Kalyana Mantapa which is a pillared pavilion with complex artistic monolithic
pillars by Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529) in commemoration of his victory against

Bijapur and the Gajapatis. Its entrance tower called Bhistappayyana Gopura
became the model for all Vijayanagara Gopuras built all over South India,
called as Rayagopuras. Also called as an Open-Air Museum, Hampi has the
Krishnaswamy temple, Hazara Ramaswamy Temple, Achutaraya Temple
housing Ranganatha, Kodandaramaswamy temple, Vithalaswamy temple,

Irugappa’s Basti (called Ganigitti Jinalaya (1385), Uddhana Virabhadra temple,
monolithic Lakshmi Narasimha (29 Feet tall installed by Krishnadevaraya in
1529), huge Badavi Linga, Kamala Mahal, Elephants’ stable, Mahanavami
Dibba, monolithic Ganeshas called as Kadalekalu and Sasivekalu Ganesha
and a large number of other temples and monuments. Recent excavations

have brought to light many palace foundations, a fine stepped tank with polished
stone Royal enclosure, several Noblemen quarters and some Jaina bastis and
some Buddhists plaques. The ‘Moorish quarter’ has a mosque. The foreign
visitors to the capital during the 15th and 16th centuries have called it bigger
than Rome. They are stunned by the grandeur of its Dasara Festival and the
trade of the town. People from the East and the West were seen there. The City
was destroyed and deserted in 1565, but its remains continued to be intact,
though in ruined condition, spread over more than 25 square km. area.
Kamalapura has an ASI Site Museum. The Kannada University is also
functioning from a new campus nearby, named as “Vidyaranya”. Hampi is

included in the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Hangal, now in Haveri dt. is also a taluk headquarters. It was the capital
of the Hangal Kadambas, feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyana. It is
mentioned as ‘Panungal’ in early records and identified by tradition with Viratanagara of Mahabharatha days Eighty km. away from Dharwad, it was
once the headquarters of a district called Panungal-500. The Tarakeshwara
temple here is a huge structure with wonderful series of images and polished
tall Chalukyan pillars spread over a vast area. The Virabhadra, Billeshwara
and Ramalinga etc., are other important temples and the Ganesha temple

near Tarakeshwara has a northern curvilinear (Nagara) Shikhara. The town is on the left bank of the Dharma river, and has ruins of some fortification on the
river bank. There is also a famous Veerashaiva Kumaraswamy Matha here.

Harihara, on the banks of Tungabhadra, is 277 km. from Bangalore on
the Pune-Bangalore Rd,in Chitradurga dt. The rivulet Haridra joins it here and
the place was called Kudalur, and it is called as Harihara now because of the
temple of the name (of Hari and Hara unified), built by Polalva Dandanayaka
under Hoysala Narasimha in 1233 left on the bank of the Tungabhadra river.

This is a highly artistic monument reflecting a high degree of architectural
perfection and artistic speculation. This is a higly artistic monument. There
are also temples of Srirama, Dattatreya and Ishwara and the place grew to be
an industrial centre with the Kirloskars starting their unit. Now the Harihara
Polyfiber factory is started near Kumarapatna, a suburb of Harihara, but within

Haveri dt. border.

Hassan is the district headquarters, 186 km. from Bangalore. It is a centre
of trade for coffee. Traditions say that the place name originated from
Simhasanapura. The town is ascribed to a Chola Officer called Bukkanayaka
of the 11th Century. The Hasanamba temple here, opens only once in a year in
Ashwayuja masa (September – October) for a week for jatra. The Siddeshwara

temple here is ascribed to Belur Feudatories under Vijayanagara. There is a
Jaina basadi here, and also Chennakeshava, Malleswara and Virupaksheshwara
temples. The last named is said to have been renovated by the sage Vidyaranya (14th century). There is a State Archaeology Museum here. Mosale, Koravangala
and Kondajji are the other important places around Hassan where fine Hoysala

temples are seen.

Haveri, now a district head quarters, situated on NH4, is 340 kms away
from Bangalore. It derives its name from the tank that lies 2.5 kms from the
town, built in 10-11th Century. It has few ancient temples and the Siddeshwara
temple complex here of Chalukyan times is known by its sculptural decorations.
Ugranarasimha and Kalleshwara are the other important temples of early times.

The Virakta Matha, Hukkeri Matha, Hosamatha, Murugaswami Matha and the Raghavendra Matha of Madhwa tradition are important. The annual fair of
the Hukkeri Matha occurs in the month of January, while Siddeshwara fair
falls during Dasara period. It was known for cardamum processing till recently,
and is now famous for its beautiful cardamum garlands.
388 A Handbook of Karnataka

Horanadu in Chikmagalur district, situated 15 kms. from Kalasa. Besides
its local history, it is also famous by its Annapurneshwari temple and its scenic
beauty. Piligrim from different parts visits it in large number through out the
year. Thousands of devotees are being fed by the temple authorities regularly,
in accordance with the name of the presiding deity of the place.

Hubli, a part of Dharwad-Hubli twin City Corporation is 408 km. away
from Bangalore, on the Bangalore – Pune road, is both a railway junction and
an industrial town. Rayara Hubli, also called ‘Eleya Puravada Halli’ or ‘Purballi’ was the old Hubli, where there is a Bhavani Shankara temple and Jaina basti.
Under Vijayanagara Rayas, Rayara Hubli grew as a commercial centre, famous

for trade in cotton, saltpetre and iron. The British opened a factory here when it came under the Adilshahis. Shivaji looted the factory in 1673. The Mughuls
conquered it and the place came under the Savanur Nawab who built a new
extension named Majidpura and trader Basappa Shetty built new Hubli around
the Durgadabail (fort maidan). There is the famous Moorusavira Matha, and

the Matha authorities claim that it was begun by a Sharana of Basaveshwara’s
period. Hubli was conquered by the Marathas from the Savanur Nawab in
1755-56. Later Haider conquered it, but it was recaptured by the Marathas in

