Hampi (Kannada: ಹಂಪೆ Hampe) is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city.

As the village is at the original centre of Vijayanagara, it is sometimes confused with the ruined city itself. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi.


The name is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose banks the city is built. The name "Hampi" is an anglicized version of the Kannada Hampe (derived from Pampa). Over the years, it has also been referred to as Vijayanagara and Virupakshapura (from Virupaksha, the patron deity of the Vijayanagara rulers).


Hampi is identified with the historical Kishkindha, the Vanara (monkey) kingdom mentioned in the Ramayana. The first historical settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE.

Hampi formed one of the core areas of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565, when it was finally laid siege to by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra river on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides.

The site is significant historically and architecturally. The topography abounds with large stones which have been used to make statues of Hindu deities. The Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area, to discover additional artifacts and temples.


Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. It is 353 km from Bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary. Hosapete (Hospet), 13 km away, is the nearest railway head. Mantralayam, which is also on the banks of Tunghabhadra, in AP is some 150km away.The principal industries of the village are agriculture, the support of the Virupaksha temple and some other local holy places in the vicinity, and tourism. The annual Vijayanagar Festival is organized by the Government of Karnataka in November.

Due to the presence of several mineral deposits in this region (iron-ore, manganese), mining has been going on for many years now. But a recent boom for the supply of iron-ore in the international market has led to increased levels of mining in this district. The World Heritage Site at Hampi as well as the Tungabhadra Dam are now under threat.

Important sites at and near Hampi


Hampi has various notable Hindu temples, some of which are still active places of worship. Among the most notable are:

  • Virupaksha Temple known as the Pampapathi temple, it is a Shiva temple situated in the Hampi Bazaar. It predates the founding of the Vijayanagar empire. The temple has a 160-foot (49 m) high tower at its entrance. Apart from Shiva, the temple complex also contains shrines of the Hindu goddesses Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa.
  • Hazara Rama Temple Complex : This ruined temple complex is well-known for elaborate frescos from Hindu Mythologies and a sprawling courtyard well-laid with gardens.
  • Krishna Temple Complex : This temple complex has been recently excavated through the last decade, and restoration work is still in progress.
  • Vittala Temple Complex : This is perhaps the most famous and well-knowm among the ruins of Hampi. The iconic stone chariot in the vicinity of this temple complex is a symbol of Karnataka Tourism. Off late, floodlights have been installed in the temple complex that provide illumination at dusk, thereby adding to the grandeur of the architecture.

Global Heritage Fund efforts

Non-profit organization Global Heritage Fund (GHF), in partnership with the Hampi Foundation, Cornell University, and the State of Karnataka, has been actively involved in the conservation of Hampi's unique cultural heritage. After producing a master conservation plan for the site of Chandramouleshwara Temple, GHF's efforts have moved to "stabilization of the temple and its associated structural features."

Photo Gallery:

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka

Aerial view

Elephant stables

The remains of a giant Bukka's Aqueduct located near Anegondi

Hemakunta complex

Vitthala temple with musical pillars, Hoysala style multigonal base Hampi

The stone chariot at Vittala complex

Lotus Mahal at the Zenana Enclosure

Stepped Tank near the Underground Temple

Ugra Narasimha

Photos: Praveen.S-Hampi, Manju Kulakrni-Gulbarga, Wikipedia
Information Courtesy: Wikipedia

Tungabhadra Dam, which is the largest dam in Karnataka, is located approximately five km from Hospet town. The town is to the north of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. Nature has poured all her natural assets on this beautiful land. Thousands of tourists visit this site round the year.

The Tungabhadra dam is constructed across the river Tungabhadra. Tourists can have a wonderful view of the waterpower of the dam, while standing at any part of the dam. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the two states that share the stored water among them. To reach the dam, tourists have to take a drive through a narrow road and some surrounding hills, which are bound with coffee coloured soil and green plants. There are some small and multicolored houses beside the road. If we discount the telephone and electric lines which moves in a zigzag way, the scenery of the road is beautiful. An entry to the each end of the dam is limited due to the security reasons. The dam has 33 spillway gates to release water.

A small house that serves as a lighthouse is located at the top of a mount, beside the Tungabhadra dam. This lighthouse is one of the best places to have an eye-catching view of the environment. The government of Karnataka has designed a beautiful garden at the foot of the dam, which is one of the ideal places to spend some leisure moments. On the arrival of monsoon in the months of May and June, all the gates of the dam are closed to store water in it.

The best time for the tourist to visit Tungabhadra dam is during the month of August.

Photo Gallery:

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Bellary (Kannada: ಬಳ್ಳಾರಿ ) is a historic city in Bellary District in Karnataka state, India.

Origins of the city's name

There are several legends about how Bellary (ಬಳ್ಳಾರಿ) got its name.
  • One of them is that a few devout travelling merchants halting in Bellary, could not find a Shiva Linga for their worship. They then installed a balla (ಬಳ್ಳ) (a measuring cup or seru (ಸೇರು) used to measure grain) upside down as a Shiva Linga and worshiped it. Eventually, that place was turned into a temple dedicated to Balleshwara (ಬಳ್ಳೇಶ್ವರ) or Shiva, which got distorted to Malleshwara (ಮಲ್ಲೇಶ್ವರ), and Bellary derives its name from this temple. This temple can still be found in the Fort area of the city, and an annual festival and fair dedicated to Shiva is conducted at the temple premises even today.
  • Another legend is that the city is named after Indra, the king of Gods, who slew a Rakshasa (demon) named Balla who lived nearby. Balla-ari means 'enemy of Balla' (ari – enemy in Sanskrit).
  • The third legend derives the city's name from the old Kannada word Vallari and Vallapuri.


Historical names of the Bellary area

Bellary was once part of an area also known as Kuntala Desha (ಕುಂತಲ ದೇಶ) or Kuntala Vishaya (ಕುಂತಲ ವಿಷಯ) (Vishaya - a territorial division or district of a kingdom). Many inscriptions refer to the Western Chalukyas as rulers of Kuntala or Kondala.

  • An inscription during the Gangas of Talakadu speaks of a certain Sindha Vishaya (ಸಿಂಧ ವಿಷಯ), which consists parts or whole of today's Bellary, Haveri, Gadag, Dharawada, Koppala and Bagalakote districts. Many inscriptions by Yadavas and Kalyani Chalukyas refer to this areas as Sindavadi (ಸಿಂದವಾಡಿ) or Sindavadi-nadu (ಸಿಂದವಾಡಿ-ನಾಡು) (Sindavadi-1000).
  • During the rule of Western Chalukyas, the area around Bellary was part of Nolambavadi (ನೊಳಂಬವಾಡಿ) (referred to as Nolambavadi-32000), which included parts of the present Shivamogga, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Bellary and Anantapuram Districts. Further, some inscriptions mention that Nolambavadi-nadu (ನೊಳಂಬವಾಡಿ-ನಾಡು) was a part of Kuntala desha


Numerous neolithic archeological sites have been discovered around Bellary, some of the closest to the city being the ash mounds at Sanganakallu, Budhihal, Kudithini, Tekkalakote, Hiregudda and Kupgal in Bellary District, Maski in Raichur district and Palvoy & Velpumudugu in Ananthapuram district. These ash mounds were formed by the accumulation and burning of dung in rituals performed by Neolithic pastoralists.
The Sanganakallu settlement, spread over an area of 1,000 acres, is one of the largest neolithic complexes known around Bellary. Some of the neolithic artefacts found here have been :
  • Houses of mud and stone, querns, stone axes, incised and painted pottery.
  • Rock art as evidence of rituals and social ceremonies involving ringing rocks, still preserved in the form of hand-percussion marks.
  • Grinding grooves where stone axes were polished
  • Shallow concave surfaces on boulders where grain was processed
  • Dolerite dykes quarried to manufacture stone tools on an industrical scale.
  • Ancient History
Some of the events in the Ramayana are related to this historical place. It is said that Rama while searching for Sita met Sugriva and Hanuman at a place near Hampi, the celebrated capital of the Vijayanagara empire.
  • 300 BCE – 1336 AD
Bellary was ruled in succession by the Mauryas, Satavahanas, the Pallavas, the Kadambas, the Badami Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Kalyani Chalukyas, the Southern Kalachuryas, the Sevuna Yadavas, and the Hoysalas.
The Bellary area was also ruled briefly by the Cholas during the wars between Kalyani Chalukyas and the Cholas (often involving Vengi Chalukyas), the region constantly changing hands under turmoil.
A dynasty called Ballariya Naredu ruled Bellary under the Hoysalas.
  • 9th century AD and 1000–1250 AD
A branch of the Pallava family called the Nolamba-Pallavas ruled Nolambavadi-32000. Later in the 11th century AD, they ruled parts of Nolambavadi under Western Chalukyas and Hoysalas.
  • 1100–1188 AD
Feudatories of Kalyani Chalukyas, Kalachuryas and Hoysalas, calling themselves Pandyas (Nolambavadi Pandyas), ruled parts of Nolambavadi-32000. They were actively involved in the conflicts amongst their overlords.
  • 1336–1565 AD
After the Sevuna Yadavas and the Hoysalas (and the Kakatiyas of Warangal & the Pandyas of Madurai) were defeated by the Islamic sultanates from Delhi under Allauddin Khilji, Malik Kafur and Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Vijayanagara Empire arose under Harihara I and Bukka I. The Bellary area was dominated by the Vijayanagara rulers until 1565 AD.[map 1].
Bellary itself was ruled by the family of Hanumappa Nayaka, a Palayagara (ಪಾಳೆಯಗಾರ - vassal) of the Vijayanagara Rulers.
  • 1565 AD
The dominance of the Vijayanagara empire ended with the Battle of Talikote, where they were defeated by a conglomerate of Deccan sultanates. After the fall of Vijayanagara, the Bellary Nayakas were subsidiary to the Adilshahi Sultanate of Bijapur .
  • 1678 AD
Bellary was subsidiary to the Marathas under Shivaji . The story goes that as Shivaji was passing that way some of his foragers had been killed by the garrison, prompting him to occupy Bellary; but he restored it again to the Nayakas at once on condition that tribute should be paid to him.
  • 1685 AD
Bellary fell to the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's campaign in the Deccan.
  • 1724 AD
Asif Jah I, who was the Subedar of Gujarat and Malwa, defeated and killed the Delhi sponsored Mobariz Khan, the Subedar of the Deccan, at the battle fought at Shakar Kheda in the district of Berar.
Soon after, Asif Jah I assumed independence from Mughal control to establish Hyderabad as a separate state, beginning the Asaf Jahi dynasty. Asif Jah I assumed the title Nizam-ul-mulk, and Bellary was included in the Nizam's Dominion.
  • 1761 AD
Bellary became tributary to Basalat Jang, the brother of the then Nizam Salabat Jang and the Subedar of Aadavaani (Adoni) and Raichur .
  • 1769 AD
The Bellary Nayakas refused to pay tribute to Basalat Jang, which prompted him to occupy Bellary. The Nayakas then pleaded for Hyder Ali of Mysuru (Mysore) to rescue Bellary. Hyder Ali forcefully expelled the occupiers, after which the Nayakas were tributary to him.
  • 1792 AD
At the partition of Tipu Sultan's territory by the British after the Third Anglo-Mysore War, the district was given to the then Nizam Asif Jah II.
  • 1800 AD
After the defeat and death of Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at Srirangapattanam (Seringapatam), the Mysore territories were further divided up between the Wodeyars, Asif Jah II and the British.
In 1796 AD, Asaf Jah II, harassed by the Marathas and Tipu Sultan, had opted to get British military protection under Lord Wellesley's doctrine of Subsidiary Alliance. As part of this agreement, Asif Jah II ceded a large portion of the acquired territory including Bellary, to the British, to be added to the Madras Presidency as 'Bellary District'. This area was also known as the Ceded Districts , a term still used for the areas, and was considerably larger than the present district, including the present districts of Kadapa (Cuddapah), Anantapuram and much of Karnoolu (Kurnool).
  • 1800–1807 AD
All through these political changes since Vijayanagar times, the Nayakas were the de facto rulers of Bellary - while their masters constantly changed, locally their powers were absolute. All this changed with the arrival of Major Thomas Munro, the first collector of the Ceded Districts (1800-1807), who disposed of the eighty palayagars (Polygars) of the districts either with pensions or assimilation of their estates and established the Ryotwari system - land revenue collected directly from the tiller of the soil.
  • 1808 AD
The ceded districts area was split into two districts, Bellary and Kadapa. The Bellary area was still larger than Kadapa and the second largest district in Madras Presidency, measuring 13000 square miles (nearly twice the size of Wales), and a population of 1,250,000 (one and half times that of Wales).
  • 1840 AD
Bellary became the head-quarters of the district. The Collector until this year lived in Anantapuram
  • 1867 AD
The Bellary Municipal Council was created, along with the Adoni Municipal Council. These were the only two municipal townships in the whole of Bellary district for a long time.
  • 1882 AD
Seven of the southern talukas were was carved out to form Anantapuram district, further reducing the size of Bellary District.
The Maratha princely state of Sandur was surrounded by Bellary district.
  • 1894 AD
A steam cotton-spinning mill was established.
  • 1901 AD
Bellary was the seventh largest town in Madras Presidency, and was one of the chief military stations in Southern India, garrisioned by British and native Indian troops under the British Indian Government. A company of the Southern Mahratta Railway Volunteer Rifles was also stationed in the town.
The town included a civil railway station to the east of the Bellary Fort, the cantonment and its railway station on the west, the Cowl Bazar and the suburbs of 'Bruce-pettah' (currently spelt Brucepet) and 'Mellor-pettah', named after two British officers once stationed in the town.
The town was also headquarters for the Roman Catholic Mission and the London Mission
The industries in the town included a small distillery and two steam cotton-presses. The steam cotton-spinning mill established in 1894 had 17,800 spindles, and employed 520 hands.
  • 1 October 1953 AD
Bellary district of Madras State was divided on linguistic basis.
Areas with significant Kannada speaking populations (Harapanahalli, Hadagali, Kudligi, Hosapete, Sanduru and Siruguppa) were transferred to Mysore state, which would later become Karnataka state.
Areas of the district with significant Telugu speaking populations (Yemmiganuru, Aadavaani, Aaluru, Raayadurgam, D.Hirehaalu, Kanekallu, Bommanahaalu, Gummagatta) were merged into Anantapuram and Karnulu districts in what would later become Andhra Pradesh state.
Bellary city itself, with both Kannada and Telugu speaking populace in large numbers, was included into Mysore state after a protracted debate and controversy.
  • 1997 AD
With the re-organisation of the districts in Karnataka, Harapanahalli taluk was transferred to Davanagere district, reducing the number of talukas in the district to seven.
  • 2004 AD
Bellary City Municipal Council was upgraded to a City Corporation.

