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About Belgaum

The District Headquaters, 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 the other - the modern, bustling, tree-lined Cantonment built by the British.

In the heart of Belgaum, near the bus terminus is the Fort. At the enterance are two shrines. One devoted to Ganapathi and other to Durga. Inside the fort are two bastis in the late Chalukyan style. Of these, the more famous is the Kamala basti, built in1204.

Come out of Kamala basti and you will find another ruined Jain Temple to its right. Co-existing harmoniously with these temples are two ancient mosques - the Safa Masjid and the Jamia Masjid. Near the 16th century Jamia Masjid is a darga of Khanjar Wali.

Step out of the Fort and you have a wide choice of temples and churches to visit.

The Kapileshwara Temple - said to be the oldest, the Ananthashyana Temple, the Maruthi Temple and the temples of Shiva, Vithoba, Dyamavva and Military Mahadeva.

Wander into Saundatti, the original capital of the Rattas and a celebrated pilgrim centre. The fort here was built in 1734 by Jayagaunda Desai. The eight mighty bastions are worth a look. And stroll by the Kadasiddeshwara temple and admire the scores of designs (over 200) inside. From here, the famous Yellamma Temple is but a few kilometers away. Passing the Pasasgad fort on the way, you will come upon this temple in immaculate condition.

Belgaum also has some very impressive churches. St. Mary;s Church, St. Xavier's Church (the oldest), St. Anthony's Church, the Cathedral of Our Lady and the Methodist Church.

No story of Belgaum is complete without a mention of Kittur Rani Chennama. One of India's first freedom fighters, the queen's heroic resistance is still commemorated locally - in song and story. Her statue stands sentinel over Belgaum at a prominent square.

Another historical site is the Pampa Sarovara. Built specially for the 1924 All India Congress Session which was presided by Mahatma Gandhi.

Belgaum also has some well laid-out parks. The Sambhaji Udyan, the Nath Pai Park and the Shivaji Udyan. Perfect places to relax in. To put your feet up. And let your imagination soar free.

And once you have finished the city and all it has to offer, set tracks for the sights close by. To explore or relax, the natural springs, rivers and hills give the maximum pleasure like only Nature can. Let her take over at the Gokak Falls.

Take the unconventional low-level bridge from the Dhupadal village and watch the great Ghataprabha river wind its way serenly before plummeting over a sand stone cliff of 52 meters. The rugged valley and the picturesque gorge is what inspires poetry. The dull roar of the falls can be heard much befor you reach it. "Expect in width and color of the water, the general features of the fall, its height, shape and rapidly above are much like those of Niagara".

Definitely so, the falls, with a horse-shoe shape at the crest, has a flood bredth of 177 meters. Interestingly, electricty was generated here for the first time in the country in 1887. The generating station can be reached on a ropeway. Recommended only for the extra-courageous! A walk down eighter bank of the rocky gorge rewards you with the ancient Chalukyan monuments waiting to be explored. Check out the inscriptions dating back to 6th century or wander through the serene temples of Shanmukha, Mahalingeshwara, Basavanna or Durga.

You couls carry on your encounter with nature at the Godachinmalik Falls. Be prepared for the brisk trek through a picturesque forest before you see the river Markendeya jump 25 meters. Follow it to see the second fall of 18 meters.

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