Dharwad is one of the important city in the state of Karnataka of India. The twin cities of Hubli and Dharwad, collectively referred to as “Hubli-Dharwad”, are the second-largest conurbation in Karnataka after Bangalore. While Dharwad is the administrative headquarters, the city of Hubli, situated about 20 km south-east of Dharwad, is the commercial centre and business hub of North Karnataka. Crops like cotton and peanuts are grown aplenty in the surrounding rural areas, and Hubli is a major trading center for both commodities. It is also an important city for the Indian Railways, being the headquarters for South Western Railway Zone and the Hubli Railway Division.
This district spread over an area of 4867 sq km and has a population of 9,71,955 (2001 census). The city of Dharwad, about 437km from Bengalooru on the Pune-Bengalooru Road was made the headquarters of the district way back in 1818 under the British rule. The University of Karnataka is situated here and Dharwas is the venue of a number of cultural and educational activities. Hubballi is just 16km from the city.
Rayara Hubli, also called 'Eleya Purvada Halli' or 'Purballi' was the old Hubli, where there is a Bhavani Shankara temple and Jaina basti. Under Vijayanagara Rayas, Rayara Hubli grew as a commercial centre, famous for trade in cotton, saltpetre and iron.
The British opened a factory here when it came under the Adilshahis. Shivaji looted the factory in 1673. The Mughals conquered it and the place came under the Savanur Nawab who built a new extension named Majidpura and trader Basappa Shetty built new Hubli around the Durgadabail (fort maiden). There is the famous Moorusavira Matha, and the Matha authorities claim that it was begun by a Sharana of Basaveshwara's period. Hubli was conquered by the Marathas from the Savanur Nawab in 1755-56. Later Hyder Ali conquered it, but it was recaptured by the Marathas in 1790, and the old town was administered by one Phadke under the Peshwa and the new town by Sangli Patwardhan.
The British took old Hubli in 1817 and the new town with 47 other villages was handed over to the British by the Sangli Patwardhan in lieu of the subsidy in 1820. Hubli is a prosperous handloom weaving centre and has a textile unit. Hubli-Dharwad has a tropical wet and dry climate. Summers are hot and dry, lasting from late February to early June. They are followed by the monsoon season, with moderate temperatures and a large amount of precipitation. Temperatures are fairly moderate from late October to early February, with virtually no rainfall. This is the best season to visit Hubli. Hubli is 640 meters above M.S.L. The average yearly rainfall is 838 mm.
This is a famous industrial town on the Bengalooru – Pune Road, about 408 km from Bengalooru. It is noted for its handloom textile unit. This historic town was known in the olden days as Raya GHubballi and also as Elaya Puravada Halli. This city metamorphosed into an important commercial centre for trade in cotton and iron under the Vijayanagara rulers.
This fort was built by the Vijayanagara rulers. All that remains of this once magnificent fort is only the door frames. The other important monuments here are the temples, the churches and the mosques. There is an ancient temple near the fort, dedicated to Goddess Durgadevi.
Mailara Linga Temple
This ancient monument of the Chalukyas has an interesting history of transformations. This wonderful temple dedicated to Lord Siva had attracted the invading Muslim rulers so much that they converted it into a mosque. The Bijapur army was responsible for this conversion. However, it was reconverted into a temple by the Peshwas. This temple is situated at Vidyagiri.
Situated about 80 km from Dharwad, this place derives its name from its founder Bankeya, a commander of Amoghavarsha Nrupatunga. The Chalukyas raised a number of architectural temples in the city. The wonderful Nageswara Temple in the fort is also a sacred product of the marvellous Chalukyan architecture. A mosque can also be seen in the fort. The Siddeswara Temple is yet another masterpiece of the Chalukyas. The beautiful ‘Pancharabhavi’ with a swimming pool structure is worth a visit. The Kilari cow and rabbit breeding centre of Bankapura, whose office is located inside the fort, is very famous.
The ancient inscriptions refer to this place about 21km from Gadag, as Dharmapolal. The ancient Doddabasappa Temple here has a polygonal Garbhagriha or ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’ Saped like a star. The friezes bear fantastic workmanship. The highlight of the stupendous sculpture is the huge image of ‘Lord Nandi’, the sacred bull mount of Lord Siva. An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Someswara can also be seen at Dambal. Besides, a small shrine with a mammoth image of Lord Ganapathi near a 400 year old sacred tank and the Siddhalingeswara Mutt are among the important monuments.
On the way to Belagavi, about 33 km from Dharwad, this place Kittur was in the olden days the headquarters of a minor principality known as Desagati. A Wada stands in ruins here. The State Government Museum Houses many a relic of this Desai Wada..
The other important monuments at Kittur are the Kalameswara Temple, Veerashaiva Mutts also known as Chuki Mutts and the Hira Mutts.
About 5 km from Kittur. Degon is where the famous temple dedicated to Lord Kamala Narayana stands. This temple adorned with the rich Chalukyan architecture was built in the 12th century by the Goa Kadambas. The temple structure is rife with intricate carvings. Captivating art work can be seen all over the sacred structure.
An ancient Jain centre known as Hugligere or Puligere came to be known as Lakshmeshwar, 72km from Dharwad after the construction of the Lakshmeshwara Temple. The Somanatha Temple is also very famous here. There is also a mosque called the kali Masjid built by the Bijapur Commander Anukush Khan. Over 50 stone inscriptions reveal the cultural importance of the place.
This place is famous for a number of ancient and architecturally rich temples. The later Chalukyas, who had the place as their capital, were responsible for the construction of these wonderful centres of worship. The Kasivisweswara Temple dedicated to Lord Siva, the largest of the temples found here has two sanctorum, one on the east and the other on the West, with the latter bigger than the former. The sculpture in the temple is extraordinary. There are also some tranquil Jain temples here.