City features

The Rocks

Granite rocks and hills form a prominent feature of Bellary, and granite quarrying is big business. The city is spread mainly around two huge rocky granite hills, the Ballari Gudda (ಬಳ್ಳಾರಿ ಗುಡ್ಡ) and Kumbara Gudda (ಕುಂಬಾರ ಗುಡ್ಡ) (Gudda - hill in Kannada). These two hills are dominant features of the city, and are visible from every part of the city.

Ballari Gudda

Ballari Gudda has a circumference of nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) and a height of 480 feet (150 m). The length of this rock from north-east to south-west is about 1,150 ft (350 m). To the east and south lies an irregular heap of boulders, but to the West is an unbroken monolith, and the north is walled by bare rugged ridges. This hill is also said to be the world's second largest monolithic hill.

Kumbara Gudda

The other hill is called Kumbara Gudda . This hill, when viewed from the south-east looks like the profile of a human face and is also known as Face Hill .


Apart from these two hills, there are a number of other smaller granite hills within the city, the prominent among them being:
  1. Kaate Gudda (ಕಾಟೇ ಗುಡ್ಡ) opposite the Municipal Junior College, which also houses a water tank & pumping station. This is also nicknamed Kaage Gudda (ಕಾಗೆ ಗುಡ್ಡ), for its teeming flocks of Crows (Kannada : kaage=crow)
  2. Eeshwara Gudda (ಈಶ್ವರ ಗುಡ್ಡ), behind the Anaadi Lingeshwara Temple in Parvati Nagar-Shastri Nagar area. This has now been quarried extensively and almost flattened with all loose boulders removed, making way for residential occupation.
  3. The one housing a water tank, adjacent to the Bellary Central Jail
  4. Adjacent to St. John's High School in the Fort Area
It is also very common to find small boulders and rocks at numerous places within the city.

