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Karnataka a Tourist Paradise

Karnataka a Tourist Paradise

Both nature and human efforts have combined to make Karnataka a Tourist Paradise. Its long sea shore has silvery beaches. The tall Western Ghats have lush green forests full of varied fauna, flora and a number of east and west flowing rivers emanating from the Ghats, enrich the soil of the land and contribute to State’s agricultural prosperity. The rivers create many water falls which are a feast to the eyes of the on lookers. The plain area is renowned for its beautiful river banks and projecting wonderful stony hills looking like rock parks that are natural creations. The hilly tracks have many Wildlife sanctuaries. The Gangas, Kadambas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara

Rulers, Bahamanis of Gulbarga and Bidar, Adilshahis of Bijapur, Wodeyars of Mysore, Nayaks of Chitradurga and the Keladi rulers have raised wonderful forts, beautiful temples with impressive plastic art in stone and magnificent mosques and mausoleums of Indo-Saracenic style. The advent of the Portuguese and the English introduced European Renaissance architecture imitation of both gothic and Indo-European styles. They built imposing churches and captivating public as well as private buildings in Karnataka. The National Parks, the Animal and Bird Sanctuaries can provide the tourist the sight of wild animals like elephants, tigers, bisons, deers, blackbucks, peacocks and a variety of animals in their natural habitat. The National Parks also acquaint the visitor with a rich variety of flora like tall trees, bushy plants and creepers that try to entwine him. Karnataka is known for its aromatic sandal wood and broad beautiful trees of pipal and banyan with their hospitable  road shade. If one is spiritually inclined, there are living seers, whether Hindu, Christian or Muslim who can provide one with spiritual solace. There are also tombs of great religious leaders of Hindu,  Muslim, Christian, Jaina or Veerashaiva. In the precincts of these tombs even today people seek spiritual solace.

Karnataka is blessed with many waterfalls and the tallest water fall in India is at Jog (Shimoga District) where the river Sharavati jumps from a height of 293 mts. into four cascades of everlasting beauty. Presently the falls will be active with full zoom only during one month following the rainy season (July- October).The Cauvery at Shivasamudra falls (in Mandya district) has twin jumps,

Gaganachukki and Bharachukki, one km away from each other and their water has been harnessed for production of Hydel power from 1902. Mandya district has also a fall of the Shimsha, 14 km from Bluff, the power station of Shivasamudra. The river Shimsha is a tributary of the Cauvery and its falls is in Malavalli taluk, Mandya district. Kodagu district with its headquarters at Madikeri, a perennial hill-station, has the Abbi Falls, five km away from it. The Irpu falls of the river Lakshmana Tirtha, in Kodagu District, is 48 km from Virajpet, has also an old Rameshwara temple near it. Chikmagalur district has many water falls. The hill station at Kemmannugundi has the Hebbe Falls and it is created by a stream later joining the Bhadra river, and the water jumps down from a height of about 500 feet. Manikyadhara is yet another water falls near the famous pilgrim centre Baba Budangiri Dattatreya Peetha and here water spills down like small balls and visitors can enjoy a memorable shower bath. The Kallatti Falls at Kallattipura in Tarikere tq is 10 km from Kemmannugundi; water leaps down here from a height of 400 feet and there is an old Veerabhadra temple very near the Falls. Mysore district has the picturesque Chunchanakatte Falls at the place of the same name, besides which there is a Rama temple. Uttara Kannada is famous for its Unchalli (Lushington) also called ‘Keppa Joga’ Falls, about 450 feet in height and the Aghanashini river creates this water cascade at a place which can be reached from Yellapur (19 km away) and also from Siddapur (12 km) via, Kolsirsi, Heggarne and Unchalli. From Unchalli one has to walk five km from through the thick forest to reach the witnessing spot of this falls. The Magod Falls (situated at a distance of eight km from Yellapur) of the Bedti River can be reached from Siddapura (35 kms) as well as Yellapur in Uttara Kannada. The Chaya Bhagavathi falls, (five kms away from Narayanapur) in Surpur tq, the

Yattipota falls near Chincholi, the Gurmitkal falls (four kms from Gurmitkal) in Yadgiri Tq. the Kotikal falls near Badami and the Kabbargi Falls in Koppal district are noteworthy. Belgaum District has the famous Gokak Falls, which is eight km away from the Gokak Town and Gokak Road Railway Station. The 170 feet tall cascade here is called ‘Mini Niagara’ for its spread and shape. Hydro Electric Power was harnessed here to mechanically run the cotton mill as early as in 1887. There are many beautiful old temples at Gokak falls beginning from Badami Chalukyas till Later Chalukyan times and Vijayanagara periods and also a suspension bridge across the river Ghataprabha. The artificial but, attractive waterfalls at Sogala (Baihongal Tq.) needs special mention. The Mahadayi river creates the Vajrapoha Falls in the thick Jamboti forest in Khanapur taluk. While the river travels towards Goa, it is called Mandovi. A second falls of it at the lower valley from a height of 50 mtrs. Although inaccessible, can be reached from Asoge, which is six kms. away from this falls. Near Bangalore is Muthyalamaduvu falls not far away from Anekal, and 40 kms from Bangalore. The proper season to visit these water falls is between September and January and Gokak Falls must be visited in July-August when it will be in full bloom.

To the religious-minded and the devotees of every denomination, there are places worthy of a visit. To the Muslim, one of the oldest mosques of Karnataka is in the Gulbarga Fort, built in 1367. by the Bahmani King Muhammad Shah I. It is the biggest mosque in Karnataka, and when compared in plan and design, the mosque resembles the mosque at Cardova in Spain. The Jamiya masjid in

Ferozabad of Gulbarga Tq is of Bahamani period. Hirabibi masjid at Hirapur (Gulbarga), masjids at Gogi, Sagar etc. are noteworthy. The Jamiya mosque in Bijapur is another wonderful huge monument built by All Adilshah (16th century). It has a proportionate dome and its mihrab is  orgeously painted.  The Malika Jahan mosque in black stone is another notable mosque in Bijapur.

Bidar has the famous Solha-kamb mosque with 16 cylindrical pillars was raised in 1423. The Andu masjid, (Bijapur), the Mahal masjid of Afzalpur and the Khali masjid of Aland built during Adilshahi period are some beautiful examples of Islamic architecture. Raichur has Ekminar mosque and Lakshmeshwar (Gadag dt) has artistically raised mosque in the style of a Hindu temple of Adilshahi times. Belgaum has the fine Safa mosque of Adilshahi times in the fort built by Asad Khan Lahiri. Another mosque in the fort is Jamia Masjid raised by Sher Khan of Bijapur in 1586-87. Bhatkal has magnificent Chinnada Palli and the mosque at Mangalore port is known for its fine wood work. The

Jamiya Mosque at Srirangapattana with its two tall minarets is the creation of Tipu. Sira has a mosque of Mughul times. The Mosque in the City Market, Bangalore, is a large modern structure in marble with a series of windows crowned by arched canopies and rows of minaret-like pillasters.

The Dargas of Muslim Saints and Kings are equally famous. The Bande Nawaz Darga at Gulbarga is in a vast sprawling complex where a Mughul mosque is also seen. The Mausoleum of Ahmed Shah Wali, at Ashtur near Bidar is a tall structure with paintings in it. The prince is venerated as a saint by both the Hindus and Muslims. Bijapur has two princely Mausoleums. Ibrahim Rauza, a twin structure is standing on arched platform. One end of the platform has a tomb and another end a mosque, both domed structures with the domes emerging from lotus petals and having metallic  innacles on them. Gol Gumbaz is the most famous mausoleum of another prince. The Yakub Kadri darga at Yadagiri, Sarmast darga at Sagar, Ladle Mashak darga at Aland, Amin Sab darga at Ijeri (Jevargi tq), Chanda Husaini darga at Gogi, Sayad Abib Sha Wali darga at Hirapur near Gulbarga. Haji Khudanma Husaini darga at Chincholi, Chita Sha Wali darga at Chitapur, Khaji Shahabuddin

darga at Karjagi (Afzalpur tq) are some of the Important dargas situated in Gulbarga District. The Panje Sab Darga at Talikote. Hajisab and Badakalsab darga at Tikota (Bijapur tq) and Hasan Dongri dargah at Bilgi are noteworthy. Darga of Malik Rihan is the most notable with its Polygonal layout, a Mughul Structure at Sira. The Gumbaz where rest Haider and Tipu’s mortal remains is a tall structure with a huge dome at Shrirangapattana. Its doors have fine inlay work. Syed Madani Darga at Ullala near Mangalore is a modern structure. At the Asar Mahal palace of Bijapur, Hazrat Bal, a hair of the Prophet is believed to be preserved in a casket. Wherever there is Muslim population they also raise dargas (“chillas”) of Mehboob Subani (famous Saint from Baghdad) and Chamansha Wali. Uruses are also held at these places. Many of the uruses are very large gatherings, attended by Hindus also as at the Raja Bagh Sawar urns at Yamanur near Navalgund or the one of Ahmadshah Wali at Ashtur near Bidar, which is also considered as the jatra of Veerashaiva Saint Allamaprabhu.

A Veerashaiva pries officiates at it, beginning the rituals by doning green robes.

For those interested in seeing churches, the best are at Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore. Though Christianity was propagated by the efforts of the Portuguese in Kanara {coastal area) far earlier than on the plateau, many of the churches they raised on the coast during the 16th to 18th Century were

razed to the ground by the Mysore ruler in 1790s. Mangalore has the magnificent St. Rozario Cathedral church with its tall frontal towers. The original building was of 1526, rebuilt in 1910. Milagres Church with beautiful tall façade accommodating many artistic images on its parapet, reminds one of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Equally notable is Our Lady of Sorrow church at Kodialbail built in 1857. It has a frontal tall wall facade divided into four rectangles of equal size with a pediment atop them. Mangalore has the Shanti Cathedral of the Basel Mission (now C.S.I.) raised in 1862 which is a beautiful simple structure with its complex well-planned layout.Virajpeth in Kodagu has a Catholic Church in Gothic style. It celebrated its bicentenary in 1993. The small Anglican Church in Madikeri, now houses the Government Museum managed by the State Archaeology Department has some rare antiquities and beautiful glass paintings. The St. Mary’s Church in Belgaum is a huge granite structure built in 1869 in the Camp area with fine piers in the prayer hall and gorgeous stained glass windows. The St. Philomina Church at Mysore with its two tall towers of imposing size can be the pride of any town and the building has a crypt. The Abbe Dubois Church (Srirangapattana) is worth mentioning. Bangalore has its oldest St. Mary’s Basilica in Shivajinagar supposed to be raised around 1600, rebuilt in 1832, and it has a tall Gothic tower at the entrance. St. Marks Cathedral that took the present shape in 1927, is another Imposing structure in the former Cantonment area, now of the Church of South India. The St. Patrick’s Church with North-South alignment is in Greeco-Roman style, was originally built for Irish soldiers in 1844 and rebuilt in 1898. The Trinity Church on the Mahatma Gandhi Road was the official Anglican Church of British times which was attended by Residents and other officers. It took its present shape in 1908, though originally built in 1851, it has fine ionic pillars and a portico with a majestic look. Its nave is 90 feet long and the back-wall has fine wooden carvings.

The Buddhists had their Tara Bhagavati temples at Belgami (Balligave) near Shiralkoppa (Shimoga dt), Koliwada and Dambal, (both in Gadag dt), are no more. Remains of the razed Stupas and a large number of Buddhist plaques of Satavahana period are unearthed recently at Sannatti and Kanaganahalli nearby in Gulbarga dt. Buddha Vihara at Aihole and Buddhist remains at Badami

(between cave two and three) of Badami Chalukya period are noteworthy. Kadri in Mangalore has three Buddhist bronze images in the Manjunatha temple and of these, one of Avalokiteshwara is more than five feet tall, and is of ninth century. The Tibetan Settlements at Mundgod in Uttara Kannada and Bailukuppe in Mysore district look like mini-Tibet with their multi-coloured beautiful stupas and artistically painted prayer halls. The two New BaudhaViharas at Gulbarga are worth mentioning. The Mahabodhi Society in Bangalore has a magnificent stupa, and a huge temple on the model of the Bodhagaya temple has been raised inside the compound.

Jainism had been a very old religion of Karnataka and Shravanabelagola with its 58 feet tall Gommata (intalled in 981-82 AD) and many Jaina basatis on two rocky hills is the most important Jaina Centre. It is in Hassan dt. And in the neighbouring district of Shimoga is Humcha, famous for the worship of Yakshi Padmavathi. Kambadahalli (Nagamangala taluk) known for its Panchakuta Jaina Basadi (dwikuta and trikuta) of 10th C A.D. is unique by its varied amlashila adorning the shikaras of the trikuta temple with huge monolithic pillar in front. Simhanagadde in Chikmagalur dt. (Narasimharajapur tq) has a Jaina Matha of antiquity. Dakshina Kannada has many Jaina Centres.

Mudabidre has the biggest Jaina Basadi in Karnataka called Thousand-pillared basadi with wonderful Jaina icons, both in metal and wood. The pillars of this 16th Century structure are highly artistic. At this place, there are many more Jaina monuments. Neighbouring Karkala town has a Gommata monolith statue installed in the 15th century, and a beautiful Chaturmukha basadi.  nother

town nearby is Venur which has another monolithic Gommata installed in 1604, also has the Shantinatha Basadi. Dharmasthala, a famous Shaiva Centre has a monolithic Gommata installed in the last century. Belgaum district has the beautiful Kamala basadi in Chalukyan style in the Belgaum Fort. The ancient centre Tavanidi near Nippani and newly created centre at Shedbal, where 24 Tirthankaras in white marble have been installed in a cluster, are quite imposing. Lakkundi in Gadag district has a huge Brahma Jinalaya of Chalukyan style, built by a noble lady, Attimabbe. Near Mysore is Gommatagiri with a 20 feet tall Gommata monolith. Tippuru in Maddur Tq has a 20

ft.Gommata image of 10 th Century A.D. A picturesque hill, Maleyur in Chamarajnagar taluk with a Parshwanatha basadi atop the hill and also the samadhi of the great Jaina Savant Pujyapada is another holy centre. This place on a rocky hill has serene atmosphere.

To the Shaivas, Gokarn is a great all-India centre where the Atmalinga (Mahabaleshwara) of Shiva, brought by Ravana is believed to have been installed. Nearby is Murdeshwar where a huge modern Shiva temple in Dravidian Style has been raised, renovating an ancient shrine. Both the places are on the sea-shore in Uttara Kannada. At Hampi is the famous Virupaksha Temple, venerated by generations of poets, scholars, kings and commoners. Madikeri has the famous Omkareshwara temple built by the Kodagu rulers during the 19th century. Its domes and arches make it look like an Indo- Saracenic building. Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada is the most popular Shaiva centre in Karnataka. Nanjangud in Mysore dt. has the huge Shrikantheshwara temple, more than 1000 years old. The Chamarajeshwara in Chamarajanagar is built (in 19th Century) by Krishnaraja Odeyar III in

memory of his father Chamaraja, and both these huge temples have fine stucco images. The Nanjangud temple is a museum for the study of Shaiva Iconography with its fine stone figures in the round. Bangalore has the Ulsoor Someshwara temple of the 16th Century built by the Kempegowda family with tall imposing Rayagopura. The Shiva temple at Kudala Sangama in Bagalkote district is famous for its association with Saint Basaveshwara. Equally remarkable pieces of art are the  Virupaksha and the Mallikarjuna at Pattadakal in Bagalkote dt. Temples at Talakadu, Vijayapura and Mudukutore (Mallikarjuna on a hill) are together famous as five holy Lingas (Panchalingas) and are on the bank of the Cauvery.

On Shivaratri day, jatras are held at all these centres. The Veerashaivas have many venerated places, either associated with Basaveshwara or his contemporaries. Basavana Bagewadi was his place of birth and Kudala Sangama the place of his spiritual practices, are in Bijapur and Bagalkot dts. The latter is at the confluence of the river Krishna and the Malaprabha. Basava Kalyana, the ancient Chalukyah capital in Bidar district was the place where he conducted his socio-religious  ovement. Ulavi in Uttara  Kannada, a quiet place amidst forests, has the ‘samadhi’ of   Chennabasavanna, Basaveshwara’s nephew. Belgami (Balligavi), the famous Chalukyan art centre

in Shimoga dt. is identified as the birth place of Allama Prabhu and Uduthadi near it, is the native place of Akka Mahadevi. Later Veerashaiva saints are associated with many places. Kodekal (Gulbarga dt.) Basavanna temple, Kadakola Madivallajja Matha, Sharana Basaveshwara temple and Dasoha Math at Gulbarga are few more places of worship. The Mahadeshwara Betta in Chamarajanagar dt. is associated with a Veerashaiva Saint ascribed with many miracles. Yediyur in Tumkur dt. has the ‘gadduge’ of Tontada Siddhalinga Yati, another renowned saint. Balehonnur in

Chikmagalur dt. and Ujjini in Bellary dt. are the two among the five (Pancha) major important Veerashaiva Peethas of India in Karnataka. Athani has the ‘samadhi’ of the famous Veerashaiva Saint Shivayogi. Some of the outstanding Veerashaiva Mathas are seen at Naganur near Bailhongal and Kalmatha in Belgaum, Durudundeshwara Matha at Arabhavi and Mahantaswamy Matha at Murgod are in Belgaum dt. Murugha Matha (Dharwad), Annadaneshwara Matha (Mundargi),  ontadarya Matha at Gadag and Dambal, Moorusavira Matha at Hubli, Murugha Matha and Hukkeri Matha (Haveri), Taralabalu Matha at Sirigere, Murugharajendra Matha at Chitradurga, Banthanala Shivajogi Matha at Chadachan and Mahantaswamy Matha (Ilkal) are equally notable. The ‘samadhi’ of Sharanabasappa Appa at Gulbarga, the Belimatha in Bangalore, Siddhaganga Matha near Tumkur and Jagadguru Shivaratreshwara Matha at Mysore and Suttur are equally important. Kolar District has Nidumamidi Matha. These places and many more of the Veerashaiva Mathas are visited by pilgrims in thousands.Of the Adwaita School profounded by Adi Shankara, there is the famous

Matha at Sringeri in Chikmagalur District. Kudli has another Matha in the
same tradition in Shimoga dt. Adwaita Matha at Swarnavalli (Uttara Kannada)
has several palmleaves collections and this Matha has a large number followers
especially the Havayaks of Uttara Kannada district and elsewhere. Avani in
Kolar dt., Shivaganga in Tumkur dt. and Sankeshwar in Belgaum dt. are the
other prominent centres of this school. Of the Adwaita Sampradaya, are the
famous Siddharudha Matha at Hubli and the Shivananda Matha at Gadag.
Dattatreya worship is popular in Karnataka and Devala Ganagapur in
Gulbarga dt. where the famous saint from Karnataka, Narasimha Saraswati
had stayed for long, and Dattatreya devotees from all over throng the place.
Kurugadda, an island in the Krishna in Raichur dt. has the samadhi of Sripada
Vallabha, another devotee of Dattatreya, the guru of Narasimha Saraswati. At
Balekundri near Belgaum is the ‘samadhi’ of another devotee of Dattatreya
called Pantha Balekundri Maharaj. Murgod in Belgaum dt. and Agadi in Haveri
dt. have similar centres. Inam Dattatreya Peetha at Bababudan Giri in
Chikmagalur dt. is worshipped by both Hindus and Muslims. As a Muslim
devotee of Dattatreya, Dada Hayath Khalandar stayed and worshipped
Dattatreya at this shrine (cave) and the latter’s ‘samadhi’ (tomb) is also seen
on the hill. Maniknagar near Humnabad is another centre of Dattatreya worship
and was consecrated by the presence of a saint, Manik Prabhu.
Among the Shaivas, there are Nathapanthis. Handibadaganath in Khanapur
taluk. A ppachiwadi near Nippani and Kadri in Mangalore are their notable
centres. Bhairava, a manifestation of Shiva is worshipped in many places, and
of these Adichunchanagiri in Mandya dt. and Seethi Betta in Kolar dt. are
quite famous. Adichunchanagiri has now the famous Matha of the Vokkaliga
Mailara Marthanda or Malatesha or Khandoba is another manifestation of
Shiva, whose temples are seen at Gudda Guddapur in Ranebennur taluk,
Mannetti Mailara in Bellary dt., Khanapur in Bidar dt., Mangasuli in Belgaum
dt., Bellur and Mailarapatna in Mandya dt. All these are popular centres of

Another popular manifestation of Shaivism is Veerabhadra, He is supposed
to be the son of Shiva. Popular centres of his worship are spread all over
Karnataka, but Yedur on the banks of the Krishna and Godachi in Belgaum
dt., Mugbalu and Savanadurga in Bangalore dt., Channappanapura in Mysore
dt, Koppa in the Chikmagalur dt. and the Uddhana Veerabhadra temple at

Hampi are some notable pilgrim centres of this God.
Shakti, the consort of Shiva is worshipped by many. The village deities like
Maramma, Durgamma, Patalamma, Sappalamma,Plague Amma, Matangamma
etc., have been identified with her. Of the Shakti centres to be noted are
Chandralamba at Sannati (Gulbarga), Bagavanti at Ghattaraki, Mayavva at
Karnataka, The Tourist Paradise 363

Chinchli, Yellamma at Saundatti, Banashankari near Badami (Bagalkote dt.),
Bhuvaneshwari at Hampi, Marikamba at Sirsi (Uttara Kannada), Mookambika
of Kollur, Annapurneshwari of Horanadu, Chamundeshwari in Mysore and
Hemadramma at Bannur (Mysore dt.), Mahalakshmi at Doddagaddavalli near
Hassan, Lakshmi at Goravanahalli, Hasanamba at Hassan, Honnadevi of

Shivaganga, Mariyamma at Huskur, Banashankari at Bangalore and the one
near Badami and Kolararnma at Kolar are considered to be ancient. These
places are visited by devotees of Goddess Shakti.

Among the Vaishnava Centres, Udupi and Melkote are the foremost, the
former connected with the Dwaita school and the latter Vishishtadvaita. Lord
Krishna at Udupi was installed by Acharya Madhwa (1200 – 1280 AD) in the
beginning of 13th C.A.D. and he founded eight Mathas to help conduct services
of the Lord at Udupi. The Madhwa Vaishnavas have their own holy places like

Sonda in Uttara Kannada, where Vadiraja Swamy’s ‘Brindavan’ is seen. The
pioneering Uttaradi Matha of the sect is at Hospet. The Navabrindavana or the
‘Brindavanas’ of nine great seers of the sect is at Anegundi to the north of Hampi in an island amidst the Tungabhadra. Mulabagal in Kolar dt. has the
Brindavana of Sripadaraja. Nanjangud, Sosale Bhimanakatte, Mahishi, Manur,

Santebidanur (Andhra Pradesh), Mantralaya (Andhra Pradesh) and Savanur
are holy places to the Madhwas, the last named having the Brindavan of
Satyabodha Teertha of Uttaradhi Matha, a Contemporary of Haider who paid
him honours. The great Vaishnava saint, Kanakadasa’s samadhi is at Kaginele
in Haveri dt. where recently a Matha has been founded with the name Kanaka

Guru Peetha. Kanakadasa one of the exponents of Haridasa Literature visited
Udupi Krishna temple and the God is said to have turned backwards and
given him darshan through the ‘Kanakana kindi’. Places like Mannur, Malkhed,
Honnali, Kudli, Sosale and Yaragola are also noteworthy Madhwa centres in
the State.
Srivaishnavism was preached by Ramanujacharya during the 12th century

and he stayed at Saligrama (Mysore dt. where there is the Bhashyakara Temple
in his memory). Tonnur and Melukote in Mandya dt. At the last place he is
believed to have renovated the Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple and conducted
the pious for long. These are holy places to Srivaishnavas and also to others.
There is the Parakala Matha at Mysore and Jeeyar Yatiraja Matha at Bangalore

Apart from the above places which are holy to Srivaishnavas, temples of
Vishnu and his incarnation are found all over the state. Reference is already
made to Udupi, Melkote, Biligiri Rangana Betta and Himavad Gopalaswamy
Betta. Narasimha is worshipped in notable places like Raibag, Surpali, Halasi,
Banawasi, Nagamangala and Maddur in Mandya dt. Zarani Narasimha near

Bidar. Devarayanadurga and Sibi in Tumkur dt., Toravi near Bijapur and at T.
Narasipur in Mysore dt. Ranganatha has two famous centres of worship in
islands in the Cauvery at Srirangapattana and Shivasamudra. Both are visited
364 A Handbook of Karnataka
by hosts of devotees. Equally famous Ranganatha temple is seen at Anegondi
in Koppal dt. The Chennakeshava at Belur. Keerti Narayana at Talakad,
Veeranarayana at Gadag, Soumya Keshava at Nagamangala are famous
Vaishnava pilgrimage centres. Vishnu in Bhuvarahavatara form found at Halasi
(Belgaum dt.) Varahanatha Kallahalli (Mandya dt.) and Mysore are unique and
note worthy. Chunchanakatte in Mysore District and Hiremagalur near
Chikmagalur and K.R.Nagar have very old Rama temples. Hanuman as a

popular Vaishnava deity has his temples in Hampi, Bannur (Mysore),
Banaswasdi near Bangalore, Karanji Anjaneya in Bangalore, Yalagur in Bagalkot
dt., Mulbagal in Kolar dt. Kadaramandalagi in Haveri dt. and Kengal Anjaneya
near Channapatna and a host of other places. Muttatti on the banks of Cauvery
in Mandya dt. also has a famous Hanuman Temple called Muttatiraya.

