|• Administrator||Shri. N. Jayaram|
|• City||94 km2 (36 sq mi)|
|Elevation||762 m (2,500 ft)|
|• Density||5,200/km2 (14,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||(+91) 831|
The city is nearly 2,500 ft (762 m) above sea level and is the headquarters of Belgaum district, where states of Maharashtra and Goa borders the district. Belgaum is also the headquarters for the Belgaum division. The division comprises the districts of Bagalkot, Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, and Uttara Kannada. The Government of Karnataka has proposed making Belgaum the second capital of the State of Karnataka; a second state administrative building Suvarna Vidhana Soudha was inaugurated on 11 October 2012.
- 1 History
- 2 City names
- 3 Border dispute
- 4 Geography
- 5 Climate
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
- 8 Economy
- 9 Defence training centres
- 10 Tourism and attractions
- 11 Cox & Kings Limited-Belgaum
- 12 Cuisine
- 13 Educational institutions
- 14 Transportation
- 15 Assembly session
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 External links
The Vadgoan and Madhavpur suburbs of Belgaum were important urban centres between 400 BC and 300 AD. The present city was built in the 12th century AD by the Ratta dynasty, who were based at nearby Saundatti. The fort of Belgaum was built in 1204 by a Ratta officer named Bichiraja. Belgaum served as the capital of that dynasty between 1210 and 1250, before the Rattas were defeated by the Yadava Dynasty of Devagiri. Belgaum then briefly came u
nder the sway of the Yadavas of Devagiri. The Khiljis of Delhi invaded the region at the turn of the 14th century and succeeded in ruining both indigenous powers of the region, the Yadava and the Hoysalas, without providing a viable administration. This lacuna was supplied by the Vijayanagara Empire, which had become the established power of the area by 1336. A century later, the town had become a bustling trading hub for diamonds and wood, owing to its favourable geographic location in the kingdom.
In 1474, the Bahmani Sultanate, then ruling from Bidar, captured the fort of Belgaum. Shortly afterward, in 1518, the Bahamani sultanate splintered into five small states and Belgaum became part of the Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur. The Adilshahis reinforced the fort of Belgaum; much of the existing structure dates from 1519. In 1686, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb overthrew the Bijapur sultanate and Belgaum passed nominally to the Mughals. However, the Mughal empire went into decline after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, and his principal detractors, the Maratha confederacy, took control of the area during the rule of the Peshwas ("prime ministers"). In 1776, the country was overrun by Hyder Ali of Mysore, but was retaken by the Peshwa with British assistance. In 1818, the British deposed the last Peshwa and annexed his kingdom, which included Belgaum. Kitturu Chennamma (1778–1829)- ಕಿತ್ತೂರು ರಾಣಿ ಚನ್ನಮ್ಮ was the queen of the princely state of Kittur in Karnataka. In 1824, 33 years before the 1857 War of Independence in Murree, she led an armed rebellion against the British in response to the Doctrine of lapse. The resistance ended in her martyrdom and she is remembered today as one of the earliest Indian and the First Indian Queen to have fought for independence.
Belgaum was chosen as the venue of the 39th session of the Indian National Congress in December 1924 under the presidency of Mahatma Gandhiji. The city served as a major military installation for the British Raj, primarily due to its proximity to Goa, which was then a Portuguese territory. Once the British left India, the Indian government continued and still continues to have armed forces installations in Belgaum. In 1961, the Indian government, under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, used forces from Belgaum to end Portuguese rule of Goa.
When India became independent in 1947, Belgaum and its district became part of Bombay State. In 1956, the Indian states were reorganised along linguistic lines by the States Reorganisation Act and Belgaum District was transferred to Mysore State, which was renamed Karnataka in 1972.
In 2006, the Government of Karnataka announced that Belgaum would be made the state's second capital and that the city would be a permanent venue for the annual 15-day session of the state legislature.
Of late, the city has carved itself a new name as "Kunda nagari" because of its famous sweet dish, Kunda, made with milk, sugar and spices. The city is also known as the "Sugar Bowl of Karnataka", and the district as the "Sugar District" because of the enormous scope of its sugarcane cultivation and production facilities.
The name Belgaum had been changed to Belagavi by the Karnataka government. However, the central government has not agreed to rename the city, as Belgaum is caught between Karnataka and Maharashtra in a border dispute. One of the centre's guidelines for renaming places is that the names should not hurt people's sentiments, not have political overtones and not already be in use in any other state.
With the passage of the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, which reorganised India's states along linguistic lines, Belgaum was incorporated into the newly formed Mysore state (now Karnataka). Maharashtra has continued to claim the district, and the case is now with the Supreme Court of India and the court has the government of Karnataka to maintain "Status Quo" in Belgaum.
Belgaum is located at  It has an average elevation of 751 metres (2463 feet). The city is in the northwestern parts of Karnataka and lies at the border of two states, Maharashtra and Goa on the western ghats (50 km from the Goa state border). It is one of the oldest towns in the state, lying 502 km from Bangalore, 515 km from Hyderabad and 500 km from Mumbai. The district comprises 1278 villages with an area of 13,415 km² and a population of around 4.8 million according to the census of 2011. Belgaum district is the biggest district of Karnataka. Situated near the foothills of the Sahyadri mountain range (Western Ghats) at an altitude of about 779 m, 100 km from the Arabian Sea with the Markandeya river flowing nearby, Belgaum exhibits swift and kaleidoscopic changes in topography, vegetation and climate..
Belgaum has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). It is known for its pleasant year-round climate. Belgaum is at its coldest in winter (November - February temperatures dropping to 9 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature in Karnataka state is usually recorded in Belgaum,) and it experiences almost continuous monsoon rains from June through September. Belgaum sometimes receives hail storms during April.
|Climate data for Belgaum|
|Record high °C (°F)||33.2
|Average high °C (°F)||28.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||21.9
|Average low °C (°F)||13.5
|Record low °C (°F)||6.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||1
|Avg. rainy days||0.1||0.3||1.0||3.8||6.3||14.9||20.6||20.0||10.6||6.1||3.3||0.4||87.4|
|Source: NOAA (1971-1990)|
As per the provisional 2011 India census, the population of Belgaum city is 488,292, and its urban / metropolitan population is 610,189. Males constitute 51% (309,689) of the population and females 49% (300,500). Belgaum has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 65%; of those literate, 54% are males and 46% are females. Eleven percent of the population is under 6 years of age. The main languages of the city are Kannada, Urdu (Dakhini) & Marathi. There are also Konkani, Hindi and English speakers in the city.
Belgaum enjoys rich cultural diversity. The customs and traditions of Belgaum have been influenced by the Marathi culture. Traditional dressing in rural Belgaum is similar to the attires of people of North Karnataka & South Maharashtra.
The Second World Kannada Meet 2011 was held in the city on 11–13 March 2011 (First held at Mysore in the year 1985) to celebrate and enrich the tradition, culture and progress of the state.
Belgaum is the commercial hub and divisional headquarters of north Karnataka, ranking second to Bangalore in the state in terms of overall exports (mainly related to the automotive industry). It is an important source of vegetables, fruits, meat, poultry, fish, mining production, and wood (due to heavy rainfall, rivers and the abundance of water). Trading in north Karnataka is mainly with Goa, along with major cities like Pune and Bangalore. Rich deposits of bauxite are found in Belgaum district and have led to the creation of the Indian aluminium-producing company Hindalco Industries of the Aditya Birla Group. Uranium deposits have been found at Deshnur, a small village near Bailhongal town. Belgaum is a major producer of milk in the state, almost 1/3 or 30% of state's production, and has the highest number of sugar factories; Belgaum, home to Ugar Sugar Works in Ugar, Renuka Sugars, and other large scale sugar factories.
Belgaum is also a foundry hub of Karnataka state, with about 200 foundries producing automotive and industrial castings of ferrous base and supporting ancillaries like CNC and conventional machine shops which finish the castings that are produced in Belgaum.
Almost all of some areas in old Belgaum at Vadagaon, Khasbagh and Shahpur are engaged in business with power looms. Belgaum is known for Belgaum saris, which are sold under different brand names. Over 30,000 people are directly dependent on the power looms. There are also ready-made garment units, some of them export oriented, besides those manufacturing Khadi cotton products.
Trade flourishes in Belgaum, and many areas of the city are dedicated to particular kinds of trade. For example, almost all automobile-related trade and manufacture happens in the Fort Road area of the city and Udyambag.
Belgaum also is a strong industrial hub for machine shops catering to automotive manufacturing, especially crankshaft machining and castings. The geographical location of the city is an advantage, since it is between Bangalore and Mumbai–Pune, which supports the major automotive and aerospace companies along with other nearby industrial hubs such as Ichalkaranji and Hubli.
A 300-acre (1.2 km2) Special Economic Zone is being set up along the Pune-Bangalore highway to cater to the precision engineering requirements of the global aerospace, automotive and industrial verticals.
Construction has grown fast since year 2010, new residential projects has come from 2010, Bella Vista in Nanawadi near Cantonment area being one of the early ones.
Defence training centres
Its salubrious climate, proximity to the coast and strategic position near Portuguese Goa commended it to the British as a suitable location for an army training center and cantonment, which it continues to be today for the Indian Armed Forces, along with an air force station of the Indian Air Force. The British had a sizable infantry post here, having realized the military importance of its geographical location. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for Belgaum's sobriquet "The Cradle of Infantry". Development of a rail network for movement of resources and later troops was one of the means employed by both the East India Company and the British to exert control over India. Belgaum houses the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre (MLIRC). It also houses the Commando Training Wing which is a part of the Infantry School, Mhow, where the country's infantry commandos are trained in endurance, escape and evasion, guerrilla and commando warfare techniques and to live off the land. The commando course at Belgaum is mandatory for all infantry officers. Officers of other arms and services and even some foreign officers undertake the course. In between the military hospital and the commando training centre there lies the eminent Belgaum Military School, established in 1945 spread over an area of 64 acres (26 ha).
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police, ITBP, is building a full-fledged recreation and training center in Belgaum at Halbhavi. Belgaum provides an excellent climate for recreation and ITBP will have large family bases in Belgaum for its soldiers after high altitude stressful duty.
The Central Reserve Police Force Institute of elite central paramilitary forces is setting up a national-level training institution (for jungle warfare) at Khanapur in Belgaum.
Tourism and attractions
Belgaum is 502 km from Bangalore and 154 km from Panaji. Nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats, it enjoys a cool, salubrious climate and is surrounded by natural beauty in the form of rivers, hills and dense evergreen forests. In the vicinity there are popular tourists places like Amboli, Sindhudurg district and Jamboti.
A wide variety of historical sites, temples and churches exist in and around the city, most notably the Kamala Basti fort, Kapileshwar temple (South Kashi), the hills of Vaijyanath, Ramtirth waterfalls, Revan Siddeshwr Temple at Hunshevari in the valleys of Kakati, Siddeshwar Temple in Kanbargi, the aerodrome at Sambra, and others.
In and near the city are:
- Belgaum Fort, a huge construction in the center of the town. It dates back to 1519. The foundation of the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, a legislative administrative office complex, was laid in Belgaum in August 2007 to celebrate the golden jubilee celebrations of the unification of Karnataka.
- Kamal Basati is a Jain temple located within the walls of Belgaum fort.
- Hunshevari, the holy place of the "Shree Revan Siddeshwar Temple", in the valleys of Kakati village, 7 km from Belgaum city on the Pune-Bangalore national highway.
- Siddeshwar Temple in Kanabargi village is a famous temple in a hill cave.
- Yellur Gad, on a hill surrounded by a circular wall, is a popular location visible from a long distance.
- The handloom cottage industries and silk weavers located in Vadgaon and Angol are known for exquisitely designed saris.
- The Belgaum Cantonment Area with its lush cover of greenery. The MLIRC (Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre) is also based here.
- Jamboti, 25 km south-west of Belgaum, is a popular tourist spot with its evergreen hilltop forests.
- Vajrapoha Falls on the Mandovi river are 26 km from Belgaum.
- Godchinamalaki Falls is a popular destination about 60 km from Belgaum. The falls are approximately 100 metres in length, with a stepwise fall every 30 metres.
- Gokak Falls is yet another resplendent waterfall 62 km from Belgaum and 6 km from Gokak town.
- Amboli hill station (Maharashtra) is a little known coastal highland area, around 70 km from Belgaum, popular during the monsoon season with its thick forests, curving misty ghats and shades of vibrant green.
- Asha Kiran Planetarium, School of Astronomy and Audio-Visual Education Research Centre, located in Ganeshpur.
- Dudhsagar Water Falls, around 105 km from Belgaum, is a scenic waterfall. The spot also provides various options for trekkers. The best time to visit is during or soon after the Monsoon.
- International Golf Course (18-hole) at Desur, 10 km from the city.
- Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary (Khanapur)
- Anshi National Park (Karwar, Khanapur)
- Swami Vivekananand Smarak a tourist place in Belgaum city at a very peaceful location.
- Mal Maruti Temple, one of the best Hanuman temples, with a Udbhava Murty carving
- Kalavati Aai temple
- Siddeshwar Temple from Nagaramunnoli, which is very famous in Belgaum.
- Sulebhavi Mahalakshmi Temple is 20 km away from Belgaum.