1790, and the old town was administered by one Phadke under the Peshwa
and the new town by Sangli Patwardhan. British took old Hubli in 1817 and
the new town with 47 other villages was handed over to the British by the
Sangli Patwardhan in lieu of the subsidy in 1820. Hubli is a prosperous
handloom weaving centre and has a Textile Unit. The Railway Workshop started
here in 1880, made it a reckonable industrial centre. The Bhavanishankar
temple in old Hubli and the impressive Chaturlinga temple in Unakal are of
Chalukyan times. The Siddharudhaswamy (1837-1929) Matha in Old Hubli is
visited by hundreds. In addition to the impressive Moorusavira Matha,
Rudrakshi Matha and Hanneradu Yattina Matha. There is Mahdi mosque at
Bandiwadagase and Mastan Sofa Mosque in Old Hubli. Of the churches, the
Church of Ascension (1905), Church of Holy Name (1928), St. Joseph’s (1858)
and the St. Andrew’s (1890) are notable. Unakal has a church of the Basel

Mission and there is a Gurudwara of the Sikhs in Vidyanagar. The place has Medical (Govt.), Engineering and other colleges having all educational facilities.
It has Indira Gandhi Memorial Glass House and Nripatunga Park on a Hillock.
Kundgol, 15 km. south of Hubli, has the huge Shambhu Linga temple of
Chalukyan times.

Ikkeri a capital town of the Keladi Nayakas from 1512, is avery near to
Sagar in Shimoga dt. The Aghoreshwara Temple here of the Kalamukha sect is
a 16th Century monument of great attraction. There is also a Parvathi temple
nearby. The Italian traveller Pietro Della Valle gives a long description of this
capital he had visitied in 1623. Keladi is another place nearby the original
capital. It has the Rameshwara and Veerabhadra temples. There is also a
Museum having rich collection of several sculptures besides, having a rich
treasure of Palm leaf manuscripts. The museum has also brought out several
invaluable books on several subjects of historical importance.

Itagi in Yalburga taluk can be easily reached from Gadag (about 40 km.)
and is within the reach of Bhanapur, a Railway station in Gadag-Hospet line.
It has the best of the Kalyana Chalukya temple called Mahadeva, described as
“Devalaya Chakravarthi” (Emperor among temples) in early inscriptions, built
by Mahadeva Dandanayaka, a commander of great Chalukya ruler Vikramaditya

VI in 1112 A.D. This huge temple of fine polished pillars, intricately carved
broad doorways and deep Bhuvaneshwaris in the ceiling with miniature carvings
is a magnificent structure of ever lasting beauty. There are a number of other
temples around it and there is a huge tank in front. A Saraswati Matha meant
for the residence of students is also there. Percy Brown called the temple “as

one of the best” after Halebid. Kukanur, 10 km. from here has the Navalinga temple complex of the Rashtrakutas besides the Mahamaya, Kalleshwara and
Mallikarjuna of Kalyana Chalukya times.

Kalagi in Chitapura taluk, 60 kms from Gulbarga was formerly the provincial
headquarters of Mannedadi-1000 during Later Chalukyan times. It has five Later
Chalukyan temples. Among them, the Mallikarjuna temple standing in the heart of the village built by Bana Mahamandaleshvara Vira Gonkarasa in 1163 A. D.
is a beautiful piece of architecture, erected by a team of 12 sculptors headed by

Ramoja. The Parswanatha basadi near Banasankari temple, a trikuta of 11th
Century A.D., housing Parswanatha Thirthankara in the main shrine.
The Kalinga temple complex situated half a km. south of the village on the
bank of Kalagi stream, has some temples richly adorned with several dieties of
lavish ornamentation. The Karidevaru (Suryanarayana) here, a trikuta, although

now in ruins has the sculptures of Vishnu, Brahma, Maheshwara, Bhairava,
Nataraja, Uma-maheshwara, Mahishamardini, Ganapati and the Madanikas
in different postures on its walls. It may be the Jayalingeshwara temple referred
in a 13th century epigraph.
The Kaleshwara temple here, earliest of the place, being referred to as
Svayambhu Kaleshvar in a record of 1103 A.D., spaciously placed, is crowded by Nilakanta, Revana Siddeshwara, Iswara, Someshwara and Bibbeshvara on
either sides with a common sabha mantapa. Adjascent to it are Kasivishvanath,
Ramalinga and Nandi temples. On the north bank of Kalagi stream are, Isvara and Narasimha temples amidst a Puskarani.

Kannambadi, a Becharak village having the Krishnarajasagar Dam built
across the river Cauvery. It had the Kanneshwara (Ganga) and the
Gopalakrishna (Hoysala) temples of 10th and 13th Century A.D. respectively,
now submerged in backwaters. Of late, both the temples have been shifted
and re-constructed on a higher plain in a make-shift place due to the efforts of
one philanthrophist of Bangalore. These temples are attracting the tourists in
large numbers. The sculptures of these temples which were preserved in the
390 A Handbook of Karnataka
newly built temples at North Bank village situated on the northern side of the
K.R.S. Dam, are being shifted to the make shift temple in a phased manner.
Krishnaraja Sagar (Mandya dt.) is a dam across the Cauvery, with the beautiful

Brindavan gardens. The garden with musical fountain is to be seen in the

Karkala in Dakshina Kannada (52 km. from Mangalore) has been a notable Jaina Centre with the seat of Jaina dynasty called Bhairarasas or the Santaras
whose prince Veera Pandya raised the Gommata Statue here in 1432. They also built the ornate Chaturmukha basadi with four entrances, housing Arhat,
Malli and Suvrata Tlrthankaras in 16th century characters the Ananthashayana

and Venkataramana temple, here are of considerable antiquity and on the
bank of Ramasamudra tank is another basadi of early times. The St. Lawrence
church here is highly venerated. Mudabidri in Dakshnina Kannada, situated
35 kms. away from Mangalore is one of the famous Jaina Centres of South
India. Among the 18 basadis here, the Tribhuvana Tilaka Chudamani Basadi,
also known as thousand pillared Basadi is the biggest. Other basadis are also attractive and the Jaina Matha has rare Jain manuscripts and remarkable
metallic images. It was the capital of Chautas and in their old palace, there are
some wooden pillars having Navanari Kunjara and Panchanari Turaga motifs
on them.