Subrahmanya, son of Shiva has his worshipping centres at Sandur in Bellary
district (picturesque hill resort), Ghati Subrahmanya in Bangalore (R) district
and Kukke Subrahmanya in Dakshina Kannada, In certain areas, Kartikeya is
identified with serpent worship and elaborate ritual called Nagamandala is
performed in a huge arena decorated with coloured powders and flowers. Around

this, special dance rituals are performed by trained priests. Witnessing
Nagamandala or a Yakshagana in coastal Karnataka, will be a unique privilege
to the visitor. So is seeing Bhuta worship rituals which are colourful and
captivating. Other folk arts like Veeragase, intended to please God Veerabhadra
hold one spell bound. Dollinakunita to please Biredevaru is a mighty
performance. Curious and funny is Somanakunita which entertain the
onlookers by the huge mask wearing artists. The Kamsale dance by the
Devaraguddas (devotees) of Mahadeshwara and Pathada kunitha of old Mysore

region are fascinating. The pageant of folk arts of Karnataka like Yakshagana,
Bayalata etc., will captivate the audience for a long period.Janapada Loka
near Ramanagara (Mysore-Bangalore Road) and the Regional Resources Centre
at the M.G.M. College, Udupi, provide audio-visual tapes, and there is a huge
folk museum in the Mysore University.
The Sikhs have their famous Nanak Zhara in Bidar, a place supposed to
have been visited by Guru Nanak. Gurudvar Nanak Math in Gulbarga of modern
times is noteworthy. There is a modern Gurud wara at Ulsoor in Bangalore,
built in white marble. The Parsees have their fire temple in Bangalore.
The State has many National Parks and Wild Life Sanctuaries. Of the National
Parks one at Bannerghatta near Bangalore is about 100 in area and
there is a Tiger Safari. Bandipur in Mysore and Chamarajnagar dt. is more
than 800 in area and famous for its wild elephants .The Kudremukh
National Park, 600 sq km in area is on the ranges of the Western Ghats and is
known for all kinds of flora and fauna. The Kudremukh Iron Co. at Malleswara
is amidst the park and has maintained a township and a guest house. The
Nagarahole National Park spread over 640 sq km includes areas both in Kodagu
and Mysore districts, has forest lodges to accommodate visitors and this park

is famous for its tiger population. The Brahmagiri Wild Life Sanctuary is in
Kodagu where nature in all its wild growth and animals in all their wild
movements can be seen. This is at more than 2000 to 3000 ft above mean sea

level. Ranebennur Wild Life Sanctuary in Haveri district is more than 100 sq
km in area and is known for its agile blackbucks population. Adichunchanagiri
has the Peacock Sanctuary. It is a hilly place where there is a Bhairava Temple
and a Matha of the Vokkaligas and peacocks can be seen in gay abandon in
the mornings. Dandeli Wild Life Sanctuary in Uttara Kannada District is famous

for bisons, deers and variety of other wildfauna.
Ranganatittu near Srirangapattana is a small island in the cauvery where
there is Bird Sanctuary and emigrant birds of all types like pelican, storks and

large number of other varieties are found perching on the trees and bushes,
feeding or busy flying to feed their young ones. Gudvi Bird Sanctuary in Sorab
taluk and Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary in Tirthahalli taluk are famous, and they
are in Shimoga district. An equally famous Bird Sanctuary is at Kokrebellur
near Maddur in Mandya district. Lovers of wild life who love serenity of the

forest and trekking at the hill tracks can visit these places and enjoy the natural
bounty of the land of Karnataka. Karnataka has some outstanding Trekking
spots. Places like Yana and Kavale caves in Uttara Kannada District. Gottamgotta
(Gulbarga dt), B.R. Hills (Chamaraj Nagar), Kabbal durga (Bangalore dt.)
Basavanabetta in Mandya dt. Mahadeshwara Betta in Chamarajanagar dt.

Madhugiri, Siddara Betta and Shivaganga (Tumkur dt.) , Nandi and Kolar hills
in Kolar district etc., are noteworthy. Herein you come across tanks, rivulets
and water falls to help cool your heels. The chirping sound of birds and of wild
insects provide you with fine natural music.
Karnataka has many cool and pleasant hill resorts of which Kudremukh is
one, mentioned above. Kemmannagundi in Chikmagalur district (in the Western
Ghats) is another hill resort surrounded by a park with good accommodation
facilities arranged by the Horticulture department (housed at Lalbag, Bangalore).

Biligiri Ranganabetta in Chamarajnagar dt. is famous for its ancient Srinivasa
temple atop a hill and around the temple, there exists a Wild Life Sanctuary.
Wild elephants are seen around the place. The place is inhabited by Soliga
tribes. Himavathgopalabetta (Gopalaswamy Betta) is another resort where there
is a Venugopala temple atop of hill. Rest house and food facilities are provided

in the small hamlet that has grown around the temple.
Devarayanadurga in Tumkur district has temples of Lakshmi Narasimha
and Yoga Narasihma atop the hill which is a cool resort and the whole hill is

surrounded by picturesque fortification. Nandidurga in Kolar dt. is an ancient place with the Yoganandiswara Temple of Chola times atop it and fortifications
around it, built by Haider and Tipu. The place is provided with lodging facilities,
and the Horticulture Department has raised an attractive park above the hill.
Mahatma Gandhi had stayed here more than once when he was in poor health.

Agumbe known as the Chirapunji of Karnataka in Shimoga district, though
not a hill resort, is a hill track from where the sunset can be observed and it is
an heavenly experience. There are hill resorts at Ramdurga in Bellary district,
Biligiri Rangana Betta in Mysore district, Siddara Betta in Tumkur district ,
Tadiyanda Mol in Kodagu district and also at Jogimatti in Chitradurga district.
The rivers of Karnataka have several reservoirs of tourist importance.
Reservoirs like KRS (Mandya dt), Narayanapur and Almatti (Bijapur dt.),
Chandrampalli (Gulbarga dt.) Navil Thirtha (Belgaum dt.), Shimsha (Mandya
dt.) Munirabad (Koppal dt.) Lakkavalli (Chikmagalur dt.), Gorur (Hassan dt.),
Bichanahalli (Mysore dt.), Harangi (Kodagu dt.) Marikanive (Chitradurga dt.),
Gajanur (Shimoga dt.), Hidkal (Belgaum dt.), Karanja (Bidar dt.), Varahi (Udupi
district ), Supa dam (Uttara Kannada) etc. can serve as interesting picinic and
tourist spots.
If you want to bask in the sunshine of the sea shore or get beaten by the
oceanic waves, there are fine beaches. At Bengre which is almost an island
and at Ullal both near Mangalore are notable beaches. Ullal has provision for
cottages and food facilities. Not far away from Mangalore is the beach at
Thanneerubhavi near Suratkal where there is the Regional Engineering College.
Malpe near Udupi (both places were associated with great Vaishnava saint

Madhwacharya) has a long magnificent beach and also an island near it.
Marvanthe in the Kundapur taluk of coastal Karnataka has a fine beach on
one side and river Sauparnika on the other, running parallel to the coast for a
considerable distance before its confluence with the sea and the Highway runs
in between Sea and the river provides the tourists an enchanting travel
experience and the sunset here is a magnificent divine spectacle. Kapu beach
near Kundapur is also an enchanting serene tourist spot. Gokarna, the holy
town in Uttara Kannada, has a very long beach hich has also become a second
resort to many people who visit Goa. Karwar has a number of beaches like
Blue Lagoon Beach, Ladies Beach around it and Poet Rabindranath Tagore
had unforgettable experiences at Karwar beach to which he has given expression
to in poetic prose. Om beach, Murudeshwar and Kasarkod are other beautiful
serene beaches of Uttara Kannada Dist. These are only a few among the many.

The beaches not only provide you an encounter with the sea, but also give you
a chance to taste sea food available there.
The sea coast has some captivating islands too and of these the St. Mary`s

Island or Tonseparu near Malpe has peculiar pillar-like natural rock formations.
The Nethrani Island near Murdeshwar is another captivating Island. Basavaraja
Durga near Honavar is an island fort raised by the Keladi Rulers during 16th
and 17th Centuries. It is surrounded by a strong fortification raised by gigantic
laterite blocks and the hill has a flat top. Devagad and Kurmagad are two

islands near Karwar. Visiting these places will be a wonderful experience.
If the visitor is interested in old paintings, the mural paintings of
Vijayanagara times are seen at Hampi Virupaksha temple and also at
Karnataka, The Tourist Paradise 367
Haradanahalli in the Chamarajanagar dt. Earlier, there were some paintings
in Cave No. 3 at Badami of the 7th century. They have faded. There are old

paintings of considerable antiquity at the Jaina Matha in Shravanabelagola.
Paintings of Bijapur times are seen at Asar Mahal Palace of the 16th-17th
century. Asar Mahal has mostly floral figures now fading. Ragmala paintings
and portraits of kings and queens like Chand Bibi are preserved in the Bijapur
Museum. A place near Bijapur, Kumatagi has also some wall paintings around
a swimming pool. Eighteenth century paintings are seen at Dariya Daulat Palace
at Srirangapattana, some of them are war scences, others personal portraits.
The Sibi Temple near Tumkur also has paintings of the 18th century of secular
nature besides some astounding erotic figures.
The Eighteenth century paintings are also seen at Chamarajnagar and at
Haleparivaradavara Chavadi in Kollegal and the Nalkunadu Palace in Kodagu.
The paintings on an wooden plank from Kittur have been transferred to the
Hire Matha at Amminbhavi in Dharwad dt. The 19th century paintings are
seen in the palace of Nippani, {Belgaum dt.), Nargund (Gadag dt.) and two
temples in the precincts of the Mysore palace. The Jaganmohan Art Gallery
has mural painting and also traditional paintings of gods and goddesses drawn

on cloth and also on glass. The traditional paintings of Mysore are preserved at
the Chitrakala Parishat in Bangalore too and they are mostly framed paintings
of gods and goddesses of the Mysore style. Small round ‘Ganjifa’ cards and
various ‘snake and ladder’ type game boards of the 19th century also have fine
paintings. Sritatvanidhi, a manuscript of the 19th century has hundreds of

miniature paintings. In which series are nine unpublished coloured illustrated
manuscripts originally prepared during the time of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III of
the Mysore Royal family, are now found in the Oriental Research Institute,
Mysore and of which only Shaktinidhi has been recently published.
Sritatvanidhi’s illustrations are considered to be outstanding and has been
recently published in parts by Prof S.K.Ramachandra Rao.
Schools of art also have good collection of modern paintings. The ideal fine
arts college at Gulbarga, Vijaya Fine Arts College at Gadag, Arts School of
Halbhavi at Dharwad, Arts School of Minajigi at Hubli, Hadapad’s Ken School
of Art, Chitrakala Parishat and Kalamandira at Bangalore and Art School at
Davanagere can be specially mentioned. Art exhibitions called ‘Kala Mela’ are
generally held in Bangalore, Davanagere, Udupi, Dharwad, Hubli, Gulbarga,
Mysore, Mangalore and other centres. Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts

(CAVA) is a Government institution is working in an old heritage building at
Of the handicrafts of Karnataka, brocade weaving can be seen at Bangalore,
Hubli, and other places. Wood inlay work is practised at Mysore and it is a
unique art. Lacquer ware working can be seen at Channapatna, Kinahal and
Kalaghatgi. Kinahal in Koppal district is doing special type of works. Sculptors

are seen at Mysore, Shivarapatna, Bangalore, Gadag and other centres, sculpting stone figures. Sandalwood carving is practised by the Gudigars at
Sagar, Sorab, Kumta and Honavar who undertake both big and small delicate
works. They also use other soft and hard wood as the medium, since sandalwood
is very costly. Their delicate works have few equals. Bidar has a special metallic

craft called Bidariware in which on a black metal surface fine silvery or gold
designs are embossed artistically. The Lambanis are known for their special
embroidery work. Doll making is also a special talent found in Karnataka.
Wonderful braziers are found at Nagamangala (Mandya dt), Gollaradoddi near
Ramohalli (Bangalore dt.), Udupi and Chikkodi in Belgaum dt. Observing the

nimble fingers at work on cane or bamboo or with chisel is a hair-raising
experience. The Canara Bank at Jogaradoddi and the Sandur Industries at
Sandur have opened workshops to make various type of craftsmen to sit under
a single roof and work together. A show room is also opened to help them
secure remunerative price for their products. Govt. Cauvery Emporia at

Bangalore, Mysore and other centres have showrooms of craft products of
Of the Museums in the state, for art lovers, Jaganmohan Art Gallery housed
in an old gorgeous palace of Mysore is a must. There are not only fine art
works (including some by Raja Ravi Varma) in colours, metals, ivory and wood
but a huge collection of musical instruments too of yore. The Mysore Palace

proper has a large collection of art works from various countries, besides a
gallery of armoury of olden days including a sword that can be worn round the
waist like a belt.
Bangalore Government Museum (1880) too has a collection of ancient arms,
a sculpture gallery and a collection of old coins, which are shown at special
request. There are exclusive painting collections of noted artists K. Venkatappa
and K.K. Hebbar and plaster of paris sculptures of the former. The district
museum at Shimoga (housed in an old palace) where queer items of Keladi
rulers are preserved. The Gulbarga Museum has not only the items of
Bahmanshahi times but also a huge collection of Buddhist sculptures
(Decorative plaques) had from Sannati. Chitradurga Museum (1947) has many
antiquities connected with the local chieftains, hero-stones, weapons and other
items. There are State Government Museums at Gulbarga, Kittur, Hassan,
Keladi, Raichur, Basavakalyana, Huvina Hadagali, Dharwad, Gadag, Srirangapatna and Shimoga which are worth noticing.
The Central Government (Archaeological Survey of India) maintains a rich
collection of armoury, coins, manuscripts and paintings at the Museum near
Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur. Hampi {at Kamalapura) has a similar site museum of
Vijayanagara days, and it also contains many objects unearthed during recent
excavations at Hampi. Srirangapattana’s Daria Daulat Palace has a Museum
on Tipu (1959) which contains manuscripts, drapery, coins, arms and paintings
of his time. Halebidu, Balligave, Banavasi, Lakkundi, Aihole, Badami, Bagali

etc., have Museums maintained by the A.S.I.
In addition to the Folk Art Museum at the Mysore University, the museum
at the Janapada Loka at Ramanagara founded by Karnataka Janapada Parishat
founded by H.L. Nagegowda has to be specially mentioned. The Kannada
Research Institute, Karnataka University has a famous Museum of antiquities
and its eqigraphical gallery is the most notable. There is the Visweswaraya
Industrial Museum at Bangalore besides the State Museum founded (1962) by
the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
The finest and the best Museum in Karnataka is ‘Manjusha’ seen at the
famous pilgrim centre Dharmasthala which has a huge collection of all items
like vessels, implements of day-to-day use, jewellery, watches, clocks, art pieces,
typewriters, cars, coins, weapons, icons, manuscripts, copper plates, curious
items, drapery etc., dating back to several centuries. Shashwati is a unique
museum for women, having the items they used, created, wore etc., giving a
complete picture of their life. It is situated in the N.M.K.R.V. College for Women
at Jayanagar, Bangalore.
Karnataka can boast of the best pathology museum in India at the
Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Medical College, Belgaum, run by the K L E Society.
It is both educative and entertaining, both to a layman and a medical person
because all sorts of aberrations in human body in all its dimensions are
attempted to be unmasked with detailed academic notes being provided at
this museum.
Karnataka has one of the finest zoos in the country at Mysore. The Sri

Chamarajendra Zoological Garden founded in 1892 spread over an area of 100
acres and has collection of nearly 1000 animals of all variety including many
exotic ones like Sloth Bear, Chimpanzee, Orangoutang etc., and also the White
Tiger. The Bannerghatta National Park near Bangalore, has the Tiger safari.
The Natural Museum and the Fantacy Park at Mysore are recent additions
worth mentioning. The big Acquarium with varieties of Coloured fishes at Bal
Bhavan, Bangalore is noteworthy.
No survey of Karnataka from the tourist point will be complete without

mentioning about its historical forts. The whole range of ancient capitals such
as Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Vijayanagara, Badami, Banavasi, Basava Kalyana,
Srirangapattana, Keladi, Chitradurga, Mysore, etc. had their forts. In addition,
forts were built at strategic centres. There are hill forts at the Nandi Hills
(Kolar dt.), Savanadurga (Bangalore (R) dt.), Madhugiri, Pavagada, Nijgal,

Midigeshi etc., in Tumkur dt., Uchangi in Davanagere dt., Bellary and Sandur,
in Bellary dt., Jamalabad in Dakshina Kannada, Manzarabad near Sakleshpur
in Hassan dt. and Kavaledurga in Shimoga dt., Yadgiri, Waghangeri, Jaladurga,
Vanadurga, Shahapur and Surapur in Gulbarga dt., Nargund fort built by
Shivaji in Gadag dt. and Parasgad and Hargapur forts in Belgaum dt., also
raised by Shivaji. Bangalore, Devanahalli, Magadi (Bangalore (R) dt.), Aymangala
in Chitradurga dt., Chikbanavar in Hassan dt., Belgaum etc. have fortifications
around some part of the towns even now. Rehmanghad nd

Gummanayakanapalya in Kolar District. Old forts have huge granite stones
used without plastering materials. Raichur, Mudugal, Koppal forts too are
noteworthy. Shrirangapattana fort is protected by he arms (branches) of the
Cauvery. The coastal island forts like Bahadurgad, Basavaraja Durga, Devagad
and Kurmagad have already been mentioned. Old forts exist in hundreds in
Karnataka. A visit to them gives an idea of the ancient architects’, stone workers’,
builders’ and military strategists’ skill and fore-thought. They take your mind
to the past, helping you to trace the foot-prints on the sands of time, make you
think of men who fought to protect or to scale them, blood that was shed,
intrigues involved in capturing them, and a long pageant of past events.
To substitute the efforts made till now to pinpoint the centres of special
interest to visitors and tourists of various tastes and temperament, further
efforts, are made here to describe some notable and outstanding tourist spots
in Karnataka. It is calculated that every year on an average two to three crore
people visit Bangalore for a variety of reasons and they also turn tourists and
visit Mysore in considerable numbers. They do not know that Karnataka has
outstanding tourist spots and good facilities to visit them and also stay at
those places. There is enough facility for trekking, water sports, sports like
golf, snooker and other sophisticated games. Bangalore and Mysore have horse
racing seasons too. Dasara at Mysore is a great festival. The Annual festival of
Hampi Utsav (November) and Kadambotsav (December) are conducted by the

State Government regularly at Hampi and Banavasi respectively. Vairamudi at
Melkote is another unique occasion when the Utsavamurthy of Lord Narayana
adorned with a diamond studded dazzling crown (‘mudi’) is taken in procession.
The Bangalore Karaga on Chaitra Poornima night is also a colourful festival.
With this background, some important places are introduced here, in an
alphabetical order;

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

History of Mysore

Mysore (pronounced Mysore.ogg (help·info) in English; is the second-largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. It is the headquarters of the Mysore district and the Mysore division and lies about 146 km (91 mi) southwest of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishūru, which means the abode of Mahisha. Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, a demon from the Hindu mythology. The city is spread across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi) and is situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills.

Mysore is famous for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city receives a large number of tourists. Mysore also lends its name to the Mysore mallige, Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, Mysore Peta (traditional silk turban) and the garment called the Mysore silk saree.

Until 1947, Mysore was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore which was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, except for a brief period in the late 18th century when Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan took power. The Wodeyars were patrons of art and culture and have contributed significantly to the cultural growth of the city, which has led to Mysore earning the sobriquet Cultural capital of Karnataka.

According to Hindu mythology, the area around Mysore was known as Mahishūru and was ruled by a demon, Mahishasura. The demon was killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hills. Mahishūru later became Mahisūru and finally came to be called Maisūru, its present name in the Kannada language. The anglicised form of the name is Mysore.In December 2005, the Government of Karnataka announced its intention to change the English name of the city to Mysuru.This has been approved by the Government of India but the necessary formalities to incorporate the name change are yet to be completed.

The region where Mysore city stands now was known as Puragere till the 15th century. The Mahishūru Fort was constructed in 1524 by Chamaraja Wodeyar III (1513–1553), who later passed on the dominion of Puragere to his son Chamaraja Wodeyar IV (1572–1576). Since the 16th century, the name of Mahishūru (later Mysore and changed again to Mysuru by the Government of Karnataka on November 1 2007) has been commonly used to denote the city.During the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire, the Mysore Kingdom under Wodeyars, served as a feudatory. Mysore was the center of the Wodeyar administration till 1610 when Raja Wodeyar ousted the Vijayanagara governor at nearby Srirangapatna and made it his capital. With the demise of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565, the Mysore Kingdom gradually achieved independence and became a sovereign state by the time of King Narasaraja Wodeyar (1637). When the kingdom came under the rule of Tipu Sultan, he demolished much of Mysore town to remove any traces of the Wodeyar rule.[8] After Tipu Sultan’s death in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799, the capital of the kingdom was moved back to Mysore.The administration was looked after by Diwan Purnaiah, since the Wodeyar king Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar was a minor. Purnaiah is credited to have been responsible for many improvements in the Mysore city, mainly in relation to public works.[9] In 1831, Mysore lost its status as the administrative centre of the kingdom when Mark Cubbon, the British commissioner, moved the capital to Bangalore. However it regained this status in 1881, when the British handed the power back to the Wodeyars. The city remained the capital of the Wodeyars till 1947 with Mysore Palace as the centre of administration.

Entrance to the Ambavilas Palace, commonly known as Mysore Palace

The Mysore municipality was established in 1888 and the city was divided into 8 wards. In 1897, an outbreak of bubonic plague killed nearly half of the population of the city.[14] With the establishment of the City Improvement Trust Board (CITB) in 1903, Mysore became one of the first cities in Asia to undertake a planned development of the city. When the Quit India Movement was launched in the early 1940s, Mysore city also played a part in it. Leaders of the independence movement like H. C. Dasappa and Sahukar Channayya were at the forefront during the agitations.[16] The Maharaja’s College hostel was the nerve centre from where the movement was controlled in the Mysore district and the Subbarayana Kere ground was an important location for public demonstrations.

After the Indian independence, Mysore city remained as a part of the Mysore State under India. Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, the then king of Mysore, was allowed to retain his titles and was nominated as the Rajapramukh of the state. He died in September 1974 and was cremated in Mysore city. Over the years, Mysore has become well known as a centre for tourism and the city has remained largely peaceful, except for occasional riots related to the Kaveri river water dispute.

A Pre-historic Brief:

The pre-historic culture of Karnataka, the hand-axe culture, compares favourable with the one that existed in Africa and is quite distinct from the pre-historic culture of North India. The early inhabitants of Karnataka knew the use of iron far earlier than the North, and iron weapons, dating back to 1200 B.C have found at Hallur in Dhaward district.

Early rulers:

The early rulers of Karnataka were predominantly from North India. Parts of Karnataka were subject to the rule of the Nandas and the Mauryas.

The Shathavahanas (30 B.C to 230 A.D of paithan) ruled over extensive areas in Northern Karnataka. Karnataka fell into the hands of the Pallavas of Kanchi. Pallavas domination was ended by indigenous dynasties, the Kadambas of Banavasi and the Gangas of Kolar, who dividedKarnataka between themselves.

The Kadambas

The Kadamba Dynasty was founded by Mayurasharman in c. 345 A.D. Subjected to some kind of humiliation at the Pallava capital, this young brahmin gave up his hereditary priestly vacation and took to the life of a warrior and revolted aganist the Pallavas. The Pallavas were forced to recognise him as a sovereign when he crowned himself at Banavasi in Uttar Kannada Dt. One of his successors, Kakustha Varman (c. 435-55) was such a powerful ruler that even the Vakatakas and the guptas cultivated martial relationship with this family during his time. The great poet Kalidasa deems to have visited his court.

The Gangas

The Gangas started their rule from c. 350 from Kolara and later their capital was shifted to Talakadu (Mysore Dt.). Till the advent of the Badami Chalukyas, they were almost a sovereign power. Later they continued to rule ove Gangavadi (which comprised major parts of SouthKarnataka) till the close of the 10th century as subordinates of the Badami Chalukyas and the Rastrakutas.

The Badami Chalukyas

It is the Chalukyas of Badami who brought the whole of Karnataka under a single rule. They are also remembered for their contributions in the feild of art. Their monuments are found at Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal. The first great prince of the dynasty was Pulikeshin I (c. 540-66 A.D) who built the ashwamedha (horse sacrifice) after subduing many rulers including the Kadambas.

His grandson, Pulikeshin II (609-42) built a vast empire which extended from Narmada in the north to the Cauveri in the south. In the east, he overthrew the Vishnukundins and appointed his younger brother Vishnuvardhana, the voceroy of Vengi.

The Chalukyan empire included not only the whole of karnataka and Maharashtra, but the greater part of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andra, and also parts of Orissa and Tamilnadu. Vikramaditya II (693-734) in the line defeated the Pallavas, entered the Pallava capital Kanchi victorious. The Chalukyan power was weakened in the long run by its wars with the Pallavas.

The Rastrakutas

In 753, Danthidurga, the Rastrakuta feudatory of the Chalukyas, overthrew the Chalukya king Keerthivarman II, and his family inherited the fortunes of the Chalukyas. The engraving of the celebrated monolithic Kailas temple at Ellora (now in Maharshtra) is attribuited to Danthidurga’s uncle, Krishna I (756-74). Krishna’s son, Dhruva (780-93) crossed the Narmada, and after defeating celebrated princes like Vathsaraja (of the Gurjara Pratheehara family of central India) and Dharmapala of Bengal, extracted tribute from the ruler of Kanauji, ‘the seat of India’s paramountry’. His son Givinda III (793-814) also repeated the feast when he defeated Nagabhata II, the Gujara Pratheehara and Dharmapala of Bengal and again extracted tribute from the King of Kanauj.The achievements of the Chalukyas of Badami and the Rastrakutas by defeating the rulers of Kanauj have made their erathe “Age of ImperialKarnataka”.

The Kalyana Chalukyas

The Chalukyas of Kalyana overthrew the Rastrakutas in 973, Someshwara I (10432068), succeeded in resisting the efforts of the Cholas to subdueKarnataka, and he built a new capital, Kalyana (mordern Basava Kaluyana in Bidar Dt.) The Chola king Rajadhiraja was killed by him at Koppar in 1054.

