|• Total||11.33 km2 (4.37 sq mi)|
|Elevation||590 m (1,940 ft)|
|• Density||10,000/km2 (27,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Sirsi is a town in the North Kanara (Uttara Kannada) district in the Indian state of Karnataka. Sirsi was also known as Kalyanapattana during the Sonda Dynasty. It is a hill station with a population of around 120,000 people. This is the largest town in North Kanara district. The town is surrounded by lush green forest and the region is popular for a large number of waterfalls. Hubli and Belgaum is the nearest large city, and the main businesses around the town are mostly subsistence and agriculture based. Adike (Supari) (Areca nut) or (Betel nut) is the primary crop grown in the villages that surround the town, making it one of the major trading centres for Arecanut. The nuts grown here are transported all over India, and also exported abroad. The region is also popular for many other spices like cardamom, pepper, betel leaves and vanilla. The major food crop is paddy and rice is the staple food of the people.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Climate
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Reaching there
- 5 Art and culture
- 6 Media and communications
- 7 Current budget information
- 8 Special and sweet dishes of Sirsi
- 9 Temple
- 10 Churches
- 11 Prominent places in the Taluk of Sirsi
- 12 Nature and terrain
- 13 Educational institutes
- 14 References
Sirsi is located at  It has an average elevation of 590 metres (1936 feet), and is situated in the heart of the Western Ghats. Sirsi is about 425 km from Bangalore. The nearest airport is located in Hubli, about 102 km from Sirsi. River Aghanashini takes birth from a place near Sirsi called "Donihalla" and flows towards the Arabian Sea in the West. The river also creates many waterfalls along its path.(Grid Square MK74).
The climate in Sirsi is strongly influenced by the monsoons, and the climate is tropical, moderated by proximity to the sea. During the monsoons, the region receives one of the heaviest rainfall in the world. As a result, the region also has a large variety of wildlife. The vegetation in the region is mainly moist deciduous, and valuable timber wood is commonly found in the forests of the region. Owing to the rich flora and fauna, unfortunately deforestation and poaching have been causes for concern in recent years. The climate of Sirsi is very pleasant, especially from October to February. Its a very beautiful place which everyone must visit.
As of 2011[update] India census, Sirsi had a population of 117,000. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Sirsi has an average literacy rate of 91%, which is much higher than the national average of 74.05%: male literacy is 94%, and female literacy is 88%. About 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. The main community in Sirsi town is Havyak Brahmin. Other communities in this town are Goud Saraswat Brahmin, Lingayats, Halakki Vokkaligas, Namadhari Naik, Nadavas, Kurubas, Siddis, Shervegar Naayaks, Gudigars, Daivajna,Ganiga etc. There are also Christians and Muslims in this town. The majority of the people in Sirsi speak dialects of Kannada. A sizeable part of the population belonging to Gaud Saraswat Brahmin,Hawyak brahmin, Daivajna and Gavli communities and also Christians speaks Konkani. The Muslims in this town speaks Urdu.
By Road: Sirsi is linked to other parts of the state many state highways. Sirsi linked to neighbouring district headquarters of Dharwad, Udupi, Haveri, Belagaum, Shimoga, Sagar. The state corporation has a very good network of buses to all major cities/towns in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa. VRL,SRS,Seabird and Sugama Transport are the major private bus operators.
By Railways: Nearest railhead is at Talguppa. Talguppa is 54 km from Sirsi. Talguppa railway connects Bengaluru city via Sagara. Major railhead is Hubli, which is the Zonal Headquarters of South Western Railways.
By Air: Nearest airport is in Hubli and the other is Belgaum which are about 2.5 hrs and 5 hrs drive from Sirsi respectively. Hubli is connected to Bangalore and Mumbai by air. Belgaum is connected to Bangalore by air
Art and culture
Yakshagana is a classical dance drama popular in the state of Karnataka in India mostly popular in the districts of North Kanara, Shimoga, Udupi, South Kanara and Kasaragod district of Kerala. This theater art involves Music, Songs, Dance, Acting, Dialogue, story and unique costumes. While, songs and dance adhere to well established talas very similar to classical Indian dance forms, acting and dialogues are created spontaneously on stage depending on ability of artists. This combination of classical and folk elements makes Yakshagana unique from any other Indian art. This would be considered to be a form of opera in western eyes.
Traditionally, Yakshaganas use to start late in the night and run entire night. Bhagavata, the background singer is also the directory of the story and controls the entire proceedings on stage. Bagavatha along with background musicians who play Chande and Maddale forms himmela. The actors who ware colorful costumes and enact various roles in the story forms Mummela.
There are many professional troops in Karnataka. In spite of competition from modern movie industry and TV, these troops are arranging ticketed shows and making profit. Apart from this individuals arrange shows in their town inviting well known professional artists like Sri Chittani Ramachandra Hegde and Kondadakuli Ramachandra Hegde, providing an opportunity for local talents to act with legends.