Karwar is the district headquarter 60 km from Bangalore of Uttar Kannada
district bordering Goa. The town was founded in 1863 by the British, naming
it after Kadwad village (in the interior on the banks of the Kali, where they had
their factory from 1638) which they used to call as ‘Karwar’. Karwar has one of
the finest facilities for all-weather port with a row of islands like Anjadiv,

Kurmagad, Devgad etc., protecting it from storm. It has some of the finest beaches and is to the South of the Kali which meets the sea here. Across the
Kali, crossing a new bridge is Sadashivagad, a hill fort built by Sonda Sadashiva
Nayaka. Sadashivagad has a Durga temple and a Darga of Peer Kamruddin.
Binaga is to the South of Karwar. It has a modern Caustic Soda factory. Goods

movement along the Kali from her mouth reached Kadra, later taken by land
to the interior during medieval times. Anjadeev Island (under Goa
administration) is near Binaga. The Sea Bird Naval project of the Indian Navy
has come up near Karwar recently and is already functioning.

Kittur on the Dharwad-Belgaum Road, 33 km from Dharwad was the
headquarters of a Desagati (minor principality) which became famous due to
the revolt of Desayini Channammaji against the British in 1824. The place has
the ruined Wada, a bastion, which formed part of fortification. The State Govt.
Museum here has many antiquities collected from the Desai Wada. Inside the

fort is the Kalmeshwara-Temple and the place has Veerashaiva Mathas called
Chauki Matha and Hire Matha. Kittur has a Women’s Sainik School. At
Bailhongal, a taluk headquarters, the Samadhi of Channammaji, on which her
bronze statue is installed. Degaon, five kms from Kittur has a 12th Century
Kamala Narayana Temple in Chalukyan style, built by the Goa Kadambas. It is

a fine monument known for its sophisticated art work. Okkunda, 10 kms. from
Bailhongal was an important town of Rashtrakuta times (850 A.D.). Now
submerged due to Navilthirtha dam, is known by its Jaina and Shaiva Temples
of Later Chalukyan times which are accessable only during summer season.

Kolar, the district headquarters, 72 km away from Bangalore is on the
Bangalore-Madras Road, called as “Kuvalalapura”, the first capital of the
Gangas, has the famous Kolaramma temple, originally of the Gangas, later
renovated by the Cholas. Kolaramma is Mahishamardini and she is one among
the seven Mothers (Sapta Matrikas) Installed there. In another shrine next to
it are attractive individual stucco figures of Sapta Matrikas. The Someshwara,
Venkataramana and Kodandarama are other major temples in the town.
Someshwara Temple built in early Hoysala period is a State protected monument
now in bad shape. The ‘Makbara’ here has the graves of Haider All’s relations.
Kolar is known for its local product, the country blanket (Kambli). Antaragange
three km away from Kolar, on the Kolar hills has a perennial stream emanating
from the mouth of a bull. It is considered as a holy spot. The hill top has several places like Teruhalli (old pre-vijayanagara temple), Paparajanahalli and

many other seven villages. This hillock overlooking the Kolar town is a fine
trekking track for the Adventure Tourism.

Kollur, one of the Shakti worship centres of Karnataka, situated 42 km.
from Kundapur in Udupi District is famous by its Mukambika temple ascribed
to Adi Shankaracharya. The Goddess installed on a Shri Chakra, consecrated
by the saint Adi Shankara along with the Chandramoulishwara of the place
was renovated and worshipped by the Keladi rulers in medieval times, is in
fine natural settings on the base of “Kodachadri”.

Koppal, now a district headquarters is ancient ‘Kopana’ a major holy place
of the Jainas, has two Ashokan inscriptions at Palkigundu and Gavimatha. It
has a hill fort. It was the capital of a branch of Shilaharas under the Chalukyas
of Kalyana. Mundargi Bheema Rao and Hammige Kenchanagouda died fighting
against British here in June 1858 (during the 1857 rising series). Palkigundu

is described as the Indrakila parvata of epic fame and there is an ancient Shiva
temple called the Male Malleshwara. Kinhal 13 kms away from Koppal is famous
for its traditional colourful lacquerware work.

Kotilingeshwara, Kotilingeshwara temple is situated in the village
Kammasandra in the Bangarpet taluk is attracting pilgrims from all over South
India. This place is located on the Bangarpet KGF road. This temple project
was initiated by saint Sambhashivamurthy who has his original hermitage
called Valmiki Ashrama at Kammasandra who was born here on 23rd August
1947 has an ambition of accomplishing the installation of one crore shivalingas
by the ardent devotees thronging the holy place. Hence the place gets the
name Kotilingeshwara. This temple complex consists of more than 70 Lakhs
miniature Shivalingas already installed by the devotees through their donations
and voluntary contributions. Besides this there are temples dedicated to
Manjunath and Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. At the entrance to the
temple complex is a tall rayagopura built in Dravidian style. The Manjunatha
temple consists of a garbagriha, antharala and navaranga and an open
mukhamantapa. Inside the garbagriha is a tall Shivalinga and there is a smaller
shikhara atop this. There are some sculptures representing shivapurana. The
Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara temple has three cells in a row consisting of
all the three deities with an antharala and modern navaranga. In front of this
temple is a huge Bilwa tree where it is traditionally believed young couple
tieing trunk is thus surrounded by innumerable miniature cradles tied on it.
There is a huge shivalinga measuring 108 ft. tall and facing this is a stone
bull measuring 35 ft. tall. The annual jatra is held here during shivaratri when

lakhs of people visit the place. There are choultries maintained by the temple
trust for the convenience of the pilgrims.

Lakkundi in Gadag taluk, 12 km from Gadag is one of the most famous
centres of Kalyana Chalukyan art. The place has the highly ornate Kashi
Vishveshwara temple in damaged condition, a twin temple, one housing Shivalinga and the other facing it of God Surya, now not seen. Another notable
monument of the place is the huge Brahma Jinalaya ascribed to a noble lady
called Dana Chintamani Attimabbe. This small town, full of ruined temples
like Mallikarjuna, Lakshminarayana, Manikeshwara, Virabhadra,
Nanneshwara, Someshwara, Nilakanteshwara and others. Lakkundi also has

a Museum of the A.S.I. There is a darga of Zindeshah Wali.