Bellary Fort

Bellary Fort]] is built on top of Ballari Gudda or the Fort Hill. The Fort was built round the hill during Vijayanagara times by Hanumappa Nayaka. Hyder Ali, who took possession of the Fort from the Nayaka family in 1769, got the fort renovated and modified with the help of a French engineer. The lower fort was added by Hyder Ali around the eastern half of the hill. Legend has it that the unfortunate French engineer was hanged, for overlooking the fact that the neighbouring Kumbara Gudda is taller than Ballari Gudda, thus compromising the secrecy and command of the fort. His grave is believed to be located near the east gate of the fort, though some locals believe it to be the grave of a Muslim holy man.

The fort was classified as 1st class by the British Administration. This fort gave Bellary its ancient importance, and led to its selection by the British rulers as the site of a cantonment.

The fort is divided as the Upper Fort and the Lower Fort.

  • The Upper fort
The upper fort is a polygonal walled building on the summit, with only one approach, and has no accommodation for a garrison. The upper fort consists of a citadel on the summit of the rock at 1,976 feet (602 m), guarded by three outer lines of fortification, one below the other. It contains several cisterns, excavated in the rock. Outside the turreted rampart are a ditch and covered way. The main turret on the east currently features a huge mural of the Indian Flag facing east . There is only one way up to the fort, which is a winding rocky path amongst the boulders. On the top, outside the citadel is a small temple, the remains of some cells and several deep pools of water. Within the citadel are several strongly constructed buildings, and an ample water supply from reservoirs constructed in the clefts of the rocks. Muzzaffar Khan, the Nawab of Kurnool, was confined here from 1823 to 1864 for the murder of his wife.
  • The lower fort
The lower fort lies at the eastern base of the rock and measures about half a mile in diameter, and probably had an arsenal and barracks. It consists of a surrounding rampart numerous bastions, faced by a deep ditch and glacis. The entrance to the lower fort is via two gates, one each on the western and eastern sides. Just outside the eastern gates of the lower fort is a temple dedicated to Hanuman - the Kote Anjaneya Temple (Kote (ಕೋಟೆ) - fort in Kannada) . Later additions to the lower fort by the British include the Commissariat stores, the Protestant church, orphanage, Masonic lodge, post-office and numerous private dwellings. Now the lower fort contains a number of public buildings, government offices, schools & educational institutions and churches.

Travel and transport


This is a major route for the mining trucks transporting Iron and Manganese ore from the Sanduru hill ranges to the sea port at Mangalore and Karwar. This highway also connects the city to Hubballi, Hosapete and Hampi.
This highway connects the city to Raichur, Gulbarga and Bidar in the North and Bangalore and Mysore in the south.
  • The city is served by the North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC), offering travel services to almost all parts of Karnataka, many parts of Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Pune and many parts of Maharastra. Additionally, a sizable number of private businesses offer travel services to important destinations.
  • The main inter-city bus station is located in the now empty Nalla Cheruvu ( - Black Lake or Tank) basin. This is a new improvement over the cramped older bus stand located near Gadigi Chennappa Circle. The old bus stand still serves state owned buses connecting rural locations and city buses.
  • An excellent truck stationing facility, located in the Nalla Cheruvu basin, serves lorries and hauliers.


  • During British rule, Bellary was served by The Southern Mahratta Railway, connecting Bellary with Hubballi on the west and Guntakallu on the east, and thus to Madras .


  • Bellary Airport
The civilian Bellary Airport, located at the far end of the Cantonment area, has previously been serviced by Vayudoot and Air Deccan, linking Bellary with Bangalore, Goa and other nearby destinations. However, the services have been limited and inconsistent, with currently no commercial service available from this airport.
  • Vidyanagar Airport
Bellary is currently served by Vidyanagar Airport, located at the Jindal Vijayanagar Steels complex, Toranagallu in Sanduru Taluk, 40 kilometres from Bellary. Bangalore based Charter airline, Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd (TAAL), operate sightseeing charter flights to Hampi and Mysore since October 2002.
  • International Airport
A new international airport is being planned by the Infrastructure Development Corporation of Karnataka (iDecK), to be constructed near Sanganakallu on the north-eastern end of the city, around Chaganur and Siriwar villages. Nodal agency Infrastructure Development Department, Karnataka Government, has identified 1,000 acres for the airport.
The contract for the development and operation of this greenfield airport has been awarded to Chennai-based MARG Limited, which has incorporated a special purpose vehicle, MARG Krishna Devaraya Airport Pvt. Ltd. In addition to terminal buildings, runways and control towers, MARG will develop access facilities and build utilities necessary to serve the airport during the operational phase.


Places of Tourist interest

Within the city
  • Bellary Fort is a place of historical, archeological and geological interest. Daytime is most suitable for visits. The hill fort is illuminated on Sundays and days of national importance.
  • Kuntegadda Park (the Golden Jubilee Park or Dr.Rajkumar Park) is a paid-entry urban park suitable for people of all ages. It features a musical fountain show in the evenings.
  • Bellary Zoo
  • A museum to exhibit findings from the Sanganakallu and other neolithic sites is proposed to built at the Kannada and Culture complex, adjacent to the Deputy Commissioner’s residence in Patel Nagar, Bellary. The proposed museum complex aims to bring into focus the history and cultural heritage of Bellary. There are also plans to create an audio-visual time capsule of landmark of the people of the region through the ages. A fully built two-storied building of about 8,000 sq ft (740 m2) has been made available by the district administration for the museum.