- Military Hindalga Ganapati Temple, at Raichur–Vengurla Highway (State Highway 20 (Karnataka))
- Veera Soudha, also known as congress well, is a beautiful memorial and garden within the city limits.
- Halasi near Khanapur is a historical place famous for its monuments and temple.
One can also visit Buthramanhatti Park, Hidkal Dam, jungles, and many waterfalls quite close to the city.
Cox & Kings Limited-Belgaum
Cox and Kings limited, the longest established travel organization in the world has set up its store in Belgaum. The company offers various travel and tourism related services.
Belgaum is known for Kunda, a sweet made from milk. A special sweet called "Mandige" or "Maande" is a must during weddings. There are many kunda manufacturers in and around Belgaum.
Belgaum is also an important educational hub, consisting of eight engineering colleges, five medical colleges, and some dental colleges across the city and district. Visvesvaraya Technological University, the largest university of Karnataka for technical education (for BE, Mtech, MCA, MBA) is based in Belgaum. Basic degree colleges, nine polytechnic colleges and three law colleges are other educational institutions. KLE, the Karnatak Lingayat Education Society, and KLS, Karnatak Law Society, are two educational giants based in Belgaum.
From the late 1970s onwards, Belgaum began seeing a substantial increase in the number of professional education institutions. While initially this was largely in the medical and engineering fields, Belgaum today hosts institutions serving a number of other professional streams as well.
The establishment of the Visvesvaraya Technological University in 1998, with the affiliation of more than 208 engineering colleges, raised the importance of Belgaum as a centre of education in Karnataka. Belgaum also hosts a number of medical colleges. The impact of this growth has considerably changed the cultural, linguistic and industrial profile of the city due to the influx of students from across India (and even across the world), some of whom made Belgaum their home base after completing their education there.
Visvesvaraya Technological University or VTU, named after Bharat Ratna Sir M Visweshwariah, is located in Machche in Belgaum. It has more than 208 affiliated colleges. Over 67,000 students graduate from VTU every year.
Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) is a collegiate public state university in Karnataka State. It was established on 1 April 1998 by the Government of Karnataka as per VTU Act 1994, to improve the quality of technical education in the state. Apart from a few notable exceptions, VTU has complete authority in the state of Karnataka. It is a statutory requirement for colleges offering any program in engineering or technology in the state to be affiliated with the university.
The university is named after Sir Visvesvaraya from Karnataka, the only engineer to be awarded a Bharat Ratna award, the highest civilian award in India. Jnana Sangama, Belgaum is the headquarters of VTU. Additionally, the university has three regional centers in Bangalore, Gulbarga and Mysore.
VTU is one of the largest universities in India with 208 colleges affiliated to it with an intake capacity of over 67100 undergraduate students and 12666 postgraduate students. The university encompasses various technical & management fields which offers a total of 30 undergraduate and 71 postgraduate courses. The university has around 1800 PhD candidates.
VTU has 13 QIP centers and 17 extension centers in its various affiliated colleges offering post graduate courses. It has around 2305 departments recognized as research centers which are spread across its various affiliated institutions in different cities of Karnataka. It is one of the few universities of India to have 16 of its affiliated colleges recognised by the World Bank for getting assistance in setting up state of art laboratories, campus facilities and research centers under the TEQIP (Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme, a Government of India initiative) program.
The university is administered by its Executive Council and Academic Senate whose members are selected from the academic community and government officials. The present Chancellor of the university is His Excellency, Sri Hans Raj Bhardwaj, Governor of Karnataka state and the Vice-Chancellor is Dr. H. Maheshappa.
The University has signed MoUs with various Multinational corporation like IBM, Intel Asia Electronics Inc., Ingersoll-Rand (India) Ltd., Bangalore, Nokia, Bosch Rexroth and Microsoft to improve the industry interactions for both students and the teachers.
VTU is one of the member universities of the Association of Indian Universities and Association of Commonwealth Universities.
In 1916, the Karnataka Lingayat Education (KLE) Society was founded by seven founder life members, who are also addressed as "Saptarishis" (Seven Saints). On 13 November 1916, KLE Society started an Anglo Vernacular School in Belgaum (now G.A. [expand acronym] High School). Lingaraj College came into existence in June 1933. In 1947, B.V.B. [expand acronym] College of Engineering and Technology was started in Hubli. J.N. Medical College at Belgaum and G.H. College at Haveri were started in 1963. KLE also runs the world famous KLE engineering college in Belgaum, established in 1979. From 1984 onwards, KLE Society started dental, education, nursing, information technology, computer applications, hotel management, business management, tourism, fashion design, and agriculture colleges, as well as polytechnics across India. Today under the leadership of Mr. Prabhakar Kore, the KLE Society runs 207 institutions.