Lakshmeshwar or ancient ‘Huligere’ or ‘Puligere’. the headquarters of
Puligere- 300 district in historical times, in Shirhatti taluk, is 72 km from
Dharwad. The Somanatha and the Lakshmaneshwara are famous temples here
and over 50 stone records found here speak of its cultural importance. It was
a Jaina Centre and Shankha basadi appears to be of the days of the Chalukyas

of Badami, subsequently renovated. The Kali Masjid here is an ornate structure,
built by Bijapur Commander Ankush Khan. Before Independence, the place
belonged to the Miraj Patwardhan State.

Maddur, a taluk headquarters in Mandya dt. is 20 km from Mandya. It is
described in early Tamil records as “Maranduru” {in Tamil, Marandu to mean
medicine) and the Temple referred too there as Vaijnatha (God of medicine). While traditions ascribe it to sage Kadamba and Arjuna, it was also called as
Narasimha-Chaturvedi Mangalam in the Hoysala records. Madduramma is the

village goddess of the place. The Narasimha Swamy Temple here of the Hoysalas
has the seven feet Narasimha sculpture. The Varadaraja temple is a Chola
structure with a 12 feet tall Varadaraja image. Vaidyanathapura five kms. from Maddur situated on Shimsha bank is famous for its Vaidyanatha temple
of Chola period. Shivapura nearby place was the site where the first session of

Karnataka, Mysore Congress was held in 1938. There is a modern building ‘Satyagraha
Saudha’ to commemorate it.

Madhugiri in Tumkur dt, 43 km from Tumkur, is famous for its massive
hill fort. Its ancient name is Maddagiri and it has temples of Venkataramana
and Malleshwara built by Vijayanagara feudatories. There is also a Mallinatha
basadi. Rani Virammaji of Keladi was held captive here by Haider Ali and later,
Marathas released her, but she died on her way to Pune. The fort has majestic

gateways called Antaralada Bagilu, Diddibagilu, Mysore Gate etc. Midigeshi 19
km from here is another tall hill fort of importance in Medieval times.

Madikeri, the headquarters of the Kodagu district is on the ranges of
Western Ghats, 250km from Bangalore. It was the capital of a royal family
called the Haleri Rajas whose rule was ended by the British in 1834. The place has a fort and a palace building in which district office now functions. The
walls of the building have some paintings. There is an old Church inside the
fort which houses the State Archaelogy Museum. The Omkareshwara Temple
and the tombs of the Kodagu Rajas, Doddaveera Rajendra and Lingarajendra
are all in Indo-Saracenic style. The Raja’s Seat overlooking the valley gives a panaromic view of the surrounding coffee and paddy growing lush geen lands.
The Kodavas have their own distinct culture and folk arts; they are know for
their hospitality and valourous military qualities Near Madikeri is ‘Roshanara,’
the residence of the late. Field Marshall K.M. Kariyappa.

Magadi, a taluk headquarters of Bangalore Rural dt., is 41 km from
Bangalore. Kempegowda was forced to leave Bangalore in 1638 and make
Magadi his headquarters where his family built the fort and the Rameshwara
temple. There is also the Someshwara temple built in 1712 with Kempegowda’s
hazara near it. Its wall paintings are now fading. Tirumale is a hill near the
town where there is a vast Ranganatha Temple, but actually the deity being
worshipped is Srinivasa as Srinivasa is standing in samabhangi with shanka
chakra, varada and katihasta as per the Shilpashastra.

Mahadeshwara Betta, a hill very close to the Eastern Ghats, is 220 kms
from Bangalore and 142 kms from Mysore and is in Chamarajanagar dt. A
saint called Mahadeshwara who it is said, could ride tiger, lived here during
the 14th and 15th century has his gadduge here. The hill is full of thick forests
and thousands of pilgrims visits the place which has guest houses and other
facilities. It is a very picturesque spot of natural beauty.

Mandya, a district headquarters town in between Mysore and Bangalore is
100 km from Bangalore and it has a large sugar factory (1933). Though its
name is ascribed to Mandavya Rishi, records speak of ‘Mantheya’. The place
has Lakshmi Janardhana Swamy temple which is a vast renovated structure.
Mandya has a small zoo-garden. It is a prosperous place due to richly irrigated

lands around.

Mangalore is the ancient town ‘Mangalapura’ and is on the west coast of
Karnataka with both an old and a modern port. It is the head-quarters of the
Dakshina Kannada District. It was for long the capital of the Alupas. The
Vijayanagara rulers posted one of their governors here. It came under the
Banga feudatory and the Portuguese opened a factory here for trade and brought
Roman Catholic religion too. Conquered by Haider, it became the chief port of
Mysore and Sultan’s Battery near the port is the remnescents of his rule.
When it fell to the English (1799) they made it the district headquarters of
Kanara. The Basel Mission that came here in 1834 started an English school,
printing, tile (terracotta) factory and weaving have helped to modernise the
place. The first Kannada neswpaper ‘Mangalura Samachara’ (1834) was a
missionary venture.
Mangalore has the old Mangaladevi temple and the Kadri Manjunatha temple
where once Buddhists had stayed. There are fine bronze statues of

Avalokiteshwara and Dhyani Buddha and some laterite caves around Kadri
temple. The Venkataramana, Mahamayi and the huge modern Gokarna Natha
are important temples of Mangalore. Bengre has a fine beach. The Light House
Hill has the Idagah. The St. Aloysius College here has a chapel with fine
paintings. St. Rozario Church, Church of the Most Holy Rosary and the Milagres

Church are some fine Christian monuments here. Shanti Cathedral of the
Bassel Mission in also famous. The port area has an old mosque with fine
wood work. Dongarkery has the Shamir mosque. Mangalore is famous for its
Sea Food and jasmine known for its unique aroma. A second grade college,
founded by Madras Government in Mangalore around 1869, was the first of its

kind in Karnataka. Mangalore has now a University. It has tile, coffee curing,
fish processing and cashew processing units. Beedi production is a home
industry. Mangalore Fertilizers and petro chemicals Industries is a major public
enterprise. Mangalore has a City Corporation.

