Northwestern Karnataka : Belgaum
Belgaum got its name from Venugrama meaning Bamboo Village. It is the district HQ. The most ancient place in the district is Halsi; and this, once the capital of a dynasty of nine Kadamba kings. In 1776 the country was overrun by Hyder Ali of Mysore, but was retaken by the Peshwa with British assistance. In 1818 it was handed over to the British East India Company part of Bombay presidency and made district of Sangli state.
The Divisional headquarter of seven northen Districts of Karnataka and District Headquarters, Belgaum is a picture of contrasts. On one side is the old town area where the cotton and silk weavers still create magic with their fingers. And on the other the modern, bustling, tree lined Cantonment built by the British.
Kittur in Belgaum district is a place of historical importance. Queen Chennamma of Kittur (1778-1829) is known for her resistance to British rule; another person in the history of Belgaum known for his resistance to British rule is Sangolli Rayanna.
There are several names available for Belgaum city. Marathi people call it as Belgaon, Kannada people call Belgavi, South Karnataka people call it as Belagam.
Belgaum is in the northwestern part of the state of Karnataka, in the southern region of India. It lies near the borders of the Indian states of Maharashtra and Goa. It is 502 km from Bangalore, 500 km Southeast of Mumbai (Bombay) and 125 km southeast of Goa. The town is at the foothills of the Sahyadhri range (Western Ghats) at an altitude of 25,00 feet (779 m) above sea level. The weather of Belgaum is pleasant, owing to its hilly topography. Summers (April-June) are mildly hot and winters are cool (November-February). It experiences heavy southwestern monsoon rains during (July-September). It receives as much as 50 inches of rain annually.
Belgaum is connected by road via the National Highway #4 (connecting Maharashtra[ Now part of the Golden Quadrilateral], Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) and NH-4A (connecting Karnataka and Goa).
There are a number of Bus operators plying between a) Mumbai - Belgaum b) Pune - Belgaum c) Bangalore - Belgaum d) Hyderabad - Belgaum
Some of the prominent bus operators are - VRL (Vijayanand Road Lines), Pai Travels, Barde Travels, PVG
Kingfisher Airlines flies to Belgaum with regular services from Mumbai.
Belgaum is on the main Indian Railways grid being part of Hubli-Division and is well connected by rail to major destinations such as Bangalore (via Hubli), Mumbai, Pune/Delhi (via Miraj) and Goa.
Belgaum has excellent city bus connectivity and also for the rural area around Belgaum , the charges are nominal around Rs 10 from one end to the other part of the city . Private and Gov't Buses also provide transport for commuting between Hubli , Dharwad , Goa , and other nearby places .
This is cheap way of transport between attractions. Though not metered always it would be wise to ask the approximate amount from a local.
Normally, Taxis are not needed unless you plan to go way out of the city. If you want to move around in City, Autos and Buses are good enough.
There are many rental companies offering cars with drivers or self drive. Hertz : College Road , Belgaum
The old stone fort, built in 12th century ad by the local Ratta rulers, is an important spot, though hardly anything of the original structure remains. One can view the splendid Kamal Basti ( Jain temple ), within the Fort premises. The Fort premises also hosts the Sri Ramakrishna Mission Ashram. This fort was renovated and built on by successive rulers who ruled Belgaum from time to time. Belgaum's Watchtower and Sunset Point should not be missed if one wants to savor the scenic beauty surrounding this small town.
Belgaum is famous for its temples and the religious-minded traveler could find a number of temples here-the main ones being Kamal Basti (in Belgaum Fort )Kapileshwar temple, Shani temple and the Maruti Temple.
A number of religious monuments are located within the cantonment area-the Masjid-Sata mosque, which dates back to the 16th century ad, the Mahadeva temple with its beautiful gardens, the St. Mary's Church of England, St. Xavier's Church, Catholic Cathedral and St. Anthony's Church, all lie within the lush green environs of the Cantonment.
The veg-patty & the cream rolls are amzing here.
Gokak Falls: Gokak Falls is a waterfall known for its beauty. It is at a distance of 60 Kms from Belgaum and 10kms from Gokak town. Located right on the main road is a celebrated tourist centre in the district. This falls has a height of about 170 feet. The river Ghataprapha after winding a course of a long route takes a leap of 52 meters, over a rocky bed 170 feet down. The falls is famous for its spread and shape. The rugged valley and the picturesque is what inspires poetry. The dull roar of the falls can be heard much before you reach it. "Except in width and colour of the water, the general features of the fall, its height, shape and rapidity above are much like those of Niagara". The falls are horse-shoe shaped at the crest, with a flood breadth of 177 metres. June to September is the best season to visit Gokak as it bees in full bloom. Electricity was generated here for the first time in the country in 1887. This generating station can be reached on the rope way.
Godachinmalki Falls:16 Kms from Gokak, it is at a fine spot located to the west of the Gokak-Konnur road in a deep green valley. Markandeya River takes the first jump from a height of about 25 metres and flows into a rocky valley and after a short distance from here it takes a second jump at a height of about 18 meters.
Navilutirtha (Saundatti):Located at distance of 80 Kms from Belgaum, a low valley situated in between the 2 hills, in an enchanting place is Navilutirtha. Formerly, it was full of Peacocks, frequently flocking round the pond, and thus the place was named Navilutirtha. The Malaprabha Dam near Renukasagar is situated here. It is also a good picnic spot. Rakaskop water reservior:16 Kms from Belgaum, literally means a hamlet of a Rakkasa (Giant), who is stated to have lived on a hillrock near the village. A cavern in laterite on the hillrock resembling a huge seated human figure is shown by the people to remind his past existance. Here is a Dam across the river Markandeya, supplying drinking water to Belgaum.
Kittur: Kittur is located at a distance of 44 km from Belgaum. Kittur is a place of historical significance. Rani Channamma of Kittur is known for her resistance to British rule. A ruined fort, formerly the residence of the chief of Kittur can be found here.
The other places of interest are Tillari Dam: Yellurgadh: Arambol & Terekhol: Vagator Beach: Goa: Pant Balekundri: Sogal Somnath: Dandeli Reserve Forest: Ambica Nagar Dam (Supa Dam): Anmod Ghats: Vaijanath Temple: Kali Nadi white water activities: