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Bellary Fort
Bellary Fort
Nickname(s): Steel City
Bellary is located in Karnataka
Bellary is located in India
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: 15°06′N 76°55′E / 15.100°N 76.917°E / 15.100; 76.917Coordinates: 15°06′N 76°55′E / 15.100°N 76.917°E / 15.100; 76.917
Country  India
State Karnataka
Region Hyderabad-Karnataka
District Bellary
Founded by Shashank Maheshwari
 • Type Municipal Corporation
 • Body Bellary Urban Development Authority
 • Mayor Ramana[1]
 • Deputy Mayor Ms. Malan Bee S[1]
 • Commissioner Sri.P.G.Ramesh[2]
 • City 89.95 km2 (34.73 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 485 m (1,591 ft)
Population (2011 census)[4]
 • City 410,445
 • Rank 111
 • Density 4,600/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
 • Metro 555,944
Demonym(s) Ballarian
 • Official Kannada
 • Regional Telugu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 583 10x[5]
Telephone code (+91) 8392[6]
ISO 3166 code IN-KA
Vehicle registration KA-34
Sex ratio 1.04[4] /
Literacy 79%[4]
Distance from Bangalore 306 kilometres (190 mi) (land)

Bellary, officially Ballari, is a historic city in Bellary district of Karnataka, India. It is 306 kilometres from Bangalore, the state capital.


There are several legends explaining how Bellary got its name. The first is that a few devout travelling merchants halting in Bellary, could not find a Shiva Linga for their worship. They then installed a balla (a measuring cup or seru used to measure grain) upside down as a Shiva Linga and worshiped it. Eventually, that place was turned into a temple dedicated to Balleshwara or Shiva, which became distorted to Malleshwara, and thus Bellary derives its name from this temple.[7]

The second legend is that the city is named after Indra, the king of Gods, who slew a Rakshasa (demon) named Balla who lived nearby. Balla-ari means 'enemy of Balla' (ari – enemy in Sanskrit).[8] The third legend derives the city's name from the old Kannada word Vallari and Vallapuri.[8]

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India approved a proposal[by whom?] to rename the city in October 2014 and Bellary was renamed to "Ballari" on 1 November 2014.[9]


Core area of Western Chalukya monuments, roughly corresponding to Sindavadi-1000

Numerous neolithic archaeological sites have been discovered around Bellary, such as the ash mounds at Sanganakallu, Budhihal, Kudithini, Tekkalakote, Hiregudda and Kupgal. The Sanganakallu settlement, spread over an area of 1,000 acres (4.0 km2), is one of the largest neolithic complexes known around Bellary.

Bellary was ruled in succession by the Mauryas, the Satavahanas, the Pallavas, the Kadambas, the Badami Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Kalyani Chalukyas, the Southern Kalachuryas, the Sevuna Yadavas, and the Hoysalas, and also ruled briefly by the Cholas during the wars between Kalyani Chalukyas and the Cholas.

After the Sevuna Yadavas and the Hoysalas were defeated by the Islamic sultanates of Delhi, the Vijayanagara Empire arose under Harihara I and Bukka I, who dominated the Bellary area. Bellary itself was ruled by the family of Hande Hanumappa Nayaka, a Palayagara of the Vijayanagara rulers. After the fall of the Vijayanagara empire, the Hande Nayakas of Bellary were successively subsidiary to the Adilshahi sultanate, the Maratha Empire, the Mughals, the Nizam, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, and finally the British Empire after the Nizam ceded a large part of the southern Deccan to the British East India Company. The Hande Nayakas ceased to be rulers of Bellary after Major Thomas Munro disposed of the palayagars of the ceded districts and established the Ryotwari land revenue system.

In 1808 AD, the ceded districts were split into the Bellary and Kadapa districts, and in 1867 AD the Bellary Municipal Council was created. Further, in 1882 AD, Anantapuram district was carved out of the Bellary District. The Maratha princely state of Sandur was surrounded by Bellary district.

In 1901 AD, Bellary was the seventh largest town in Madras Presidency, and one of the chief military stations in southern India, garrisoned by British and native Indian troops under the British Indian Government. The town included a civil railway station to the east of the Bellary Fort, the cantonment and its railway station on the west, the Cowl Bazaar and the suburbs of 'Bruce-pettah' (currently spelt Brucepet) and 'Mellor-pettah', named after two British officers once stationed in the town. The industries in the town included a small distillery and two steam cotton presses. The steam cotton-spinning mill established in 1894 had 17,800 spindles and employed 520 hands.