His son Vikramaditya VI (10762127) has been celebrated in history as the patron of the great jurist Vijnaneshwara, (work: mitakshara, standard work on Hindu law), and the emperor has been immortalised by poet Dilhana (haling from Kashmir) who chose this prince himself as the hero for his sanskrit poem, Vikramankadeva Charitam. Vikramaditya defeated the Paramaras of Centeral India thrice.In the South he captured Kanchi from the Cholas in 1085, and in the East, he conqured Vengi in 1093. His commander, Mahadeva built the Mahadeva temple at Itagi (Raichur Dt.) the finest Chalukyan monument. His son Someshwara III (1127-39) was a great scholar. He has written Manasollasa, a sanskrit encyclopedia and Vikrmankabhyudayam, a peom of which his father is the hero,

The Sevunas

The Sevunas (or Yadavas) who were foundatories of the Rastrakutas and the chalukyas of Kalyana, became a sovereign power from the days of Bhillama V (1173-92) who founded the newcapital Devagiri (modern Daulathabad in Maharastra). Bhillama V captured Kalyana in 1186, and later clashed with Hoysala Ballala II at Sorarturu in 1190. Though he lost the battle.He built a vast kingdom, extending from the Narmada to the Krishna. His son Jaitugi (1192-99) not only defeated Parmara Subhata varma, but also killed the Kakatiya kings of Orangal, Rudra and Mahadeva.

Singhana II (11992247), the greatest of the Sevunas, extended the Sevuna kingdom upto the Tungabhadra. But the Servunas were defeated by the army of the Delhi Sultan in 1296, and again in 1307 and finally in 1318, and thus the kingdom was wiped out. The Sevunas have become in immortal in history by the writings of the mathematician Baskarasharya, of the great writer on music, Sharngadeva, and of the celebrated scholar Hemadri.

The Hoysalas

The Hoyasala continued the great traditions of their art-loving overlords the Kalyana Chalukyas, and their fine temples are found at Beluru, Helebidu and Somanathapura. Vishnuvardhana (11082141) freed Gangavadi from the Cholas (who had held it from 999), and in  ommemoration of his victory, built the celebrated Vijayanarayana (Chennakeshva) Temple at Belur.

His commander Katamalla built the famous Hoysaleshwara temple at Halebidu.

Though Vishnuvardhana did not succeed in his serious effort to overthrow the Chalukyan yoke, his grandson Balla II (11732220) not only became free, but even defeated Sevuna Bhillama V at Soraturu in 1190, after having defeated Chalukyas Someshwara IV in 1187. When the Cholas were attacted by the Pandyas in Tamilnadu, Balla II drove the Pandyas back and thus assumed the title “Establisher of the Chola Kingdom”. Later, in the days of his son Narasimha II (1120-35), Hoysalas even secured a foothold in Tamilnadu and Kuppam, near Srirangam became a secondcapital of the Hoysalas.

Ballala III (12912343), the last Hoysala, had to struggle hard to hold his own against the invasion of the Delhi Sultan. He died fighting the Sultan of Madhurai. It was his commanders, Harihara and Bukka, who founded the Vijayanagra Kingdom, which later grew to be an empire. Hoyasala age saw great kannada poets like Rudrabhatta, Janna, Harihara and Raghavanka. Hoysala temples at Beluru, Halebidu, Somanathapur, Arasikere, Amritapura etc., are wonderful works of art.

Vijayanagara Empire

When the armies of the Delhi Sultanate destroyed the four great kingdom of the south (the Sevunas, Kakatiyas of Orangal, Hoysalas and of the Pandyas of Madhurai) it looked as if a political power following a religion quite alien to the South was going to dominate the peninsula. Many princes including heroic Kumara Rama, a fudatory from Kamapila in Bellary dist. perished while resisting the onslaughts. When the Vijayanagara Kingdom was founded by the Sangama brothers, people wholeheartedly supported them. Tradition says that sage Vidyaranya had caused a shower of gold to finance the Sangama brothers. Perphaps the sage succeeded in securing financial help from various quarters for the founders of Vijayanagara . Harisha founded the kingdom in about 1336, and he secured control over northern parts ofKarnataka and Andhra iron coasts. After the death of Ballala III (1343) and his son Virupaksha Ballala (in 1346), the whole of the Hoysala dominion came under his control. His brother Bukka (1356-77) succeeded in destroying the Madhurai Sultanate. It is this prince who sponsored the writing of the monumental commentary on the vedas: Vedarthaprakasha; the work was completed in the days of his son Harihara II (13772404)

Krishnadevaraya (15092529) was the greatest emperor during his time. He was also a great warrior, scholar and administrator. He secured Raichur Doab in 1512, and later marched victorious into the capitals of his enemies like Bidar (1512) Bijapur (1523) and in the East, Cuttack (1518), the capital of the Gajapatis. His rule saw the reign of peace and prosperity.

In the days of Aravidu Ramaraya (1542-65), Krishnadevaraya’s son-in-law, the four Shashi Sultans attacked the empire, and after killing Ramarya at Rallasathangadi (Rakkasagi-Tangadagi) in 1565, destroyed the capital Vijayanagara.

The Last Rulers:

With the weakening of the Mughul power in the North, the Marathas came to have control over the northern districts of Karnataka. Haidar Ali, Who used power from the Wodeyars of Mysore, merged the Keladi Kingdom in Mysore in 1763. Karnataka came under British rule after the overthrow of Tipu, Haidar’s son in 1799 and the Marathas in 1818 (When the Peshwa was defeated). After having been subjected to a number of administrations during the British rule, Karnataka became a single state in 1956.

Political history of Mysore and Coorg (1565–1760)

The political history of Mysore and Coorg (1565–1760) is the political history of the contiguous historical regions of Mysore state and Coorg province located on the Deccan Plateau in west-central peninsular India (Map 1), beginning with the fall of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire in 1565 and ending just before the rise of Sultan Haidar Ali in 1761.

During the height of the Vijayanagara Empire (1350–1565), the Mysore and Coorg region was ruled by motley chieftains, or rajas (“little kings”), each having dominion over a small area, and each supplying soldiers and annual tribute for the empire’s needs. Soon after the empire’s fall and the subsequent eastward move of the diminished ruling family, many chieftains, especially in the west, tried to loosen their imperial bonds and expand their realms. Sensing opportunity amidst the new uncertainty, various powers from the north, the Sultanate of Bijapur to the northwest, the Sultanate of Golconda to the northeast, the fledgling Maratha empire, farther northwest, and the Mughal empire, farther north still, invaded the region intermittently. For much of the seventeenth century the tussles between the little kings and the big powers, and amongst the little kings themselves, resulted in shifting sovereignties, loyalties, and borders. By the turn of the eighteenth century, the political landscape had become better defined: the northwestern hills were being ruled by the Nayaka rulers of Ikkeri, the southwestern, in the Western Ghats, by the Rajas of Coorg, the southern plains by the Wodeyar rulers of Mysore, Hindu dynasties all; whereas the eastern and northeastern regions had fallen to the Muslim Nawabs of Arcot and Sira. Of these, Ikkeri and Coorg were independent, Mysore, although much expanded, was formally a Mughal dependency, and Arcot and Sira, Mughal subahs (or provinces).

The stability, however, was not to last. Mysore‘s expansions had been based on unstable alliances. When the alliances began to unravel, as they did during the next half century, political decay set in, presided over inevitably by pageant kings. The Mughal governor, Nawab of Arcot, in a display of the still far-flung reach of a declining Mughal empire, raided the Mysore capital, Seringapatam, to collect unpaid taxes; the neighbouring Raja of Coorg began a war of attrition with Mysore over western territory; and soon, the Maratha empire invaded again and exacted more concessions of territory. In the chaotic last decade of this period, a little-known Muslim cavalryman, Haidar Ali, seized power in Mysore. Under him, in the decades following, Mysore was not only to expand again—and to do so prodigiously—to match in size southern India itself, but also to pose the last serious threat to the new rising power on the subcontinent, the English East India Company.

A common feature of all large regimes in the region during the period 1565–1760 is increased military fiscalism. This mode of creating income for the state, comprising extraction of tribute payments from local chiefs under threat of military action, differed both from the more segmentary modes of preceding regimes and the more absolutist modes of succeeding ones—the latter achieved through direct tax collection from citizens. Another common feature of these regimes is the fragmentary historiography devoted to them, making broad generalizations difficult.

Poligars of Vijayanagara, 1565–1635

The last Hindu empire in South India, the Vijayanagara Empire, was defeated on January 23, 1565 in the Battle of Talikota by the combined forces of the Muslim states of Bijapur, Golconda, and Ahmadnagar to its north. The battle was fought in Talikota on the doab (or “tongue” of land) between the Kistna river and its major left bank tributary, the Bhima, 100 miles north of the imperial capital of Vijayanagara (see Map 2). The invaders later destroyed the capital, and the ruler’s family escaped to Penukonda, 125 miles southeast, where they established their new capital. Soon they moved their capital another 175 miles east-southeast to Chandragiri, not far from the southeastern coast, and survived there until 1635, their dwindling empire concentrating its resources on its eastern Tamil and Telugu speaking realms. According to historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam: ” … in the ten years following 1565, the imperial centre of Vijayanagara effectively ceased to be a power as far as the western reaches of the peninsula were concerned, leaving a vacuum that was eventually filled by Ikkeri and Mysore.”Earlier, in the heyday of their rule, the kings of Vijayanagara had granted tracts of lands throughout their realm to various vassal chiefs on the stipulation that they pay tribute and render military service.The chiefs in the northern regions were supervised directly from the capital. Those in the richer, more distant southern provinces, however, could not be controlled easily and the Vijayanagara emperors were able to collect only part of the annual revenue from them.Overseen by a viceroy—titled Sri Ranga Raya and based in the island town of Seringapatam on the river Kaveri (also Cauvery), some 200 miles south of the capital—the southern chiefs bore various formal titles. These included the title Nayaka, assumed by the chiefs of Kelladi in the northwestern hills, of Basavapatna, and Chitaldroog in the north, of Belur in the west, and of Hegalvadi in the centre; the title Gowda, assumed by the chiefs of Ballapur and of Yelahanka in the centre, and of Sugatur in the east; and Wodeyar, assumed by the rulers of Mysore,of Kalale and of Ummatur in the south.

The somewhat tenuous hold the Vijayanagara centre had on its southern periphery resulted only partly from the latter’s remoteness. The centralisation imposed by the empire was resisted by the southern chiefs (sometimes called rajas, or “little kings”) for moral and political reasons as well; according to historian Burton Stein:

‘Little kings’, or rajas, never attained the legal independence of an aristocracy from both monarchs and the local people whom they ruled. The sovereign claims of would-be centralizing, South Indian rulers and the resources demanded in the name of that sovereignty diminished the resources which local chieftains used as a kind of royal largess; thus centralizing demands were opposed on moral as well as on political grounds by even quite modest chiefs.

These chiefs came to called poligars, a British corruption of “Palaiyakkarar” (Tamil: holder of “palaiya” or “baronial estate”).

A late 18th century inkwash drawing of Channapatna fort established by Jagadeva Raya in 1580

Meanwhile, almost a decade after their victories at Talikota, the Deccan sultanates of Bijapur and Ahmadnagar agreed in 1573 not to interfere in each other’s future conquests by reserving regions to the south for Bijapur. In 1577, Bijapur forces attacked again and overwhelmed all opposition along the western coast. Easily taking Adoni, a former Vijayanagara stronghold, they attempted next to take Penukonda, the new Vijayanagara capital. (See Map 3).) There, however, they were repulsed by an army led by the Vijayanagra ruler’s father-in-law, Jagadeva Raya, who had traveled north for the engagement from his base in Baramahal. For his services, Jagadeva Raya’s territories within the crumbling empire were vastly expanded, extending westward now up to the Western Ghats, the mountain range running along the southwestern coast of India, and with a new capital in Channapatna

The territories controlled by the other poligars were also changing fast.Some, such as Tamme Gowda of Sigatur, expanded theirs by performing services for the Vijayanagara monarch and receiving territorial rewards. In Tamme Gowda’s case, the rewards consisted of a tract of land which, from his base in Sigatur, extended west to Hoskote and east to Punganur. Others, such as the Wodeyars of Ummattur and of Mysore (now Mysore district), achieved the same end by ignoring the monarch altogether, and annexing small states in their vicinity.Through much of the 16th century, the chiefs of Ummattur in particular had carried on “unceasing aggression” against their neighbors, even in the face of punitive raids by the Vijayanagara armies. In the end, as a compromise, the son of a defeated Ummatur chief was appointed the viceroy at Seringapatam. The Wodeyars of Mysore too were eying surrounding land; by 1644, when the Wodeyars unseated the powerful Changalvas of Piriyapatna, not only had they become the dominant presence in the southern regions of what later became Mysore state, but the Vijayanagara empire was also on its last legs, having only a year’s life left.

Bijapur, Marathas, Mughals, 1636–1687

The Sultans of Bijapur, for their part—some sixty years after their defeat at Penukonda—regrouped and struck again in 1636. They did so now with the blessing of the Mughal empire of Northern India, whose tributary states they had recently become.They had also the help of a Maratha chieftain of western India, Shahaji Bhonsle, who was on the lookout for rewards of jagir land in the conquered territories, and whose son, Shivaji Bhonsle was to found the Maratha Empire some 30 years later

In the east, the Bijapur-Shahji forces had better success; in 1639, they took possession of gold-rich Kolar district and soon of Bangalore, a city founded a century earlier by Kempe Gowda I, and to become, two centuries later, a hub of British presence. Next, moving down the Eastern Ghats, the range of mountains rising behind the coastal plains of southeastern India, they captured the historic towns of Vellore and Gingee. Returning north through the east-central maidan plain (average elevation 600 m (1,969 ft)), they gained possession of the towns of Ballapur, Sira, and the hill fortress of Chitaldroog.

A new province named Caranatic-Bijapur-Balaghat, consisting of possessions such as Kolar, Hoskote, Bangalore, and Sira, and situated above (or westwards of) the Eastern Ghats range, was soon incorporated into the Sultanate of Bijapur and granted to Shahji as a jagir, or temporary gift. The possessions below the Ghats, such as Gingee and Vellore became part of another province, named Carnatic-Bijapur-Payanghat, whose first governor was none other than Shahji again. When Shahji died in 1664, his son, Venkoji, from his second wife, who meanwhile had become the ruler of Tanjore farther south, inherited these territories.This twist of fate, however, did not sit well with Shivaji—Shahji’s oldest son, from his first wife—who now led an expedition southwards to claim his fair share. Shivaji’s quick victories resulted in a partition, whereby both the Carnatic-Bijapur provinces became his dominions, and whereas Tanjore was retained by Venkoji.

The successes of Bijapur and Shivaji were being watched warily by the major imperial presence on the subcontinent, the Mughal Empire in North India.Having become the Mughal emperor in 1659, Aurengzeb, soon set himself upon destroying the Sultanates of Bijapur and Golconda, the latter famous for its diamond mines, as well as the burgeoning Maratha power of Shivaji.In 1686, the Mughals took Bijapur and, the following year, Golconda. Before long, fast moving Mughal armies were bearing down on the former Vijayanagara dominions.In 1687, a new Mughal province (or suba) was created with capital at Sira.Bangalore, quickly taken by the Mughals from the Marathas, was sold to the Wodeyar of Mysore for 3 lakh rupees. Qasim Khan was appointed the first Mughal Faujdar Diwan (literally, “military governor”) of the Province of Sira.

Wodeyars of Mysore, 1610–1760

Although their own histories date the origins of the Wodeyars of Mysore (also “Odeyar”, “Udaiyar”, “Wodiyar”, “Wadiyar”, or “Wadiar”, and, literally, “chief”) to 1399, records of them go back no earlier than the early sixteenth century,and according to Subrahmanyam 2001 even the late sixteenth or early seventeenth centuries.These poligars are first mentioned in a Kannada language literary work from the early 16th century. A petty chieftain, Chamaraja (now Chamaraja III), who ruled from 1513 to 1553 over a few villages not far from the Kaveri river, is said to have constructed a small fort and named it, Mahisura-nagara (literally, “buffalo town”), from which Mysore gets its name. This wodeyar clan issued its first inscription during the chieftaincy of Timmaraja (now Timmaraja II) who ruled from 1553 to 1572.Towards the end of his rule, he is recorded to have owned 33 villages and fielded an army of 300 men.By the time of the short-lived incumbency of Timmaraja II’s son, Chama Raja IV—who, already well into his 60s, ruled from 1572 to 1576—the Vijayanagara Empire had been dealt its fatal blow. Before long, Chama Raja IV withheld payment of the annual tribute to the now weakened empire’s viceroy at Seringapatam.The viceroy responded by attempting to arrest Chamaraja IV; in this, however, he failed, and the taxes remained unpaid. An outright military challenge to the empire would have to await the incumbency of Raja I, Chama Raja IV’s eldest son, who became the Wodeyar in 1574. Early in 1610, Raja I captured Seringapatam and, in a matter of days, on 8 February 1610, moved his capital there. During his rule, according to Stein 1987, his “chiefdom expanded into a major principality”.

In 1638, the reins of power fell into the hands of the 23-year-old Kanthirava Narasaraja I, who, a few months earlier, had been adopted by the widow of Raja I. Kanthirava was the first wodeyar of Mysore to create the symbols of royalty, such as a royal mint, and went on to issue coins named Kanthiraya (corrupted to “Canteroy”) after himself.These remained a part of Mysore‘s “current national money” well into the eighteenth century.

Catholic missionaries, who had arrived in the coastal areas of southern India—the southwestern Malabar coast, the western Kanara coast, and the southeastern Coromandel coast (also “Carnatic”)—beginning early in the sixteenth century, did not start work in land-locked Mysore until half way through the seventeenth. (See Map 5). The Mysore mission was established in Seringapatam in 1649 by Leonardo Cinnami, an Italian Jesuit from Goa. Expelled a few years later from Mysore on account of opposition in Kanthirava’s court, Cinnami returned, toward the end of Kanthirava’s rule, to establish missions in half a dozen locations. During his second stay Cinnami obtained permission to convert Kanthirava’s subjects to Christianity. He was successful mostly in the eastern regions, later part of the Madras Presidency of British India. According to (Subhrahmanyam 1985, p. 209), “Of a reported 1700 converts in the Mysore mission in the mid-1660s, a mere quarter were Kannadigas (Kannada language speakers), the rest being Tamil speakers from the western districts of modern-day Tamilnadu, …”[22] Married ten times, the ruler died on 31st July 1659, at the age of 44. At his funeral, all his surviving wives killed themselves by committing sati on his funeral pyre.

After an unremarkable period of rule by short-lived incumbents, in 1672, Kanthirava’s 27-year-old grand nephew, Chikka Devaraja, became the new wodeyar. During his rule, centralized military power increased to an unprecedented degree for the region. (See Map 5 and Map 7.) Introducing various mandatory taxes on peasant-owned land, Chikka Devaraja, however, exempted his soldiers’ land from these payments.[24] The perceived inequity of this action, the unusually high taxes, and the intrusive nature of his regime, created wide protests which had the support of the wandering Jangama ascetics in the monasteries of the Virasaivas, a monotheistic religious order that emphasizes a personal relationship with the Hindu god Shiva. According to Nagaraj 2003, a slogan of the protests was:

Basavanna the Bull tills the forest land; Devendra gives the rains;

Why should we, the ones who grow crops through hard labor, pay taxes to the king?[28]

The king, resolving upon a “treacherous massacre”, used the stratagem of inviting over 400 hundred monks to a grand feast at the famous Shaivite center of Nanjanagudu and, upon its conclusion, presenting them with gifts and directing them to exit one at a time through a narrow lane where they were each strangled and beheaded by waiting royal wrestlers. According to Mark Wilks, quoted in Rice 1897a, “Circular orders had been sent for the destruction, on the same day, of all the Jangam muts (places of residence and worship) in his dominions; and the number reported to have been in consequence destroyed was upwards of seven hundred.” This “sanguinary measure” had the effect of stopping cold all protests to the new taxes.

Around this time, 1687, Chikka Devaraja purchased the city of Bangalore for Rs. 3 lakhs from Qasim Khan, the new Mughal governor of the Province of Sira.Through the latter, Chikka Devaraja “assiduously cultivated an alliance” with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. He also turned his attention to the regions that were less the objects of Moghul interest. The regions to the southeast below the Eastern Ghats mountains around Baramahal and Salem were annexed to Mysore, and, in 1694, regions in the southwest up to the Baba Budan mountains on the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, were added. Two years later Chikka Devaraja attacked lands farther south belonging to the Nayak ruler of Madurai (also “Madura”) and laid a siege of Trichinopoly.

After the death of Qasim Khan, his Mughal liaison, Chikka Devaraja sent a diplomatic mission to Emperor Aurangzeb at Ahmadnagar with the intention of either renewing his Mughal connections or seeking Mughal recognition of his southern conquests. In response, in 1700, it was said, the Mughal emperor sent the Mysore Raja a signet ring “bearing the title Jug Deo Raj (literally, “lord and king of the world”) and permission to sit on an ivory throne”. After the return of the mission, Chikka Devaraja reorganized his administration into eighteen departments, in “imitation of what the envoys had seen at the Mughal court”.When the Raja died on 16 November 1704, his dominions extended from Midagesi in the north to Palni and Anaimalai in the south, and from Coorg in the west to Baramahals in the east.[29] (See Map 5 and Map 7.) During his long reign of 31 years, he had made Mysore a “secure and prosperous state.”

However, according to Subrahmanyam 1989, the polity that Chikka Devaraja left for his son was “at one and the same time a strong and a weak” one. Although it had uniformly expanded in size from the mid-seventeenth century to the early eighteenth, it had done so a result of alliances that tended to hinder the very stability of the expansions. Some of the southeastern conquests (such as that of Salem), although involving regions that were not of direct interest to the Mughals, were nonetheless the result of alliances with the Mughal governor of Sira and with Venkoji, the Maratha ruler of Tanjore;the siege of Trichnopoly had to be abandoned because the alliance had begun to rupture.Similarly, in addition to allegedly receiving a signet ring, a consequence of the diplomatic mission sent to Aurangzeb in 1700 was formal subordination to Mughal authority and a requirement to pay annual taxes;there is evidence too that the administrative reforms Chikka Devaraja has instituted might have been a direct result of Mughal influence.

The early eighteenth century ushered in the rule of Kanthirava Narasaraja II, who, being both deaf and mute, ruled under the regency of a series of army chiefs (Delavoys) all of whom hailed from a single family from the village of Kalale in the Nanjangud taluk (or sub-district) of Mysore. Upon the ruler’s death in 1714 at the age of 41, his son, Dodda Krishnaraja I, still two weeks shy of his 12th birthday, succeeded him.

Around this time a change had come in the governance of the Mughal Province of Sira to the north and northeast of Mysore. In 1713, the province was split into a payanghat jurisdiction with capital at Arcot and governed by a newly styled Nawab of Arcot, and a balaghat jurisdiction with capital at Sira, and governed by an also newly-styled Nawab of Sira.That same year, the military governor of the old province, Sadat-ulla Khan, was made the new Nawab of Arcot, and another official, Amin Khan, was appointed Nawab of Sira;Since Mysore remained a formal tributary state of Sira, this division, and the resulting loss of revenue from the rich maidān plain of Mysore, provoked Sadat-ulla Khan’s displeasure. In collusion with the rulers of Kadapa, Kurnool, and Savanur and the Maratha Raja of Gutti, he decided to march against Dodda Krishnaraja I.[37] The Nawab of Sira, anxious to preempt the coalition’s action, hit upon a similar plan for reaching the Mysore capital, Seringapatam.In the end, both Nawabs—of Arcot and Sira—settled upon a joint invasion led by the former.Dodda Krishnaraja, for his part, was able to “buy off this formidable confederacy” by offering a tribute of Rs. 1 crore (10 million).[37] Although avoiding bloodshed, the outcome made Mysore vulnerable to similar future claims, which were made successfully two years later by Maratha raiders who appeared in the Mysore capital.[37] The resulting depletion of the Mysore treasury, led Mysore to attack and absorb the poligar chiefdom of Magadi to its north.

Wilks 1811 gave a decidedly negative appraisal of the ruler’s character:

Whatever portion of vigour or of wisdom appeared in the conduct of this reign belonged exclusively to the ministers, who secured their own authority by appearing with affected humility to study in all things the inclinations and wishes of the Raja (ruler). … he (Dodda Krishnaraja I) thought himself the greatest and happiest of monarchs, without understanding, or caring to understand, during a reign of nineteen years, the troublesome details through which he was supplied with all that is necessary for animal gratification.[38]

According to Rice 1897a, pp. 370, the ruler’s lack of interest in the affairs of state, led two ministers, Devaraja, the army chief (or delavayi), and his cousin, Nanjaraja, who was both the revenue minister (the sarvadhikari) and the privy councilor (pradhana), to wield all authority in the kingdom. After Dodda Krishnaraja’s death in 1736, the ministers appointed “pageant rajas”, and effectively ruled Mysore until the rise of Haidar Ali in 1760.[39]

Political history of Mysore and Coorg (1761–1799)

The political history of Mysore and Coorg (1761–1799) is the political history of the former Mysore State and Coorg province from the time of the rise of Haidar Ali in 1761 to that of the death of his son Tipu Sultan in 1799.

There is very little contemporaneous documentation of the pre-1760 period of Mysore‘s history, especially the last century of that period. According to (Subrahmanyam 1989, p. 206), the 18th-century Wodeyar rulers of Mysore—in contrast to their contemporaries in Rajputana, Central India, Maratha Deccan, and Tanjavur—left little or no record of their administrations.