Around and near-by the city

  • Hampi, the capital of the famed Vijayanagar Empire is 70 km away from the city.
  • Daroji Bear Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in North Karnataka for the Indian Sloth Bear, and is located 50 km away from the city to the west. In October 1994, The Government of Karnataka declared 5,587.30 hectares of Bilikallu reserve forest as Daroji Bear Sanctuary . However, the hills that stretch between Daroji of Sandur taluk and Ramasagar of Hospet Taluk in Bellary district have always been a host to the Indian Sloth Bears .
  • The Gavisiddeshwara temple is a place of religious importance, located 25 km away from the city in the Hirehaalu mandal of Raayadurga taluk in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Raayadurga town in Andhra Pradesh, located 40 km from the city, features a hill fort of more antiquity than the Bellary Fort. The hill is also host a wide variety of wild life, including peafowl. bears, jackals, and panthers.
  • Donimalai, Sanduru and Narihalla Dam on the Sanduru hill range are places of natural beauty. The Kollur Mookambika Water Sports facility features boating and other water sports in back waters of the Narihalla Dam.
  • TungaBhadra Dam and the Gunda forest are 60 km away, near Hospet.

  • Photo Gallery:
  • The Indian Flag painted on the fort walls on the hill is visible from many parts of city.

    The Main Entrance for the UpperHill Fort at Bellary.

    Mantapam Inside the UpperHill Bellary Fort.

    Durgamma Temple, Bellary.

    Yogini Kolhapuri Mahalakshmi temple at Vidyanagar, Bellary.

    Courtesy: Wikipedia

    Raichur District (Kannada: ರಾಯಚೂರು ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ) is an administrative district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located in the northeast part of the state and is bounded by Yadgir district in the north, Bijapur and Bagalkot district in the northwest, Koppal district in the west, Bellary district in the south, Anantapur and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh in the east.


    The district is bounded by the Krishna River on the north and the Tungabhadra River on the south. The wedge of land between the rivers is known as the Raichur Doab, after the city of Raichur. Bijapur and Gulbarga districts lie to the north across the Krishna River. Bagalkot and Koppal districts lie to the west. Across the Tungabhadra lies Bellary District of Karnataka to the southwest and Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh to the southeast. Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh state lies to the east, and includes the lower portion of the Raichur.


    Raichur (Kannada: ರಾಯಚೂರು, rāyachūru), is a city municipal council in Raichur district in the Indian state of Karnataka. Raichur, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, is the headquarters of Raichur district. It was in the princely state of Mysore during the rule of Tipu Sultan. It is located 409 km from the state capital, Bangalore.


    Raichur has a rich history, having been a part of various empires, such the Bahmanis, Vijayanagara . The city is famous for its imposing Raichur Fort.Here stone inscriptions have been found in Persian and Arabic languages which belonged to the bastion of the fort, referring to its construction in 1294. Among the ruins of the immense fort are many tanks and old temples.

    Interesting details of the battle between Sri Krishnadevaraya and Adil Shah are given in: The Battle of Raichur.

    Places of interest

    Raichur, the headquarters town of the district, is an important commercial, industrial and educational center. The place is of considerable antiquity. Malik Kafur captured it in 1312 and subsequently it was in the hands of Vijayanagara, Bahmani, Bijapur, Mughal and Asaf Jahi kings.

    The hill fort of Raichur, which was of great importance in the past, is surrounded on three sides by a double row of massive but low circuit walls. The inner wall, which is constructed of huge blocks of well-dressed and nicely fitted stones without the aid of any cementing material. according to a long Kannada inscription dated A.D. 1294 on a slab in the western inner wall. The outer wall, which is built of comparatively rough stone masonry, is, on the other hand, the work of the Muslims. The outer fortifications contain five gateways : the Mecca Darwaza on the west, the Naurangi Darwaza on the north, the Kati Darwaza on the east, the Khandak Darwaza on the south and the Doddi Darwaza on the south-east. The inner wall has two gateways : the Sailani Darwaza on the west and the Sikandari Darwaza on the east.

    The area inside the fort-walls abounds in the remains of ancient objects, of which a few important ones have been described here. The Mecca Darwaza and the adjoining walls were, according to the Persian inscriptions on the arches of the gateway, built by the command of one Mallu Khan in 1470 during the reign of the Bahmani king Muhammad Shah III. The modern road starting from the railway station and leading into the town passes through this way.

    The road proceeding from this entrance passes through a gap in the inner wall, just by the side of the long Kannada inscription referred to above. At a little distance to the right of this epigraph, there are some marvelous drawings. Some distance to the south of these drawings, near the ancient quarry, is a large depression locally known as Banda Baoli. Further to the south, near the fort of the hill, is the Doddi Darwaza, a double-arched entrance, in the Muslim wall. Near this gateway is a beautiful circular well constructed of fine stone masonry with a long staircase leading right to the bottom; but the well is now dry.


    The gap in the inner wall mentioned above was made recently to give access to the road. Adjoining the Hindu wall, there is a tomb of a Muslim saint, Pir Sailani Shah. This is a handsome and fascinating structure built in Bijapur style, comprising a small rectangular hall, with a one-arched opening in each face – the arches resting on small stone pillars carved in fashion – and surmounted by a beautiful narrow-necked dome set on a circular row of lotus petals and ornamented with four small slim turrets at the corners. The big gateway situated here derives its name from the name of the saint and is called Sailani Darwaza. The road issuing from the gap proceeds eastwards. Some distance beyond the Hindu wall and to the south of the road, there is a large square cistern built of solid stone masonry. Further to the south and at the foot of the hillock, is a small mosque called the Kali Masjid, in the construction of which Hindu material has been freely used, as is evident from the beautifully polished Chalykyan pillars of black basalt and the fragments of Kannada inscriptions found on the slabs in its walls.