On 1 October 1921, Mahatma Gandhi spent eight hours at the City Railway station during his visit to Bellary.[10]

On 1 October 1953 AD, the Bellary district of Madras Presidency was divided on a linguistic basis. Areas with a significant Kannada speaking population were transferred to Mysore state, which later became Karnataka state.

The Bellary city municipal council was upgraded to a city corporation in 2004.[11]

Geography and climate[edit]

Bellary Fort
Bellary Fort

Bellary is located at 15°09′N 76°56′E / 15.15°N 76.93°E / 15.15; 76.93.[3] It has an average elevation of 495 meters (1459 ft).[3] The city stands in the midst of a wide, level plain of black cotton soil.[12] Granite rocks and hills form a prominent feature of Bellary. The city is spread mainly around two hills of granite composition, the Bellary Gudda and the Kumbara Gudda.

Bellary Gudda has a circumference of nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) and a height of 480 feet (150 m). The length of this rock from north-east to south-west is about 1,150 ft (350 m). To the east and south lies an irregular heap of boulders, to the west there is an unbroken monolith, and the north is walled by bare, rugged ridges.[12]

Kumbara Gudda looks like the profile of a human face from the south-east. It is also known as Face Hill.[12] The highest temperature ever recorded at Bellary was 45 degrees Celsius in April 2012 and lowest temperature ever recorded was 7 degrees Celsius in December 2011

Climate data for Bellary
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36.0
Average high °C (°F) 29.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 22.8
Average low °C (°F) 15.9
Record low °C (°F) 7.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 2.7
Average rainy days 0.3 0.4 1.0 2.3 5.2 5.8 7.2 8.0 10.0 7.9 3.5 1.4 53
Average relative humidity (%) 54 46 40 41 48 58 63 66 67 71 67 63 57
Mean monthly sunshine hours 279.5 275.5 288.0 300.0 270.0 178.0 140.0 144.0 165.0 196.0 210.0 252.0 2,698
[citation needed]


Kannada is the official language of Bellary and population is bilingual speak both Kannada and Telugu,While Dakhini and Hindi are also widely spoken.According to the 2011 Census of India, the total population of Bellary was 410,445; of whom 206,149 were male and 204,296 female. 280,610 of the population were literate and 52,413 of the population were under 6 years of age.[13]

Population Growth of Bellary 
Census Pop.
1871 51,766
1881 53,460 3.3%
1891 59,467 11.2%
1901 58,247 -2.1%
2001 316,766
2011 410,445 29.6%
source:1871-1901 [14] 2001 [15] 2011 [16]

City features[edit]

Bellary fort[edit]

Bellary Fort is located on top of Bellary Gudda ("Fort Hill"). The fort was built around the hill during Vijayanagara times by Hande Hanumappa Nayaka. Hyder Ali, who took possession of the fort from the Hande Nayaka family in 1769, renovating and modifying it with the help of a French engineer. The lower fort was added by Hyder Ali around the eastern half of the hill. A French engineer was hanged for overlooking the fact that the neighbouring Kumbara Gudda is taller than Bellary Gudda, thus compromising the secrecy and command of the fort.[12] His grave is believed to be located near the east gate of the fort, though some locals believe it to be the grave of a Muslim holy man instead.[17]

The fort was ranked as 1st class by the British Administration.[map 1] This fort gave Bellary its ancient importance, and led to its selection by the British rulers as the site for a cantonment.[12]

Parks, gardens and green spaces[edit]

Borey fruit

Situated in a naturally arid region with semi-desert flora, the city has slowly accumulated greenery over the past few decades due to the collective efforts of the city residents, the regional forest department and the municipal council/corporation. The following is a short list of major green spaces in the city:

  • The Bellary and Kumbara rock hills
These hills form the major natural lung spaces in the city, accommodating a host of flora including various species of ber (Kannada: borey), thorny acacias (latronum, nilotica, pennata, ferruginea, catechu, chundra, etc. locally classified as jaali in Kannada), and the interesting whirlnut (Gyrocarpus americanus jacquiniillustration), which is not found elsewhere in the city.
  • Kuntegadda Park
Officially called the Golden Jubilee Park or the Dr. Rajkumar Park, this former slum area has been changed into a beautiful urban park due to the efforts of a succession of district commissioners starting with Ms. Gouri Trivedi and Ms. Manjula. The park features an artificial lake formed out of a disused granite quarry, a fountain with a daily musical show,[10] a children's play area and a variety of garden flora.
  • Bellary Zoo
Established in 1981, this zoo and children's park covers nearly 2.4 hectares and hosts a variety of fauna including blackbuck, spotted deer (chital), jackal, crocodile, Indian peafowl, cobra, python, bear, panther, boar, etc. This zoo is due to be relocated to a new facility.[18]
  • Kaategudda Park
This hill hosts a variety of trees and is famous for its resident flock of crows. This park is better known among the older residents of the city as 'kaage park' (kaage in kannada means crow)
  • Nagaruru Narayanarao Park in Vaddarabanda
This has now fallen into disuse.
  • Basavanakunta Park
A disused granite quarry is being filled up to form an urban park.
  • Parvathinagar Park
Operates with funds donated by the Jindal Vijayanagar Steels corporation.

