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Rani Chenamma of Kittur
|Nickname(s): Kunda Nagari, Cradle of infantry|
|Regions of Karnataka||Western ghats|
|• Type||District Administration|
|• Body||Belgaum Municipal Corporation|
|• Administrator||Shri. N. Jayaram|
|• Mayor||Sou. Sarita Patil|
|• Deputy Mayor||Shri. Sanjay Shinde|
|• Corporation City||94 km2 (36 sq mi)|
|Elevation||762 m (2,500 ft)|
|• Corporation City||488,292|
|• Density||5,200/km2 (13,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||ST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||(+91) 831|
Belgaum, officially known as Belagavi (earlier known "Venugrama" or the "Bamboo Village"), is a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the administrative headquarters of the eponymous Belgaum division and Belgaum district. The Government of Karnataka has proposed making Belgaum the second capital of Karnataka, hence a second state administrative building Suvarna Vidhana Soudha was inaugurated on 11 October 2012.
- 1 History
- 2 City names
- 3 Geography
- 4 Climate
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Belgaum border dispute
- 8 Defence training centres
- 9 Tourism and attractions
- 10 Cuisine
- 11 Educational institutions
- 12 Transportation
- 13 Assembly session
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 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 under 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 became the established power of the area by 1336. A century later, the town became 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) 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 were part of Bombay State. In 1956, the Indian states were reorganised along linguistic lines by the States Reorganisation Act and Belgaum District (except Chandgad Taluk) 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.
Earlier known as venugram, from the Sanskrit Velugrama, for Venugrama, i.e., "Bamboo village". 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 city is known as Belgaum in the state language Kannada.
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 ,500 km from Mumbai , 75 km from Dharwad and 95 km from Hubli. 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
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||0
|Average 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|
|Average relative humidity (%)||46||40||40||52||63||82||87||88||83||69||57||52||63.3|
|Source #1: NOAA (1971-1990)|
|Source #2: DES|
As per the provisional 2011 India census, the population of Belgaum is 588,292, 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 local languages spoken in this city are Kannada and Marathi language and official language is Kannada. There are also sizeable number of Urdu, Konkani speakers. English and Hindi is also understood by the people of the city.
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 and Maharashtra 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, 30% of the state's production, and has the highest number of Sugar factories in Karnataka. Belgaum is also home to Ugar Sugar Works in Ugar, Renuka Sugars, and other large scale sugar factories in Athani.
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, Khasbag and Shahpur are engaged in business with power looms. Belgaum is known for 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 Udhyambag.
Belgaum also is a strong industrial hub for machine shops catering to automotive manufacturing, especially crankshaft machining castings and helmets. The geographical location of the city is an advantage, since it is between Bangalore and Pune–Mumbai, which supports the major automotive and aerospace companies along with other nearby industrial hubs such as Ichalkaranji and Kholapur.
A 300-acre (1.2 km2) Special Economic Zone (India's first Private Aerospace SEZ ) is being set up along the Pune-Bangalore National Highway (NH-4) 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.
Belgaum border dispute
The Belgaum border dispute is a dispute involving the Indian states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Belgaum, currently a part of Karnataka and earlier the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, is claimed by Maharashtra on linguistic grounds.
On 11 November 2005, Karnataka rakshna vedike (KRV) activists daubed Belagaum Mayor Vijay More's face with black paint (and later surrendered to the police) in the wake of Belgaum City Corporation (BCC) passing a resolution to include the district of Belgaum into Maharashtra, a neighbouring state. Upon his return to Belgaum, Vijay More was served with several show-cause notices by the Government of Karnataka and later dissolved the council.
Following this incident, in the following year's election, Prashanta Budavi, wife of KRV (Karnataka Rakshana Vedike) City President Shantinath Budavi was appointed as mayor of the Belgaum City Corporation. Maharashtra has asked to bring 865 disputed villages including Belgaum under centre's rule until Supreme court's final verdict. N.D Patil, head of legal-committee appointed by Maharashtra government said that Karnataka is intensifying the problem. He added that Marathi people of border region are not able to live with honour and dignity under Karnataka's rule pointing out to the 'unconstitutional' dissolution of Belgaum mahanagar palike and manhandling of Belgaum mayor by Kannada activists at Bangalore.