    Fort Jami Masjid

    The road next passes by the side of the Fort Jami Masjid situated to the north of the road. It is a handsome structure having two entrances, one in the south and the other in the east. The southern entrance, which is supported on six massive stone pillars of the square bases, cruciform capitals and circular and decorated middle portions, seems to have originally been the mantapa of some temple. Just opposite the entrance in the courtyard of the mosque is a cemetery, which is said to contain the graves of some members of the Adil Shahi dynasty. The eastern entrance of the mosque is crowned with three small domes, the middle one of which is circular and the other two pyramidal. To the left of this entrance, outside the mosque proper, is a deep well of considerable dimensions with masonry walls of stone all around.

    Opposite the Jami Masjid are the remains of an ancient Hindu palace. Of the original palace, there is very little remaining now, except the old walled enclosure and the big entrance by the side of the present jail. The jail also is said to have originally formed part of this building. But the alterations and modifications of the present day, suiting the requirements of the jail, have completely deprived the building of all its antiquarian grandeur and interest.

    Opposite the ruins of the palace and near the Sikandari Darwaza is a small mosque called Daftarki-Masjid. The material used for the construction of this also has been taken from some ruined Hindu temples. The mosque is entered through a domed structure, the lintel and brackets of which are supported on the pillars of that temple. The mosque has in front a deep, oblong well, built with stone masonry.

    At this point, the road gets into the Sikandari Darwaza, which formed the eastern entrance of the Hindu fortifications. The gateway has two arched entrances, one facing the west and the other south. The former, which is crowned with a battlemented parapet, is in a ruined condition. On the faces of the two walls immediately adjoining are traces of old Kannada inscriptions, which are almost completely obliterated by the conquerors, as is clear from the various geometrical designs purposely made to chisel out the original writings.


    A little further, to the left of the road, is an interesting mosque known as the Ek-Minar-ki_Masjid. One Amber constructed this mosque, according to the Persian inscription on its threshold. In this mosque also, the pillars supporting the roof of the entrance . It has only one minaret, as its name itself suggests. The minaret, about 65 ft (20 m). high and 13 ft (4.0 m). in diameter, is built in Persian style and is identical in form with the Chand Minar at Daulatabad erected in 1445 by Ala-ud-din Bahmani and the minaret of the famous college of Mahmud Gawan at Bidar built during 1472. The minaret, which consists two storeys, each furnished with windows and surrounded by projecting galleries girded with stone balustrades, gradually tapers from bottom to top and has, at the top, a round dome in the Bahmani style. A winding staircase leads up to the top-storey, from which an excellent view of the town can be had. Apart from its architectural peculiarities, this mosque, as the inscriptions in the building show, is the oldest place of Muslim worship in the town.

    Another Jami Masjid

    The road next leads to the Kati Darwaza, which marks the eastern limit of the Muslim fortifications. Outside the fort-walls in the same direction, is another Jami Masjid, which forms the biggest place of Muslim worship in the town. Entered through an arched entrance facing the south, the mosque has a vast rectangular courtyard in front and oblong water cistern in the south-east corner. The prayer hall is fairly large, being 101’ 6” X 24’ 5” internally, with eleven arched openings facing the east. On either side is a tall stone minaret in beautiful Bijapur style and the top is decorated with small turrets and a battlemented parapet. The flat ceiling of the mosque is supported on two .There is another road, which starts from the old tank in the south and leads right up to the Naurangi Darwaza in the north. It first enters through the Khandak Darwaza, a ruined gateway. A little distance along the road, to the west is an extensive rectangular well, called Khas Baoli, which is built of solid stone masonry and approached by means of big staircases in the corners. In the center of the well is a high platform approached through a causeway from the west. The well is said to have supplied water to the entire fort area. A little further, in the opposite direction, is another, comparatively smaller and well known as Andheri Baoli; a staircase from the north reaches it.

    From here, up to the Naurangi Darwaza, there are a number of old small mosques and other minor structures. The Naurangi Darwaza was so designated because of the lavishly painted and sculptured decorations which once adorned the gateway. The material used for its construction, from its mythological and artistic peculiarities, appears to have belonged originally to Hindu structures. The first gate of this entrance, facing the south, is flanked by a bastion on either end, one of them being square and the other circular. On a square stone slab in the former bastion, is a well carved figure of a Naga king, seated cross-legged in meditation on a fish, with a crown of five serpent-hoods on his head. Here, on other slabs, are carved various scenes from Hindu mythology.


    Lastly, the Bala Hisar or the citadel is situated on the middle and the loftiest of the hills in the south-west corner of the fort. It is approached first by a flight of steps rising near the south-east corner of the inner fort-wall up to a door-way in the middle, then by a gradual slope which is not difficult of ascent and again by a few steps leading to the entrance which is fitted with a rectangular door-frame. The citadel stands on an irregularly shaped platform on the summit of the hill. The northern side is occupied by the durbar hall, a double three-arched and triple-domed structure measuring about 36 ft (11 m). X 25 ft (7.6 m). internally, with a battlemented and loop-holed parapet on the top. To the west of this hall is a small mosque, in Bijapur style, with one arch and two slim minarets. To the east is a small square open pavilion, with a square pyramidal dome supported on four pillars showing Hindu features.