Yakshagana is sometimes simply called as Aataā in both Konkani and Kannada (meaning play). Yaksha-gana literally means the song (gana) of a Yaksha. Yakshas were an exotic tribe mentioned in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India.
In Sirsi Holi is celebrated with a unique Carnival. Folk dance called “Bedara Vesha”, Which is performed during the nights beginning five days before the actual festival day. The festival is celebrated every alternate year in the town which attracts a large crowd on all the five days from different parts of the India.
Media and communications
- BSNL provides the landline telephone services and is widely used.
- Dharwad AIR is the nearest radio station. Dharwad AIR station can be heard on 765 kHz Medium Wave and Dharwad Vividha Bharathi can be heard on 103 MHz FM. Both these radio stations have entertained people here for a very long time and are quite popular among the villagers.
- Amateur Radio
- QRZ.COM lists two amateur radio operators in Sirsi using the ITU prefix VU2/VU3.
- Sirsi has LPT-49 TV relay station airing Doordarshan National Channel. Cable TV and Direct to Home services are widely used and these have replaced the conventional VHF/UHF TV antennas and satellite dish antennas.
- Fixed line internet facilities have greatly improved in the town with the launching of BSNL Dataone Broadband.
- Mobile Phone Services
- Majority of the mobile networks have coverage only in city limits. BSNL mobile has a good coverage in the rural parts. Airtel, BSNL networks provide 3G data services as well.
- Vijaya Karnataka, Prajavani, Samyukta Karnataka, Udayavani and The Times of India (all published from Hubli) are the major News Papers popular here. Patrakartha, Janamadhyama, Lokadhwani & Sirsi Siri are the local papers published here. Lokadhwani can also be accessed on the Internet http://www.sirsi.in & Sirsi Siri Newspaper Available in http://www.sirsi.info
Current budget information
The annual budget of the CMC Sirsi for the year 2009-10 is Rs.1534.28 lakhs, out of which Rs.781.20 lakhs is proposed for capital expenses, Rs.462.45 lakhs towards proposed revenue payment, Rs.232.09 lakhs towards extra ordinary payment, and for development of SC&ST is Rs.9.86 lakhs.
Special and sweet dishes of Sirsi
Kadubu: The main ingredients are jackfruit pulp and jaggery. The batter is prepared and with some additional ingredients, the batter is put into a container and steamed. The dessert is a local delicacy and is served hot with ghee.
Holge: Well these are not similar to pancakes but one could say that these are the sweet equivalents of tortillas. One variant is made with gram flour and jaggery, while the other is made with coconuts.
Todadevu : Its a special kind of thin crust dosa made out of jaggery/sugarcane juice. (Most local desserts of Sirsi have jaggery rather than sugar)
"Kesaribath" Rice cooked in Sugar, Ghee, and Kesari.
Karakali: Its a special kind of chutney which tastes very spicy. It is prepared from colocacia leaves.
Sirsi is famous for the Marikamba temple, built in 1688. The famous 'Marikamba Jaathre', commemorating the goddess Marikamba is held by the temple authorities every alternate year. Nearly a lakh devotees from all parts of the country attend the fair, making it one of the biggest festivals in the region. Close to the Marikamba temple are the temples dedicated to Maha Ganapati, Mahavishnu Temple and Shri Gopalakrishna.
For those who believe in astrology / fortune telling but do not have a horoscope in place, there is a ritual performed at the Maha Ganapathy temple by the priests there. The seeker has to frame the question that will have a binary outcome (Yes or No; True or False) The priest does the needful and the seeker is told about the verdict from Lord Ganesha. A lot of decisions like buying/selling property, choosing a vocation for higher studies are taken by some people through this ritual
22 km from Sirsi, famous Banavasi hobli is situated. Madhukeshwar temple is situated in Banavasi. The reigning deity Madhukeshwara of Banavasi, derived name from the linga, which has colour of honey.
Sodhe or Sonda or Sonda or Swadi flourished during the Vijayanagara Empire and is a considered to be a sacred place by both Hindus and Jains. Sonda is famous for Shri Vadiraja Matha, Shri Swarnavalli Matha and is about 15 km from Sirsi.
St. Anthony's church is in Sirsi and is situated in the center of the town, and is the main church for the minority Christian population in the region. Another church is St. John Bosco Church situated on Hubli Road. One more beautiful church is Infant Jesus Church in Agasebagil.
Prominent places in the Taluk of Sirsi
- Banavasi, the capital of an ancient kingdom in Karnataka (state) ruled by the Kadamba Dynasty is 24 km away from the Sirsi town center. Banavasi is considered as the "first" capital of Karnataka state, with the current capital being Bangalore. Although most of the ancient grandeur of the dynasty in Banavasi has been lost, an ancient temple for Madhukeshwara (Lord Shiva) is still largely intact, and has been declared a monument of historical importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
- Sahasralinga, (Sanskrit for a thousand Shiva (deity) Linga's) is another place of significance, where sculptures carved from stone are installed in the middle of a flowing river. The river is surrounded by lush green forest; the place is about 10 km away from the town center. The place is quite secluded, except during "Maha Shivaratri" celebrations when it receives a sizeable number of pilgrims from the surrounding areas.