A Wodeyar dynasty genealogy, the Maisüru Mahardjara Vamsävali of Tirumalarya, was composed in Kannada during the period 1710–1715, and was claimed to be based on all the then-extant inscriptions in the region. Another genealogy, Kalale Doregala Vamgdvati, of the Delvoys, the near-hereditary chief ministers of Mysore, was composed around the turn of the 19th century. However, neither manuscript provides information about administration, economy or military capability. The ruling dynasty’s origins, especially as expounded in later palace genealogies, are also of doubtful accuracy; this is, in part, because the Wodeyars, who were reinstated by the British on the Mysore gaddi in 1799, to preside over a fragile sovereignty, “obsessively” attempted to demonstrate their “unbroken” royal lineage, to bolster their then uncertain status.

The earliest manuscript offering clues to governance and military conflict in the pre-1760 Mysore, seems to be (Dias 1725), an annual letter written in Portuguese by a Mysore-based Jesuit missionary, Joachim Dias, and addressed to his Provincial superior.[ After East India Company’s final 1799 victory over Tipu, official Company records began to be published as well; these include (East India Company 1800), a collection of Anglo-Mysore Wars-related correspondence between the Company’s officials in India and Court of Directors in London, and (Wilks 1805), the first report on the new Princely State of Mysore by its first British resident, Mark Wilks. Around this time, French accounts of the Anglo-Mysore wars appeared as well, and included (Michaud 1809), a history of the wars by Joseph-François Michaud, another Jesuit priest. The first attempt at including a comprehensive history of Mysore in an English language work is (Buchanan 1807), an account of a survey of South India conducted at Lord Richard Wellesley’s request, by Francis Buchanan, a Scottish physician and geographer.

The first explicit History of Mysore in English is (Wilks 1811), written by Mark Wilks, the British resident mentioned above. Wilks claimed to have based his history on various Kannada documents, not only the ones mentioned above, but also many that have not survived. According to (Subrahmanyam 1989, p. 206), all subsequent classic histories of Mysore have borrowed heavily from Wilks’s book for their pre-1760 content. These include, (Rice 1897), Lewis Rice’s well-known Gazetteer and (Rao 1948), C. Hayavadana Rao’s major revision of the Gazetteer half a century later, and many spin-offs of these two works. By the end of the period of British Commissionership of Mysore (1831–1881), many English language works had begun to appear on a variety of Mysore-related subjects. These included (Rice 1879), a book of English translations of Kannada language inscriptions, and (Digby 1878), William Digby’s two volume critique of British famine policy during the Great Famine of 1876–78, which devastated Mysore for years to come; the latter work, even referred to Mysore as a “province.”

Political history of Mysore and Coorg (1800–1947)

The political history of Mysore and Coorg (1800–1947) is the political history of the contiguous historical regions of Mysore state and Coorg province located on the Deccan Plateau in west-central peninsular India, beginning with the acceptance of British suzerainty in 1800 to the independence of India in 1947.

In the amāni lands (i.e. government-managed lands) the tax on cultivation in dry regions was a fixed money amount paid annually at approximately one-third of the crop value; for a given area, the crop value, was estimated and fixed for several years at a time. In “wet” or rice-growing regions, however, which on average provided more abundant yields, but which also depended more on the vagaries of the monsoon rains, the crop value was estimated annually, as soon as an estimate could be made. The latter tax was computed at one-half of the crop value and was paid “nominally in kind,” but commonly in money.

here is very little contemporaneous documentation of the pre-1760 period of Mysore‘s history, especially the last century of that period. According to (Subrahmanyam 1989, p. 206), the 18th-century Wodeyar rulers of Mysore—in contrast to their contemporaries in Rajputana, Central India, Maratha Deccan, and Tanjavur—left little or no record of their administrations.

A Wodeyar dynasty genealogy, the Maisüru Mahardjara Vamsävali of Tirumalarya, was composed in Kannada during the period 1710–1715, and was claimed to be based on all the then-extant inscriptions in the region. Another genealogy, Kalale Doregala Vamgdvati, of the Delvoys, the near-hereditary chief ministers of Mysore, was composed around the turn of the 19th century.However, neither manuscript provides information about administration, economy or military capability. The ruling dynasty’s origins, especially as expounded in later palace genealogies, are also of doubtful accuracy; this is, in part, because the Wodeyars, who were reinstated by the British on the Mysore gaddi in 1799, to preside over a fragile sovereignty, “obsessively” attempted to demonstrate their “unbroken” royal lineage, to bolster their then uncertain status.

The earliest manuscript offering clues to governance and military conflict in the pre-1760 Mysore, seems to be (Dias 1725), an annual letter written in Portuguese by a Mysore-based Jesuit missionary, Joachim Dias, and addressed to his Provincial superior.After East India Company’s final 1799 victory over Tipu, official Company records began to be published as well; these include (East India Company 1800), a collection of Anglo-Mysore Wars-related correspondence between the Company’s officials in India and Court of Directors in London, and (Wilks 1805), the first report on the new Princely State of Mysore by its first British resident, Mark Wilks. Around this time, French accounts of the Anglo-Mysore wars appeared as well, and included (Michaud 1809), a history of the wars by Joseph-François Michaud, another Jesuit priest. The first attempt at including a comprehensive history of Mysore in an English language work is (Buchanan 1807), an account of a survey of South India conducted at Lord Richard Wellesley’s request, by Francis Buchanan, a Scottish physician and geographer.

The first explicit History of Mysore in English is (Wilks 1811), written by Mark Wilks, the British resident mentioned above. Wilks claimed to have based his history on various Kannada documents, not only the ones mentioned above, but also many that have not survived. According to (Subrahmanyam 1989, p. 206), all subsequent classic histories of Mysore have borrowed heavily from Wilks’s book for their pre-1760 content. These include, (Rice 1897), Lewis Rice’s well-known Gazetteer and (Rao 1948), C. Hayavadana Rao’s major revision of the Gazetteer half a century later, and many spin-offs of these two works. By the end of the period of British Commissionership of Mysore (1831–1881), many English language works had begun to appear on a variety of Mysore-related subjects. These included (Rice 1879), a book of English translations of Kannada language inscriptions, and (Digby 1878), William Digby’s two volume critique of British famine policy during the Great Famine of 1876–78, which devastated Mysore for years to come; the latter work, even referred to Mysore as a “province.”


History of Karnataka


  1. Kadambas of Banavasi (C.345-C.540)
  2. Chalukyas of Badami (C. 540-757)
  3. Rashtrakutas of Malkhed (C.753-973)
  4. Chalukyas of Kalyana (C.973-1189)
  5. Sevunas of Devagiri (C 1173-1325)
  6. Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra (C.1052-1342)
  7. Vijayanagara Empire (C.1336-1646)
  8. Veerashaivas
  9. Bahamani Kingdom (c.1347-1520)
  10. Adilshahis of Bijapur (1489-1686)
  11. Keladi Kingdom
  12. Mysore Rulers
  13. Haider Ali
  14. Tipu Sultan
  15. British Rule
  16. Economic Changes
  17. Anti-British Uprisings
  18. Beginning of Renaissance
  19. Modernisation
  20. Cultural Developments
  21. Fight for Freedom
  22. Gandhi in Karnataka (1927)
  23. “Quit India Movement” 1942-43.
  24. Unification of Karnataka


has a hoary past. It is blessed with innumerable inscriptions, memorial stones and monuments of rich historical and cultural heritage. It has many sites of Pre-historic period and most of them are found scattered in the river valleys of Krishna, Bhima, Cauvery, Malaprabha, Ghataprabha, Hemavathi, Tungabhadra, Manjra, Netravati and their tributaries. The Prehistoric culture of Karnataka
viz., the Hand-axe culture, compares favourably with the one that existed in Africa and is quite distinct from the Pre-historic culture of North India. Places like Hunasagi, Budihal, Piklihal, Kibbanahalli, Nittur, Anagavadi, Khyad, Nyamati, Balehonnur and Uppinangadi (Lower Palaeolithic) ; Herakal, Tamminahal, Savalgi, Salvadgi, Menasagi, Pattadakal, Vajjala and Talakad (Middle Palaeolithic); Kovalli, Ingaleshvara, Yadwad and Maralabhavi (Upper Palaeolithic); Begaumpur, Vanamapurahalli, Hingani, Ingaleshwara, Tamminahal, Sringeri, Jalahalli, Kibbanahalli, Sanganakal and

Doddaguni (Mesolithic); Maski, T. Narasipur, Banahalli, Hallur, Sanganakal, Hemmige, Brahmagiri and Uttanur (Neolithic-Chalcolithic); Rajana Kolur, Bachigudda, Aihole, Konnur, Terdal, Kumaranahalli, Tadakanahalli, Maski, Banahalli and Hallingali (Megalithic) are some of the important Pre-historic sites of Karnataka
. The ragi grain is found commonly in Pre-historic sites of Africa and Karnataka
. The early inhabitants of Karnataka
knew the use of iron, far earlier than the North and iron weapons dating back to circa 1500 B.C have been found at Hallur, now in Hirekerur Tq. of Haveri district.

Parts of Karnataka
were subject to the rule of the Nandas and the Mauryas. Maurya Chandragupta (either Chandragupta I Ashoka’s Grand Father or Samprati Chandragupta, Ashoka’s grandson) is believed to have visited Shravanabelgola and spent his last years there. Fourteen Ashokan (10 minor and 4 major) Rock Edicts found in Karnataka
(two each at Nittur and Udagolam in Bellary district; one at Maski in Raichur district; one each at Gavimutt and Palkigundu in Koppal district; one each at Brahmagiri, Jattinga Rameshwara and Siddapura in Chitradurga district; and four at Sannati in Gulbarga district) testify to the extent of the Mauryan Empire. It is interesting to note that, Emperor Ashoka’s name occur for the first time in his Maski minor rock edict wherein, his familiar epithet “Devanampiya Piyadasi” is accompanied with his personal name Ashoka. Hence his Maski edict has a unique place among all his royal edicts.

The Shatavahanas(circa 30 B.C to 230 A.D.) of Paithan have also ruled over extensive areas in Northern  arnataka; some scholars even argue that this dynasty hailed from Karnataka
, as in early times, Dharwad and Bellary districts were called Satavahanihara (or the satavahana region). Some of their rulers were called kings of Kuntala. At Sannati in Gulbarga district, Vadgaon- Madhavpur near Belgaum and Brahmagiri in  hitradurga district, remains of their period have been found. Banavasi in Uttara Kannada has an inscription of their queen, and at Vasana in Nargund Tq. remains of a brick temple of Shaiva order are noticed. Sannati had many Buddhist Stupas of their times covered with sculptures on them. Later, Karnataka
fell into the hands of the Pallavas of Kanchi and the Chutu Satakarnis, the Shatavahana feudatories, ruling from Banavasi after the fall of the Shatavahanas, also seem to have accepted the overlordship of the Pallavas. Pallava domination was ended by two indigenous dynasties, namely the Kadambas of Banavasi and the Gangas of Talakad, who divided Karnataka
between themselves. Bird’s eye view

A bird’s eye view of Karnataka
’s political history can be presented here onwards. The Gangas and the Kadambas ruling from c.345 A.D; the Chalukyas of Badami in Bagalkot district (c.540 to 753 A.D) overthrowing the Kadambas and subjugating the Gangas; the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed from Gulbarga district (753 to 973 A.D) succeeding the Badami Chalukyas, and they in turn overthrown by the Chalukyas of Kalyana (973 to 1189A.D), ruling from modern Basava Kalyana, in Bidar district. The Gangas who continued in the Southern parts, earlier as sovereign rulers (350 to 550 A. D) and later as allies or feudatories of either Badami or Malkhed rulers till 1004 A.D., paved way for the Chola rule when their territory viz., Gangawadi (Southern Karnataka
) was occupied by the Cholas. The Cholas who dominated over Southern Karnataka
from about 1004 A.D. were overthrown by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana in 1114 A.D.

During the Kalyana Chalukya rule came the Kalachuri Interregnum (1162- 1184). The Kalyana Chalukyas were overshadowed by their feudatories, viz.,the Sevunas of Devagiri and the Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra, who divided Karnataka
between themselves; when the armies of the Delhi Sultan overthrew these two dynasties, the Vijayanagara Empire (1336) and the Bahamani Sultanate (1347) came to rule over Karnataka
, and the former had control over the greater part of Karnataka
. Of the five Shahi Sultanates which succeeded the Bahamanis, the Adilshahis of Bijapur (1489-1686) and the Baridshahis of Bidar (1504- 1619), who held sway over northern parts of Karnataka
and at a later stage, the former dynasty overthrew the latter. The city of Vijayanagara was captured by combined Shahi forces in 1565, and the capital of the empire was first shifted to Penugonda (1565) and later, to Chandragiri (Andhra Pradesh) and Vellore, beyond the frontiers of Karnataka
. It continued as capital till 1646.

Of the successors of Vijayanagar in Karnataka
, among their numerous feudatories, the Mysore

Odeyars, Chitradurga Palegars, Magadi Palegars and the Keladi Nayakas were the most important. The northern regions were under the control of the Adilshahis of Bijapur till 1686, when they were overthrown by the Mughals. With the weakening of the Mughal power in the North, the Marathas came to have control over northern districts of Karnataka
. Haidar Ali, who usurped power from the Odeyars of Mysore

in 1761, captured the Keladi and Chitradurga Kingdoms in 1763 and 1779 respectively. Karnataka
came under British rule immediately after the overthrow of Tipu, Haidar’s son in 1799 and the Marathas in 1818 (when the Peshwa was defeated). But after having been subjected to a number of administrations during the British rule and witnessed active participation in the freedom struggle for Self rule, it became a single State in 1956 and in 1973 it was renamed as ‘Karnataka

Kadambas of Banavasi (C.345-C.540)

The Kadamba Dyanasty was founded by Mayuravarma, son of Bandhushena in c. 345 A.D. He was a Brahmin student from the celebrated Talagunda Agrahara (an Agrahara is a settlement of scholarly brahmins, engaged in religious and academic pursuits) from Shimoga district. He had gone with his grand father Veerasharma to the Ghatika of Kanchi for higher studies. Subjected to some kind of humiliation at the Pallava capital Kandi, this young brahmin gave up his hereditary priestly

vocation and took to the life of a warrior and revolted against the Pallavas. The Pallavas were forced to recognise him as a sovereign, when he crowned himself at Banavasi in Uttara Kannada district. His Chandravalli inscription speaks about the construction of a tank at Chandravalli. One of his successors, Kakustha Varman (c. 435-55) was such a powerful ruler that even the Vakatakas and the Guptas cultivated marital relationship with this family during his time. The great poet Kalidasa seems to have visited his court.

The first Kannada record found at Halmidi (450 A.D.) in Belur Taluk, Hassan district), was issued by this dynasty. The Kadambas built fine temples and bastis and the Kadamba Nagara style Shikharas is their contribution. They also created first rock-cut shrines of Vedic tradition at Aravalem (in Goa which was under their control) in a laterite hill range. The tanks at Chandravalli and Gudnapur are among the many irrigation tanks they built. They had Lion as their royal insignia. They were overthrown by the Chalukyas of Badami in c. 540 and at later stages, two branches of the family (one from Hanagal and the other from Goa) ruled during medieval period, as subordinates of  the Chalukyas of Kalyana. A branch of the Kadambas was also ruling from Orissa as subordinates of the Gangas of Kalinga.

Gangas of Talakad (C.350-C.1024) The Gangas seems to have started their rule in c. 350 from Kolar and later their capital is said to have been shifted to Talakad (Mysore

district). Elephant was their royal insignia. Till the advent of the Badami Chalukyas, they were almost a sovereign power. Many Ganga princes were not

only scholars and writers, but also great patrons of scholarship. Later they continued to rule over Gangavadi (which comprised major parts of South Karnataka
) till the close of 10th century as subordinates of the Badami Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas. It is the Gangas who withstood the onslaught of the Pallavas and the Cholas,

who tried to subjugate South Karnataka
. Durvinita (c.529-579) was one of the great kings of this dynasty. He, being a scholar wrote both in Kannada and Sanskrit. The Sanskrit poet Bharavi is said to have lived in his court for some time. The ancient Punnata Kingdom (the modern Heggadadevanakote taluk region) was merged in his Kingdom. His great grandson Bhuvikrama (c.654-79) was a strong ally of the Chalukyas, and at the Battle of Vilande (c.670) which was fought between the Chalukyas and the Pallavas, he helped the former to gain victory over Pallava Parameshwara Varman and snatching as a war trophy, the Pallava ruler’s necklace called Ugrodaya for himself. Mankunda in Channapatna taluk is said to have been his royal residence for sometime.

A later prince of this family, Sripurusha (c.725-88) was not only a strong ally of the Chalukyas, but also resisted the Rashtrakutas who tried to subdue him, after the overthrow of the Chalukyas of Badami by them in 753. Sripurusha, as a Chalukyan ally killed Pallava Nandi Varman II at Vilande in 731 and assumed the Pallava ruler’s title Permanadi. This great ruler also wrote a Sanskrit work Gajashasthra, a treatise on elephants. He shifted his capital to Manne (Manyapura) in Nelamangala Tq. His son Shivamara II (788- 816) and grandson Rachamalla I (816-53) continued to resist Rashtrakuta power. In the end, Rashtrakuta Amoghavarsha Nrupatunga I (814-78) sought reconciliation with the Gangas by marrying his daughters to the Ganga princes. At a later date, when the Cholas became strong, the Ganga king Butuga II (938-61) allied himself with the Rashtrakutas against the Cholas, and helped Rashtrakuta Krishna III (939-67) to humiliate the Cholas by killing the Chola

crown prince Rajaditya in the battle held at Takkolam (949) as elucidated in Atkur inscription, a unique memorial stone erected to commemorate the  demise of Kali, a hound, while fighting against a wild boar, now displayed in the Bangalore Visveswaraya museum. Finally their territory came to be subdued by the Cholas in 1004, and thus the Ganga rule ended. A branch of the Gangas ruled from Orissa from 496 A.D. and became celebrated in history as the Eastern or the Kalinga Gangas. Among their feudatories, the Nalambas played a vital role in the regional politics in accordance with the political vicissitudes of the day. Gangas dotted the country with many tanks. Kolar, said to be the core country of their initial rule, and Mysore

district have many irrigational sources of their times. Their fine temples are seen at Kolar, Talakad, Begur, Nagavara, Gangavara, Nandi, Aretippur and Narasamangala. The last named has wonderful stucco figures of remarkable beauty. They also built Jaina bastis at Kambadahalli and Shravanabelagola. The Gommata monolith at the last named place, 58ft. in height is the creation of their minister Chavundaraya in c. 982 A.D.

Chalukyas of Badami (C. 540-757)

It is the Chalukyas of Badami who brought the whole of Karnataka
under a single rule. They are also remembered for their contributions in the field of art. Their monuments are concentrated at Badami, Nagaral, Aihole, Pattadakal, old and new Mahakuta in Karnataka
and at Alampur, Gadwal, Satyavolal and Bichavolu in Andhra Pradesh. They are both rock-cut and structural, with wonderful sculptures wrought in hard red sandstone. Their Shiggaon copper plates, speaks of 14

tanks in Haveri district. The first great prince of the dynasty was Pulikeshi I (c. 540-66 A.D) who built the great fort of Badami and performed Ashwamedha Yaga (horse sacrifice) as elucidated in his Badami cliff inscription of 543 AD, so far the earliest saka dated (Saka 465) inscription of Karnataka
, after subduing many

rulers including the Kadambas. His grandson, Pulikeshin II (c.608-42) built a vast empire which extended from the Narmada in the north, to the Cauvery, in the south. In the east, he overthrew the Vishnukundins and appointed his younger brother Vishnuvardhana, as the Viceroy of Vengi. This prince founded the Eastern Chalukya Dynasty which ruled for five centuries in Andhra. (A later prince of this Vengi line, Kulottunga, even succeeded to the Chola throne in 1070). Harsha of Kanauj was defeated by Pulikeshin II. The Chalukyan army has been called ‘Karnatabala’ and described as invincible in contemporary inscriptions. He exchanged embassies with Persia and the Chinese piligrim Hiuen Tsiang visited his court. Ultimately, the Pallavas conquered Badami in c. 642 A.D. after defeating Pulikeshin II’s army. Later his son Vikramaditya I (655-81} reconquered the Chalukyan capital and reorganised his father’s empire and restored the fame of their army ‘Karnadbala’ as ‘invincible’ The representative carving of a measuring rod of 18 spans of his period found at Kurugodu in Bellary Taluk an unique example is even now visible.

Vikramaditya I’s son Vinayaditya (681-96) defeated the ruler of Kanauj, who claimed to be the paramount lord of the North (Sakalottarapathanatha). He even sent an expedition to Cambodia. He was succeeded by Vijayaditya (696-733). The Arabs who had conquered Sindh (711) under the leadership of Mohamed Khasim, tried to make inroads into the Deccan. They were defeated by the Chalukya feudatory in South Gujarat called Avanijashraya Pulikeshin in 739. The Arabs were forced to leave Sindh after this defeat. The Chalukyan empire included not only the whole of Karnataka
and Maharashtra, but the greater part of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra, and also parts of Orissa and Tamilnadu. Vikramaditya II (733-744) in the line, defeated the Pallavas and entered the Pallava capital Kanchi victorious. But he did not loot Kanchi as the Pallavas had done at Badami in 642. Instead after inspecting its Jewels and Treasure, he redonated them to the Rajasimheshwara temple of Kanchi, as elucidated in a kannada inscription found carved on one of the pillars of the above said temple of Kanchi. His queens Lokamahadevi and Trailokyamahadevi built the Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna temples at Pattadakal to commemorate this victory. But the Chalukyan power was weakened in the long run by its frequent wars with the Pallavas.

Rashtrakutas of Malkhed (C.753-973)

In 753, Dantidurga, the Rashtrakuta feudatory of the Chalukyas, overthrew the Chalukyan king Keerthivarman II and his family inherited the fortunes of the Chalukyas. He claims that he did this by defeating the ‘Karnatabala’ of the Chalukyas, described as ‘invincible’ in those days. We owe the engraving of the celebrated monolithic Kailasa temple at Ellora (now in Maharashtra) to Dantidurga’s uncle, Krishna I (756-74). Krishna’s son, Dhruva (780-93) crossed the Narmada, and after defeating the celebrated princes like Vathsaraja of the Gurjara Prathihara family Dharmapala, the Gouda King of Bengal and extracted tribute from the ruler of Kanauj, ‘the seat of India’s Paramountcy’. His son Govinda III (793-814) also repeated the feat when he defeated Nagabhata II, the Gurjara Prathihara and Dharmapala of Bengal and again extracted tribute from the king of Kanauj. His ‘horses drank the icy liquid bubbling in the Himalayas’ says a record, testifying to his victorious march in the North. The achievements of the Chalukyas of Badami and Rashatrakutas by defeating the rulers of Kanauj have made the name of their era the “Age of Imperial Kanauj”, a misnomer. Instead it should be called the “Age of Imperial Karnataka

Amoghavarsha Nripatunga (814-78) son of Govinda III, had to face the threat of the Eastern (Vengi) Chalukyas, who challenged his very existence. But he succeeded in subduing them after defeating Vengi Chalukya Vijayaditya II at Vinagavalli. He was a peace-loving monarch who used matrimony as one of the weapons in diplomacy. Although he killed as many as six contemporary political potentates who created trouble for him, he did not conduct Digvijayas like his father and grandfather. He succeeded in maintaining the Empire intact. Himself a scholar, Amoghavarsha patronized scholarship and great Jaina savants like Veerasena, Jinasena, Gunabhadra, grammarian Shaktayana and Mathematician Mahaveera adorned his court. Adipurana and commentaries on the Shatkhandagamas called as Dhavala, Jayadhavala and Mahadhavala written in his court were the great Jaina works of all India importance. Kavirajamarga, the first extant Kannada work is of his times composed by his court poet Srivijaya in C. 850 A.D. His great grandson Indra III (914-29) even captured Kanauj and held it under his control for two years. One of his feudatories, Arikesari of Vemulavada patronised Sanskrit writer Somadeva (of Yashastilaka fame) and the famous Kannada poet Pampa.

Rashtrakuta Krishna III (936-67) subdued the Cholas in the South and established a pillar of victory at Rameshwaram. In fact the so-called ‘Age of Imperial Kanauj’ was the Age of Imperial Karnataka
, when the prowess of the Kannadiga was felt all over India. Even Rajashekhara, the celebrated Sanskrit writer, has called the Karnatas as great experts in the techniques of war. Soldiers from Karnataka
were employed by the Palas of Bengal. One such Kannada warrior founded the Sena Dynasty of Bengal and the other Karnata Dynasty of Mithila (modern Tirhath in Bihar). The Rashtrakutas sponsored the engraving of many Hindu rock-cut temples on the Buddhist model like the Dashavatara Shrine at Ellora, the Jogeshwara near Bombay and the one at the Elephanta Island. (Some scholars ascribe the last named

to their Kalachuri feudatories). Arab traveller Suleiman tell us that the Rashtrakuta Empire was the largest in India and he ranks it with greatest Empires of the world namely the Eastern Roman, the Arabic and the Chinese Empires. He visited India in 851 A.D. The Rashtrakutas constructed many tanks and their temples are found at places like Sirivala, Sulepet, Gadikeshwar, Adaki, Sedam, Handarki etc., in Gulbarga district; Naragund, Ron and Savadi in Gadag district and at Hampi also. These two dynasties viz., the Chalukyas of Badami and the Rashtrakutas popularised animal husbandry by donating cows in thousands. The stones commemorating such grants (gosasakallu) are seen all over.

Chalukyas of Kalyana (C.973-1189)

The Chalukyas of Kalyana who claim to be the scions of the Badami Chalukyas, overthrew the Rashtrakutas in 973, and Taila II (Trailokya Malla), the first ruler of the dynasty, later defeated the Chola rulers like Uttama and Rajaraja I, and even killed Paramara Munja of Dhara. His son Satyashraya (997-1008) patronised the great Kannada poet Ranna. Someshwara I (1043- 1068), Satyashrya’s grand nephew, succeeded in resisting the efforts of the Cholas to subdue Karnataka
, and Kalyana made his new capital (modern Basava Kalyana in Bidar district). The Chola king Rajadhiraja was killed by him at Kuppam in 1054.