Travel and transport[edit]


This is a major route for mining trucks transporting iron and manganese ore from the Sanduru hill ranges to the sea port at Mangalore and Karwar. This highway also connects the city to Hubli, Hospet and Hampi.
This highway connects the city to Raichur, Gulbarga and Bidar in the north and Bangalore and Mysore in the south.
  • The main inter-city bus station is located in the now empty Lake or Tank basin. At the time of its construction, it was ranked second largest bus station in Karnataka. The old bus stand still serves the intra-city and rural buses.



Bellary Airport has no commercial air service. In the mid-2000s, Jindal Vijaynagar Airport in Toranagallu was instead used to serve Bellary because of its longer and wider runway. The airport once received Air Deccan flights from Bangalore and Goa, as of October 2017 it is connected daily to Hyderabad by TruJet airline. A new airport is being planned.


Bellary's City Service
  • The intra-city transport network is serviced by Bhuvana Vijaya Nagara Sarige a division of NEKRTC(North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation) city buses connecting important points in the city
  • The city is also served by private but unregulated auto rickshaw


Steel industry[edit]

The city is surrounded by numerous iron and steel plants, owing to the availability of huge deposits of iron and manganese ore in the Sanduru hill ranges and surroundings.

  • Bellary Steels and Alloys Limited (BSAL), Navakarnataka Steels and Shatavahana Ispat are on the outskirts of the city.
  • JSW Steel Ltd is a unit of Jindal Steels located at Toranagallu in Sandur taluk, 30 km from Bellary. JSW has further announced an investment of 15,131 crore (US$2.4 billion) on capacity expansion and a captive power plant. Additionally, Jindal Saw Pipes plans to set up a steel plant in Bellary at 130.88 crore (US$20 million)[19]
  • The Arcelor Mittal group and Brahmani Industries Karnataka Ltd. have signed individual MoUs to invest in Steel plants in the district to invest 30,000 crore (US$4.7 billion)and 36,000 crore (US$5.6 billion)respectively, each to set up 6 million tonne per annum integrated steel plants with captive power plants on site. The projects of both companies will be located in and around Bellary district and will provide employment to 10,000 and 25,000 people, respectively.[19]
  • Bhushan Steel will be establishing a 6 million tonne per annum integrated steel manufacturing facility in the district, at an investment of 27,928 crore (US$4.4 billion).[19]

Textiles and garments[edit]

The growth of the famed cotton and silk Ilkal saree is attributed to the patronage provided by the local chieftains in and around the town of Bellary.[20] Additionally, the nearby town of Rayadurgam, formerly in Bellary district but now in Andhra Pradesh, is also renowned for its silk and cotton sarees. Similarly, Molakalmuru, a town in Chitradurga district but much closer to Bellary than its district headquarters, is known for its silk sarees branded by the town's name. However, Bellary itself has no saree manufacturing industry.
  • Cotton processing
With cotton being one of the major agricultural crops around Bellary historically, the city has had a thriving cotton processing industry in the form of ginning, spinning and weaving plants. The earliest steam cotton-spinning mill was established in 1894 AD, which by 1901 AD had 17,800 spindles, and employed 520 hands.[12]
The city continues to thrive in this sector with one spinning mill and numerous cotton ginning and pressing mills, hand looms and power looms.[21]
  • Garment manufacture
Bellary has a historic garment industry dating back to the First World War period, when the Marathi speaking "Darji" (tailor) community with its native skills in tailoring migrated from the current Maharashtra region to stitch uniforms for the soldiers of the colonial British Indian Army stationed at Bellary. After the war, the community switched to making uniforms for school children, and gradually the uniforms made here became popular all over the country.[22][23]
Currently, Bellary is well known for its branded and unbranded denim garments, with brands like Point Blank, Walker, Dragonfly and Podium being successfully marketed nationally and internationally.[23] There are about 260 denim garment units in Bellary with nearly 3000 families working in these units.[21] The Karnataka State Government has proposed to build an apparel park at Bellary at the cost of 27 crore (US$4.2 million), setting aside 154 acres (0.62 km2) of land for the purpose at Mundargi and Guggarahalli villages towards the south of Bellary city.[24][25][26]

