Sirsi, Karnataka

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Photo of the Marikamba Hindu temple at Sirsi, Karnataka, India.
Marikamba temple at Sirsi
Sirsi is located in Karnataka
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: 14°37′10″N 74°50′07″E / 14.6195°N 74.8354°E / 14.6195; 74.8354Coordinates: 14°37′10″N 74°50′07″E / 14.6195°N 74.8354°E / 14.6195; 74.8354
Grid position MK74
Country  India
State Karnataka
District Uttara Kannada
 • Body City Municipal Council
 • MLA Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri
 • MP Anantkumar Hegde
 • Total 11.2 km2 (4.3 sq mi)
Elevation 620 m (2,030 ft)
Population (2018)
 • Total 1,55,109
 • Density 14,000/km2 (36,000/sq mi)
 • Official Kannada
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN 581401, 581402, 581403
Telephone code +91-8384
Vehicle registration KA-31
Literacy 92.82%

Sirsi is a city in the Uttara Kannada district in the Indian state of Karnataka. Sirsi was also known as Kalyanapattana[1] during the Sonda Dynasty. It is a tourist destination with a population of 155,079 (as per 2018 election votes). It is the largest city and main commercial centre and business hub in Uttara Kannada district. The city is surrounded by forest, and the region has a number of waterfalls. Hubli and Shimoga are the nearest large cities. The main businesses around the city are mostly subsistence and agriculture based. Adike (also known as supari, areca nut or betel nut) is the primary crop grown in the villages that surround the city, making it one of the major trading centres for areca nut. The nuts grown there are transported all over India, and also exported abroad. The region is also known for spices such as cardamom, pepper, betel leaves, and vanilla. The major food crop is paddy.


Sirsi is located at 14°37′N 74°51′E / 14.62°N 74.85°E / 14.62; 74.85 (Grid Square MK74).[2] It has an average elevation of 590 metres (1936 feet), and is situated in the heart of the Western Ghats. Sirsi is about 425 kilometres (264 mi) from Bangalore. The nearest airport is located in Hubli, about 102 km (63 mi) from Sirsi. River Aghanashini begins at a place near Sirsi called "Donihalla" and flows towards the Arabian Sea in the west. The river also creates many waterfalls along its path.


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, deforestation and poaching have been causes for concern in recent years. The climate of Sirsi is moderate, with winter temperatures rarely dropping below 13 °C (55 °F). Summers can get uncomfortable due to the proximity to the ocean. The best time to visit Sirsi is during winter, when the humidity is lower and the nights can get slightly chilly. The highest temperature recorded here was 40 °C (104 °F), and the lowest was 5.8 °C (42.4 °F).

Climate data for Sirsi,KA,India (1961-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28
Average low °C (°F) 17.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 6.1
Source: Skymet Observatory
 "Climatological Information for Sirsi,India",


Religion in Sirsi
Distribution of religions

As of 2011,[3] the population of Sirsi within town limits was 62,335. Males constituted 51% of the population and females 49%. Sirsi had an average literacy rate of 92.82%, which was much higher than the national average of 74.05%. Male literacy was 95.26%, and female literacy 90.43%. About 12% of the population was under 6 years of age. In Sirsi City Municipal Council, the female sex ratio was 1014, whereas the state average in Karnataka was 973.

The major castes living in of Sirsi include: Havyaka Brahmin, Namadhari Naik, Madivala, Goud Saraswat Brahmin, Lingayat, Nadava, Rama Kshatriya, Shervegar Nayak, Gudigar, Daivajna and Ganiga.

The Havyaka Brahmins of Sirsi speak the Havyaka Kannada dialect of Kannada. The Goud Saraswat Brahmin, Daivajna and Gavli castes, which form a sizeable part of the population and Christians speak Konkani. The Muslims of Sirsi speak Urdu.


By road[edit]

Sirsi is linked to other parts of the state many state highways. Couple of National Highways are sanctioned by the Ministry of Transport, Government of India passing through Sirsi namely Yellapur-Sirsi-Talguppa and Kumta-Sirsi-Haveri which will be developed and maintained by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Sirsi is linked to neighboring district headquarters of Dharwad, Udupi, Haveri, Belagavi, Shimoga and Mangalore. The state corporation has a network of buses to all major cities and towns in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa. VRL, SRS, Seabird, Shreekumar Travels, Durgamba Travels, Sri Durgamba Travels and Sugama Transport are the major private bus operators. Premium Volvo and Corona bus services are also available.

Aghanashini Valley, Sirsi-Kumata Road, Devimane Ghat

By train[edit]

The nearest railhead is at Talguppa or Kumta. Talguppa is 54 km (34 mi) from Sirsi. and Kumta is 62 km (39 mi) from Sirsi. Talguppa railway connects Bengaluru city via Sagara. Kumta railway connects Kochi and Mumbai via Mangaluru and Karawar, respectively. The major railhead is Hubli, which is the Zonal Headquarters of South Western Railways.

By air[edit]

The nearest airport is in Hubli, and the other is Belgaum, which are about 2.5 hrs and 5 hours drive from Sirsi respectively. Belgaum is connected to Bangalore, while Hubli is connected to Bangalore (Direct - Four Flights Daily), Mangalore (1 stop same equipment), Chennai (Direct), Jabalpur (1 stop same equipment), Hyderabad (Direct) and Mumbai (Direct - Twice Daily) by air.