Melukote, the temple town in Mandya district is a great centre of pilgrimage.
The Cheluvanarayana Swamy here was for long worshipped by Acharya
Ramanuja {12th Century). The temple came to be expanded under Vijayanagar and Mysore rulers. The latter presented the temple with many costly jewels
including Vairamudi, a diamond-studded crown. On the hilltop there is a

Narasimha temple also. Melukote is a great centre of traditional Sanskrit
learning and the Samskrita Academy here is a newly founded institution having
a huge collection of ancient palm Leaf Manuscripts with modern amenities. Mysore, the district and divisional headquarters, is the ancient royal capital
nd the garden city. It is 139 km west of Bangalore. Though described as
‘Mahishapura’, the old records speak ‘Mayisooru’ which has nothing to do with
Mahisha or Mahishasura. In the inscriptions found here and elsewhere the
place name has been mentioned as ‘Mayisooru’ which means ‘mayi’ (antelope)
and ‘Ooru’ meaning place. The Mysore royal palace is a major attraction with
Indo-Saracenic exterior and Hoysala interior, completed in 1907. It is

illuminated during holiday evenings. The palace’s Kalyana Mantapa has fine
wall paintings of the Dasara procession and Durbar scenes done in 1930s and
1940s by the Palace artists. Besides the several temples situated in the palace
complex, the Kote Anjaneya, Kote Maramma, Parshwanatha (near corporation),
Kanyaka Parameshwari (Doddapet and Shivaram Pet), Renuka Yellamma
(Mysore Karaga fame) near zoo garden, Satyanarayana (Vantikoppal),
Raghavendra Math, etc., are also important. The Chamundi Hill has a
Mahishasura Statue outside, done in cement and a large entrance tower at the
Chamundi Temple. Beside this temple, there is a tenth century Mahabala temple
and records call the hill as “Marbala Betta”. The hill has steps and on way is a
monolithic Nandi. Lalita Mahal Palace is a hotel now. Another Palace
Cheluvamba mansion which is a heritage building houses C.F.T.R.I. The Jagan
Mohan Art Gallery also was a palace. The Parakala Matha is an imposing
building near this. Mysore has the famous zoo garden too. The Oriental
Manuscript Library is also housed in an impressive building. The University
was founded in 1916. The Sutturu Matha, the Railway Museum, the Premier
Studio, the Ramakrishna Ashrama and the Sachidananda Ganapathi
(Dattatreya Peetha) Ashrama are other attractions of Mysore. The St. Philomina
Church is an impressive Gothic style of architecture with imposing towers in
N.R. Mohalla of Mysore. Mysore is the most important tourist centre of
Karnataka. Its Dasara festival is the most attractive pageant. Brindavan Gardens

raised on the other bank of KRS dam with attractive musical fountain is very
close to Mysore city and also easily approachable. Mysore has grown to be an
industrial centre too with the Railway worshop, Ideal Jawa Factory, B.E.M.L.
Unit, Vikrant Tyres, etc., The Natural Museum near D.F.R.L. in Siddartha
Layout and the Fantacy Park on Bangalore Road are the recent additions of

tourist interest. It has a City Municipal Corporation. Of late Mysore is being
developed as a second IT city of Karnataka with the founding of Software
Industries of International repute.

Nanjangud, a taluk head quarters in Mysore district, situated 20 kms.
from Mysore on the bank of Kapila is famous due to the Nanjundeshwara
temple, almost 1000 years old. It is a big complex having Nanjundeshwara
and Parvati temples enclosed by prakara with a huge Gopura on the entrance
Gateway and on the hara of the prakara, beautifully designed stucco figures of

gods and goddesses in rows are executed effectively. It is interesting to note
that Tippu made donations to this temple of an Emerald Necklace. There is a
Raghavendraswamy Matha, Suttur Matha and Siddappaji’s shrine of the
Manteswamy tradition.

Pattadakal saw the Badami Chalukyan art in its full bloom. It is 22 km
away from Badami and 514 km from Bangalore. The best temples like the
Virupaksha (Trailokeshwara) and the Mallikarjuna (Lokeshwara) were built by
the queens of Vikramaditya II (734-44 A.D.) in memory of his three victorious
march against Kanchi, the Pallava capital. These magnificient temples with
396 A Handbook of Karnataka
their nicely engraved lively figures on walls and the massive square pillars are
in sand stone. Pattadakal itself was known as Kisuvolal (‘Red Town’) as the
sand stone and soil here are reddish in colour. The Sangameshwara, Papanatha, Chandrashekhara, Jambulinga and Kadasiddeshwara are the other major
temples here, and Pattadakal has also a Jaina basadi of the Rashtrakuta times
with two beautiful elephants in its front. The Galaganath temple here which is
dilapidated, has curvilinear (rekhanagara) shikhara. This place is included in
the World Heritage Series by the NESCO.

Raichur, the headquarters of the district of the same name is 475 km
away from Bangalore. It has a hillfort originally built in 1294 by a Kakatiya (of
Warangal) officer and later expanded by the ahamanis. A 41 -feet long slab
near the Raichur bus stand, fixed into the fort wall has a Telugu record and
also sculptures of the scense of how huge slabs were transported atop the hill

with the help of buffalo driven carts. The outer fortification has five majestic
gateways, the Sikandari Darwaza and Sailani Darwaza being impressive. The
Navrangi Darwaza is created by Vijayanagara rulers with many court scenes of
Vijayanagara. The town has a majestic Ekminar mosque of the days of
Mohammed Shah Bahmani, The lone minaret is 65 feet tall. The Jami Masjid
here is the biggest of its kind. There are many modern temples in the town of
which Manikprabhu and the Ramalingeshwara temples are notable.