Rice industry[edit]

  • Mahaveer rice mill operated by j sathyanarayana
  • Ahobila Industries operated by Sreepad Kanugovi (pioneer in producing One Polish Rice)
  • S.S.Sai Pavan Rice Mill (SPRM)
  • Sri Gurunath Rice Mill
  • Srinavas modern rice industries operated by the Grandhi family
  • Sri SAI Rice Mill, Located at Anathapur Road, operated by the Raju family
  • Sri Balaji Rice Mill
  • Thirumula Rice Mill
  • Sri Veera Satyanarayana Rice Industries in Siruguppa, owned by B Thippaiaha Shetty

Power generation[edit]

  • The Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS) with installed capacity of 1700MW (500×2 and 1×700)coal based unit is located 19 km away from the city at Kuditini village. Its operated by state owned Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) .This is the second thermal plant in Karnataka, after the Raichur Thermal Power Station.[27]
  • JSW Vijayanagar Power Station is a coal-based thermal power plant with installed capacity of 860MW (2 X 130 MW, 2 X 300 MW) located in Toranagallu village, Itss operated by the JSW Energy Limited,.

Notable people[edit]

See- Category:People from Bellary

In popular culture[edit]

  • Bellary is best known for its dry and hot climatic conditions. Beechi, a famous humorist who also hailed from the same district, joked about Bellary's climate in one of his books as:

ಬಳ್ಳಾರಿಯಲ್ಲಿರುವುದು ಕೇವಲ ಎರಡೇ ಕಾಲ: ಒಂದು ಬೇಸಗೆ, ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಕಡುಬೇಸಗೆ[31]

There are only two seasons in Bellary. One is summer and the other one is severe summer




  1. ^ "Military map of India in 1893, showing the Presidency boundaries". Archived from the original on 10 June 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 


  1. ^ a b "Bellary City Corporators". Archived from the original on 25 June 2011. Retrieved 5 Feb 2015. 
  2. ^ "Bellary City Staff". Archived from the original on 20 May 2006. Retrieved 5 Feb 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Falling Rain Genomics-Bellary, India Page". 
  4. ^ a b c "District Census Handbook – Guntur" (PDF). Census of India. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner. p. 22. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "Indiapost PIN Search for 'bellary'". Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  6. ^ "PPP India STD Code Search for 'bellary'". Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  7. ^ "Origins of the City's Name". Panical Realtors. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Sloth Bear Foundation". 
  9. ^ New City, Names to Karnatka. "New name for cities". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Bellary Tourism". Archived from the original on 20 May 2006. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "The Hindu: Karnataka. Bellary City Municipal Council upgraded to corporation". The Hindu. 26 September 2004. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume 7. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1908-1931 [vol. 1, 1909]. pp. 158–176.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ "Census of India 2011". Census Commission of India. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  14. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 7,. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 2016-12-08. p. 175. 
  15. ^ "Census of India 2001" (PDF). Census Commission of India. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  16. ^ "Census of India 2011". Census Commission of India. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  17. ^ Lewis, Barry. "Bellary District Graves". Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. 
  18. ^ "Bellary Zoo". Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  19. ^ a b c "Karnataka wins mega steel, power investments". Archived from the original on 10 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  20. ^ "Ilkal saree's story". Economic Times. 12 December 2002. Archived from the original on 28 August 2004. Retrieved 22 April 2007. 
  21. ^ a b "Karnataka Handloom". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  22. ^ "Bellary Portal". Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  23. ^ a b "Jeans Industry in Bellary". Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  24. ^ "Apparel Park to fill yarning gap". The Times of India. India. 16 December 2004. 
  25. ^ "Bellary to get Rs. 27-cr. apparel park soon". The Hindu. India. 3 November 2004. 
  26. ^ "Textile Parks". Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  27. ^ "KPCL Power Projects". Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  28. ^ "This jailhouse has a rich past". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  29. ^ "A Congress bastion since 1952". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  30. ^ "Caste will play a vital role in Bellary". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  31. ^ "Life gets difficult as mercury level rises in Bellary". The Hindu. 
  32. ^ "The Horrors of Bellary". 

External links[edit]