Art and culture[edit]

Yakshagana artist with Kirita depicts King
Bedara Vesha artist

Yakshagana is a classical dance drama common to the state of Karnataka mainly in the districts of North Kanara, Shimoga, Udupi, South Kanara and Kasaragod district of Kerala. There are several Yakshagana artists in and around Sirsi and it is being regularly played in Sirsi. Traditionally, Yakshaganas used to start late in the night and run entire night. Bhagavatha along with background musicians who play Chande and Maddale forms himmela. The actors who wear colorful costumes and enact various roles in the story forms Mummela. Yakshagana is sometimes simply called as Aataā in both Konkani and Kannada (meaning play).[4] Yaksha-gana literally means the song (gana) of a Yaksha. Yakshas were an exotic tribe mentioned in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India.[5]

In Sirsi, Holi is celebrated with a unique Carnival. Folk dance called "Bedara Vesha" 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.[6]

Dollu Kunitha is also another folk dance of Sirsi performed during Bedara Vesha and Marikamba Fair.

Media and communications[edit]

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.
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.
BSNL Broadband provides fixed-line internet service.
Mobile phone services
Majority of the mobile networks have coverage only in city limits. BSNL mobile has coverage[clarification needed] in the rural parts. Airtel, BSNL, Vodafone networks provide 3G data services. Vodafone,Airtel, Jio, Idea and Reliance communications provide 4G LTE services.
Vijaya Karnataka, Prajavani, Samyukta Karnataka, Vishwavani, Udayavani and The Times of India (all published from Hubli) are the major newspapers in the area. Patrakartha, Janamadhyama, Lokadwani & Sirsi Siri are the local papers. Lokadwani can also be accessed on the Internet & Janamaadhyama Newspaper, Nuthana TV, Sumukha TV Available in

Budget information[edit]

The annual budget of the CMC Sirsi for the year 2009–10 was Rs.1534.28 lakhs, out of which Rs.781.20 lakhs was 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 was Rs.9.86 lakhs.[7]

Special and sweet dishes of Sirsi[edit]

  • Todadevu is a special kind of thin-crust dosa made out of fresh sugarcane juice. (Most local desserts of Sirsi have jaggery rather than sugar.)
  • Kadubu: The main ingredients are jackfruit pulp and jaggery. The batter is prepared and, with additional ingredients, the batter is put into a container and steamed. The dessert is a local delicacy and is served hot with ghee butter.
  • Karakali is a special kind of chutney which tastes very spicy. It is prepared from colocacia leaves.
  • Kesari is a special sweet prepared from special small aromatic rice Sannakki, saffron and ghee. It is generally prepared during marriage ceremonies.
  • Shunti Kaddi is a special sweet prepared from ginger paste and jaggery, which is most popular during Sirsi Jathre.
  • Bendu Battasu is a special sweet which is availble during Sirsi Jathre.

Religious places[edit]

Marikamba Fair Night View

Shri Marikamba Temple[edit]

Sirsi's Marikamba temple was built in 1688 and renovated at periodic intervals. The 'Marikamba Jaathre', commemorating the goddess Marikamba, is held by the temple authorities every alternate year. Nearly a lakh (100,000) Hindu devotees from all parts of the country attend the fair, making it one of the biggest festivals in the region.


Sodhe 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 known for Shri Vadiraja Matha, Shri Swarnavalli Matha and is about 15 km (9.3 mi) from Sirsi.[8][9]

Jain Matha[edit]

A Jain Matha exists there, and it has been headed by Bhattaraka Swasti Sri Bhattakalanka.[10][11][12] The Sonda Jain Matha is also known as the Swadi Jain Matha.[13]


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. St.Paul's Mar Thoma Church is situated near the Zoo Circle.

Prominent places in and around the Taluk of Sirsi[edit]

  • 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) lingas) is another place of significance, where Shiva's sculptures carved out of stones thousands of years ago can be found in the middle of a flowing river. The river is surrounded by lush green forest; the place is about 10 km from the town center. The place is quite secluded, except during "Maha Shivaratri" celebrations, when it receives a huge number of pilgrims from the surrounding areas.
  • Sonda, known for its Sri Vadiraja Matha, and Swarnavalli Mutt are about 15 km (9.3 mi) away from Sirsi.
  • Unchalli Falls, (also known as Keppa Joga, referring to the other waterfall nearby, Jog falls) is situated about 30 km (19 mi) from Sirsi, and is one of the biggest tourist attractions near Sirsi.[citation needed] The waterfall is a 116-meter drop (381 ft).
  • Yana, known for the unusual rock formation. It is located 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Sirsi.

Other destinations[edit]

Burude Falls

Nature and terrain[edit]

Sirsi is a destination for trekkers and nature lovers alike, owing to its location in the middle of the Western Ghats. Many viewpoints and mountain peaks provide extensive views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges.

Notable people from Sirsi[edit]


  1. ^ "Kalyanapattana".
  2. ^ "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Sirsi, India". Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Enduring art". Online webpage of The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2004-06-10. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  5. ^ "yaksha". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  6. ^ "Bedara Vesha".
  7. ^ Source: []
  8. ^ "Goddess Shri Marikamba". Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  9. ^ "Marikamba Temple of Sirsi, Karnataka". Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  10. ^ N shubhakara jain (2011-11-20). "shubhakara jain". Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  11. ^ "News Updates". 2010-07-14. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  12. ^ "Glossary | Terms | Eastern Terms | Bhattaraka". 2012-01-16. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  13. ^ "News Updates > Jain Event Invitation". Www.Jainheritagecentres.Com. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2012.

External links[edit]

  • [ State Government website for Sirsi]