Sandur is a taluk headquarters in Bellary district. It is in a valley surrounded
by hills, and the hills abound in quality iron and manganese ore. Sandur is
derived from ‘sandu’ in Kannada, meaning a ‘pass’. It was formerly under the
Maratha rulers called the Ghorpades till 1947 and the palace surrounded by a
fort is an attractive building. The town has a Vithoba temple with impressive

pillars. One of the hill ranges has the attractive Kumaraswamy temple and also the Parvati temple. The Parvati temple perhaps was the original
Kumaraswamy temple of Badami Chalukya times which now houses a recent
Parvati figure and the Shanmukha {Kumaraswamy) temple is a Rashtrakuta
structure with a modern image. The twin temples are excellent pieces of art
and are in a sarene place, and are surrounded by rose gardens. The place is 12
km. from Sandur town. Not far away from here is the Nandihalli Post-Graduate
Centre of the Gulbarga University and 16 km. away from Sandur is

Ramanadurga or Ramgad. There is a Rama temple on this cool hill resort,
commemorating Kumara Rama, a historical figure who died fighting against
Delhi Sultan’s army.

Sannati in chitapur taluk of Gulbarga district, situated 48 kms from
chitapur and 18 kms from Nalwar railway station, on the left bank of river
Bhima, is one of the important pre-historic and historic sites of Karnataka. It
was an important Buddhist centre during both the Mauryas and the
Sathavahanas. So far four Asokan edicts have been found at Sannati. In
Kanaganahalli, a near by place, Buddhist stupas of Sathavahana period have
been unearthed. Excavations held at this place have proved beyond doubt of its Sathavahana township. Some findings speak of its contact with Rome. But
now the Chandralamba temple of the place has revived its lost glory. It is
situated on a mound containing Mauryan remnants, built later during
Rashtrakuta period and expanded during Later Chalukya period. People from
different places throng here on the occassion of Sankramana, Sravana and

Saundatti in Belgaum district is a taluk headquarters (74 km. from
Belgaum) and the town proper has a fort on the hill built during the 18th
Century, by the Sirasangi Desai with eight bastions. Earlier it was also the
capital of the Rattas who later shifted their headquarters to Belgaum. There
are two small Jaina basadis of Ratta times and the temples of Ankeshwara,
Puradeshwara, Mallikarjuna, Venkateshwara and the Veerabhadra. The
Puradeshwara is of the Kalyana Chalukyas, dilapidated now. The Ankeshwar
was built by the Rattas in 1048, also in Chalukyan style. The Renukasagar

waters (from the Naviluteertha dam across the Malaprabha) touch the outskirts
of Saundatti. Yellmmmanagudda, 12 km. away from Saundatti is on a hill.
This original Rashtrakuta basadi is now used to worship Yellamma or Renuka
and the devotees visit it in hundreds daily. Two km. away is Parasgad, a
wonderful hill fort, expanded by Shivaji, now getting dilapidated.

Shimoga a district headquarters, 274 km. from Bangalore is on the bank
of the Tunga river. It was a notable centre under the Keladi Nayakas. Their
palace now houses a museum of State Archaeology Department. The Kote
Seetharamanjaneya temple and Sri Raghavendra Matha are the oldest in the
town. Shimoga is a centre of paddy and areca trade and there is a Govt. sandal
oil factory here. It is a cool place near the ranges of the Western Ghats. The
place has the Bhimeshwara, Lakshminarayana and Guddekal Siddheshwara
temples and the Sacred Heart Church of the Catholics.

Sirivala, situated 15 kms from the taluk head quarters Shahapur, on the
right bank of Bhima has more than 20 ancient temples. Among them, 10 are
within the village seven scattered on the Anabi road and the remaining three
situated on the other side of the stream flowing across the village. Among the
last three, named Sujnyaneshvara, Nannaiah and Nagaiah temples, the last

two are of Rashtrakuta period. Among the temples scattered across Anabi
road, five are Ekakutas and the remaining two are dvikuta temples in dilapidated
condition. The Pushkarnies at Sujnyaneshvar and on the Anabi Road, have
the narrative panels of PanchaTantra stories depicted beautifully. Of the ten
temples in the village, Siddalingeshvar temple is unique by its sarvatobhadra

plan. It is a Panchakuta temple with the main shrine at the centre and the remaining four situated on its four directions adorned with richly ornamented
designs. One of the epigraphs of the place refer to Sharana Revana Siddaiah
and his father Shivayogi Shantimaiah and confirm their affiliation with this
place. The great Sharana Siriyalasetty is locally believed as a native of this
place. There are other temples like Bala Bhimeshvara, Mallikarjuna,
underground temple, Hanumantha, and an un named temple although in ruins
are noteworthy.

Shivagange, a prominent pilgrimage centre in Bangalore Rural dt., is about
60 km. from Bangalore. It is a conical shaped hill and one of the caves has
Shiva (Gangadhara) shrine and another cave has Honnadevl of Ganga times
originally in a natural cave, which was expanded by the Hoysalas and
subsequent rulers including the Kempegowdas of Bangalore. The place was
also known as Kakudgiri according to tradition. One can climb further on the
hill and there is Kempegowda’s Hazara with Vijayanagara style pillars, and at the top of the hill is an image of Kumbhi Basava. Below the hill there is a shiva
temple called Shanteshwara, the Shankara Matha of Sringeri tradition and
also a huge tank which has relief sculptures narrating epic events. There is a
Lingayat Matha called Mahanta Matha on the hill, and once it is said, there
were 64 Lingayat Mathas at the place. Of the many images in the Shiva temple,
one of Kempegowda as a devotee is notable.

Shoropur is a taluk centre in Gulbarga district, 520 km. from Bangalore.
Its real name is Surapur and it was the headquarters of a feudatory Nayakas
in the heart of Sagaranadu. The place has a fine fort but the parts of palaces
inside are being dismantled. Its prince Venkatappa Nayaka had revolted against
the British in 1858. Meadows Taylor was the Resident here and his residence,
Taylor Manzil is now used as a guest house. There is a Gopalaswamy temple in the town.

