Shimoga is popularly known as Shivamogga. It is a city in Shivamogga District in the central part of the state of Karnataka, India. The city is 274km from the state capital Bengalooru. It lies on the banks of the Tunga River and is the administrative headquarters of the Shimoga district. The city of Shimoga is sorrounded by lush green Paddy fields, Arecanut and coconut groves. Being the gateway for the hilly region of the Western Ghats,the city is popularly known as Capital of Malnad. The population of Shimoga city is 322,428, consisting of 161,978 males and 160,450 females, as per 2011 census. It was very famous during the days of Keladi Nayakas.
As a district, Shivamogga has a very interesting landscape punctuated by historic monuments. The temple at Badravathi where the presiding deity is Lord Lakshminarayana is again a testimony to the architectural excellence of the Hoysalas. Besides, the city also has a number of industries. Sagar the city noted for its ivory and sandalwood industries also attracts quite a few tourists who have a passion of these exquisite articles. The factories redolent of the exotic sandalwood fragrance and those suffused with the coveted ivory are open to visitors who would like to have a browse through. There are about 4 ancient temples in and around Ikkeri which also has a museum.
The name of the city is derived from the term "Shiva-Moga", "Moga in Kannada means Face hence meaning Face of Shiva". An alternative etymology is that the name is derived from the term "Sihi-Mogge", meaning "sweet pot". On 1 November 2006, the government of Karnataka announced the renaming of Shimoga to "Shivamogga", along with nine other cities in the state, but the renaming is yet to get approval from the Central Government.
The district formed the southern tip of Emperor Ashoka's Mauryan Empire in the third century BC. It was ruled during later centuries by the Kadambas (4th century), Chalukyas (6th century), Gangas, Rashtrakutas (8th century), Hoysalas (11th century), and the Vijayanagara rulers (15th century). The city got an independent identity under the Keladi Nayaka rule during the 16th century, reaching its pinnacle under the rule of Shivappa Nayaka. From the late 17th century onwards, the city was a part of the Kingdom of Mysore until the independence of India in 1947, when Mysore merged into the Republic of India.
Shimoga is an important center for high school and pre-university education (classes 11th and 12th) in Karnataka, along with many other major cities in Karnataka. Bhadravathi is also a major education centre of the district. Notable institutes in Shimoga for pre-university (PU) education include: Sri Aurobindo Pre-University (Ind.) college, PACE Ultra Modern PU College, Vidya Bharathi PU College, National College,JPN High School, Vidyanikethan College, Sacred Heart, Adichunchangiri P.U. College, DVS P.U. Independent college, DVS Composite College, PES P.U. College. The city gains its importance in part because of lack of good institutes in other parts of the district.
The village of Gajanur hosts a Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (central school) which is a boarding school. Kuvempu University is located in Shankarghatta, at a distance of 20 km from Shimoga.
Notable schools of Shimoga are Enchara, Jnanadeepa, Saandeepani, Vikasa, National Public School, Swami Vivekananda, Oxford, Adi Chunchanagiri, PES, Sarvodaya, Mary Immaculate, Vasavi, Sanjos,Sacred Heart, Loyola, Ramakrishna, Rotary, Educare, Mahaveer, DVS.
Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences is the medical sciences college at Shimoga and managed by Government Departments. Subbaiah Institute of Medical Sciences is newly opened private owned medical college. It started intake from year 2012-23. Sharavathi Dental College is also located in Shimoga. Shimoga also has two engineering colleges, Jawaharlal Nehru National College of Engineering and PES Institute of Technology and Management. Sahyadri College for Science, Commerce and Arts is one of the oldest in Karnataka, run by the Government. TAMES Ayurvedic medical is in nearby Bhadravathi. It has also a veterinary college, which is one among the 4 colleges present in Karnataka.
Shimoga is known as the cultural capital of Karnataka and is also called the 'Rice Bowl of Karnataka'. It is a modern, progressive city with strong cultural roots and warm hearted people. "Kuvempu Rangamandira" and "Karnataka Sangha" are the major venues of the city for cultural activities. Yakshagana, a dance drama, is popular in Thirthahalli, Hosanagara, Sagar, and Sorab Taluks of the district and this art is also performed in Shimoga. There are some professional and amateur troupes from Malnad region, performing this dance drama across Karnataka.
While the district caters to the wishes of various visitors with diverse interests, with its architectural temples and wonderful industries, there is yet another enchanting picnic spot which cannot evade the all pervading eyes of the curious travellers. It is the Jog Falls which stands out as the highest waterfalls of the Nation. With its enthralling natural settings it appears as though a figment of one’s imagination has been brought into reality. The mahatma Gandhi Hydro-Electric Power Station which has been made possible by the benevolent waters of the mighty river which gives rise to this fabulous falls is also worth a visit.
About 256km from Bengaloor this popular industrial town formerly known as ‘Benkipura’ is sanctified by the ancient temple dedicated to Lord Lakshminarayana, a variation of Lord Vishnu. This temple with rich architectural workmanship was built by the Hoysalas in the 13th century. The beautiful river Bhadra flows along the north contiguous to the city. And along the banks of this river is situated, a number of industries such as the iron and steel industry, the cement and the paper factories.
It is about 340km from Mysooru. The sandalwood and ivory industries which produce fascinating articles earn fame to the city. The visitors are ushered through the various departments of these precious ivory and fragrant sandalwood factories. Purchase can also be made here.
It is situated near Sagar. The 16th century Aghoreswara Temple is situated here and nearby there is a temple dedicated to Goddess parvathy. The presiding deity of the former temple is a variation of Lord Siva while that of the latter is His divine consort. Two more ancient temples known as the Rameswara and the Veerabadra Temples can be seen at Keladi. Keladi also has a museum.
This ebullient waterfalls at a an altitude about 1500ft above sea level nestled amidst gorgeous mountains blanketed b thick verdant forests with an enthralling sylvan setting which conjures up a fascinating image is noted as the highest in India. The reverberating waters of the glorious river Sharavathi which takes its birth at Ambuthirtha thunder down giving rise to this vociferous waterfall, through a height of 253 mts in four magnificent branches named as Raja, Rowa, Rocket, and Rani. The gorgeous cloud formed by sizzling tiny droplets of water rising elegantly to a reasonable height from the foot of the fall, partially obscuring the objects behind and reflecting at certain convenient angles the lively spectrum of the rainbow colours, is a bewitching beauty to behold. The fabulous scenery of the fall against the backdrop of mighty mountains with picturesque environs seems to take one’s imagination to unexplored dimensions.
The benign waters of the mighty river, which proffer sumptuous feast to the hungry eyes and copious calmness to the mind also go on to serve people by generating electric-power station named after the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi and situated about 1 km away. The Sharavathy valley project here has the credit of being the first and so far the largest of its kind in entire Southeast Asia. The beautiful Linghamaki Dam and its serene reservoir and Power House are situated about 12km away. A journey through the lovely valley is entertaining.
Jog Falls is situated about 88km from Shivamogga and 378 km from Bengalooru.