- Sonda, famous for its Sri Vadiraja Matha, and Swarnavalli Mutt are about 15 km away from Sirsi.
- Unchalli Falls, (also known as Keppa Joga, referring to the other more famous waterfall nearby, Jog falls) is situated about 30 km from Sirsi, and is one of the biggest tourist attractions near Sirsi. The waterfall is a 116 meter drop and offers spectacular views at all times of the year.
- Yana, known for the unusual rock formations (Asteroid). It is located 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Sirsi.
- Shivaganga Falls
- Burude Falls
- Benne Hole falls
- Pancha linga
- Ganesh Paalu
- Mattighatta falls
- Waate Halla falls
- Duggumane falls
- "Vedic vana" Bakkala
- Kumbri gudda
- Musukina baavi
- Manjaguni Devasthana
- Giligundi cave
- Mabgi falls
- Batrashi Gudda
- Baroor Kenchagadde
- Jog falls(Sagara Taluk)
- Taponav an sacred place of Shri Vadiraja swami
- Banagere falls
- Nishane gudda
- Unchalli falls
- Vibhuthi falls
- Revanakatta Holye
- Yana Cave
Nature and terrain
Sirsi is a popular destination for trekkers and nature lovers alike, owing to its idyllic location in the middle of the Western Ghats. Many viewpoints and mountain peaks provide spectacular views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. The tourist infrastructure has improved considerably in the last decade, owing to an effort by the government to improve tourism in the area. There are many obscure destinations and trekking routes surrounding this region, known mostly only to the people native to the region. The region is also popular for numerous medicinal plants used in the traditional Ayurveda system of medicine, and there are protected reserves near Devimane Ghats for the conservation of medicinal species and biodiversity in the region.
- Progressive High school and pre-college Sirsi
- MES's Motensor Memorial College of Arts and Science, Sirsi
- Chandana English Medium School
- College of Horticulture (Affiliated to University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot) at Banavasi Road, Sirsi.
- College of Forestry (Constituent of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad) at Banavasi Road, Sirsi.
- Ave Maria Primary & High School 
- St. Anthony's English medium primary school
- KHB Colony Sarakari Hiriya prathamika shale
- Govt Higher Primary School No. 1 (Rayappa Hulekal School), Sirsi
- Govt Higher Primary School No. 2, Sirsi
- Govt Higher Primary School No. 3, Sirsi
- Govt Higher Primary School No. 4, Sirsi
- Govt College Rayappa, Sirsi
- St. Anthony's English Medium High School (Don Bosco English Medium School), Sirsi
- JMJ Educational Institute, Chipge, Sirsi
- Madhyamika Shikshanalaya, Neernalli,
- MES's College Of Commerce, Sirsi
- MES's College of Law, Sirsi
- Union High School, Khaji Galli, Sirsi
- Model Boys School, Sirsi
- Morarji Desai Residential School, Sirsi
- Nilekani Higher Primary School, Sirsi
- Progressive High School, Sirsi
- MES, R N Shetty's Polytechnic, Sirsi
- Sahyadri High School, Sirsi
- Shri Gajanana High School, Sampakhanda, Sirsi
- Shri Marikamba High School, Sirsi
- Sri Sharadhambha High School, Bhairumbe, Sirsi
- Vidyodaya PU College, Yadalli, Sirsi
- Lions Club's School, Sirsi
- Shri Gajanana Secondary School Hegdekatta, Sirsi
- Sri Siddi Vinayaka High School Goli
- L.N.M.S High School Salkani, Sirsi
- Iqra English high school, Muslim street sirsi
- MES pre primary, primary and high school, sirsi
- Shri Matha Vidyanikethana, Church Road, Sirsi
- Bhuma High School
- Chandana English Medium High School
- JJS(minarva)higher primary English Medium school KHB COLONY SIRSI
- Revankatta Urdhu School
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Sirsi
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Enduring art". Online webpage of The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2004-06-10. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
- "yaksha". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
- "Bedara Vesha".
- Source: [www.sirsicity.gov.in]
- "Goddess Shri Marikamba". marikamba.org. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
- "Marikamba Temple of Sirsi, Karnataka". durga-puja.org. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
- N shubhakara jain (2011-11-20). "shubhakara jain". Shubhakarajain.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "News Updates". Www.Jainheritagecentres.Com. 2010-07-14. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "Glossary | Terms | Eastern Terms | Bhattaraka". Herenow4u.net. 2012-01-16. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "News Updates > Jain Event Invitation". Www.Jainheritagecentres.Com. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- State Government website on Sirsi
- Marikamba Temple of Sirsi by Dr. Jyotsna Kamat
- Heche karnataka a small village with kadamba history.
- Official Shri Marikamba Website
- Sirsi Local Website
- Sonda Vadiraja Mutt