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Location : Near Bangalore, Karnataka
Languages : Kannada & English
Major Attractions : Temples, mosques and churches
Best Visiting Time : Through out the year
The city of Belgaum is famous for its acculturation which can be attributed to its proximity to other states. The city has embraced the rich cultural inheritance of the states like Goa, Maharashtra etc. and over a period of time imbibed in itself the elements of their cultural heritage. This unique imprint can be seen from the multiple languages spoken by the inhabitants. Earlier a part of Mumbai, this town was later amalgamated to Karnataka. It is posited at an elevation of about 780 meters from sea level.
The history of Belgaum changed its course several number of times. The place was earlier called “Venugrama” and was under the control of Chalukya rulers. The Rattas who were the local rulers of the town laid its foundation in the 12th century. Later the power got transferred to the hands of Yadava kings. The subsequent annexations by Vijyanagar and Bahmani kingdoms resulted in the construction of several monuments and forts. The 16th century saw the city becoming a part of the Mughal Empire. The Marathas being equally interested in acquiring initiated a war against that continued for a long period of time. During the colonial rule, British seized the power.
Belgaum Fort :
This ancient fort, most of which is now in ruins, was established in the 12th century. The Ratta kings who were responsible for the construction of the city built this majestic fort. As the power continued to change hands, new elements were added while the old ones were renovated. Besides the ruins, you can spend time at the Sunset point that gives you ample chance to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
Cantonment Area :
This tourist attraction, built by British colonizers, covers the south western part. Here you will get to see many buildings related to military, schools, churches and other architectural structures. As you walk past some of the lanes here you will be reminded of the streets present during colonial period. Apart from this, a legion of sacred places likes Sata Mosque, Mahadeva Tempe, Catholic Cathedral etc.
Kapileshwara Temple :
One of the oldest temples, Kapileshwara Temple is a worth visiting site. Others like Maruti Temple, Anathashayana Temples will also be interesting to you.
Mary's Church :
This impressive building of late nineteenth century was built using gothic stone. A unique feature of the church is that there are light filters meant for allowing light through the stained windows. This allows the illumination of the drawings painted on the walls.
Jamia Masjid :
It is the tomb of Khnajar Wali. Near this is another mosque called Safa Masjid.
Gokak Falls lies at 60 kilometers from the destination. This picturesque location is situated near River Ghataprabha.
Cheap hotels are available here. Main hotel provided by KSTDC is Malprabha. As it is located at the national highway, it can be easily reached. More costly options are available at places near the destination.
The climatic conditions are not very harsh here. Winters are quiet chilly.
Belgaum is a fine tourist recluse that allows you to spend time in exploring its fort and sacred places.