Defence training centres
Belgaum's 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 centre 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 sizeable infantry post here, having realised 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 centre 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,kittur fort,Suvarna soudha..
In and near the city are:
- Belgaum Fort, a huge construction in the centre 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.It has a Neminatha idol in black stone (idol found in a forest nearby) is deified on a stone carved pedestal here as Moolnayak. It was built in the Chalukyan style in 1204 AD.The pillars that support the roof with the lotus pendant are founded on plinths. Some pillars made of black basaltic stones (said to have magnetic characteristics) are highly polished. It is named as the Kamal Basadi since the tower of the temple depicts kamal (lotus) with 72 petals, which presently displays images of the past 24 Tirthankaras but can also depict the present and future thirthankars.Other idols seen in the temple are of: Bhagwan Sumatinath in the kayotsarga posture, Bhagwan Parshvanath under the shade of seven-hooded serpent (Nagaraj), Bhagwan Adinath in the padmasana posture and the Navagraha.
- Chikki Basadi though in ruins now, was once considered as a “remarkable piece of Jain architecture”.
- Hunshevari, the holy place of the "Shree Revan Siddeshwar Temple", in the valleys of Kakati village, 7 km from Belgaum 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 at a very peaceful location.
- Mal Maruti Temple, one of the best Hanuman temples, with a Udbhava Murty carving
- Kalavati Aai temple (Hari mandir)
- Siddeshwar Temple from Nagaramunnoli, which is very famous in Belgaum.
- Sulebhavi Mahalakshmi Temple is 20 km away from Belgaum.
- Military Hindalga Ganapati Templ, 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.
Belgaum is known for kunda, a sweet made from milk. A special sweet called "Maande" is a prerequisite for weddings. There are few kunda manufacturers in and around Belgaum,famous among them is Camp Purohit sweets Other well known sweets are Karadant and Ladagi laadu, which are delicacies that originate in Gokak, a taluk of 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 (VTU), 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. The Karnatak Lingayat Education Society (KLE), and Karnatak Law Society (KLS), 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 (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, the highest civilian award in India. Jnana Sangama, Belgaum is the headquarters of VTU. Additionally, the university has three regional centres in Bangalore, Kalaburgi 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 centres and 17 extension centres in its various affiliated colleges offering post graduate courses. It has around 2305 departments recognised as research centres 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 centres 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 (Gilganchi Artal High School). Lingaraj College came into existence in June 1933. In 1947, B.V.B. College of Engineering and Technology was started in Hubli. Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College at Belgaum and G.H. College at Haveri were started in 1963. KLE also runs the Sheshgiri College of Engineering and Technology 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.
Karnataka Law Society
K.L.S. Gogte Institute of Technology is an Engineering college is declared autonomous. 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. Karnatak University PG Centre has been declared as Rani Channamma University in the month of July, 2010 with the jurisdiction of Belgaum, Vijaypur, and Bagalkot districts.
Belgaum is connected by road via national highways 4 (connecting Maharashtra (now part of the Golden Quadrilateral), Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) and 4A (connecting Karnataka and Goa). North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) run buses to all corners of Karnataka and to neighbouring 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 Government of Goa operates KADAMBA bus service from Goa to Belgaum city and some other parts of the Belgaum District.
The city is served by Belgaum Airport at Sambra, which is the Oldest Airport in North Karnataka and lies 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the city on State Highway 20. Belgaum was previously directly connected by air with Mumbai, but the only flight on the route was stopped in November 2011 owing to a financial crisis at Kingfisher Airlines. Since then SpiceJet has announced daily flights to Bangalore, which began on 22 November 2012. Currently Daily two flights to Bangalore and Mumbai , and One flight to New Delhi , Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad,Mangalore,Jabalpur are operated by SpiceJet.
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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