North Karnataka

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North Karnataka
Distance from major cities to North Karnataka.jpg
Coordinates: 16°N 76°E / 16°N 76°E / 16; 76Coordinates: 16°N 76°E / 16°N 76°E / 16; 76
Country India
Belagavi DivisionBagalkot district,
Bijapur district,
Gadag district,
Dharwad district,
Haveri district ,
Belagavi district,
Uttara Kannada district
Gulbarga divisionBellary district,
Bidar district,
Gulbarga district,
Koppal district,
Raichur district,
Vijayanagar district
Yadgir district
 • TypeZilla Panchayat
 • Total88,361 km2 (34,116 sq mi)
 • Rank1st:Karnataka
500 m (1,600 ft)
 • Total24,571,229
 • Rank2nd:Karnataka
 • Density280/km2 (720/sq mi)
 • OfficialKannada
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registrationKA
Largest CityHubli[1]
Sex ratio960 /

North Karnataka (officialy known as Karu Nadu) is a geographical region in Deccan plateau from 300 to 730 metres (980 to 2,400 ft) elevation that constitutes the region of the Karnataka state in India. It is drained by the Krishna River and its tributaries the Bhima, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, and Tungabhadra. North Karnataka lies within the Deccan thorn scrub forests ecoregion, which extends north into eastern Maharashtra. Most parts of the region has black fertile soil ideal for agriculture.

Map of North Karnataka

It includes the districts of Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Bidar, Bellary, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur, Gadag, Dharwad, Haveri, Koppal and Vijayanagar District

Major cities and towns in the region are Bagalkot, Belagavi, Bellary, Bidar, Vijayapura, Dharwad, Gadag, Gangavati, Gokak, Gulbarga, Haveri, Hospet, Ilkal, Karwar, Koppal, Raichur, Sindhanur, Hubli, Ranebennur, Yadgir. The region is a mixture of Tropical savanna climate and Semi-arid climate. The region experiences moderate to heavy rainfall during rainy season that stretches from June to September. Summers are hot with sparse rains and temperature typically varying from 22 °C to 39 °C. Temperature may reach up to 44 °C in the eastern parts of the region especially in Raichur and Bellary districts. Winters are generally dry and cool with temperature typically varying from 8 °C to 25 °C. The lowest recorded temperature in entire Karnataka was 2.8 °C (37.04 °F) at Bidar on 16 December 1918. Belgaum district is quite big and the western parts of district which are adjacent to Uttara Kannada district, like Londa, Karnataka and Khanapur, have an almost highland Tropical climate. The stretch from Londa to Alnavar has some of the most dense jungles on the Western coastal belt of India.[citation needed] They are part of the Western Ghats and their foothills which are now protected under National Wildlife laws.

Certain parts of the region are well irrigated by many largest multipurpose projects like Upper Krishna Irrigation Project that includes Basava Sagara and Almatti Dams, Tungabhadra Dam and many major and minor lift irrigation projects.

Notable difference from the regions of Old Mysore, Coastal Karnataka and Central Karnataka in terms of language, cuisine and culture, the region is well known for its contributions to the literature, arts, architecture, economy and politics of Karnataka.



  • All the major cities of north Karnataka are connected by rail network.
  • Hubli is a main junction and the headquarter of South Western Railway (SWR).



Airports in the region are

Airlines and destinations

Alliance Air Bangalore, Pune
SpiceJetBangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Mangalore, Jabalpur
Star AirBangalore, Ahmedabad, Mumbai
Trujet Mysore (begins 27 October)

Belgaum Airport (IATA: IXG, ICAO: VOBM) is an airport in Belgaum, a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. Built in 1942 by the Royal Air Force (RAF), Belgaum Airport is the oldest airport in North Karnataka. The RAF used the airport as a training site during World War II, providing support to the South East Asia Command. Because of its location in the village of Sambra, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Belgaum, the airport is also known as the Sambra airport. The new terminal building was inaugurated by Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on 14 September 2017.[2] The airport is also home to an Indian Air Force station at which new recruits to the military receive basic training.

Hubli Airport (IATA: HBX, ICAO: VOHB), also known as Hubballi Airport is a domestic airport serving the twin cities of Hubli and Dharwad in the state of Karnataka, India. It is situated on Gokul Road, 8 kilometres from Hubli and 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Dharwad. Since 2018, it has become the third busiest airport in Karnataka. The airline from Hubli is well connected with Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. Hubli airport will be upgraded to international airport. Around 700 acres of land acquisition is under process and 245 crores have been already released for acquisition.[3][better source needed]

History of North Karnataka

Prehistoric period

North Karnataka's history[4][5] and culture date back to prehistoric times. The earliest Stone Age find in India was a hand ax at Lingasugur, in Raichur district. Sangankal Hills in the Bellary district, which is known as the earliest village settlement of South India,[6] dates back to the Neolithic period. Iron weapons from 1200 BC, found at Hallur in Dharwad district, demonstrate that North Karnataka used iron earlier than northern India.[7] Prehistoric sites in North Karnataka include rock shelters in Bellary, Raichur and Koppal districts with red paintings[8] which include figures of wild animals. The paintings are done in such a way that the walls of caves are not facing northwest, so the northwest monsoon does not affect them. These rock shelters are found at Kurgod, Hampi in Bellary district and Hire Benakal, near Gangavati in the Koppal district. Burial chambers using granite slabs (known as dolmens) are also found; the best examples are the dolmens of Hire Benakal and Kumati in Hadagali Taluk.