    In front of the hall is a square cistern, now filled with earth, and next to this, there is a circular platform, 32 ft (9.8 m). in diameter, supporting a gun in the middle. The gun, mounted on a turn-table and facing the east, is 20’ 3” long, with a circumference of 4’ 4” at its breech, the diameter of the bore being five inches (127 mm) . To the west of the gun, is the Panch Bibi Dargah or the Dargah of five lady saints. At the back of the hall, among the rocks, is lying the lower portion of a seated nandi or bull carved in granite. The remains of this nandi and the square pavilion mentioned above appear to be the only surviving portions of the Hindu works on the citadel. The pavilion perhaps originally formed a mantapa of some Hindu temple that might have once stood on the summit of the hall.

    Tourist Attractions of Raichur district

    The district of Raichur is rich in historical associations and cultural traditions.


    Bichal, in Raichur taluk, is noted for the Matha of Sri Saviradevaru Channaveera Shivacharya Swami.


    Deodurg is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name and is about 34 miles (55 km) west of Raichur. It was formerly a stronghold of Bidar chieftains and has an old fort. Nearby, there is a hill, which contains talc.


    Devarbhupur, in Lingsugur taluk, about 11 miles (18 km) from Lingsugur, is noted for its Amareshwara temple and jaggery trade. The temple is beautifully situated amidst hillocks, which have green foliage. Under the auspices of this temple, annually a big jatra takes place in the month of Phalguna when a cattle fair is also held.


    Devarsugur, in Raichur taluk, situated on the right bank of the Krishna river, is noted for its Sugureshwara or Veerabhadra temple. The annual jatra of this temple, held in the month of Margashira, attracts a large number of people.


    Gabbur, in Deodurg taluk, has several old temples and inscriptions. In the old days, it was a center of education and was also known as Gopuragrama. The most important of the temples are those of Basaveshwara , Ishwara, Bangara Basappa and Hanuman'. In addition to these, there are several ruined temples, two or three mathas, a few cisterns and a gateway called the Chandi-gage with a temple on either side of it. The Male-Shankara temple is built of rough gray stone and has a high plinth. The carving in the temple is plain on account of the roughness of the stone. There are two inscriptional tablets at the northern and western entrances and there is a large cistern in front of the temple.

    According to inscription dated 1109 A.D., belonging to the reign of Vikramaditya VI of the Chalukyas of Kalyana, but originally belonging to a Jaina Temple at Gabbur, the place (then called Gobbur or Hiriya Gobbur) was an agrahara town in the 12th century A.D. The same record states that it had also a Jaina temple called Brahma-Jinalaya or Nagara-Jinalaya.


    Gandhal, in Raichur taluk, which is situated about 20 miles (32 km) south of Raichur, has a well known temple of Panchamukhi Prana Devaru (Hanuman with five faces) on a hillock.


    Hutti, in Lingsugur taluk, about 11 miles (18 km) from Lingsugur, is well known for its gold mines.


    Jaladurga, in Lingsugur taluk, is an island fort situated picturesquely in the Krishna river, about eight miles (13 km) from Lingsugur. It was an important fort of the Adil Shahs of Bijapur, and Meadows Taylor has given a fine description of it in his book, Noble Queen (1874).


    Kallur, in Manvi taluk, is a large village, about 13 miles (21 km) from Raichur. The present village, which is a modern growth, is surrounded by an old wall .But the five gates appear to be of Muslim period. Two of them, which are not in much use, have no names. The other three are called after the towns to which they lead, Manvi Darwaza, Kalmala Darwaza and Raichur Darwaza.

    There are six temples in and around the village. Out of these, only the Markandeshwara temple deserves some notice. This seems to be the oldest temple in the village and its hall has some pillars of black polished stone with beautiful carvings on them. A number of inscriptions have been found in this village, most of them belonging to the period of the Chalukyas of Kalyana.


    Kavital, in Manvi taluk, is a large village, situated on the Raichur-Lingsugur road, about 40 miles (64 km) from Raichur and 18 miles (29 km) from Lingsugur. There is a hillock to the south-west of the village which has several natural caverns. Along the slopes of the hill, artifacts, iron slag and pieces of ancient pottery were found. To the west of the village is an ash-mound on the top of which, in later times, a temple has been built. The ash-mound marks the site of an old smelting factory. There is an interesting medieval temple in the village, called Tryambakeshwara temple, which has three shrines, two of which contain lingas. There are two Kannada inscriptions in the temple and a beautiful image of Mahishasuramardini in one of the two niches in its western wall. All the three shrines are of a uniform size, each being 9 feet (2.7 m) deep and 8 feet (2.4 m) broad, and each one has an ante-chamber. Also of a uniform size of 7 feet (2.1 m) X 8 feet (2.4 m), connected with the main hall.

    Korva (Kolan) (Naradagadde)

    Korva, in Raichur taluk, is a beautiful island surrounded by the Krishna river, about 18 miles (29 km) north-east of Raichur. It is looked upon as a holy place and is popularly known as Naradagadde, where sage Narada is said to have performed penance. A fine road has been laid from Raichur to this place, which has been also electrified.

    It has a temple dedicated to Narada, a famous Veerashaiva Matha, the samadhi of Vairagya Channabasavaswami who lived about four centuries ago and was well known for his mystic wisdom, a Shivayoga Peetha and a Basavanna temple. The annual jatra at this place attracts a large number of people and a cattle fair is also held at the time, when there is a brisk trade especially in blankets, brass vessels, bullocks and carts.


    Just near Naradagadde, there is Koormagadde (Kurumakshetra or Kuravakala) which has a Dattatreya Peetha and the samadhi of Sripadavallabha Swami. It is said to be the original place of Dattatreya. It has a temple dedicated to him, which is visited by devotees from far and near.