His son Vikramaditya VI (1076-1127) proudly called as the Lord of more than 1000 inscriptions, is the king who started the Vikrama Saka Samvatsara on his coronation, celebrated in history as the patron of the great jurist Vighnaneshwara, who wrote Mithakshara, a standard work on Hindu law, and the emperor has been immortalised by poet Bilhana (hailing from Kashmir) who chose his patron as the hero for his Sanskrit work, Vikramankadeva Charitam. Vikramaditya defeated the Paramaras of Central India thrice and

once even plundered their capital Dhara. In the South he captured Kanchi from the Cholas in 1085, and in the East, he conquered Vengi in 1093. One of his commander Mahadeva built the Mahadeva temple at Itagi (Koppal district) one of the finest Chalukyan monument, eulogised in their inscription as “Devalaya  hakravarthy” (Emperor of Temples) His son Someshwara III (1127- 39) was a great scholar. He has compiled Manasollasa, a Sanskrit encyclopaedia and Vikramankabhyudayam, a poem for which his father is the hero. Manasollasa, a great work of multi-dimensions, which depicts the cultural conditions in South India, has sections on administration, medicine, architecture, painting, jewellery, cookery, dance, music, sports etc. It has 100 sections discussing various aspects of human activity.

The Kalachuris, who were the feudatories of the Chalukyas, overthrew the Chalukyas and captured Kalyana in 1162. Bijjala, the first emperor of the dynasty, was the grand son of Vikramaditya VI, through his motherside. He had Basaveshwara, the celebrated religious leader, as his treasurer. Though the Chalukyas staged a comeback in 1184 under Someshwara IV, their power was overshadowed by their feudatories, the Hoysalas and the Sevunas of Devagiri, who encroached upon the Chalukyan territory, and finally divided Karnataka
between themselves. The Chalukyas were great builders, and their beautiful temples renowned for fine and intricate engravings are found at many places like Itagi in Yelburga taluk, Gadag, Dambal, Lakkundi (Gadag District), Balligavi (Shimoga District), Kuruvatti, Chaudadanapura (Ranebennur Taluk), Unakal in Hubli Taluk and at Nagavi, Adki, Yewur, Sedam, Kulageri, Kollur, Diggavi, Madiyala and Kalagi (in Gulbarga Dt); Kadlewada, Chattaraki, Teradal, Nimbala, Muttagi etc. in Bijapur district. They were great patrons of scholars, and Sanskrit writers like Vadiraja and Kannada poets like Ranna, Durgasimha and Nayasena lived in their times. The Virashaiva movement saw the advent of Vachana literature in Kannada, initiated by Jedara Dasimayya and Kembhavi Bhoganna. It grew during the Kalachuri Interregnum when Basava, Allama, Siddarama, Channabasava, Akkamahadevi and others lived. Virashaivism

preached equality of men, tried to emancipate women, and stressed the importance of bread-labour concept by calling it ‘Kayaka’, as the means of worshipping God.

Sevunas of Devagiri (C 1173-1325)

The Sevunas (Yadavas) who were the feudatories of both the Rastrakutas and the Chalukyas of Kalyana, became a sovereign power from the days of Bhillama V (1173-92) who founded the new capital Devagiri (modern Daulathabad in Maharashtra). Earlier they ruled from Sindhinera (modern Sinnar) near Nashik. Bhillama V

captured Kalyana in 1186, and later clashed with Hoysala Ballala II at Soraturu in 1190. Though he lost the battle, he built a vast kingdom extending from the Narmada to the Krishna. His son Jaitugi (1192-99) not only defeated Paramara Subhata Varman, but also killed Rudra and Mahadeva, the Kakatiya kings of Warangal.

Singhana II (1199-1247), the greatest of the Sevunas, extended the Sevuna kingdom upto the Tungabhadra. But the Sevunas were defeated by the army of Delhi Sultan in 1296, again in 1307 and finally in 1318, and thus the kingdom was wiped out. The Sevunas have become immortal in history by the writings of the famous

mathematician Bhaskaracharya, the great writer on music Sharngadeva, and of the celebrated scholar Hemadri. The Sevunas and the Hoysalas drained their energy in mutual warfare, and thus the south could be easily subdued by the armies of the Delhi Sultan. Sharngadeva’s work, Sangita Ratnakara, is the basis for the growth of classical music and Vidyaranya during the 14th century wrote ‘Sangitasara’ based on Sangita Ratnakara. The Sevunas built fine temples called Hemadpanthi structures which are found all over Maharashtra. The Virabhadra temple at Yedur in Belgum district is one of their structures. They renovated many temples in North Karnataka

Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra (C.1052-1342)

The Hoysalas continued the great tradition of their art-loving overlords, viz., the Kalyana Chalukyas, and their fine temples are found at Beluru, Halebidu and  manathapura. The first great ruler of the dynasty, Vishnuvardhana (c.1108-1152) freed Gangavadi from the Cholas (who had held it from 1004), and in  ommemoration of his victory, built the celebrated Vijayanarayana (Chennakeshava) Temple at Belur, His kingdom was visited by Ramanujacharya, who stayed at Saligrama, Tonnur, Melkote and other places in Karnataka
for long. Vishnuvardhana patronised the saint and although he embraced Srivaishnavism, his family religion remained Jainism. He had been earlier influenced by Srivaishnava Chola officers in Gangavadi. As he wanted to be an Emperor by challenging his overlords, the Kalyana Chalukyas

expediency forced him to perform certain Vedic rituals like Agnishtoma and Hiranyagarbha sacrifices (yajnyas). Jainism did not sanction such performances. But he continued to patronise Jainism, as many of his commanders and his accomplished queen Shantala were Jains. His commander Ketamalla built the famous Hoysaleshwara (Vishnuvardhana) temple at Halebidu. The Agraharas in Karnataka
which were numerous by then had created such a healthy intellectual atmosphere that Basaveshwara, a rebel against Vedic tradition, was the illustrious son of Madarasa, the head of Bagewadi Agrahara; and Ramanuja, the great preacher of Srivaishnavism from Tamilnadu could get a hearing to his teachings from the intellectuals in Karnataka
, which was denied to him in his own native country. Even his life was under threat there.

Though Vishnuvardhana did not fully succeed in his serious effort to overthrow the Chalukyan yoke, his grandson Ballala II (1173-1220) not only became free, but even defeated Sevuna Bhillama V at Soraturu in 1190, after having defeated Chalukya Someshwara IV in 1187. When the Cholas were attacked by the Pandyas in Tamilnadu, Ballala II drove the Pandyas back and thus assumed the title “Establisher of the Chola kingdom”. Later, in the days of his son Narasimha II (1220-35), Hoysalas even secured a foothold in Tamilnadu and Kuppam near Srirangam became a second capital of the Hoysalas. As a consequence, the empire was divided among his two sons and the collateral branch continued for over six decades.

Ballala III (1291-1343), the last great Hoysala, had to struggle hard to hold his own against the invasions of the Delhi Sultan. He died fighting against the Sultan of Madhurai. It was his commanders Harihara and Bukka, who founded the Vijayanagara Kindgom, which later grew to be an Empire. Hoysala age saw great Kannada poets like Rudrabhatta, Janna, Harihara and Raghavanka. Hoysala temples at Beluru, Halebidu, Somanathapur, Aralaguppe, Arasikere, Amritapura, Basaral, Kikkeri, Hosaholalu, Tonnur, Sunka Tonnur, indhaghatta, Shravanabelagola, Koravangala, Govindanahalli, Nuggehalli,Javagal, Kaivara, Turuvekere, Kaidala etc., are  onderful works of art.

Vijayanagara Empire (C.1336-1646)

When the armies of the Delhi Sultan destroyed the four great Kingdoms of the south viz., the Sevunas, Kakatiyas of Warangal, Hoysalas and the Pandyas of Madhurai, it looked as if a political power following a religion quite alien to the South was going to dominate the peninsula. Many princes including

Kumara Rama, the brave and heroic son of Kampilaraya, a feudatory from Kampli in Bellary district, perished while resisting the muslim onslaughts. The people were

bewildered over the attack on their religious places and the barbaric crudities perpetrated on the vanquished cities by these invaders from the North. Poems and  allads on Kumara Rama illustrate this bewilderment. When the Vijayanagara kingdom was founded by the Sangama brothers, people whole-heartedly supported them. Tradition says that sage Vidyaranya had even caused a shower of gold to finance the Sangama brothers. Perhaps the sage succeeded in securing financial help from various quarters to the founders of Vijayanagara. To Vidyaranya’s guru Bharatiteertha, Harihara and his brothers made some grants at Sringeri in 1346. This grant had a supplementary donation on the same day by Hoysala Queen Krishnayi Tayi, who appears to have been present on the occasion. Harihara of the Sangama dynasty (1336-1485) founded the kingdom in about 1336 and secured control over northern parts of Karnataka
and Andhra from coast to coast. After the death of Ballala III (1343) and his son Virupaksha Ballala in 1346, the whole of the Hoysala dominion came under his control. The above grant noted at Sringeri with the  oysala queen, and the kingdom glorifying Kumara Rama, demonstrates its efforts as successors of these potentates that had perished. His brother Bukka (1356-77)  ucceeded in destroying the Madhurai Sultanate: He even sent an embassy to China. It is this prince who sponsored the writings of the monumental commentary on the Vedas viz., Vedarthaprakasha by engaging several scholars, working under the celebrated scholars Sayana and Madhava. The work was completed in the days of his son Harihara II (1377-1404).

Harihara II extended his domination in Konkana, beyond Goa upto Chaul. In the East, he conquered Pangal to the north of the Krishna. Efforts made by Firuzshah Bahmani to conquer this fort were foiled by Devaraya II (1424- 49), the greatest of the Sangamas, who defeated the Bahamanis when he was the crown prince, and this resulted in the shifting of the Bahamani capital to the North i.e. Bidar in c. 1426. He defeated the Gajapatis of Orissa twice and foiled the efforts of the Bahamanis to wrest Mudgal. One of his commanders even invaded Ceylon and extracted tribute, and the princes of Pegu and Tenesserim in Burma also owed him allegiance. He highly patronized the


The Hazara Rama Temple at Hampi is his creation. Abdul Razak,  the Persian traveller who visited to his court, says of the capital that “nothing

in the world could equal it.” Himself a scholar, Devaraya II patronized Gunda Dindima, a Sanskrit poet and Shrinatha, a Telugu poet.

The weak and vicious kings who followed Devaraya II in the Sangama dynasty would have caused the dismemberment of the empire, had not Saluva Narasimha, an able commander assumed power (1485). It paved way for the rule of Saluva dynasty(1485-1509) for a short while. Later, there was second usurpation, by the Tuluva  Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529) the greatest emperor, a great warrior, scholar and administrator of Tuluva dynastry (1509-1542). He secured Raichur Doab in 1512, and later marched victorious into the capitals of his enemies like Bidar (1512) Bijapur (1523) and in the East, Cuttack (1518), the capital of the Gajapatis. “A great ruler and a man of great justice” (in

the words of Portuguese visitor Paes) Krishnadevaraya was a man of letters and a great patron of scholars. He himself wrote a Telugu work Amuktamalyada.

He had eight great Telugu poets called ashtadiggqjas in his court, and among them was Allasani Peddana. He built the Krishnaswamy Temple in the capital. It was during his time that the Portuguese conquered Goa from Bijapur rulers in 1510. They had a flourishing trade with Vijayanagara, and to whom they supplied horses. Portuguese rule in Goa had far reaching effects. They introduced new floras like groundnut, chilly, tobacco etc., besides printing technology from the New World.

In the days of Sadashiva Raya Aravidu Ramaraya (1542-65), his minister or Krishnadevaraya’s son-in-law, the four Shahi Sultans attacked the Empire, and after killing Ramaraya at Rakkasa Thangadi (Rakkasagi-Tangadagi) in 1565, destroyed the capital Vijayanagara. Before that his brother Thirumalaraya and Venkatapatriya had shifted the capital first to Penugonda and later to Chandragiri and Vellore. The Tuluva rule was set aside by the Aravidu dynastry (1570-1646). Vijayanagara rulers patronized all religions. The Portuguese visitor Barbosa testifies to this catholic outlook of the emperors. Every existing temple was provided with a strong enclosure, a lofty tower at the entrance and vast mantapas. Literary activity in all South Indian languages was encouraged. The empire took upon itself the responsibility of conserving Indian traditions in philosophy, religion, science, and literature. Vijayanagara played a great role in conserving local religions and cultural tradition. In addition to the commentaries on the Vedas, Sayana compiled many works like Yajnyatantra Sudhanidhi, Ayurveda Sudhanidhi, Purushartha Sudhanidhi, Subhashita Sudhanidhi and Alankara Sudhanidhi to conserve Indian tradition. Madhava (Vidyaranya) wrote Sarvadarshana Sangraha introducing all religions of Indian

origin. His parashara madhaviya is a commentary on parasharasmriti, a work on Hindu life and law and Parashara Madhaviya has clearly stated that the Sati (suicide by a widow) is “kalivarjya”, to be abhorred totally in Kaliyuga.

he Emperors not only built fine temples of all denominations (Shaiva, Vaishnava, Srivaishnava, Jaina etc.,) but renovated many temples destroyed prior to their rule. All existing temples were provided with huge prakaras (enclosures) and tall impressive entrance towers called as rayagopuras found not only at Hampi but also at Srishailam, Kalahasti, Tirupathi, Srirangam, Chidambaram, Kanchi etc., In addition, they also provided the existing temples with vast and impressive Kalyana Mantapas or Sabha Mantapas which were open pillared pavilions. Each mantapa had scores of tall monolithic pillars which were solid pieces of art. These public works provided jobs to thousands. Their temples seen at places like Hampi, Haravu, Belluru, Kikkeri, Ambaligere, Holalkere, Sringeri, Kurugodu, Bagali, Khandya, Kalasa etc. are noteworthy. Sanskrit, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu literature flourished during this time. The Veerashaiva religion saw a renaissance. Karnataka
Music came to blossom by the works of Vidyaranya, Kallinatha, Ramanamatya, Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa. Purandaradasa did a lot to popularise it by composing primary compositions to teach this music and he has been rightly called “the father of Karnataka
Music” by saint Tyagaraja. Foreign merchants and travellers like

Nicolo Conti(1420), Abdul Razak (1443), Barbosa (1500-11), Paes (1520), Nuniz (1535), and Caesar Fredrick (1567), who visited the Empire give a vivid account

on the flourishing condition that prevailed in the empire in general and Vijayanagara in particular.

Bahamani Kingdom (c.1347-1520)

The Bahmani Sultans are remembered for the great contribution they made in the field of Indo-Saracenic art in the South. Founded by Alla-Ud-Din Hasan at Gulbarga in 1347, the Bahmani Kingdom clashed with Vijayanagara all through its history. Muhammed Bahaman Shah, who built the famous Jami Maszid at Gulbarga fort in 1367, is a huge monument of enduring beauty. Domes, vaultings and arches of mortar were introduced by them in their buildings of Karnataka

Firuz Shah (1397-1422), was a great Sultan in the line and was the grandson of the founder. He extended the kingdom in the east by capturing Rajamahendri from the Reddis. He took pleasure in the society of learned men and patronized Surhindi, a scholar, and Hassan Gilani, an astronomer. He erected the observatory at Daulatabad.

Ahmed (1422-36), successor of Firuz shifted his capital to Bidar, where fine palaces came to be raised in course of time. The Solha Kamb Mosque is a fine creation of his time. He was highly devoted to Sufi saint Bande Nawaz. The prince himself was called ‘Vali’ (saint) and his tomb at Ashtur near Bidar is highly venerated.

Another great figure in Bahmani history is Mahamud Gawan, a great minister who was born in Persia (1411). On his visit to Bidar (1445) he was given an important position in the Bahamani court, and he was the chief administrator of the kingdom from 1461 till his death in 1481. He administered the territory during the minority of two Sultans, and extended it in the South upto Hubli, in the West upto Goa and the Konkan Coast, and in the East upto Kondavidu and Rajamahendri. A scholar and writer himself, he founded a college at Bidar and provided it with a library from his own personal income. The college building (Madrasa) is a fine structure. Gawan fell a victim to court intrigues and was ordered to be executed by Sultan Muhammad, whom Gawan had educated and brought up.With him vanished the glory of the Kingdom, and soon it broke up into five Shahi Kingdoms of the Deccan. The fine Indo- Saracenic buildings like the Bande Nawaz Dargah, Sath gumbaz, etc., at

Gulbarga, Gawan’s Madarasa at Bidar and his dome at Ashtur are the important contributions of this Sultanate.

Adilshahis of Bijapur (1489-1686)

Of the five Shahi Kingdoms that rose from the ruins of the Bahamanis, the Adilshahis of Bijapur ruled over the greater part of Karnataka
. It was founded in 1489 by Yusuf Adil Khan, a commander and governor under the Bahamanis. The Adilshahis were great patrons of art and men of letters. Yusuf has been called “a powerful and prosperous king” by Varthema, the Italian Visitor. His son Ismail (1510-35) was recognised as a ruler by the Shah of Iran and he sent an embassy to Bijapur. Ismail’s grandson, Ali (1557-80) was in friendly terms with Ramaraya of Vijayanagara who had adopted Ali as his son. But other Shahi Sultans forced Ali to join the confederacy against the Vijayanagara Empire, whose army was defeated in 1565. The Jami Mosque at Bijapur with a wonderful design was raised by him.

Ibrahim II (1580-1626), Ali’s nephew is the greatest Adilshahi king. He captured and merged the Baridshahi Kingdom of Bidar in 1619. He was a tolerant ruler and was nicknamed ‘Jagadguru’. He built the temple of Narasimha Saraswati (Dattatreya) in the citadel of his fort. A lover of Hindu music, he had 300 singers in his court. He composed Kitab-e-Nauras in Urdu and thereby succeeded in introducing Hindu music to Muslims. The book begins with an invocation to Goddess Saraswati. He patronised great historians like Ferishta and Shirazi, and raised beautiful buildings like Ibrahim Rauza, Malika Jahan Masjid and Anand Mahal. His son Muhammad (1626-56) extended the kingdom in the south upto Bangalore and in the South-East upto Vellore. Bangalore and the surrounding regions were granted as jahgir to Shahji Bhosle, Shivaji’s father. The Marathas retained Bangalore till 1686. It is this prince who has  built the magnificient Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur. The Adhilshahi kingdom was annexed by Aurangzeb in 1686. Adilshahi buildings at Bijapur like Asar Mahal and Ibrahim Rauza have paintings. Ragmala paintings and personal portraits of members of the royal family including Chand Bibi are preserved in the Bijapur Museum. Some of the Bijapur rulers were Shiahs and celebration

of Moharram by installing tabuts became common in Karnataka
. A form of Urdu called Deccani Hindi also developed in their court.

The Mughals extended their territory to the South. They conquered Bangalore in 1686 and leased it out to Chikkadevaraya of Mysore

. They made Sira in Karnataka
and Arcot in Tamilnadu their important administrative centres. Sira has some fine Mughul buildings. The Nawabs of Savanur, Sira and Advani administered the Kannada territories under the Mughuls, and some Kannada districts were also administered by the Nizam of Golkanda another feudatory of the Mughuls.

Keladi Kingdom

The Keladi Nayakas, who were the feudatories of Vijayanagara, became practically free in the days of Venkatappa Nayaka I (1586-1629), who merged the coastal territories like Gersoppa into his kingdom. Shivappa Nayaka (1645-60), a great soldier and statesman ousted the Portuguese from their possessions on the West Coast, namely Mangalore, Honnavar and Basrur. He reformed the revenue system, and it is renowned as ‘Sisthu’. He helped reclamation of land on a large scale.

Keladi enjoyed a rich overseas trade, especially in spices, textiles and rice.

Their capitals viz., Keladi, Ikkeri and Nagara are in Shimoga district His daughter-in-law, Chennamma (1571-97) is renowned for her Valour, as she gave shelter to Maratha Chatrapati Rajaram (son of Shivaji) and braved Auranzeb’s army. Her successor Basavappa (1697-1714) wrote shivatatva ratnakara, a Sanskrit Encyclopaedia. They have raised fine temples at Keladi, Ikkeri Nagar and a wonderful hill fort at Kavaledurga. Keladi was captured by Haidar Ali in 1763, and the kingdom was merged with Mysore

. Of the other feudatories of Vijayanagara, the Kempegowda family raised the fort and new city of Bangalore in 1537, and the Chitradurga Nayakas raised the magnificient hill-fort at Chitradurga.

The Marathas, who were encroaching upon the Bijapur dominion came to have control over the parts of Karnataka
to the North of the Tungabhadra. Shivaji built forts at Ramadurg, Nargund, Parasgad, Gajendragad, Katkol etc., in North Karnataka
. In the South they had their Bangalore jahgir administered first by Shahji (1637-63) and later by his son Ekoji. Mysore

royal family secured Bangalore and its surroundings from the Mughals in 1689 on lease. The Mughals had conquered these areas in 1686 from Maratha ruler Ekoji, a feudatory of Bijapur. Later the Marathas had secured the right of collecting chauth and sardesmukhi, a part of the dues to the Mughals from the southern feudatories in the days of Chatrapati Shahu (Shivaji’s grandson) from the Mughal Emperor in 1719. In fact. Peshwa Balaji Rao had conquered Dharwad in 1753. Later Haidar and Tipu wrested Dharwad area from the Marathas. Although the Dharwad area was restored to the Marathas in 1791, they finally lost it after the fall of the Peshwa in 1818.



The Mysore

royal family, which was also a feudatory house under Vijayanagara, took advantage of the weakening of the Empire and became free. Raja Odeyar (1578-1617), secured Srirangapattana (in 1610), the seat of the Vijayanagara Viceroy. Kanthirava Narasaraja (1638-59), the first sovereign ruler, successfully esisted the efforts of Bijapur to subdue him, and extended his territory. He built the Narasimha temple at Srirangapattan. He issued his own coins called ‘Kanthirayi panams’. Chikkadevaraya (1673-1704) not only resisted the Marathas at Bangalore and Jinji successfully, but also extended his dominions in Tamilnadu. He secured Bangalore and its surroundings (which the Mughals had conquered from Ekoji) from the Mughals on lease and accepted Mughal suzerainty. He made Mysore

a rich principality by his able revenue policies. Himself a great scholar and writer, he patronized many Kannada writers like Tirumalarya, Chikkupadhyaya and Honnamma. All these were Shrivaishnavas. Weak rulers succeeded him and this finally led to the usurpation of power by Haider Ali in 1761.

Haider Ali

The defeat of the Marathas at Panipat in 1761 helped Haider to follow an aggressive policy. He merged the Keladi Kingdom with Mysore

and extended Mysore

in all directions. He successfully used cavalry on a large scale. Mysore

came to have 80,000 square miles of territory under him. Haider built the palace at Bangalore, strengthened its fort and began the Lalbagh Garden. He built the Dariya Daulat palace at Srirangapattana and laid a fine park allround it. He challenged the British in Tamilnadu and defeated them. But he was humiliated by Maratha Peshwa Madhavarao more than once. Haider allied himself with the French against the British. In the meantime Haider Ali captured and annexed the Chitradurga Principality from the Madakari family of Chitradurga in 1779. But he died at Narasingarayapet, near Arcot, while fighting against the British in 1782.

Tipu Sultan

Tipu Sultan (1782-99) continued his father’s anti-British policy, and he dreamt of driving the British out of India. He sought the assistance of Napoleon, the French ruler and also the rulers of Turkey and Afghanistan. Tipu was a scholar and a bold general. He introduced sericulture in Mysore

Kingdom;  and took firm steps to establish industrial centres producing quality paper; steel wires for musical instruments, sugar and sugar candy. He was very keen on promoting overseas trade and initiated State trading and founded stores not only in different centres of his kingdom but also at Kutch, Karachi and Basrah in the Middle East. He had a curious mind and was keen on introducing ovel things in every walk of life. But his ambition of driving the British failed and he died in 1799, fighting against the British. Mysore

fell into the hands of the British who handed over parts of it to the Marathas and the Nizams, their allies in this venture, and crowned the Hindu prince, Krishnaraja Odeyar

III, as the ruler over Mysore

kingdom, whose territories considerably reduced. They secured the territory to the north of the Tungabhadra by defeating the Peshwa in 1818, and became masters of Karnataka
. Kodagu (Coorg) a small princely tributary state, was also annexed by them in 1834 by dethroning its ruler ikkavirarajendra.

British Rule

The advent of British rule brought about many changes in Karnataka
, as elsewhere in India. The districts of Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Bijapur, Bagalkot and Belgaum taken from the Peshwa, were merged into Bombay Presidency in 1818. The Kanara District, now the districts of Uttara Kannada; Dakshina Kannada and Udupi; and Bellary taken from Tipu, were added on to the Madras Presidency. In 1862, the Kanara District was divided into two, and North Kanara (Uttara Kannada} was tagged on to Bombay Presidency. In 1834 the feudatory monarchy in Kodagu (Coorg) was ended and the State was handed over to a commissioner under the supervision of the Madras Governor. Sullya region belonging to Kodagu was transferred to Kanara. Mysore

was retained as a separate principality; the prince of the Odeyar dynasty, Krishnaraja III, was yet a boy when he became the ruler in 1799.  The areas in the modern districts of Gulbarga, Raichur, Koppal and Bidar were handed over to the Nizam of Hyderabad. In addition to the Nawab of Savanur, there were over 15 other princes, ruling over small Kannada principalities. Most of them were Maratha rulers who included the princes of Jamkhandi, Ramdurg, Mudhol, Sandur, Kurundawad, Jath etc. Mysore

, as a nucleus of Karnataka
, grew to be a   ogressive State. It nurtured Kannada culture and encouraged Kannada literature and scholarship. But for the Mysore

State, Karnataka
would have lost its identity. Purnayya was made the Chief Administrator (Diwan) during the minority of Krishnaraja III, and later in 1810, Krishnaraja himself assumed administration. But the

Nagar Uprising of 1831, resulted in the East India Company assuming the Mysore

administration in 1831, and Mysore

came to be ruled by the British Commissioners for 50 years.