Karnatak Law Society
Karnatak Law Society (KLS) was founded in 1939 by a group of diehard freedom fighters and eminent lawyers. Their distinguished vision and sheer service motto not only brought succor and solace to a large number of quality education aspirants but it also paved the way for the establishment of one of the greatest institutions of all times to come. KLS imparts unparalleled quality education in engineering, management and other allied areas to more than 20,000 students through eleven institutes in various parts of Northern Karnataka. KLS is managed by an elite pool of lawyers and engineers.
K.L.S. Gogte Institute of Technology is an engineering college affiliated to Visvesvaraya Technological University. The college campus is at Belgaum–Goa Highway, also known as Khanapur Road. It was established in 1979 to meet the growing demand for technically trained manpower for industrial growth of the country. The GIT's campus was inaugurated in 1989 by former Union Minister of Defence Mr. Sharad Pawar
Rani Channamma University
Rani Channamma University was established in 2010 by upgrading the post-graduate centre of Karnatak University, Dharwad.
Before the Rani Channamma University came into being in 2010, Karnatak University KRCPG Centre of Karnatak University, Dharwad was functioning at Belgaum. The Karnatak University PG Centre was established at Belgaum in the year 1982, to provide an opportunity to develop access to the students for higher education hailing from North Karnataka Region. In 1994 the PG centre was shifted to the present campus of 172 acres of land at Bhutramanahatti adjacent to the Pune-Bangalore National Highway – 4 NH 4, about 18 km from Belgaum city. Karnatak University PG Centre has been declared as Rani Channamma University in the month of July, 2010 with the jurisdiction of Belgaum, Bijapur, and Bagalkot districts. It is catering to the needs of the people of North Karnataka by providing excellent opportunities for higher education.
Belgaum is connected by road via national highways 4 (connecting Maharashtra (now part of the Golden Quadrilateral), Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) and 4A (connecting Karnataka and Goa). North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) run buses to all corners of Karnataka and to neighboring states. There are many prominent private bus companies providing services to all major destinations in Karnataka and surrounding states. KSRTC services almost all villages in Karnataka. 92% villages are served by KSRTC (6743 out of 7298 Villages) and 44% in other areas (6743 out of 7298). KSRTC operates 6463 schedules in a day covering an effective distance of 23.74 lakh km with a total fleet of 7599 buses. It transports, on an average, 24.57 lakh passengers per day.
The North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation was established in the year 01-11-1997, under provision of the Road Transport Corporation Act 1950, on the auspicious day of Karnataka Rajyotsava upon bifurcation from Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation to provide adequate, efficient, economic and properly coordinated transport services to the commuters of North Western part of the Karnataka. The Corporation jurisdiction covers the Belgaum, Dharwad, Karwar, Bagalkot, Gadag & Haveri districts.
NWKRTC operates its services to all villages, which have motorable roads in its jurisdiction and also covering intra and inter state operations. The entire jurisdiction of the corporation is totally nationalised sector.
The corporate office of NWKRTC is at Hubli, under which eight division headquarters are at Belgaum, Hubli, Sirsi, Bagalkot, Gadag, Chikkodi, Haveri and Dharwad and 48 depots are functioning under the administrative control of respective divisions and one Regional workshop at Hubli having one bus body building unit, one Regional Training Institute at Hubli.
Belgaum Airport was the only airport in north Karnataka for many decades, and included an air force base. The airport serving the city is Belgaum Airport at Sambra, 10 km from the city on State Highway 20 (Karnataka). Belgaum was directly connected by air with Mumbai, but the only flight to Mumbai was stopped in November 2011 owing to a financial crisis at Kingfisher Airlines. Since then SpiceJet has announced daily flights to Bangalore starting from 22 Nov 2012.
Belgaum is on the main Indian Railways grid, being part the of southwestern division, and is well connected by rail to major destinations such as Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Bhaghya Nagar, Goa, New Delhi and Chennai. The Belgaum railway station is the oldest in this region..
In 2006 the Government of Karnataka decided to hold one week sessions of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly every year during the winter season at the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha administrative building, constructed and inaugurated in Belgaum in 2012.
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- Quest plans 300-acre aerospace SEZ in Belgaum
- CM, DyCM to lay stone for Vidhana Soudha on Sunday
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