    Kotekal, in Manvi taluk, is situated on the Raichur-Lingsugur road, about 11 miles (18 km) from Lingsugur. The village has two hillocks, each having a fort at its top. Along the slopes of these hillocks have been found artifacts, iron-slag and gold-crushers, belonging to the prehistoric period.


    Lingsugur is the headquarters of the taluk and the sub-division of the same name and is a commercial center. Till 1905, it was the headquarters of the Lingsugur district. Neolithic implements like stone axes, hammers, flakes and cores and plain pottery were discovered here.


    Manvi is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name and a centre of developmental activities under the Tungabhadra Project. It has a well-known temple of Jagannathaswami and an old fort now in ruined condition.


    Maski, in Lingsugur taluk, situated 17 miles (27 km) south-east of Lingsugur and 72 miles (116 km) south-west of Raichur, on the right bank of a river of the same name, which is a tributary of the Tungabhadra, is highly interesting from the points of view of prehistory and protohistory. Maski has proved to be one of the most important prehistoric sites in the district. As early as 1888, Bruce Foote, who collected various kinds of Neolithic implements and artifacts, which are now exhibited in the prehistoric section of the Madras museum, visited the place.


    Matmari, in Raichur taluk, is looked upon as a holy place. It has a temple dedicated to Veerabhadra and the well-known Matha of Sri Saviradevaru Channaveera Shivacharya Swami is nearby.


    Mudgal, in Lingsugur taluk, is one of the most important places of historical interest in the district, next in importance only to Raichur. The most important object of interest at Mudgal is the fort. In the construction of the fort at Mudgal, advantage was taken of a hillock on the top of which were built houses of royalty and a wall with bastions. The outer fortifications of Mudgal cover an area of half a square mile. The outer fort has a wide moat, which is filled with water. The width of the moat varies, being as much as 50 yards (46 m) at several places. Behind the moat, there is a scarp with a row of bastions and after that, a narrow covered passage and adjoining it the counter scarp with very massive bastions. From the arrangement of the existing fort, it is apparent that the fort was rebuilt after the inventions of guns. The courses of masonry at several places are of Hindu style, but the arch-shaped parapet is of Muslim design. The moat and the row of bastions together offer a pleasing view.


    The Bala Hisar or citadel is built at the top of the hillock and commands a good view of the interior of the fort as well as of the surround country. The view gives a good idea of the extent of the fort and of the large garrison, which could be accommodated therein. There are several natural depressions in the rock above, which were utilized for storing water. Bastions and walls are built at different points for the defence of the buildings of the Bala Hisar. In the middle also, there is a large bastion, round in form. The hill near this bastion rises in the form of a spur and is detached from the lower parts of the hill by a ravine. There are some natural caverns below the Nauras Burj. The fort is defended towards the south-west by a range of hills. In the western part of the fort is a large cistern called the Hikrani Baoli – about 140 yards (130 m) in length and 40 to 50 yards (46 m) in breadth.


    Mudval, in Lingsugur taluk, is situated at about 12 miles (19 km) from Lingsugur. The village has a stone-wall which shows that it was of considerable importance at some time. This is one of the important pre-historic sites of the district. Artifacts were found on the slopes of the hill about a mile and a half to the west of the village. Gold crushers and iron slags were found in abundance near this place.


    Mukkunda, in Sindhanur taluk, is situated on the bank of the Tungabhadra, nearby a hill, about 20 miles (32 km) from Sindhanur. There is an old and large fort on the top of the hill. At the entrance to the village, there is an old temple of Murari, built of stone. An island in the river has the dargah of Gaddikhader Wali, where an annual urs is held, which attracts a large number of people.


    Ramagadde, in Raichur taluk, about 14 miles (23 km) north of Raichur, is a beautiful island in the Krishna. It is looked upon as a holy place. According to a legend, Sri Ramachandra stayed here for a year and consecrated and worshipped a Shivalinga. It has a Veerashaiva Matha.


    Roudkunda, in Sindhanur taluk, is situated about 6 miles (9.7 km) to the east of Gorebal, the latter being on the Sindhanur-Gangavati road. The place seems to be an ancient one, since it is one of the important Neolithic sites in the district. To the west of the village, there are two hillocks, one of them having a small fort on it belonging to the 16th or 17th century A.D. Artifacts were found in abundance both in the valley between the two hillocks and on the slopes of the hillock having the fort.


    Somalpur, in Sindhanur taluk, about 14 miles (23 km) from Sindhanur, is well known for its Ambadevi temple, situated at the foot of a hill, where annually a fair takes place in the month of Pushya, which is largely attended.


    Malladagudda: Malladagudda is situated about 26 km from Manvi taluka. There are so many caves in Hill also there is Temples called Veerabhadra, Venkateswar & Devi.


    Anegundi, 135 km from Raichur, has some splendid temples from the Vijayanagar era such as the Ranganatha Temple and the Huchchappayana Matha. The Pampa Sarovara, the Kamal Mahal and Nava Brindavana entomb the mortal remains of famous saints.


    The Raichur Thermal Power Station at Shaktinagar in this district provides a large portion of the electricity consumption in Karnataka. Raichur District is one of few places in India where gold resources are present. Hatti Gold Mines are situated in Raichur District, around 90 km away from Raichur city. All the five talukas mentioned above are very well irrigated, with water from the Tungabhadra Dam on the Tungabhadra River, and Narayanpura dam on the Krishna River. Raichur is known for its paddy fields and its rice is of extremely superior quality. Raichur has numerous rice mills which exports high quality rice to different countries . It has also got a good trading market in cotton industry

    Courtesy: Wikipedia