The prince, who was a great scholar and lover of literature, spent the rest of his life in literary and artistic pursuits. The Mysore

court became a major centre of Rennaisance in Karnataka
. He founded the Raja School for teaching English in 1833, which became the nucleus of the Maharaja’s high school and later upgraded as Maharaja’s College (1879). He also started a lithographic press called Ambavilasa (1841) and started printing books in Kannada. Modern Mysore

Of the Commissioners that ruled Mysore

between 1831 and 1881, two are the most notable viz., Mark Cubbon (1834-61) and Lewin Bowring (1862-70). To these two goes the credit of making Mysore

a modern State by organizing the administration on European lines and bringing it on par with the other districts in the British residencies. They also encouraged education by increasing the number of schools. By building roads and railways, and by introducing the telegraph, an infrastructure was  rovided for industrial progress, which they had not anticipated.

The year 1881 saw the Rendition, when Chamarajendra Odeyar, the adopted son of Krishnaraja III, secured the throne. He was assisted by able Diwans like  angacharlu and Sheshadri Iyer. Rangacharlu, the first Diwan, founded the Representative Assembly in Mysore

in 1881, and thus prepared the ground for responsible government. He encouraged Kannada scholarship. The prince was also a great lover of literature and fine arts. The prince died in 1894, and young Krishnaraja Odeyar IV was crowned the king, and the Queen-Mother Vanivilas became the Regent. Sheshadri Iyer continued as Diwan till 1901.

Economic Changes

Diwan Purnayya raised a dam across the river Cauvery at Sagarakatte to improve irrigation. The laying of first railway line (Broad-gauge) between Bangalore and Jolarpet initiated during the regime of Cubbon, started functioning from 1864, when Bowring was the Cmmissioner. Cubbon was also responsible for the construction of new roads exceeding 2560 kms. in length, with 300 bridges. Coffee plantations, also started by him covered over 1.50  akh acres. He also founded the Public Works and Forest Departments. District Savings Bank were started in Princely Mysore

in 1870. Rangacharlu got the BangaloreMysore

metre gauge rail line ready by 1882, (which was initiated earlier during commissioners rule in 1877-78) by spending a sum of Rs.55.48 lakhs. The work on the line was started as famine relief during the severe famine of 1876-78, which took the toll of one million lives in Mysore

State alone.

Sheshadri Iyer who initiated gold mining in Kolar region in 1886, created the Departments of Geology (1894), Agriculture (1898), and launched the Vanivilasa Sagara Irrigation Scheme in Chitradurga district. The Shivanasamudra Hydro-Electric Project, which supplied power to Kolar Gold Fields in 1902, later, also provided  ectricity to Bangalore city in 1905 (first city to obtain electrical facilities in the whole country) and for Mysore

in 1907, was the first major project of its kind in India. Although it is interesting to note that in 1887, an Hydro Electric project was started at Gokak in a small scale by Gokak Spinning Mill. The Bangalore Mill was started in 1884 and it was taken over by the Binnys, Bangalore Woolen, Cotton and Silk Mills in 1886.

It was about this time that elsewhere in Kamataka too, modern industrialisation started and railway and road transport facilities began to improve. Harihara-Pune railway line was completed in 1888. Mangalore was connected by rail with Madras in 1907. The Gokak Spinning Mill (1885) had been founded by securing power from the Gokak Falls (1887) and Mangalore had some tile factories, first initiated by the Basel Mission (1865). A spinning and weaving mill was also started at Gulbarga in 1888. Gold mining had started in the Hatti region of Raichur District after priliminary investigations in 1886. Hubli and Gadag had many ginning mills by then. Thus Industrialization gave impetus to urbanisation and modernisation. Agriculture was also receiving great fillip because of better irrigation and demand for raw materials. The ‘Cotton Boom’ of the 1860s of the American Civil War days gave impetus to raising cotton crop, and though demand from Manchester fell after the 1860s, new factories founded at Bombay and Sholapur (Sollapur) did purchase cotton from North Kamataka area. But spinning, a domestic industry which provided hither-too jobs to lakhs of women by assuring a wage equal to a farm worker, was totally destroyed after the Industrial Revolution, and so was weaving. Thus pressure on land increased.

Anti-British Uprisings

did not tamely submit to the foreign rule of the British. There were anti-British violent uprisings between 1800 and 1858. The earliest of these was of Dhondia Wagh, who after the fall of Tipu, unfurled the flag of revolt against the British in 1800 from the Bidanur-Shikaripur region; many former princes joined him. His revolt spread from Jamalabad to Sode in Coastal Districts and above the Ghats upto Belgaum and Raichur Districts. He was killed at Konagal in September 1800, and his colleague Krishnappa Nayak of Belur (Balam) was killed in February 1802. This was followed by the Koppal Rebellion led by one Virappa in 1819. The year-1820 saw the Deshmukh rebellion near Bidar. A strong revolt was witnessed at Sindhagi in Bijapur District in 1824. The revolt of Kittur Channamma in 1824 and of Sangolli

Rayanna in the same kingdom in 1829 are also famous. This was followed by the Nagar Uprising of 1830-31 accompanied by similar agrarian revolts in the Kanara District in 1831. Sarja Hanumappa Nayak of Tarikere also joined the insurgents. Though this revolt failed, it cost Krishnaraja III his throne. There was an uprising in Kodagu during 1835-37, which was also strong in Dakshina Kannada (Sullya and Mangalore). One former official of the Peshwa called Narasappa Petkar organized a revolt against the British in 1841. Karnataka
responded to the 1857-58 uprisings positively. In November 1857, the Halagali Bedas revolted against the Arms Act. The rulers of Naragund and Surapur, joined by Mundargi Bheemarao, a Zamindar and the Desais of Govanakoppa, Hammige, Soraturu etc, also revolted in 1858. There was a long revolt in Supa jointly led by men from Goa and Uttara Kannada who included some Siddis (Negroes) in 1858-59.

Though the uprisings were suppressed, their lessons were not totally forgotten. It was the Nagar Uprising (1830) which ultimately resulted in the founding of Mysore

Representative Assembly in 1881. The British learnt to respond to the grievances of the people quickly. Local self governing bodies were founded in towns in 1850’s and 1860’s. People also learnt that without proper organisation, it is not possible to free the country from the British. The British also felt the need to improve the means of transport and communication to enable them to meet situations of breach of peace. The communication facilities initiated by them mainly served their colonial economic purposes.

Beginning of Renaissance

The new administration everywhere helped the spread of modern education.Christian Missionaries also started education on Western lines. There were over 2000 primary schools in Mysore

State by 1881. Bombay- Karnataka
area had over 650 primary schools by that time. Though there were only Marathi schools in Bombay-Karnataka
, men like Elliot and Deputy Channabasappa strove to introduce Kannada medium. A college was started at Bellary in 1869. A Government college was founded at Bangalore in 1870 (named Central College in 1875) and later Bangalore saw a second institution, the St.Joseph’s College, in 1882. The Maharaja’s College of Mysore

was started in 1879. The Government College of Mangalore was founded in 1869, followed by the St.Aloysius College in 1879. Christian Missionaries started printing in Kannada as early as 1817 (first from Serampore near Calcutta) and the first newspaper named ‘Mangaluru Samachara’ was started by the Basel Mission in 1843. Many old Kannada classics were printed. All these developments helped literary activity on new lines. Prose became popular and secular themes appeared in literature.

Many newspapers and journals were published in Kannada. They include ‘Kannada Samachara’ (Bellary 1844), ‘Chandrodaya’ (Dharwad 1877), ‘Karnataka
Prakashika’ (Mysore

1865) and ‘Arunodaya’ (Bangalore 1862). These are a few of the many such efforts. Lyrical poetry in Kannada also came to be composed, beginning with the prayer songs composed by the Missionaries. Mysore

court also encouraged many writers. Mudramanjusha (1823) by Kempunarayana

was the first important prose work. Many English and Sanskrit plays were translated. The first original Kannada social play was Iggappa Heggadeya Prahasana (1887) by Venkatarama Shastry. The first original Kannada social novel was Suryakanta (1892) by Gadagkar, though social novels had been translated from English, Marathi and Bengali too by then. The stage art and music also were influenced by these changes. New drama troupes came into existence at Gadag (1874) and Halasangi and there was a troupe at Mysore

too. The visit of Marathi troupe from Sangli in 1876-77 and the Victoria Parsi Company in 1878 to Karnataka
, revolutionized stagecraft here. Veena Venkatasubbayya, Sambayya and Chikkaramappa were some of the great veena masteroes in the Mysore

court at this time. A distinct Mysore

school of Karnatak music was evolved during this period.

In architecture, Western impact was seen. The Central College building (1860) in Gothic style, the Athara Kachery (1867) with ionic pillars and the Bangalore Museum Building (1877) in Corinthian style were built during this period. The Basel Missionary introducing light tiles from Mangalore revolutionised architectural patterns. Churches too introduced the Western style. Our Lady of Sorrow Church (Mangalore 1857), St.Mary’s Church (Shivajinagar, Bangalore, 1882), St. Joseph’s Seminary Church (Mangalore 1890) and St.Mary’s Church (Belgaum, 1896) are some such early examples. Many social movements stirred Hindu society and social changes received an impetus. The propoganda of the Christian missions was also responsible for this, especially of the newly founded Protestant missions, though in a

negative way. The Theosophical Society started its work in Mysore

State in 1886, Brahma Samaj started its activities at Bangalore in 1866 and also at Mangalore in 1870. This was followed by the Depressed Classes Mission, founded by Kudmul Ranga Rao at Mangalore in 1897, which started many schools for the depressed classes. Bangalore had the Indian Progressive Union in 1894. Mysore

State banned the marriage of girls below eight. Sheshadri Iyer started separate schools for the untouchables as they were hesitating to attend other regular schools. The Maharani’s school for girls founded in 1881 at Mysore

by Palace Bakshi Ambale Narasimha lyengar became a high school in 1891 and later into College in 1901. The Ramakrishna Mission was founded in Bangalore in 1904. These developments mainly helped emancipation of women and attempted eradication of untouchability.

It was in this atmosphere that the history of the State also came to be written. Fleet’s Dynasties of Canarese Districts (1882), Bhandarkar’s Early History of Dakhan (1884), Rice’s Epigraphia Carnatica volumes (beginning from 1886), Indian Antiquary volumes from 1872 and Sewell’s A Forgotten Empire (1901) helped the recovery of Karnataka
’s history, and made the people of Karnataka
feel proud of their hoary past. This paved the way for the high renaissance and the national awakening in the 20th century.

In the princely State, amidst all these developments, the first ever Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition was organised at Mysore

in 1888. The Karnataka
idyavardhaka Sangha of Dharwad (1890), the Mythic Society of  Bangalore (1909), the Karnataka
Ithihasa Samshodhana Mandala of Dharwad (1914) further helped the Renaissance. An all-Karnataka
literary and cultural forum was founded in 1915, and this was the Karnataka
Sahitya Parishat, with its headquarters in Bangalore. It had the active support of the Mysore

Government and its president, H.V. Nanjundaiah also became the Vice- Chancellor of the newly founded Mysore

University (1916). Aluru Venkatarao wrote ‘Karnataka
Gata Vaibhava’ in 1917, introducing to the Kannadigas in Kannada, the history and cultural achievements of Karnataka
. Written in a tone, highly charged with emotion, the work played an important role in inculcating national feelings. He was the Father of the Karnataka
Unification Movement also.


Princes of Mysore

were all enlightened administrators and their genuine interest in the progress of the State, won them the affection and respect of the people. All of them were patrons of learning, literature, music and other fine arts. Krishnaraja Wadeyar IV, who ruled from 1902 to 1940, led an unostentatious life and combined piety with a modern outlook. During his reign the State made rapid progress in all directions. His younger brother Kanthirava Narasimharaja Odeyar, the Yuvaraja of Mysore

, was also a generous patron of fine arts; for many years he was the Honorary President of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat. His son, Jayachamaraja Odeyar, who came to the throne in 1940, proved as enlightened as his uncle. When the country won independence, Mysore

acceded to the Indian Union. Jayachamaraja Odeyar served as Governor, and won an enduring place in the heart of the people The Diwans in charge of the administration in Mysore

made the Principality

not only a modern state but also a model state is already observed.

Diwan P.N. Krishnamurthy (1901-06) improved the administration by introducing upto- date methods followed in British India in office procedure and maintenance of records, and he founded the Co-operative Department in 1906. The next Diwan V.P. Madhava Rao, founded the Legislative Council (1907), the second chamber, and took measure for forest conservation. The Central Co—operative Bank was also his creation. An Engineer with alarming vision, great economist and administrator of foresightedness, Sir. M. Visveswaraya became the Diwan in 1912. He was a man of vision and a dynamic administrator and during his brief period of administration that the Kannambadi Reservoir Project initiated earlier was started and top priority was given to its construction. He founded many industries and undertook such progressive and far-reaching administrative measures that he came to be known as “the Maker of Modern Mysore

”. The Sandalwood Oil Factory of Mysore

(1916), Mysore

Chrome Tanning Factory (1918), Government Soap Factory in Bangalore and the Wood Distillation Factory at Bhadravati were also founded by Sir.M. Visveswaraya. The iron unit at Bhadravati was also his brain-child. He founded the Engineering College at Bangalore (1917), the Medical School at Bangalore (1917), the Agricultural

School (1913), the nucleus for the future University of Agricultural Sciences), and the Mysore

University (1916) were also his creations. The Mysore

Bank was also started in his time (1913) and so was Mysore

Chamber of Commerce (1916).

Another important Diwan was Sir Mirza M. Ismail (1926-41) who was responsible for making Mysore

as one of the best known Princely States in India by expanding its industries, founding new ones and undertaking major irrigation projects. Mysore

State served as a strong nucleus of Karnataka
by its economic progress and cultural achievements.

Plantation industries was expanded both in Mysore

and Kodagu. Kannambadi project commissioned during early Diwans regime was completed when Sir Mirza was the Diwan. It gave impetus to Sugarcane growing and helped the founding of Sugar-Factories at a later date. Under Diwan Mirza Ismail, the Cauvery Upper Canal was commissioned, benefiting over one lakh acres of land. Industrialization in Mysore

was in full swing. The Bhadravati Iron factory had been founded by Sir. M. Visveswaraya and Sir Mirza Ismail expanded it by adding a steel unit.’

The District Savings Banks, attached to District Treasuries were started in 1870. Bangalore saw three banking companies in 1868, and a total of 24 such institutions  ere seen by 1876 in the city, though not many survived. Chitradurga Savings Bank was founded in 1870. Madras Presidency Bank had founded its branch at Bangalore in 1864. South Kanara had its Banking Companies like the Canara Bank, (Mangalore) (1906) and Corporation Bank (Udupi) (1906). Later came the Pangal Nayak Bank (1920), Jayalakshmi Bank (1923), Karnataka
Bank (1924), Udupi Bank (1925), Catholic Bank (1925), Vijaya Bank (1925) and the Syndicate Bank (1925). The Town Co-operative Bank was started at Hospet in 1915. Dharwad District saw many Co-operative Societies beginning with the one at Kanaginal in 1906, most of them in present Gadag district. The Dharwad D.C.C. Bank was started in 1916. Co-operative movement also made great strides in Kodagu, Udupi and Dakshina  annada.

Tile industry was expanded in South Kanara and Cashewnut husking units were also started in 1924 such as the Pierce Leslie and the Mallya Cashew. Beedi rolling in Coastal region and Agarbati production in Mysore

State were started as domestic industries in an organised way. The Swadeshi Movement gave a fillip to industrial activity in the British districts of Karnataka
. A big oil mill viz., B.T. Mills, was started at Davangere in 1918, and several Cotton ginning factories had been started in the town, even earlier to this.

Sir Mirza Ismail was responsible for the founding of many new industries in Mysore

State as already noted. He founded the Government Cement Factory (1936) and Mysore

Paper Mills (1938) both at Bhadravati. The Sugar Factory at Mandya (1934), the Mysore

Chemical and Fertilizers Factory (1937) at Belagola (the first of its kind in India) and the Glass and Porceline Factories (1939 )at Bangalore to mention only a few. It was he who initiated plans to produce power at Shimsha and Jog and the most important industry initiated during his time was Hindustan Aircrafts in 1940. Moreover, Kaiser-I-Hind Wollen Mill had started production in 1922, and it was followed by the Minerva Mills.

Thus industrialisation was in full swing, and the Second World War gave a further fillip. At Harihara was started the Mysore

Kirloskars machine shop in 1941. The Davanagere Cotton Mills started in 1939 gave a fillip to the founding of more such mills in the town. Sugar factory was founded at Hospet in 1935, followed by the Munirabad Sugar Mills in 1944. The Faruk Anwar Oil Mill was started at Raichur in 1944. Oil mills, Soap units, Saw mills, etc, came to be founded in small towns too. Banks and the Co-operative sectors provided the necessary finance.

Cultural Developments

The High Renaissance of the 20th century saw many great developments in the field of music, drama, painting and literature. The Mysore

court patronized great artistes like Veene Sheshanna, Lakshminarayanappa, Bakshi Subbanna, Vasudevacharya, Mutthayya Bhagavatar and Bidaram Krishnappa. The younger generation also had its great masters like T. Chowdaiah, who evolved the seven stringed violin, and B. Devendrappa. There were great classical dancers like Jatti Thayamma and Muguru Subbanna in princely Mysore

. In the field of drama, Mysore

saw great artistes like Varadacharya, Gubbi Veeranna, Subbayya Naidu, and Smt. Malavalli Sundaramma. There were equally great artistes from North Karnataka
area like Shirahatti Venkoba Rao, Garuda Sadashiv Rao and Vamanarao Master. Kailasam and Bellary Raghava were great amateur artiste. Kannada films, too, appeared. The North Karnataka
area had great Hindusthani vocalists like Savay Gandharva (Rambhau Kundgolkar), Panchakshari Gavayi, Puttaraja Gavayi and Mallikarjuna Mansur.

Painting also received patronage at the hands of the Mysore

prince. The Prince even sent K. Venkatappa to Shantiniketana for training and this painter won world renown. He was also a sculptor. Another noted sculptor from Mysore

was Siddalingaswamy. The Chamarajendra Technological Institute (Mysore

) was founded to train artists and Jaganmohan Palace was converted into an art gallery. The traditional Gudigars of the Malenadu (Sagar-Sirsi area), imbibing modern techniques and ideas, started producing fine figures in wood and ivory, which secured a world market. Their handiwork can be seen in the decoration of Mysore

palace and Vidhana Soudha.

The Renaissance had its impact on literature too. Prose writing became popular and journalism also grew. Several forms of literature like the short story, the essay, the novel, drama and lyrical poetry, developed in Kannada. Masti Venkatesha lyengar, Panje Mangesha Rao, M.N. Kamath and Kerur Vasudevacharya were some of the early short story writers followed by ‘Ananda* ‘Anandakanda’, A.R. Krishna Sastry, K. Gopalakrishna Rao, Krishnakumar Kallur, ‘Anakru’ (A.N. Krishna Rao). ‘Bharatipriya’ (Venkata Rao), Gorur Ramaswamy lyengar, Dr. R.S. Mugali, Gauramma and ‘Raghava’ (M.V. Seetharamaiah). Shivaram Karanth and ‘Anakru’ {A.N. Krishna Rao) are the two celebrated novelists. English Geethegalu (1921) by B.M. Srikanthaiah is the first collection of modern lyrics in Kannada. He was followed by Govinda

Pai, Dr. D.V. Gundappa, Dr. Bendre, P.T. Narasimhachar, G.P. Rajarathnam, Panje Mangesha Rao, Kadengodlu Shankara Bhatta, Dr. V. Sitharamaiah, Dr. V.K. Gokak and Dr. K.V. Puttappa (Kuvempu). Govinda Pai was the pioneer in discarding the rhyme (1911,) Modern Kannada play had its pioneers like B.M. Srikanthaiah, Samsa, Kailasam, Sreeranga and Shivaram Karanth. Publication of Epigraphia Carnatica volumes covering epigraphs from all districts by Rice and R. Narasimchar is a pioneering and unparallelled achievement of the erstwhile Mysore

State. Dr. R. Shama Shastry (who discovered Kautilya’s Arthashasthra), and Prof. M. Hiriyanna by their Indological studies, brought world fame to Mysore

and Karnataka
. Printing became wide spread. Newspapers played an important role, helping literary growth, spreading modern and scientific ideas, propagating patriotism and progressive social views and trying to encourage everything that is good in arts. In Mysore

, M. Venkatakrishnaiah was running ‘Vritthantha Chinthamani’ (1885). The ‘Mysore

Standard”, the ‘Mysore

Star’ etc, were some other newspapers from Mysore

State. Coastal Karnataka
had the ‘Suvasini’ (1900), The Krishnasukti (1905) and the ‘Swadeshabhimani’ (1907). The Karnataka
Vrittha’ (1890), (edited by Mudavidu Krishna Rao), the ‘Kannada Kesari (Hubli 1902) the ‘Rajahamsa’ (Dharwad, 1891) and Karnataka
Vaibhava (Bijapur 1897) were the periodicals from North Karnataka
. The freedom movement stimulated the publication of many new newspapers.

Fight for Freedom

The Freedom Movement and the demand for Unification of Karnataka
became very strong in Karnataka
after 1920. They are the climax of the trends witnessed in renascent Karnataka
. The freedom movement influenced literature, journalism, arts, industries and even society. It sponsored with great zeal, the programme of eradication of untouchability and emancipation of women. The achievement of social unity and undoing on an large scale of caste prejudices was also the work of the movement. The Veerashaiva Mahasabha (1904), the Okkaligara Sangha (1906) and other such organisations helped to spread education and the creation of a  onsciouness of their rights among  the backward classes. In 1917 was founded the Praja Mitra Mandali in Mysore

and in 1920 Brahmanetara Parishat at Hubli with similar goals was started. Though these movements were against Congress which spearheaded freedom struggle, but in the long run, they whole-heartedly joined Congress in its struggle for freedom. Four persons (one from Belgaum and three from Bellary) from Karnataka
went to attend the first session of Congress at Bombay in 1885. The impact of Bala Gangadhara Tilak and his journal ‘Kesari’ on Karnataka
was great. The Bombay State Political Conferences were held at Dharwad (1903), Belgaum (1916) and Bijapur (1918) in North Karnataka
area, which were then under the Bombay Presidency. There was picketing of liquor shops in Belgaum in 1907 (during the Swadeshi movement, following ‘Vangabhanga’ or Partition of Bengal) and 15 people were imprisoned. National

Schools were founded at Belgaum, Dharwad, Hubli, and Bijapur. Theosophists earlier had founded the National High School at Bangalore in 1917. Meanwhile, on returning from South Africa in 1915, when Gandhi (1869- 1948) visited Madras, at the request of D.V. Gundappa, he made a short visit to Bangalore on May 8th 1915 to unveil the portrait of Gopala Krishna Gokhale, and on his way to Bangalore, he was garlanded and honoured on the platform at the Bangarapet Railway Station by the Local Gujarati merchants. In fact, this was his first visit to the Princely State of Mysore

. In 1916 he visited Belgaum and stayed there for 5 days by inaugurating the Bombay State Political Conference.

The first Karnataka
State Political Conference was held at Dharwad in 1920, and according to its decision, nearly 800 people from Karnataka
attended the Nagpur Congress in 1920. At Nagpur, Karnataka
secured a separate provincial Congress Committee (1921) and GangadharaRao Deshpande of Belgaum was made the first K.P.C.C. President. In the meantime, as a part of Khilafat Movement, Gandhi visited Bangalore on 11-8-1920 and after addressing the public speech, he left for Madras. A week later, while returning from his Madras tour, Gandhi visited Kasaragod and Mangalore on 19-8-1920.

During the same year, on November 7th Gandhi visited Nippani, Chikkodi, Hukkeri, Sankeshwar and halted at Belgaum. On 10th November he visited Dharwad and on the following day after addressing the gatherings at Hubli and Gadag, he left for Miraj. During 1921, he visited Bagalkot, Bijapur and Kolhar on 27th and 28th May. In the same year, unavoidable circumstances forced him to stay at Bellary Railway Station for few hours on 30th September night. Later he proceeded to Guntkal in the morning.

Meanwhile, Non Co-operation Movement of 1921-22 saw many lawyers giving up their practice and many students boycotting schools and colleges. Khilaphat Movement was also launched with this. Nearly 50 National Schools were started  in Karnataka
and over 70 persons from the British Districts courted arrest.

Picketers were fired on in Dharwad and Bangalore, and three Khilaphat workers  died in Dharwad and two in Bangalore Cantonment. Dr. Hardikar from Karnataka
, organised Hindusthani Seva Dal, a voluntary corps with Hubli as its all-India headquarters. The Belgaum Congress of 1924 (20th December to 27th December), presided over by Gandhiji was a grand success, and was greatly responsible for public awakening in the State. Gangadhara Rao Deshpande, Hanumanta Rao Kaujalgi and Shrinivasarao Kaujalgi of Bijapur, Tekur of Bellary and Karnad Sadashiva Rao of Mangalore were some of the early leaders of Congress from Karnataka

Gandhi in Karnataka

Meanwhile, Gandhi undertook the Khadi campaign tour in 1927. As a part of it he visited Nippani (31st March) and in the course of it he fell ill with a slight paralysis stroke. On the doctor’s advise, (1st April) he left Belgaum to

Amboli for rest. But, being unsatisfied there, he left for Nandi via Belgaum on 19th April and reached Nandi on 20-04-1927. In Nandi he rested for 45 days (20-4-1927 to 05-6-1927) and reached Bangalore via Chikballapur on 5th June 1927, where he stayed upto 30-8-1927. During his long stay at Bangalore he made brief trips to Yelahanka (2-7-1927), Tumkur and Madhugiri (14th to 16th), Mysore

, KRS, K.R. Nagar and Srirangapattana and returned to Mysore

(23rd July); Ramanagar and Kanakapura (31st July and 1st August); Arasikere (2nd August); Holenarasipur and Hassan(2nd and 4th August); Davangere (12th August); Harihara, Honnali and Malebennur (13th August); Shimoga (14th and 15th);Ayyanuru, Kumshi, Choradi, Ananthpur and Sagar (16th August); Thirthalli, Mandagadde, Gajanur and halted at Shimoga (17th August); Bhadravathi, Kadur and Birur (18th August); Chikmagalur (19th August); Belur, Halebid and Arasikere (20th August) ultimately left Bangalore

for Vellore on 30-8-1927.

