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Exploring Karnataka – Trails of Belgaum

By Anusha

Belgaum is a city located in the north-western region of Karnataka, near the borders of two other states; Goa and Maharashtra. Among the old cities of the state, the origins of the present Belgaum dates back to the 12th century, during which it was built by the Ratta dynasty. The place shows the interesting confluences of culture that history has ensured. The place was ruled by different dynasties such as the Yadavas, Khiljis, Hoysalas, Nayaks, Sultans, Marathas, etc. The city called by varying names including the now official Belagavi is also popular as the 'Sugar Bowl' of the state.

Located against the backdrop of the Sahyadri mountains and at just a short distance of 100 km from the sea, Belgaum is a beautiful place that is popular for cultivation. Besides enjoying the lush greenery and water bodies, there is much to explore in and around Belgaum. Let us take a look at some prominent attractions.

Kamal Basadi

Kamal Basadi

Located within the Belgaum Fort, Kamal Basadi is one of the places to visit. It is a Jain temple built in 1204 AD in the Chalukyan style of architecture. Observe the beautiful lotus shaped roof and the pyramid-like structure of the temple's upper portion. The temple, in fact, gets its name from the lotus flower of 72 petals that is depicted on the temple tower displaying 24 Jain Tirthankaras, with space for the future Tirthankaras as well. The idol and many pillars are made from black stone that is well-polished. It is a definite visit for art and history lovers.

Photo Courtesy: Manjunath Doddamani Gajendragad

Jamboti

Jamboti

The Jamboti Hills, located at a short distance of just 25 km from the city is a popular tourist attraction in the region. The evergreen vegetation of the hills makes it inviting for travellers, who can also explore the trekking trails available. Interestingly the beautiful Mandovi River that flows through Goa, originates in these hills.

Photo Courtesy: Milindpk

Vajrapoha Falls

Vajrapoha Falls

At a short distance from the Jamboti Village and 25 km from Belgaum city is the Vajrapoha waterfalls. Created by the Mandovi River that flows down the hills, the fall is a place to visit near Belgaum. Falling across 660 ft, the fall is ideally witnessed in the post-monsoon season.

Photo Courtesy: Pradeep Kumbhashi

Godchinamalaki Falls

Godchinamalaki Falls

Situated in a lush valley, at a distance of 40 km from Belgaum is another beautiful place to visit. The Godchinamalaki Falls, also called the Markandeya Falls can be approached by various routes, some that allow vehicles and few others that have to be traversed by foot. Trails winding through the forest lead curious travellers to the lovely waterfalls. The nearby areas are also popular for two dams; Hidkal and Shirur.

Photo Courtesy: Pradeep Kumbhashi

Gokak Falls

Gokak Falls

Among the places to visit near Belgaum is the Gokak Falls, located at a distance of 62 km from the city. Created by the Ghataprabha river, it falls from a height of 171 ft into a gorge. The beautiful waterfall also has a hanging bridge connecting the two sides. Other attractions include the monuments located in the vicinity that belong to the Chalukyan era. Also, don't miss out on visiting the charming temple of Lord Mahalingeshwara built on the banks.

Photo Courtesy: Ramesh Sharma1

Belgaum Fort

Belgaum Fort

Built during the Ratta dynasty by the King Jaya Raja, the Belgaum Fort has its origins in 104 AD. The fort had many modifications done to it across the varying time periods in history. It even has significance as a place where Mahatma Gandhi was held prisoner during the Indian freedom struggle. The fort architecture displays a confluence of Hindu, Jain and Islamic styles and is among the oldest in the state.

Photo Courtesy: James Burgess

Chikka Basadi

Chikka Basadi

The Belgaum Fort is known to have two Hindu shrines and two Jain temples. The second Jain temple that is in ruins is the Chikka Basadi. Once considered a stellar example of Jain architecture, the existing structure and ruins still display a variety of detailed carvings and sculptures. Observe the carvings of dancers, musicians and nature here.

Photo Courtesy: Manjunath Doddamani Gajendragad

How To Reach

How To Reach

By Road: Belgaum has a network of both state and national highways connecting it to various regions within and outside the state.

By Rail: Regular trains to Belgaum are available from Bangalore, Mumbai and Goa.

By Air: Belgaum has a domestic airport with flights to all major cities in India. The Goa international Airport at Vasco is the nearest airport for international flights (148 km)

Photo Courtesy: Prasad Kholkute

Read more about: belgaum karnataka

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