Shravanabelagola in Hassan District, 157 km. away from Bangalore is an important Jaina centre. There is a pond and two stony hills, called Chandragiri
and Indragiri. Chandragiri has the Chandragupta basadi of the Gangas and the Parshwanatha basadi here is the biggest. The town below the hill has the
Jaina matha whose walls have very old paintings. Indragiri has the Gommata

monolith, 58′ tall, installed by a Ganga general and scholar Chavundaraya, in
982 A.D. There is also Siddhara basadi, Odegal basadi, Chennanna basadi,
Chauwisa Tirthankara basadi besides the finely engraved Tyagada Brahmadeva
pillar with excellent floral designs. To the north of the town is Jinanathapura
which has Aregal basadi and the Shantinatha basadi of Hoysala times.

Shravanabelagola has over 500 inscriptions, and some of them record the
death of Jaina ascetics and laymen by observing starvation (‘sallekhana’].
Gommata here is an image of unrivalled beauty. Head Anoiting (Maha Masthakabhisheka) festival is held once in 12 years.

Sira Tumkur district a taluk headquarters is 52 km. from Tumkur. The
town called Siriya was founded by Rangappa Nayaka of Ratnagiri, a feudatory
of Vijayanagara. It was conquered by the Mughuls in 1686 and they raised a
beautiful garden called Khan Bag. The Jumma masjid here is a fine monument
built in 1896 and the Malik Rihan’s tomb is another impressive structure. The

fort is still there in parts, was expanded by the Mughuls. The Gopalakrishna

temple here has no image, and it is said to be housed in the Narayana temple.
The place was the centre of a Mughul Fauzdari and Kasim Khan was the first
fauzdar. Haider secured it as a gift later. Seebi, 24 km. to the south of Slra was
known earlier as Sibburu and there is a Narasimhaswamy temple built during
the 18th century by Nallappa an officer under Haider Ali. Nallappa has written

‘Haider-naame’ in Kannada. The temple is profusely decorated with mural
paintings depicting the themes of Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Dashavatara.
There are many secular themes including erotic figures in good number.

Sirsi, a taluk headquarters in Uttara Kannada is 90 kms. from Karwar. In
a record of 1150 AD from Tamadi Kallala in Siddapura Taluk, it is mentioned
as “Sirise”. The place has the Shankara, Ganapathi and Veerabhadra of early
times, the Triyambakeshvara and the Gopalakrishna are of recent times. The
Marikamba temple of the place is said to have been built in 1689, is most

significant. Its architecture is marvellous. Its Car festival which occurs biannually
in the month of Magha is attended by devotees in thousands. Mahatma
Gandhi, visited this place in 1934, since Sirsi being a notable centre of freedom

Somanathpur, ten km. away from T. Narsipur, the taluk headquarters
and 40 km, from Mysore, has the best of the Hoysala temples constructed
when the Hoysala art was in full bloom. The three vesara shikharas of the
Keshava temple are in good condition. Somanathpur was called Vidhyanidhi
agrahara and Somanath Dandanayaka, the commander of Hoysala Narasimha

III built the trikuta temple and the place was named after him. It is the finest
monument of the place. The other temples are the Panchalingeshwara.
Lakshminarayana and Narasimheswara. The Keshava temple is enclosed by a
courtyard of 215 feet in length and 177 feet in breadth. It stands on a platform
with triple shrines with three majestic shikharas on them with a common
navaranga and main entrance. It is profusely decorated on the outer walls and there are rows of figures of Natya Saraswati, Natya Ganapathi, Mahishamardini,
Varaha, Ishwara, Indra etc., and smaller figures narrating Vaishnava epics.
The navaranga has 16 ankanas each with a highly decorative floral or geometric
designs. The Keshava image in the main shrine is missing but Janardana and
Venugopala are seen in other two garbhagrihas, are really charming. The
shikharas look like highly decorated rathas. The panels on the walls of the
Keshava have sign-manuals of sculptors like Mallitamma, Baleya, Chaudeya,

Chamaya, Bharmaya, Nanjaya and Yelasamayya. The Keshava temple is a must
for every lover of Hoysala art. The Panchalinga do not have much of
embellishment, but it has five Shiva shrines in a row.

Sonda in Sirsi taluk of Uttara Kannada is 35 kms. away from Sirsi. It is in
the middle of thick forest. It was the headquarters of the Sonde rulers who
were feudatories of Vijayanagara. The place when occupied by Haider Ali in
1763 lost its importance though it was a major town earlier to that. Its large
number of monuments are spread over a wide area in the forest. It was a Jaina

centre, and has the samadhi of great scholar Bhattakalanka (died in 1604).
There is a small Jaina Matha here. The Swarnavalli Matha near sonda is of the
Smartha tradition. Arasappa Nayaka, a prince, was a devotee of Vadiraja swamy
(1480-1600), a great Madhwa saint, who shifted his matha (one of the eight of
Udupi) to this place and his Samadhi (Brindavana) is seen here. There is a

Trivikrama temple raised by him. The Swarnavalli Matha of the Havyaka
Brahmins found near Sonda has a rich collection of traditional Palm Leaf
Manuscripts. There is also the Shankaranarayana temple at Sonda and the
Gaddige Matha. The river Shalmala creates a falls of 91 metres height called
the Shivaganga falls, at a place five km. from Sonda. The Sahasralingas on the

rocky path of the river is a wonderful scene. Thousands visit this place with
utmost devotion.

Sringeri is one of four centres in India where Acharya Shankara founded
his Mathas. The place in Chikmagalur district is 334 km. away from Bangalore
and is a taluk headquarter. Sringeri has an old Parshwanatha basadi. There is
the Sharadamba temple ascribed to Acharya Shankara and the magnificent
Vidyashankara temple on the banks of the Tunga river, built during the 14th

century. It has 12 pillars inside called Rashikambhas and sun’s rays fall on a
specific pillar in the morning on each solar month. There is the Sachchidananda
Vilasa Ashrama, the Kalabhairava temple, and temples built in memory of
Narasimha Bharati and Chandrashekara Bharati, the previous pontiffs. The
Sringeri Matha grew to be jahgir as Vijayanagara, Mysore, and other families

made munificient grants. Tipu also made liberal donations to the matha. Sringeri
is a quiet serene place with many guest houses for visitors. It is a centre of
Samskrit Learning also.