Later, the Civil Disobedience Movement launched by Gandhiji in 1930, began in Karnataka
with Salt Sathyagraha at Ankola, followed by various programmes of law breaking like Jungle Sathyagraha, Picketing of liquor shops, Non-payment of Pasture Tax (hullubanni) and finally No-Tax Campaign when peasants refused to pay land revenue. Over 2,000 people courted arrest in the British districts, Belgaum District’s quota being the biggest i.e., 750. The movement was resumed in 1932 after the nine-months lull following the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, with greater vigour. The No-Tax Campaign launched in Siddapura and Ankola taluks was an epic struggle. The lands of over 800 families were confiscated and 1000 people went to jail in Uttara Kannada alone; among them were one hundred women, and most of them were illiterate and even conservative widows with shaven heads. They got their lands back only in 1939, and till then they suffered in silence.

Programmes and propaganda to eradicate Untouchability were launced in Karnataka
, when Gandhiji undertook a fast over the issue in 1932. The highlights of the programme was to make the Harijans to enter the Marikamba Temple of Sirsi and the Basavangudi of Bangalore. Gandhiji also toured Karnataka
as a part of his programme of upliftment of Harijans in 1934 and 1936. By then, Harijan Sevak Sangh’s Karnataka
unit was founded with Sardar Veeranagauda Patil as the President.

Gandhi in Karnataka

During his 1934 tour, Gandhi visited Vidhuraswatha, Gowribidanur, Doddaballapur, Tumkur, Tyamagondalu, Nelamangala, Bangalore and halted at Mysore

on 4-1-1934 ; visited Tagadur, Badanawal, Nanjanagud and halted at Mysore

(5th January); proceeded to Mandya, Sugar town, Maddur, Besagarahalli,Shivapura, Somanahalli, Channapatna, Ramanagar, Kanakapur, Bidadi, Kengeri and reached Bangalore (6th January). On 10th left for Vallavi Kote and after touring Tamil Nadu, visited Mysore

, Tittimatti, Kikkeri, Ponnampet, and Hudigere (22nd Feb); visited Virajpet, Bellur, Somwarpet, Gundagutti, and halted at Madikeri (23rd Feb); Sampaje, Sullia, Puttur, Uppinangadi, Vittala, Kannadaka, Pane Mangalore, Bantwal and halted at Mangalore (24th February); visited Gurupura, Bajpe, Katilu, Kengoli, Mulki, Padabidri, Kapu, Ratapadi, Udayavara, Udupi, Brahmavara (25th February) and halted at Kundapur (25th and 26th February); Bhatkal, Honnavara, Kadri and halted at Karwar (27th); Binaga, Chandiya, Ankola, Hiregutti, Mandageri, Kumta, Ammanapalli, Hegde and halted at Sirsi (28th February); Kanasur, Siddapur, Dasanakoppa, Isur, Yakkambi, Samasaji, Allur, Devi Hosur, Haveri, Byadgi, Motebennur, Murughamut and halted at Haveri (1st March); visited Ranebennur, Harihara, Davanagere, Duggatti, Bennihal, Harapanahalli, Kottur, Kudligi, Kanavihalli and halted at Sandur (2nd March); Bellary, Hospet, Banapura, Gadag, Jakkali and halted at Hubli (3rd March); Dharwad, Marewada, Amminabhavi, Moraba, Harobidi, Hongala, Uppina Betageri, Hirehullekere, Saundatti, Gural Hosur, Bailhongal, Sampagaon and Bagewadi (4th March) halted at Begaum ( 4th and 5th March); visited Tondekatte and returned to Belgaum (6th March); visited Yamakamaradi, Ontamuri, Hukkeri,

Gokak, Sankeshwar, Gadihingalga, Hattikanagale, Nippani, Bhoj, Havinhal, Kotahalli, Dholagarawadi, Chikkodi, Ankali and halted at Shedbal (7th March). On 8th March after visiting Mangasuli, Banahatti, Athani, Honnawad, Tikota, Toravi, Bijapur and Ilkal; via Jorapur proceeded towards Hyderabad. This tour of more than two months duration brought social awareness and the downtrodden mass ( whom he called Harijans) started gaining self-confidence and moral courage.

Later in 1936 due to High Blood Pressure, Gandhiji again fell ill. He was advised to take rest. Hence he came to stay at Nandi Hills during May 1936. During this stay (11th May-30th May) he recovered speedily. On 31st May he left Nandi and reached Bangalore, after visiting Chikballapur, Sidlaghatta, Chintamani, Kolar, Bangarpet and KGF, the same night via Malur he reached Bangalore and stayed upto 10-6-1936. After visiting Kengeri he left for Madras on 11-6-1936. This was his last visit to Bangalore and Princely State of Mysore


During 1937 April, Gandhi visited Hudali (in Belgaum District), an important Khadi Centres, to inaugurate the Khadi Exhibition. He stayed there from 16th April to 21st April. It was his last visit to Karnataka
. After this, till his death in 1948, somehow he could not visit this region which was one of his favourite and affectionate area in the Country.

Amidst all these, although there were no agitations in Princely States till 1937, the people of Mysore

State founded Mysore

Congress in that year, and launched the Flag Satyagraha in 1938 by organising the first session of the Mysore

Congress at Shivapura (Mandya District). The Vidhurashwatha (Kolar District) tragedy followed soon after in which 10 were killed by police fire. This was followed by the movement for responsible government in 1939. T. Siddalingaiah, H.C. Dasappa, S. Siddayya, K.C. Reddy, H.K. Veeranna Gowda, K.T. Bhashyam, T.Subramanyam, K. Hanumanthaiah, S. Nijalingappa, M.N. Jois and Smt. Yashodhara Dasappa were some of the important leaders of Mysore

Congress. Similarly the Hyderabad Congress was launched in 1938, and it made a strong demand for responsible government. Likewise in other Princely States of Karnataka
also, a strong demand for responsible government was launched under the guidance of the National Congress.

“Quit India Movement” 1942-43.

The Quit India Movement saw unprecedented awakening in Karnataka
. Students in all colleges and schools went on strike. Labourers in Bangalore and other places, numbering over 30,000, also struck work for over two weeks. ver 50 people (of whom 11 from Bangalore alone) fell victims to firing by the police. Seven from Bailhongal, seven from Davangere, six from Shravanabelgola were martyrs of the Quit India Movement. Death of Mailara Mahadevappa and two of his companions in Haveri District was a serious tragedy. The Isur village in Shimoga district which demonstrated unbridled fury against the British had five of its heroes hanged. A total of 15,000 people out of which 10,000 from Princely Mysore

alone) went to jail in 1942-43 from Karnataka
. Dharwad and Belgaum areas, evidenced heroic sabotage and subversive works by organised group of patriots, which became famous as “Karnataka
Pattern” praised even by Jayaprakash Narayan.

Even after India becoming free in 1947, Hyderabad Karnatak region could be liberated only after the Police Action in 1948. Among the men who organized Congress, Ramananda Teertha, Janardanrao Desai, G. Ramachar, Krishnacharya Joshi, A. Shivamurthy Swamy and Sharanagouda Inamda r were the noted leaders from Hyderabad Karnatak area. In Mysore

State an agitation called “Mysore

Chalo” was launched for the establishment of responsible government. The agitation succeeded, and a team of ministers headed by K.Chengalaraya Reddy as the Chief Minister, took charge of the administration in October, 1947. Later he was succeeded by K. Hanumanthaiah (1952) and Kadidal Manjappa (1956) as Chief Ministers in the erstwhile Mysore

State. To Hanumanthaiah goes the credit of raising Vidhana Saudha, the biggest building in granite of modern times.

Daily newspapers like the Taruna Kamataka’ (Hubli), the ‘Samyuktha Karnataka
’, (Belgaum, and later Hubli), the ‘Janavani’, the Tayinadu*, ‘Navajeevana’, ‘Veerakesarf and Vishwa Karnataka
’ (all from Bangalore) and ‘Kodagu’ (Weekly) from Madikeri rendered yeoman service to the movement. Women also came to the fore and participated in processions and the picketing of liquor shops and pro-British establishments braved lathi blows and went to jail with babies in arm. Mention  can be made of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, Umabai Kundapur, Krishnabai Panjekar, Yashodhara Dasappa, Siddamma Bellary and Gauramma Venkataramaiah who were in the forefront of the movement.

Unification of Karnataka

After independence, a persistent effort had to be made for the Unification of Karnataka
. The movement for Unification, had been, infact, launched together with the movement for freedom in Karnataka
. Before independence, Karnataka
had been distributed among as many as 20 administrations and the handicaps and sufferings of the people of Karnataka
in those days were severe. In a Kannada area like Mudhol, ruled by a Maratha Prince, there were no Kannada schools and the administration was conducted in Marathi. This was the case with many Maratha States. In Hyderbad State, Urdu dominated. In big British Presidencies like Bombay or Madras, where Kannada districts were few and he Kannadigas were in a minority, their sufferings were many. They had no just share in the development activities. They could not secure minimum facilities like roads or bridges. Everywhere the voice of the Kannadiga was a voice in the wilderness.

The Renaissance had also created a strong yearning for Unification. Dharwad was the centre of the movement, and Alur Venkatarao was the brain behind it. He had supporters like Mudavidu Krishnarao, Kadapa Raghavendra Rao and Gadigayya Honnapurmath. The Karnataka
Sahithya Parishat was founded (1915) at Bangalore partially by the efforts of these people, and it provided a forum for the writers and intellectuals of Karnataka
. The writers and Journalists met annually at the Kannada Literary Conference organised by the Parishat and finally the first Karnataka
State Political Conference held at Dharwad (1920) decided to agitate for Unification through the Congress organisation too. The Nagpur Congress agreed to establish the K.P.C.C. in that year. Thus Unification, initially an idea of the Kannada writers and journalists, secured the support of the politicians. The first Unification Conference was held at Belgaum in 1924 during the Belgaum Congress, with Siddappa Kambli as its president. Nine such conferences were held till the dawn of Independence, and afterwards, Karnataka
came under five administrations in 1947,viz., (1) Bombay (2) Madras (3) Kodagu (4) Mysore

and (5) Hyderabad states (instead of 20). Minor Princely States like Jamkhandi, Ramadurg, Mudhol, Sandur etc. numbering 15 have been merged with neighbouring districts soon after independence.

From 1947, Unification was a demand that had to be urged upon the Government of India. But this also had to be a serious movement. In 1953, the Akhanda Karnataka
Rajya Nirmana Parishat, a newly founded party with K.R. Karanth as the President, had to launch a major Sathyagraha and more than 5,000 people courted arrest. Finally, the Fazl Ali Commission was appointed, and according to its recommendations, linguistically united Mysore

State (Karnataka
) came into existence on the 1st November 1956 and S.Nijalingappa became its Chief Minister. Later, during D. Devaraj Urs’s regime, it was named as Karnataka
, a long cherished aspiration of the Kannadigas

in 1973.


The election results in the State reflect the political mood and changes in the administrative set up of the State. While furnishing the results for the 1957, 1962 and 1967 elections, political parties which have secured seats in the elections alone are mentioned. After 1972 the number of candidates contested and elected from each party and the percentage of votes obtained by them are also given. From 1998, election statistics given here include details relating to male and female contestants of each party also.

Lok Sabha, 1952: Before unification (1956), there were only 9 constifuencies and of them, two were double member constituencies. Of them 10 were secured by INC and the remaining one was won by Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party (KMPP)

Vidhana Soudha, 1952: During this election, there were 80  onstituencies and of them 19 were double member constituencies. Of the 99 seats 72 seats won by INC, nine seats went to KMPP and eleven seats were secured by Independents. SOP secured 4, SCF 2 and CPI secured one seat.

Lok Sabha, 1957: (Total No. of seats 26) (Double member constituencies 3) Indian National Congress – 23; Praja Socialist Party – 1; Scheduled Castes Federation – 1 ; Independents-1. Legislative Assembly, 1957: (Total No. of seats: 208) (Double member constituencies-29) Indian National Congress-149; Praja Socialist Party-18;

Scheduled Castes Federation-2; Peasants and Workers Party-2; communist Party of India-1 ; Independents-36. Lok Sabha, 1962: (Total No.of seats-26) (Double member constituencies were abolished) Indian National Congress – 25; Lok Sevak Sangha – 1.

Legislative Assembly, 1962: (Total No.of seats – 208;) (Double member constituencies were abolished) Indian National Congress – 138; Swatantra Party-  8; Praja Socialist Party-20; Maharashtra Ekikarana Samiti-6; Lok Sevak Sangha- 4; Communist Party of India-3; Socialist Party-1; Independents-28. Lok Sabha, 1967: (Total No. of seats-27) Indian National Congress-18; Swatantra Party-5; Praja Socialist Party-2; Samyukta Socialist Party-1; Independents-1.

Legislative Assembly, 1967: (Total No.of seats – 216) Indian National Congress -123; Praja Socialist Party-22; Swatantra Party-17; Samyukta Socialist Party-6;

Bharatiya Jan Sangh-4; Communist party of India-1; Independents -41.

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

History of Bangalore

The story how Bangalore came to be called by its present name has an interesting history. Once on a hunting expedition King Ballala of the Hoysala dynasty lost his way in the jungle. Deep inside the jungle, lived an old woman who took pity on the hungry and tired hunter. The old woman was poor and had nothing else to offer but boiled beans. But the king was so pleased with her hospitality that he named the entire city as bele-benda-kalu-ooru, which in the local language Kannada means, the place of boiled beans. The historical evidence of the name “Bengalooru” can be found in a 9th century inscription found in a temple in the village of Begur. Today the name has been shortened and anglicised after the British influence and has come to be called Bangalore.

In the year 1120 AD, the Chola King, Veera Ballalla ruled the Deccan plateau or the South of India. On a hunting trip in the forest he lost his way. After a long search he met an old lady in the forest who offered him shelter for the night and served him baked beans for dinner. To show his gratitude to this lady for having saved his life, the King constructed a town and named it as Benda Kalooru which means Baked Beans. Later in 1537, a local chieftain, Kempe Gowda helped design this town and give it its modern shape.

The Gangas ruled Gangavadi from Kolar starting c. 350 and later shifted their capital to Talakadu.Their rule often extended over large parts of Tamilnadu.

Though this has been recorded by historian R. Narasimhachar in his “Epigraphia of Carnatica” (Vol. 10 supplementary), no efforts have been made to preserve it. The inscription stone found near Begur reveals, that the district was part of the Ganga kingdom ruled from Gangavadi until 1024 C.E and was known as ‘Benga-val-oru’, the City of Guards in old Kannada. In 1024 C.E, the Chola Empire captured the city. Today, little evidence can be seen of this period. A small village in south Bengalooru and one in Anantapur district bear the Chola name but the residents are of native stock. The later Gangas often fought alongside the Chalukyas, Rastrakutas and the Hoysalas. In 1117 C.E, the Hoysala king Veera Ballala II defeated the Cholas in the battle of Talakad which lead to the downfall of the Chola empire.

There is an inscription dated 1628 C.E in the Ranganatha Temple in Telugu. The English translation of which is “Be it well, When Rajadhi-Raja-Parameshwara Vira Pratapa Vira-Maha-Deva Maharaya seated in the Jewel throne was ruling the empire of the world: When of the Asannavakula, the Yelahanka Nadu Prabhu Kempanacharya-Gauni’s grandson Kempe Gowda’s son, Immadi Kempegaunayya was ruling a peaceful kingdom in righteousness with the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, the eclipse of the rule of Yelahanka Nadu Prabhus took place at the dawn of the 17th century.”

Kempe Gowda marks the four corners of the city

Another historical figure instrumental in shaping the city of Bangalore is a feudal lord who called himself Kempe Gowda, and who served under the Vijayanagara Kings. Hunting seemed to be a favourite past time in those days. During one of his hunting bouts, Kempe Gowda was surprised to see a hare chase his dog. Either his dog was chicken hearted or the hare was lion hearted one does not know, but the episode surely made an impression on the feudal lord. He told himself this is a place surely for heroes and heroics, and he referred to Bangalore from then onwards as “gandu bhoomi” (heroic place). Kempe Gowda I, who was in charge of Yelahanka, built a mud fort in 1537. With the help of King Achutaraya, built the little towns of Balepet, Cottonpet, and Chickpet, all inside the fort. Today, these little areas serve as the major wholesale and commercial market places in the city. Kempegowda, the II built four watch towers to mark the boundary of Bangalore. A hundred years later, Vijaynagar empire fell, and in 1638, it was conquered by Mohammed Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur.

Bangalore‘s origins sprang from the gifting of a large piece of land from the Vijayanagar Emperor to Kempegowda. Kempegowda, a then chieftain, used the land revenue to develop a town. He thereafter encouraged foreign merchants and artists to make the new town their habitation. Once Kempegowda’s rule was over, Bangalore was ruled by a number of sovereigns and dynasties. The strong rule of monarchs such as Tipu Sultan and members of the Royal House Wodeyar enabled Bangalore to prosper well.

The roots of Bangalore‘s name has also drawn a lot of interest. The city was originally known as Benguluru. The earliest reference to the name Benguluru was discovered in a 9th century Ganga inscription. This inscription was found in Begur and Benguluru is referred to as a location in which a battle took place. Another alternative theory however is that the name Benguluru has a floral origin and is derived from the tree Benga. The locality that was referred to as Benguluru in the Ganga inscription was originally a hamlet and is close to the modern day district of Hebbal. Today however, the hamlet is known as Halebenguluru (or Old Bangalore). The progression of Benguluru’s name changing is thought to have stemmed from Kempegowda’s desire for Benguluru to have a more Anglicized sound. It was therefore changed to Bangalore and remained so until recent times, when the name Benguluru was re-initiated.]

The Beginning

Bangalore is believed to have been founded in 1537 by Kempe Gowda (1510 – 1570). During the time of the Puranas,this region was known as “Kalyanapuri” or “Kalyananagara”,the “City Auspicious”. The Mauryan Emperor,Chandragupta Maurya,renounced his throne to become a Jain Monk at Shravanabelagola,a Jain piligrimage center,southwest of Bangalore.

Bengaluru was first mentioned in records from the Ganga era as a small hamlet,the location of which coincides with modern Halebengaluru near Kodigehalli (not far from Hebbal). It is said that when Kempe Gowda built his new capital town in about 1537,he called it Bengaluru as his mother and wife belonged to the hamlet of Halé Bengaluru (Old Bangalore). The Government of Karnataka has recently renamed the city of Bangalore as Bengaluru. Just as with Chennai they hope Bangalore will soon be known the world over by its ancient name Bengaluru.

Another version suggests that the name Bangalore derives from Benda kalu,which means Boiled beans. It is said that a humble old lady served a 10th century ruler,King Veeraballa of Vijayanagara who lost his way in the forest. He liked the food so much he named the place Benda Kaluru,meaning “the city of boiled beans”,to commemorate his experience. After the arrival of the British,the city was given the anglicized name of “Bangalore“.

Vijayanagara and Kempe Gowda

Kempe Gowda I (1510 – 1570), Modern Bengalooru was founded by a feudatory of the Vijayanagara Empire, who built a mud fort in 1537. Kempe Gowda also referred to the new town as his “gandu bhoomi” or “Land of Heroes”.[4] Within Bengalooru Fort, the town was divided into petes (IPA: [peɪteɪ]) or market. The town had two main streets: Chickkapete Street ran east-west and Doddapete Street ran north-south. Their intersection formed Doddapete square — the heart of then Bengalooru. Kempe Gowda’s successor, Kempe Gowda II, built temples, tanks including Kempapura and Karanjikere tanks and four watching towers that marked Bengalooru’s boundary.[6]

The four watching towers built then in Bengalooru are still seen today.

* in Lal Bagh

* near Kempambudhi tank

* near Ulsoor Lake

* near Mekhri Circle

Sultanate of Bijapur

It was captured by the Maratha chief Shahaji Bhonsle, father of Shivaji, then working for the Adil Shahi sultans of Bijapur in 1638. During the siege of Bengalooru, Shivaji’s elder brother Shambaji was killed by Shahaji’s rivals, led by the Ghorpade of Mudhol, for which Shivaji was to later exact revenge.

Mughal Influence

After conquering the Sultanate of Bijapur, the Mughals under the commandership of Khasim Khan, then arrived in Bengalooru, which was then ruled by Shivaji’s brother Vyankoji Bhonsale as a jagir (fief) of Bijapur in 1686; Vyankoji retreated further south.

The Mughals in turn leased Bengalooru to the subsidiary Kingdom of Mysore’s ruler Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar in 1689. In 1759, the Wodeyar’s Commander-in-Chief Haider Ali made himself the de facto ruler of the Mysore Kingdom, including Bengalooru, but maintained the Wodeyars as a figurehead.

Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan

When Hyder Ali died, his son Tipu Sultan deposed the weak Wodeyar, proclaimed himself Sultan. Under Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali the state progressed economically and trade flourished with many foreign nations through the ports of Mangalore. The French under Napoleon had promised to drive the British from India. Tipu successfully stalled the British in the first, second and third Anglo-Mysore Wars. Tipu, however, was defeated and ultimately killed in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.

Wodeyars and British East India

Lady Curzon hospital in the Bangalore Cantonment was established in 1864 and later named after the first wife of the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon.

Upon the passing of Tipu Sultan, the Wodeyars returned to the throne of Mysore, and therefore Bengalooru, although only as figureheads. Bengalooru remained part of British East India until Indian independence in August, 1947.

The ‘Residency’ of Mysore State was first established at Mysore in 1799 and later shifted to Bengalooru in the year 1804. It was abolished in the year 1843 only to be revived in 1881 at Bengalooru and finally to be closed down in 1947 with the departure of the British. (

The British troops which were first stationed at Srirangapatna after the fall of Tipu Sultan in 1799 were later shifted to the Civil and Military Station of Bengalooru in 1809.

The salubrious climate of Bengalooru attracted the ruling class and led to the establishment of the famous Military Cantonment, a city-state close to the old town of Bengalooru. The area became not only a military base for the British but also a settlement for a large number of Europeans, Anglo-Indians and missionaries.

Bangalore Palace, built in 1887, was home to the rulers of Mysore

In Cantonment, the names of many of its streets are derived from military nomenclature — Artillery Road, Brigade Road, Infantry Road and Cavalry Road. The South Parade (now known as Mahatma Gandhi Road, was to the south of the Parade Ground. The Plaza theatre was constructed in the year 1936 on the South Parade and was used by the soldiers for viewing Hollywood movies. The British representative maintained a residence within the cantonment area and his quarters was called the Residency and hence the name Residency Road. Around 1883, three developments were added to the cantonment — Richmond Town, Benson Town and Cleveland Town.

The Cantonment has retained it distinct atmosphere through the years with large populations of Anglo-Indians and Tamils from the British era.

Water shortages

The lack of water supplies within the city of Bengalooru was first tacked in 1873 by building a chain of tanks called Miller’s Tanks in the Cantonment area. Prior to this water was pumped from the Halsoor, Shoolay and Pudupacherry tanks which were insufficient for the Civil and Military Station. The city area drew water from a Karanjee system from Dharmambudhi and Sampangi tanks. The Great Famine of 1875-77 and the failure of the monsoons led to drying of all these water bodies. During this time water carriers Bihistis supplied water. In 1882 the Sankey Reservoir was constructed at the cost of 5.75 Lakhs by Richard Hieram Sankey and collected rain water from an area of 2.5 sq miles. The water was said to be unsavoury and impure. On June 23, 1896 water was pumped from the Chamarajendra Reservoir (Hessarghatta) which dammed the waters of the Arkavathi. This tank went dry for one year in 1925. It was built at the cost of Rs 20,78,641. On 15 March 1933, the Thippagondanahalli Reservoir was put into service. On 21 May 1961, the Integrated Water Supply Scheme was inaugurated. This system collected water from the Cauvery river near Halgur and pumped up at Thorekadanahalli, Voddaradoddi, Gantakanadoddi and Tatguni and stored in reservoirs at Mount Joy, Byrasandra and High Grounds.[7]

Plague-Crisis of 1898

Bengalooru was hit by a plague epidemic in 1898. The epidemic took a huge toll and many temples were built during this time, dedicated to the goddess Mariamma. The crisis caused by this epidemic catalyzed the improvement and sanitation of Bengalooru and, in turn, improvements in sanitation and health facilities helped to modernize Bengalooru.

Karnataka High Court.

Telephone lines were laid to help coordinate anti-plague operations. Regulations for building new houses with proper sanitation facilities came into effect. A health officer was appointed in 1898, the city was divided into four wards for better coordination and the Victoria Hospital was inaugurated in 1900 by Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy and Governor-General of British India.

City planning

Telephone lines were laid to help coordinate anti-plague operations. Regulations for building new houses with proper facilities of sanitation came into effect. A health officer was appointed in 1898 and the Victoria Hospital was inaugurated in 1900 by Lord Curzon,the then Viceroy. It is also believed that the advent of railways was a causal factor for the epidemic.

<a href=Bangalore High Court”>The plague of 1898 also led to the expansion of Bangalore. Basavanagudi (named after the Basaveshwara Temple or the Bull Temple in the Sunkenahalli village) and Malleshwaram (named after the Kadu Malleshwara Temple in the old Mallapura village) were created during this time. Kalasipalyam (near the old fort) and Gandhinagar were created between 1921-1931. Kumara Park came into existence in 1947 and Jayanagar in 1948.

