North Karnataka, also known as Uttara Karnataka, is a land of splendid heritage and culture. It would not be an exaggeration to call North Karnataka as the "treasure house of historical sites and monuments".
Every place has a fabulous tale to narrate and as Ibn Batuta says, "Travelling, it leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller", which is certainly true when you traverse around the regions of North Karnataka, where one such prominent place of visit is Belagavi or Belgaum.
Also Read : Must Visit Places In Belagavi
River Krishna along with its tributaries Bhima, Gataprabha, Malaprabha, flows through the semi-arid plateau of North Karnataka. The region is dry most of the times; however, the district of Belgaum is blessed with heavy rainfall and is filled with lush green forests. Belagavi lies in the border of Maharashtra and Goa, adding more beauty to the places of this region.
History Of Belagavi
The present day Belagavi was built in the 12th century AD by the Ratta dynasty. Belgaum was also a capital city for the rulers between 1210-1250 AD, before the Yadavas defeated the Ratta rulers. Belagavi has stood the test of times and has seen the rule of various kings and dynasties, which include the Khiljis and Adil Shahis, along with the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara empire.
1. Gokak Waterfalls
Distance from Belagavi - 73.2 km
6 km away from the town of Gokak on the Ghataprabha river is the mesmerizing Gokak waterfalls. The waterfall is shaped like a horse-shoe at the crest and the waterfall swells up completely during the rainy season. It is a feast for the eyes to see the reddish brown water flowing along with the melodious dull roar the waterfalls create.
There are a lot of monuments belonging to the Chalukyan era that can be spotted on the banks of the rocky gorge of the waterfalls.
PC : Shishir Kakaraddi
2. Belgaum Fort
Distance From Belagavi - 4 km
This fort was built by a ruler called Bichi Raja of the Ratta dynasty in 1204 AD. Being one of the oldest forts in Karnataka, it was mainly built to avoid any invasion. The fort is oval in shape, and there are bastions on the exterior of the fort. The main gate of the fort was built in 1631 AD.
The fort is surrounded by a moat excavated in soft red stone. The fort has gone through a lot of renovations and the architecture style, which can be seen now, is a blend of the Deccan and Indo-Saracenic styles. The gates of the fort have a lot of motifs inscribed on them.
PC : Burgess James
3. Kittur Fort
Distance from Belagavi - 50 km
Associated with the brave ruler of Kittur, Rani Chennamma, this place is a must-visit attraction when you are in Belagavi. Kittur Fort was built by the fifth ruler of Kittur dynasty using the black basalt rock. A palace that served as the residence of Chennamma is also present inside the fort, and the fort is built in the Peshwa-Islamic style of architecture.
The fort has a separate room with a telescope kept inside to view the pole-star. There is also an archaeological museum within the Kittur fort, which is now managed by the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Karnataka.
4. Vajrapoha Falls
Distance from Belagavi - 8.5 km
Vajrpoha Falls is a bewitching sight to hold, the waterfall flows from an elevated hillock between the villages Gavali and Chapoli. Surrounded by the Western Ghats, the waterfalls attract a lot of tourists and travellers during the monsoon and post-monsoon seasons (June to October).
5. Parasgad Fort
Distance from Belagavi - 97 km
The 10th century-ruined hill fort was built by the rulers of the Ratta dynasty. A deep gorge runs through the fort and it is filled with prickly bear and brushwood. The sides of the fort are rocky and perpendicular. There are remains of old houses in the fort and on top is a small shrine of Lord Hanuman.
6. Chikhale Falls
Distance from Belagavi - 40 km
Chikhale falls is located in the village of Chikhale. The roaring sound of the waterfalls can be heard from a distance. An easy trek of 2.5 km amidst the misty fog and beautiful landscape leads to the waterfalls. Chikhale falls can also be reached from Parwad with a difficult trekking trail.
7. Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary
Distance from Belagavi - 35 km
Located in the Western Ghats of Jamboti village is the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary. The area is named after the Bhimagad fort that was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji. With a wide variety of flora and fauna, this sanctuary is one of the must-visit places in Belgaum.
To the east of Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, and to the north-west is Bhagwan Mahaveer and Mollem National Park.
PC : Kalyanvarma