Haveri is a district town located at the heart of Karnataka. The word Haveri comes from two Kannada words, Havu and Keri which translates to "the place of snakes". This beautiful town was historically under the rule of many dynasties such as, the Kadambas of Hangal, the Rashtrakutas and the Chalukyas. This was found out from studying over 1300 stone inscriptions found here. Therefore, the town is rich with the architecture of an amalgamation of all these empires.
Haveri is popular for making cardamom garlands, and the village of Byadagi in Haveri is famous for their red chillies. In fact, it is so famous that in Karnataka, red chillies are referred to as Byadagi Menasu. It is believed that the town used to house almost 1000 sacred mutts! This town, found between Hubli and Dharwad, is a perfect place for a divine pilgrimage.
How To Reach Haveri
By Air: Hubli Airport is the closest airport, located 84 km from Haveri. However, it connects mainly to Bangalore International Airport, which is located 335 km from Haveri. The airport in Bangalore has connections to all the major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, etc, so a flight to Bangalore and then to Hubli is recommended to travel through a flight.
By Train: Located 74 km from Haveri is the Hubli Railway Station, that connects to many major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. From Hubli, you can take a train to Haveri Railway Station, which is just an hour's journey.
By Road: Once reaching Hubli through flight or train, plenty of buses or taxis travel frequently to Haveri. Karnataka Government transport (KSRTC) buses are also available that go till Haveri.
Read on to know about the places to visit in Haveri.
Siddheshwara temple is one of the most famous temples of Haveri, which is built in the style of Chalukya architecture. It was built in 12th century BC, however, inscription evidences show that it was devised in the 11th century BC.
Presently dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is believed that it was initially a Vaishnava temple (dedicated to Lord Vishnu) and later a Jain temple, by the looks of the loose sculptures of various deities found at the site. Exquisite sculptures of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi and more are found here.
One unique feature of the temple is that it faces the west, as opposed to the temples of Chalukya that face the rising sun of the east.
Settled on the banks of River Tungabhadra, Galageshwara Temple is located about 40 km from Haveri. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built in the 11th century by the Chalukyan King Vikramaditya. A lot about the Chalukya culture and traditions can be learned from the inscriptions found in this temple.
It is believed that there were about 101 shivalinga idols around the temple and near the river, some of which can be seen near the banks even now!
PC: Manjunath Doddamani Gajendragad
This temple, which is protected under the Archaeological Survey of India, is a monument located in the Bankapura village of Haveri at a distance of 21 km. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is locally called as Aravatthu Kambada Gudi which means "temple of 60 pillars", which is the specialty of the temple.
Around 1406 CE, the temple suffered a lot of damage due to the attack of Firoz Shah and later by the Sultan of Bijapur, Adil Shah. However, the temple is still a fantastic relic that also houses a storage tank made of a single stone.
Tarakeshwara is a form of Lord Shiva, so this temple is also in His dedication. This magnificent temple is located in Hangal, 38 km from Haveri. Tarakeshwara Temple is actually a temple complex that houses a temple each for both Lord Shiva's son, Ganesha and Lord Shiva's divine vehicle, Nandi.
A fantastic feature about this temple is the enormous 20 ft diameter carving of lotus that is attached to the ceiling! The temple, also built in Chalukyan style, has a hint of Hoysala architecture to it. Unlike the other temples which are built in soapstone, Tarakeshwara temple is built in grey-green chloritic schist.
Located 36 km from Haveri is the town of Choudayyadanapura which houses the serene Mukteshwara temple. Mukteshwara is a form of spontaneously born shivalinga, which is what the temple is dedicated to. The structure built in between 11th or 12th century BC, is well-preserved with inscriptions of that era found in the temple.
The inscriptions are made on 7 slabs found in the premise of the temple, which gives information regarding the prevailing Gupta Dynasty. It also has inscriptions about some of the Shaiva (followers of Lord Shiva) saints.
Ranebennur Blackbuck Sanctuary
Ranebennur, a town located 41 km from Haveri, is known for preserving blackbucks. It was turned into an exclusive blackbuck sanctuary in 1974 by the Government, and happens to be one of the very few blackbuck sanctuaries of India.
"Krishna Mruga" as the locals call blackbucks, is found in abundance and the best time to witness them would be the months of October to March. Apart from blackbucks, it houses many species of birds such as Bay-back Shrike, Black Drongo, Sirkeer Cuckoo to name a few.
Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary
Bankapura houses India's second peacock-exclusive sanctuary. The Government of India observed a massive presence of peacocks in Bankapura and thus declared the site as a sanctuary in 2006. Flocks of majestic peacocks and peahens strut through this sanctuary throughout the year.
Apart from peacocks, Bankapura is home to many other species of birds such as Spotted Dove, Winged Kite, Indian Robin and more. The region is rich with flora such as neem, ficus plants, etc.
PC: Kellie Hastings