Bangalore is a former cantonment and Civil and Military Station after 1881 and has roads named according to military conventions such as Artillery Road,Brigade Road,CMH Road,Infantry Road and Cavalry Road. The South Parade (presently Mahatma Gandhi Road) was to the south of the Parade Ground. The cantonment area was administered by a Resident and his quarters was called the Residency and hence the Residency Road. In around 1883,three extensions were added to the Municipal area of the Cantonment,namely,Richmond Town,followed by Benson Town and Cleveland Town.

Today the sprawling metropolitan region of Bangalore extends from Peenya Indutrial Area in the West to Indiranagar and Whitefield in the East. And from Yelahanka in the North to J.P. Nagar in the South

Bangalore was never planned to be the boomtown metropolis it is now. Rather,it was viewed traditionally as a place of retreat,also called a ‘Pensioner’s Paradise’. This lack of planning has led to its current infrastructure problems.

Several speculations have been made about how the name “Bangalore” came about. Based on information from the Gazetteer of India, Karnataka State, Bangalore District section, the name “Bangalore” is an anglicised version of “Bengalooru,” a word in the local Kannada language that was given to a town. The story goes that this word was derived from the phrase “bende kaalu ooru,” which translates into “the town of boiled beans.” It is said that King Ballala of the Hoysala dynasty lost his way in the jungle while on a hunting expedition. Tired and hungry, he encountered a poor, old woman who offered him the only food she had – some boiled beans. Grateful to her, the king named the place “bende kaalu ooru.” However, historical evidence shows that “Bengalooru” was recorded much before King Ballala’s time in a 9th century temple inscription in the village of Begur. “Bengalooru” still exists today within the city limits in Kodigehalli area and is called “Halebengalooru” or “Old Bangalore.”

In 1638, Bangalore was conquered by Bijapur Sultan and ruled for next 50 years. Later it was captured by Mughals who held it for 3 years. In 1687, the Mughal Sultan of Sira province sold Bangalore to king Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar of Mysore for 3 lac pagodas, who built a second fort to the south of that built by Kempegowda I. In 1759, Hyder Ali received Bangalore as a jagir from Krishna raja Wodeyar II. He fortified the southern fort and made Bangalore an army town. When Tipu Sultan died in the 4th Mysore war in 1799, the British gave the kingdom, including Bangalore back to Krishna raja Wodeyar III. The British Resident stayed in Bangalore. In 1831, alleging misrule by Krishna raja Wodeyar III, the British took over the administration of the Mysore Kingdom. Under the British influence, Bangalore bloomed with modern facilities like the railways, telegraphs, postal and police departments. In 1881, the British returned the city to the Wodeyars. Diwans like Mirza Ismail, and sir Vishweshwarayya were the pioneers to help Bangalore attain its modern outlook. With the direct rule of the British Commissioners based in Bangalore, it became the State Administrative HQ. The destiny of Bangalore thus took a historic turn, making it eventually a major city of India and one of the fastest growing in the world. After independence, Bangalore‘s choice as a state capital was only logical. Mysore had too many associations with the royal family to be the capital of a new state with an elected Chief Minister and a nominated Governor. Finally, for an enlarged Karnataka, Bangalore was more central and better linked with the major cities of the country. Today, Bangalore is booming, and a look at some of its nicknames says why: “India’s Silicon Valley,” “Fashion Capital of India,” “The Pub City of India,” and on. Home to well over 6 million people, and a base for 10,000 industries, Bangalore is India’s fifth largest city and the fastest growing city in Asia.

1638 Bengalooru is captured by the Marathas
1687 Bengalooru is part of the Mughal Empire
1759 Haider Ali stages a coup and Bengalooru, along with the Kingdom of Mysore comes under his rule
1760 Haider Ali designs plans for Lal Bagh, importing plants from Delhi, Lahore and Multan
1782 Tipu Sultan, son of Haider Ali, ascends to the throne after the death of his father
1799 Bengalooru is consolidated into the British East India Empire after the defeat and death of Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.
1868 The Attara Kacheri, or the Karnataka High Court is constructed under the order of Sir Mark Cubbon, commissioner of Mysore.
1898 The bubonic plague cripples Bengalooru.
1905 Bengalooru becomes the first city in India to have electricity.
1947 India gains independence. Mysore State is incorporated into the union.
1973 Mysore State is renamed Karnataka

Important Historical Dates

·  BC (-) Stone Age implements, Roman coins & burial grounds unearthed.

·  850 AD ‘Bengalooru’ appears on Mauryan empire milestone

·  1015 Chola Empire takes over City

·  C.1120 Veera Ballala II calls it ‘Benda Kalooru’ or ‘Town of Boiled Beans’ (after a poor woman feeds him beans in the forest)

·  1537 Kempe Gowda I designs City as it exists today. (KG II builds the 4 towers)

·  1638 Shahaji Bhonsle (Shivaji’s father) captures City for Adil Shah who gifts it to him

·  1640 Shivaji marries Bangalore girl

·  1687 Aurangzeb’s army captures City

·  1690 Sells it to the Wodeyars for 3 lakhs!

·  1759 Wodeyar gifts it to Hyder Ali who builds Lal Bagh

·  1791 Cornwallis defeats Tipu but returns City to him

·  1799 Tipu dies. City returned to Wodeyar

·  1800 Bangalore GPO opened

·  1809 Cantonment established

·  1812 St. Mark’s Cathedral built

·  1831 British take-over administration

·  1853 Sunday declared weekly holiday

·  1859 1st train steams out of City

·  1864 Sankey builds Cubbon Park

·  1867 Attara Kacheri built

·  1887 Bangalore Palace built

·  1898 The great plague. (Another plague-the 1st telephone rings)

·  1903 1st motorcar pollutes city

·  1905 India’s 1st electric bulb lit in Bangalore City Market

·  1909 Indian Institute of Science built

·  1940 1st flight Bangalore/Bombay

·  1948 Deccan Herald launched

·  1954 Vidhana Soudha built


Land Reforms in Karnataka

Land Reforms in Karnataka

Land Reforms programmes undertaken all over the country in the wake of Independence had three specific objects: (1) Abolition of intermediaries like Zamindars, Inamdars and such other absentee landlords (2) Regulation and subsequent abolition of tenancy, and (3) Putting a ceiling on the ownership of land by cultivating households. The Jatti Committee submitted its report in September 1957, and these recommendations finally resulted in the enactment of the Karnataka Land Reform Act in 1961. However a more egalitarian legislation was enacted in 1971 which is still in operation. The land revenue system throughout the state is the ryotwari system wherein

each landowner deals directly with the Government. Revenue records show the extent of land held and the revenue payable for such land every year. Systematic collection is possible only if such records are available. Records are maintained for each village separately. These records though prepared originally for facilitating collection of revenue in course of time have come to be regarded as indicating title to the land also, as all changes in ownership were being incorporated in these accounts. These gradually came to be known as record of rights. Village Accountants were appointed displacing the hereditary Kulkarnis as in Bombay state in 1950, and the new officials were then called Talatis, and in the whole of Karnataka in 1962 displacing hereditary Shanbhogues, and they are in-charge of revenue records of their respective
villages and are responsible for collecting revenue. They are a transferable adre. The state had its land survyed and settlement made in 1964.The district is the principal unit for administrative purposes. The head of the district, or the Deputy Commissioner passes orders on most of the matters relating to the collection of land revenue and administration of land. The important unit between the district and the village is the taluk or tahsil. In between the villages and the taluk office there is an executive official known as the Revenue Inspector who supervises the work of the village officers of a group of villages placed under his charge. His unit of jurisdiction is called a hobli or revenue circle. In between the Taluk and the Village Office is the Nad Kacheri for a circle. They were introduced on an experimental basis in one hobli each in totally 175 taluks in 1986. One more circle in each taluk had a kacheri opened in 1987. Nad kacheri is headed by Deputy Tahsildar
Shereshtedar who supervises the work of village officers in his jurisdiction. Similarly for a group of taluks there is a sub-divisional officer or an Assistant Commissioner who is the appelate authority as well as supervisory officer in respect of the taluks placed under him. The Chief controlling officer for matters connected with land revenue is the Divisional Commissioner. As the five different regions of the pre-unification days were accustomed to different office procedure a new Secretariat Manual was prepared and enforced in 1958. This established a uniform office procedure at the Secretariat and at the district level. The areas which comprised the new State had their own heritage of administrative organisation, their own laws, rules and regulations, methods or work, development schemes etc. Taxation laws which were different for different areas were formulated on the basis of the recommendation made by the Mysore Finance Enquiry Committee and made them uniform throughout
the State. In addition, It also streamlined various other Acts and Rules in force and introduced uniformity in administration.

The district administration is evolved into a fairly clear establishment, conforming to the purpose and apparatus of Government in the district. The purpose is three-fold, i.e., maintenance of law and order, revenue administration, and the development activities for the economic and social advancement of the people of the district. Under Article 154 of the Constitution of India, the executive power of the State vests with the Governor. He is the constitutional head of the State and the Government is carried on in his name and is appointed for a period of five years. Although in theory the Governor is the repository of all executive authority, he seldom exercises his authority directly except under extraordinary circumstances. In practice the council of ministers exercises all the executive powers of the state. The council is assisted by the Secretariat in running the administration efficiently. Likewise, there is a separate Secretariat to the Governor headed by a secretary. The State legislature consists of two Houses viz. the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. The Legislative Assembly consists of 224 members with one member nominated by the Governor to represent the Anglo-Indian community. The term of office of the members is five years and they are elected by adult franchise. The term of a member elected to the council is six years. The council has 75 members of which 25 are elected from the Legislative Assembly, 25 by Local Bodies, 7 by Registered Graduates, 7 by Registered Teachers and 11 nominated by the Governor. The Assembly sessions are presided over by a Speaker who is elected by the Assembly, while the Council elects the Chairman. The Chief Minister is generally the leader of the legislative assembly.

The Constitution also provides for a council of ministers with a Chief Minister as the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions. The Chief Minister who is the leader of the majority party is appointed by the Governor and the other ministers are appointed on his advice. The Council of Ministers which is collectively called the Cabinet, consists of Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers. The Chief Minister will exercise powers in guiding, directing, controlling and co-ordinating the activities of other ministers. He combines in himself the roles of the leader of the party, the leader of the House and the leader of

the Government. The Chief Secretary is the head of the administrative services.

He, together with the Chief Minister will equally share and also assist him in effectively discharging the administrative responsibilities. The three major branches of the State Government are: 1. the Minister 2. the Secretary 3. the Executive Head of the department. The Minister will decide the policy, the Secretary provides advice, and the Executive head will implement the decisions. Two major functionaries – the Minister and the Secretary are served by the Secretariat Organisation.

At the head of the Secretariat is the Chief secretary to Government who is responsible for the proper and efficient functioning of the administrative set up. He is assisted by Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary or Secretaries to Government who in turn have under them Additional Secretary/ Joint Secretary, Deputy and Under Secretaries to Government. The present set-up of the Secretariat Departments are: 1. Agriculture and Horticulture, 2. Animal Husbandry, Veterinary Services and Fisheries, 3. Cooperation, 4. DPAR 5. Education, 6. Energy, 7. Finance, 8. Food and Civil Supplies, 9. Forest, Ecology and Environment, 10. Health and Family Welfare,

11. Home and Transport, 12. Urban Development, 13. Housing, 14. Industries and Commerce, 15. Infrastructure Development, 16. Information Technology, 17, Information, Tourism and Youth Services, 18. Irrigation, 19. Kannada and Culture, 20. Labour, 21. Law 22. Parliamentary Affairs and legislation, 23. Public Works, 24. Revenue, 25. Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, 26. Social Welfare and 27. Women and Child Welfare. Government has established Training Institutes in all the districts of the

state, under the Administrative Training Institute at Mysore. There is also the Karnataka Government Secretariat Training Institute at Bangalore, which imparts training to the staff of different categories and levels. Kannada is the official language of the State and Kannada alone should be used in correspondence in all the Government offices except in correspondence with the Central Government, other State Government offices and courts. Several Steps have also been taken to modernise the administrative system by the introduction of computers in some departments in technical consultation with the Karnataka Government Computer Centre and the National Informatics Centre, Bangalore. The State Government has appointed Karnataka Administrative Reforms Commission in 2000 with former minister Haranahalli Ramaswamy as its

Chairman. The Committee has already submitted its Interim Report in January 2001.

Historical Places in Karnataka Archeology in Karnataka Dams in Karnataka Districts of Karnataka

Prisons in Karnataka

Prisons in Karnataka

During the Non Regulation period (1837-1856) there were eight jails in the erstwhile Mysore State. Bangalore Central Jail was constructed in 1863. In 1923, there were one Central Jail, one district jail, and 78 lock-ups in the Mysore State. In Modern Karnataka Area, by 1905 there was a district jail at Bellary and 9 subsidary jails. By 1926, there were 6 sub-jails in Dakshlna Kannada District with one District Jail in Mangalore. In Bombay-Kamataka Area, by 1883 there were jails at each Mamlatdar’s office One District Jail was at Kaladgi (later shifted to Bijapur) and subordinate jail at Basavana Bagewadi. There were district jails at Karwar, Dharwad and Belgaum and a subordinate jail at Athani. There was a Borstal school at Dharwad (even now it is there) and a Central Jail at Hindalga near Belgaum. In Hyderabad Karnataka Area, there were jails at Gulbarga, Raichur and Bidar.

At the time of Unification there were six central jails, four District jails, two special jails and two Borstal Schools. Besides there were the agricultural-cumindustrial farms at Bijapur and Khanapur. As in 1992 the following were the Administration 241 prisons in the State. 1) Central Prisons(6) at Bangalore, Belgaum, Bellary, Gulbarga, Mysore and Bijapur with total accomodation of 3,679 prisoners; 2) District Prisons (6) at Mangalore, Madikeri, Raichur, Bidar, Shimoga and Karwar (844 accomodation); 3) District central Sub-jails (7) at Mandya, Chitradurga, Kolar, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Tumkur and Dharwad; (558); 4) Special Sub- Jails at Davanagere and K.G.F.(113); 5) 26 taluk sub-jails under the direct control of Prisons Department and 44 Taluk Sub-Jails under Ex-Officio Superintenddent of Police Depts and Revenue Departments (1,669); 6) One Open Jail at Koramangala, Bangalore (80) and 7) One jail for youth prisoners (Taruna Bandi Khane) at Dharwad (133). Totally there were 96 jails, working strength 1318 and vacant posts were 474 are. As in 1999-2000 the sanctioned staff strength of the jails was 1,792. The average daily expense per prisoner in the State varied from Rs. 3.05 in 1982-83 to Rs. 10.10 in 1991-92. The daily everage expenditure of a prisoner is rupees 16.75 p. (December 1999)

Historical Places in Karnataka Archeology in Karnataka Dams in Karnataka Districts of Karnataka

Panchayat Raj in Karnataka

Panchayat Raj in Karnataka

During the course of these four decades (1952-1993) radical changes have been brought into practice in the concept, structure, constitution and modus operandi of Panchayat Raj institutions in practice in Karnataka by enacting progressive legislations by the successive Governments in power in order to translate the concept of decentralisation and ‘Grama Swarajya’ and ‘Surajya’ in to a reality. After the Reorganisation of the State, in 1960, a unified a comprehensive Panchayat Raj Act known as Karnataka Local Boards and Village Panchayats Act 1959, came into being since 1960. Under this Act, Village Panchayats at the village level, Taluk Development Boards at the Taluk level and District Development Councils for each district were constituted. Under the above threetier system of administration, only the Village Panchayats and Taluk Development Boards had elected representatives. The District Development Councils were mere advisory bodies comprising of Government officials of the

development departments works and schemes were non-official members. In the above system most of the rural development works and schemes were channalised through Taluk Development Boards. Village Panchayats worked under the control of the Taluk Development Boards. This system of Panchayat Raj institutions continued till 1983. In order to have decentralisation in administration, at the Mandal levels, increased people’s participation in the process of development etc., the earlier Act of 1959 was replaced by a new Act known as Karnataka Zilla Parishads, Taluk Panchayat Samithis, Mandal Panchayats and Nyaya Panchayat Act in 1983. This Act came into effect from

1985. The Nyaya Panchayats included in the Act did not come into existence. These new Panchayat Raj institutions came into being in the State in 1987 when the elections were held to these bodies for the first time. Franchise was extended to those completing 18 years of age. According to the new Act the three-tier, inter-linked development oriented institutions known as Mandal Panchayats at the village level, Taluk Panchayat Samithis at the taluk level and Zilla Parishads at the district were reconstituted. In the new system, only Mandal Panchayats and Zilla Parishads were having elected bodies. Taluk Panchayat Samithis remained only as supervisory or co-ordinating institutions between Mandals and Zilla Parishad and used to work under Zilla Parishads.In the new setup, Zilla Parishads were entrusted with more powers and

functions. They almost functioned like the Governments of the districts. Most of the development activities of the state were executed or carried through Zilla Parishads and Mandals. Nearly 80% of the total development expenditure was earmarked to Zilla Parishads. Except major and medium irrigation works, all other developmental works were entrusted to Zilla Parishads. Mandals had separate powers to carry out certain specified (27) delopmental works according to local neeeds. The impact to decentralised administration of Zilla Parishads, Mandal Panchayats was very much felt in rural areas specially in the improvement of attendance in primary schools, of both students and teachers and doctors in the rural hospitals and field staff of other departments as revealed by the evaluation committee on the working of Zilla Parishads and Mandal Panchayats.

The area of operation of a Mandal was fairly larger, compared to the earlier village Panchayat. Generally, a Mandal comprised a village or groups of closely associated villages covering a population between 8,000 to 12,000. Before their abolition in 1992, there were about 2,500 Mandals in the state. The term of office of the elected members was 5 years. There was a provision for the nomination of members from the backward communities to the council of a Mandal. In addition to 18% reservation of seats for the SC/ST communities, there was provision for reserving 25% of the total seats in all categories for women. This system of local administration continued for the period of 5 years till 1992. The total number of elected members of Zilla Parishads were 887 and of them 175 were from the SC/ST communities., and 211 women. The

total number of elected members of 2,469 Mandal Panchayats were 55,188, and of them 11,968 were from SC/ST communities and 14,025 women members of all categories.

Karnataka Panchayati Raj Act 1993

In order to further strengthen the functioning of rural Panchayati Raj institutions in the state by decentralisation at the appropriate level and to improve the quality of functioning, to provide social justice by means of extending additional reservation facilities to SC/ST communities (23 percent), women and other backward classes (33 %} etc., the new Panchayati Raj Act was introduced. The New Act also contemplates the reservation of seats for the chair persons by rotation. The new Act has come into force from 10th May 1993. It is a comprehensive enactment to establish a three-tier Panchayat Raj system in the state with elected bodies at the Village, Taluk and District levels. It is enacted keeping in view of the 73rd Constitution Amendment relating to Panchayats. It ensures greater participation of the people and more effective implementation of rural development programmes. Panchayat at the taluk under the new Act, there will be a Grama Panchayat for a village or group of villages, at the Taluk level, and the Zilla Panchayat at the district level. All the three institutions will have elected representatives and there is no provision for nomination by the Government to any of these councils. Karnataka is the first state in the country to enact new Panchayat Raj Act incorporating all provisions of 73rd Amendment

to the Constitution. In accordance with the provisions of the present Act, the elections to 5,645 Grama Panchayats were held in December 1993 for nearly 79,865 seats of which 23,454 were women, whereas elections to Taluk Panchayats and Zilla Panchayats were held in March 1995. The number of members elected to Z.illa Panchayats and Taluk Panchayats are 919 and 3,340 respectively. Over two crore voters have exercised their franchise in these elections. In 1999-2000 there were 5,692 Gram Panchayat with a total number of 73,547 (30,155) Taluk Panchayats 3,340 (1345) and zilla Panchayat 919 (335) in the state. Figures in bracket indicate women members).

In the new Act provision has been made for setting up a Destrict Planning Committee, Finance Commission and Permanent Election Commission. It is reported that in these elections women will secure 40% representation in Taluk Panchayats and 36% in Zilla Panchayats, the SC and ST communities getting 18% and 5% seats respectively. The backward castes in A category will get 27% reservation in T.Ps and 26% in Z.P.s. The backward class in B category will get 7% in both the Z.Ps and T.P.s and general category will get 40% reservation in both bodies. To facilitate early elections to Gram Panchayats the Karnataka Gram Panchayat Act (2nd Amendment) – Ordinance 1999 was

promulgated to amend section 4 & 5 of the Act on 28.1.1999 . That State Government has also framed the Karnataka Zilla Panchayat at (business) Rules 1998 pertaining to monthly allowance to member, annual grant to Gram Panchayat and convening Gram Sabhas in every village. To make Panchayat Raj institution more accountable and responsive, government has recently introduced the Panchayat Jamakhandi.

Historical Places in Karnataka Archeology in Karnataka Dams in Karnataka Districts of Karnataka



Many of our administrative institutions were the legacy of the administrative arrangements that existed in the past. The text on Hindu polity like Manusmriti, Arthshastra, Kamandaka’s Nitishastra did influence administration in Karnataka as elsewhere in India in ancient period as testified by inscription dating back to more than 1200 years. There were Nadus of 12 villages or 30 villages like Kisuvolal-6, Mulgunda-12 or Honnathi-12, or Kolanur-30 or Navilgunda-30 the figures indicating the number of villages in the Nadu. There were bigger units like Nagarakhanda-70, Rattapalli-70, , Hangal-500 and districts like Belvola- 300. Terachuvadi-1000, uhundi-3000, but provinces like Banavasi-12000, indicated that it had 12 districts, Nolambavadi-32000, had 32 districts. During the ancient period when kings ruled the land, the kingdom was divided into Maharastrakas (zones) and Rashtras or Deshas or Mandalas or provinces. Under these provinces were a number of districts called Nadu or Vishaya and each district had a certain number of villages or ‘gramas’ attached to them. Every province had a senior Viceroy or Governor to administer it apart from the hereditary local officers. Districts had Nadagavundas with certain powers invested in them. There were several village level officials called Patela, or Gouda (evolved from gramakuta) a village headman who did police duties also. Revenue records were maintained by the Shanbhogues or Senobhova or Kulkarni (Karanika or clerk) as mentioned in many inscriptions. Revenue records were called Kadita and officer in charge of it as Kaditavergade. Revenue administration formed the foundation of all administrative matters. The village headman had under him the totis, talaris, sanadis or ugranis who were the village militia. When the British took over Bombay and Madras-Karnatak region they appointed Collectors for districts, Mamlatdar or Tahsildar under them for taluks, and Revenue officers for circles. The village heriditary officials also continued. The old Mysore area which was under Wodeyars came under the British commissioner’s rule in 1831. During this period (1831-1881) the British system of administration was gradually introduced and in 1881 the State was restored to Mysore Wodeyars. Until 1-8-1986, the State was divided into 4 divisions comprising 19 districts, 49 sub-divisions and 175 taluks. With the creation of Bangalore Rural District in the same year the number of districts rose from 19 to 20 while the number of sub-divisions and taluks remained the same. Bangalore Rural, Chikmagalur, Chitradurga, Hassan, Kolar, Mysore, Mandya, Shimoga and Tumkur constitute the old Mysore state as it existed from 1799 to 1953. The present Bellary district was transferred to Mysore from Madras state in October 1953 by which time the princely state of Sandur was already merged in the district. Kodagu district as it exists now was a group C state. The present Dakshina Kannada

district was part of Madras Presidency till 1.11.1956, as also Kollegal taluk of Coimbatore district which was included in Mysore district. The present districts of Belgaum, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Haveri, Gadag and Uttara Kannada districts were in Bombay State. The whole or portions of former princely state viz. Ramdurg, Jhamkandi, Miraj Senior, Miraj Junior, Kholapur, Kurundwad Junior, Sangli, Audh, Mudhol and Savanur are found interspersed in Belgaum, Bijapur and Dharwad districts.

Earlier the district of Bijapur, Belgaum and Dharwad and Uttara Kannada were under the Bombay Presidency. These districts constitute Belgaum division. The districts of Gulbarga, Bidar and Raichur were in the former Hyderabad state. They constitute Gulbarga Division with Bellary district merged from Madras Presidency. Kodagu, a group C state ruled by a Commissioner was made into a separate district and was merged into Mysore Division into which Dakshina Kannada, Mandya, Shimoga, Hassan, Chikmagalur and Mysore were included. Kollegal taluk from Coimbatore district was made a part of Mysore district. Bangalore division has Bangalore, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Chitradurga

and Kolar.

The areas now included in Karnataka experienced administrative changes necessitated by the merger of princely states, by Federal Financial Integration and by State’s Reorganisation. As many as 573 villages which formed part of 13 States have been merged in Belgaum, Bijapur and Dharwad districts. Sandur State was merged in the Bellary district. The merger rendered it necessary to extend the administative system and laws of the absorbing unit to the merged areas. There was also the problem of integration of services. Federal Financial Integration affected only the areas which formed part of the former princely states of Mysore and Hyderabad. The departments in these states which were dealing exclusively with subjects in the Union List such as Railways, Posts and Telecommunications, Broadcasting, etc., were transferred to the Central Government. Composite departments like the Excise Department and the Income Tax and Sales Tax on income had to be bifurcated and the staff, records etc.,

attributable to the subjects in the Union list were transferred to the Central Government. The State Reorganisation was implemented on 1st November 1956 which resulted in the District officers being designated as the Deputy Commissioners in the whole state and they were assisted by the Assistant Commissioners at sub-divisional levels and the Tahsildars at the taluk levels. In August 1997, seven more new districts (see table) were newly formed raising the number of districts in the State to 27 vide Revenue Secretariat Notification No. RD. 42 LRD 87 (P-III) Bangalore dated 2nd August 1997 & No. RD. 42 LRD 87 (P-III) Bangalore dated 4th August 1997 (for Koppal District)

Historical Places in Karnataka Archeology in Karnataka Dams in Karnataka Districts of Karnataka