Location in Karnataka, India
|Talukas||Koppal, Gangavati, Yalburga, Kushtagi, Kukanur, Kanakagiri, Karatagi|
|• Total||7,190 km2 (2,780 sq mi)|
|• Density||166/km2 (430/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||+ 91 (0)8539|
Koppal district is an administrative district in the state of Karnataka in India. In the past Koppal was referred to as 'Kopana Nagara'. Hampi, a World heritage center, covers some areas of Koppal District. It is situated approximately 38 km away. Anegundi, is also a famous travel destination.
Koppal, now a district headquarters is ancient Kopana a major holy place of the Jainas. Palkigundu is described as the Indrakila parvata of epic fame and there is an ancient Shiva temple called the Male Malleshwara. There are two Ashokan inscriptions at Palkigundu and Gavimatha. It was the capital of a branch of Shilaharas under the Chalukya's of Kalyan. In Shivaji's times it was one of the eight prants or revenue divisions of Southern Maratha Country. During India's First War of Independence Mundargi Bheema Rao and Hammige Kenchanagouda died fighting the British here in June 1858. Kinhal 13 km away from Koppal is famous for its traditional colourful lacquerware work.
Towns in Koppal District
- Hire wankalkunta
According to the 2011 census Koppal district has a population of 1,391,292, roughly equal to the nation of Swaziland or the US state of Hawaii. This gives it a ranking of 350th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 250 inhabitants per square kilometre (650/sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 16.32%. Koppal has a sex ratio of 983 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 67.28%.
Most notable of the many buildings dating from this period is the Mahadeva Temple at Itagi in the Yelabarga taluk.
The Mahadeva Temple
The Mahadeva temple at Itagi dedicated to Shiva is among the larger temples built by the Western Chalukyas and perhaps the most famous. Inscriptions hail it as the 'Emperor among temples'. Here, the main temple, the sanctum of which has a linga, is surrounded by thirteen minor shrines, each with its own linga. The temple has two other shrines, dedicated to Murthinarayana and Chandraleshwari, parents of Mahadeva, the Chalukya commander who consecrated the temple in 1112 CE. Soapstone is found in abundance in the regions of Haveri, Savanur, Byadgi, Motebennur and Hangal. The great archaic sandstone building blocks used by the Badami Chalukyas were superseded with smaller blocks of soapstone and with smaller masonry. The first temple to be built from this material was the Amrtesvara Temple in Annigeri in the Dharwad district in 1050 CE. This building was to be the prototype for later, more articulated structures such as the Mahadeva Temple at Itagi. The 11th-century temple-building boom continued in the 12th century with the addition of new features. The Mahadeva Temple at Itagi and the Siddhesvara Temple in Haveri are standard constructions incorporating these developments. Based on the general plan of the Amrtesvara Temple at Annigeri, the Mahadeva Temple was built in 1112 CE and has the same architectural components as its predecessor. There are however differences in their articulation; the sala roof (roof under the finial of the superstructure) and the miniature towers on pilasters are chiseled instead of moulded.
The difference between the two temples, built fifty years apart, is the more rigid modelling and decoration found in many components of the Mahadeva Temple. The voluptuous carvings of the 11th century were replaced with a more severe chiselling.
In Karnataka their most famous temples are the Kashivishvanatha temple and the Jain Narayana temple at Pattadakal, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Other well known temples are the Parameshwara temple at Konnur, Brahmadeva temple at Savadi, the Settavva, Kontigudi II, Jadaragudi and Ambigeragudi temples at Aihole, Mallikarjuna temple at Ron, Andhakeshwara temple at Huli, Someshwara temple at Sogal, Jain temples at Lokapura, Navalinga Temple at Kuknur, Kumaraswamy temple at Sandur, at Shirival in Gulbarga and the Trikunteshwara temple at Gadag which was later expanded by Kalyani Chalukyas. Archeological study of these temples show some have the stellar (multigonal) plan later to be used profusely by the Hoysalas of Belur and Halebidu. One of the richest traditions in Indian architecture took shape in the Deccan during this time and one writer calls it Karnata dravida style as opposed to traditional Dravida style.
Hideout for Balkrishna Hari Chapekar
In the year 1897 Balakrishna Hari Chapekar, one of the three Chapekar brothers, involved in the shooting of Ryand and Ayrest in Pune, was arrested by one Mr. Stephenson in the district of Raichur. For this arrest the Hyderabad Police received a reward from the Government of Bombay. Balakrishna Hari Chapekar seems to have stayed for more than six months in the hills between Koppal and Gangavathi which were then in the district of Raicur. He attracted a great deal of sympathy from the local people. In spite of the enquiries made by the Government of Bombay, the Hyderabad Police refused to reveal the names of the informers who were responsible for the arrest of Balakrishna Hari Chapekar. Their names have not been mentioned, in the statement of the distribution of rewards. This demonstrates the strong sympathy among the local population for the Chapekars and how deeply were the informers afraid of the revelation of their names. The arrest of Chapekar, which took place at the end of 1898, reveals the movements of Maratha revolutionaries in the State of Hyderabad.
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- Western Chalukya architecture
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- Foekema (2003), p 57
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