Srirangapattana in Mandya district is a holy place. It was also the capital
of the Mysore rulers. Under Haider and Tipu, it had a population of 1.50 lakhs.
It is 14 km. from Mysore, and is an island in between two branches of the
Cauvery. The Ranganath temple here is ascribed to a chieftain who raised it
during the 9th Century A.D. Later Hoysala prince Vinayaditya expanded the

temple during the 12th Century. The fort here was built in 1454. The Mysore
rulers made it their capital in 1610 in the days of Raja Wodeyar, who took it
from the Vijayanagara Governor. The Ranganatha temple is called Adi Ranga
which has Hoysala, Vijayanagara and later features and the Gppura (entrance)
is in Vijayanagara style. Not far away from the temple is the mosque with twin

impressive polygonal minarets. Its suburb, Ganjam has Dariya Daulat palace
of Tipu and Gumbaz, the Mausoleum of Haider and Tipu both impressive
structures of Indo-Saracenic style. The palace has paintints, fine wood work and it houses a museum. Paschima Vahini (the Western flow) of the river here,
has many temples and old rest houses is a very serene place. The Abbe Dubbois

Church and Nimishamba temple nearby are worth seeing.

Talakad in Mysore district is a holy place on the banks of the Cauvery, 29
km. from T. Narasipur, its taluk headquarters. It was the second capital of the
Gangas. They built the Pataleshwara and the Maruleshwara temples here.
Hoysala Vishnuvardhana conquering it from the Cholas, built the Kirti Narayana
temple. The Vaidyanatheshwara is another Shiva temple here. The Arkeshwara

at Vijayapura not far away from Talakadu, three Shiva temples here and the
Mallikarjuna on hill nearby called Mudukutore together are Pancha Lingas
and a Jatra in honour of these five Shiva temples is held once in 12 years
called Pancha Linga Darshana. Talakadu is full of sands, carried by the wind
from the dried bed of the river, which has a bund across it here, built by
Madhava Mantri of Vijayanagara during the 14th century. In summer, the
dried bed supplies the sand. Excavations conducted recently have brought to
light remains of the early centuries of the Christian era which include beads, a
gold smelting clin etc., and also the remains of a basadi and two well-like
cylindrical structures made by joining earthen rigs.

Talakaveri is the point of origin of the Cauvery river in Kodagu district, 28
km. from Madikeri on the ranges of the Brahmagiri hill. There is a small square
tank from which the Cauvery is believed to emanate and move for some distance
as a subterranean flow. There are two shrines dedicated to Ishwara and
Ganapathi here. On Tula Sankramana day Cauvery is believed to start her

flow afresh from the square tank and a large Jatra takes place here. Brahmagiri
has steps from here, and atop the hill there are some remains of sacrificial
attar. This quiet resort is amidst hilly forest surroundings. Tinthini, in Surapur
taluk of Gulbarga dt, on the bank of Krishna is famous due to the religious
harmony. Maunappaiah, the Vishwakarma saint’s tomb here is worshipped
both by Hindus and Muslims with due respect.

Tumkur is the district headquarters, 70 km. to the north of Bangalore. It is
called Tummugere’ in a 10th Century record. The oldest temple here is
Lakshminarayana built in 1560. It came under Mysore during the 17th century
when a Maruti temple was built. Nearby Kyatsandra the Siddhaganga Kshetra
is situated on a hill. There is a Veerashaiva Matha at Siddhaganga known for
its unique educational service. It runs a free hostel feeding nearly 5000 students.
It also runs many educational institutions including an engineering college.
Siddhaganga has the samadhi of Siddhalingeshwara, a Veerashaiva saint and
there is a natural spring called Siddhaganga.

Udupi, a holy place and now a district headquarters is 58 kms. away from
Mangalore. The Krishna temple here built and the mein deity of Krishna was
installed by Acharya Madhwa (1200-1280 AD) during the 13th century. He
founded eight Mathas to conduct the services of Lord Krishna in turns. This
changing of turn, Paryaya festival, is held once in two years in January. The
place has Kadiyali Durga temple, Ambalapadi Shakti temple, Raghavendra
Matha and the Venkataramana swamy temple. Malpe a near by port has fine
beach and the Vadabhandeshwara temple of Balarama. Manipal near Udupi is
a great educational centre with a well equipped modern hospital and a
pathological museum. It has a deemed University, MARE.
402 A Handbook of Karnataka

Ulavi in Uttara Kannada, 32 km. from Yellapur can be reached from Haliyal
also. It is amidst thick forests, where there is the Samadhi of Chennabasavanna
(the nephew of Saint Basaveshwara) who sought shelter here after leaving
Kalyana in about 1167 when the Kalachuri king had resorted to a witch hunt
against the Sharanas after the death of Bijjala. Gavi Matha here is a series of

caves in which the Sharanas lived. One cave is named after Akka Nagamma, Chennabasavanna’s mother. The imposing structure here is the Samadhi of
Chennabasavanna which has Nandi installed in the sanctum. The Shikhara of
this sanctum has stucco figures of the Sharanas. The temple was expanded by
the Sode rulers. Every month on Poornima days, a jatra is held and the annual

jatra is held on Shivaratri days. Hundreds visit the place daily. There are some
rest houses for visitors. There is also a fort in ruins called Baburayana Kote.

Yediyur in Tumkur district (Kunigal taluk) has the samadhi (matha) of
Tontada Siddhalingeshwara Yati, a famous Veerashaiva saint who lived during
the 16th century. The place is 30 km. away from Kunigal, Pilgrims who visit
the place in hundreds daily are fed free, and there are rest houses for them.
The Matha has a fine wooden chariot (ratha) with some interesting sculptures.

The place has a Varadaraja temple and two Veerashaiva Mathas. The Matha’s
building has some old paintings on walls.

Historical Places in Karnataka Archeology in Karnataka Dams in Karnataka Districts of Karnataka
Beaches in Karnataka Hill Station in Karnataka Islands of Karnataka Waterfalls in Karnataka
Birds Sanctuaries in Karnataka National Parks in Karnataka Wildlife Sanctuary of Karnataka Rivers in Karnataka
Holiday Resorts Fairs in Karnataka Festivals in Karnataka Temples in Karnataka

31 thoughts on “Tourism in Karnataka”

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