Vibhuthihalli at Shahapur Taluk in the Yadgir district, an Archaeological Survey of India ancient astronomy site, was created with megalithic stones. The stones, arranged in a square pattern with astronomical significance,[9] cover an area of 12 acres (4.9 ha). Ashoka's stone edicts, found in the state, indicate that major parts of Northern Karnataka were under the Mauryas. Many dynasties left their imprint upon the development of North Karnatakan art, among them the Chalukyas, the Vijayanagara Empire and the Western Chalukyas. The inscriptions related to Chutu dynasty are the oldest documents found in North Karnataka.

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Map of Badami Chalukya empire around 700 AD
Extent of the Badami Chalukya Empire, 636–740 CE

Chalukya rule is important in the development of architecture known as Karnata Dravida. Hundreds of monuments built by the Chalukyas are found in the Malaprabha river basin (mainly in Aihole, Badami, Pattadakal and Mahakuta, in Karnataka). They ruled an empire extending from the Kaveri in the south to the Narmada in the north. The Badami Chalukya dynasty was established by Pulakeshin I in 543; Vatapi (Badami) was the capital.[11] Pulakeshin II was a popular emperor of the Badami Chalukya dynasty. He defeated Harshavardhana on the banks of the Narmada river, and defeated Vishnukundins in the south. Vikramaditya I, known as Rajamalla and for building temples, engraved a Kannada inscription on the victory pillar at the Kailasanatha Temple. Kirtivarman II was the last Badami Chalukya king, overthrown in 753 by the Rashtrakuta King Dantidurga.

Map of Western Chalukya empire in the 12th century AD
Extent of the Western Chalukya Empire, 1121 CE

The Western Chalukya dynasty is sometimes called the Kalyani Chalukyas, after its regal capital at Kalyani (today's Basavakalyan in Karnataka) or the Later Chalukya from its theoretical relationship to the sixth-century Badami Chalukyas. The Western Chalukyas (Kannada: ಪಶ್ಚಿಮ ಚಾಲುಕ್ಯ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯ) developed an architectural style (also called Gadag style) known today as a transitional style, an architectural link between the early Chalukya Dynasty[12] and the later Hoysala empire. The Chalukyas built some of the earliest Hindu temples in India. The best-known examples are the Mahadeva Temple (Itagi) in the Koppal District; the Kasivisvesvara Temple at Lakkundi in the Gadag District and the Mallikarjuna Temple at Kuruvatti and the Kallesvara Temple at Bagali, both in the Davangere District. Monuments notable for craftsmanship are the Siddhesvara Temple at Haveri in the Haveri District, the Amrutesvara Temple at Annigeri in the Dharwad District, the Sarasvati Temple in Gadag, and the Dodda Basappa Temple at Dambal (both in the Gadag district). Aihole was an experimental base for architectural creation.

Badami Chalukyas and Kalyana chalukyas also known as (Kuntaleshvaras).


Map of Kadamba Empire in 500 AD
Extent of Kadamba Empire, 500 CE

The Kadambas (Kannada: ಕದಂಬರು) were an ancient dynasty of South India who primarily ruled the region which is the present-day Goa state and the nearby Konkan region (part of modern Maharashtra and Karnataka state). The early rulers of this dynasty established themselves at Vaijayanti (or Banavasi) in 345 AD and ruled for more than two centuries. In 607, the Chalukyas of Vatapi sacked Banavasi, and the Kadamba kingdom was incorporated into the expanding Chalukyan empire. In the eighth century, the Chalukyas were overthrown by the Rashtrakutas, who ruled until the 10th century. In 980, descendants of the Chalukyas and Kadambas revolted against the Rashtrakutas; the Rashtrakuta empire fell, resulting in the establishment of a second Chalukyan dynasty (known as the Western Chalukyas). Chatta Deva, a member of the Kadamba family who helped the Western Chalukyas in this coup, re-established the Kadamba dynasty. He was primarily a vassal of the Western Chalukyas, but his successors enjoyed considerable independence and were well-placed in Goa and Konkan until the 14th century. The successors of Chatta Deva occupied both Banavasi and Hangal, and are known as the Kadambas of Hangal. Later, the Kadambas paid nominal allegiance to the other major powers of the Deccan Plateau (such as the Yadavas and Hoysalas of Dorasamudra) and maintained their independence. Four families of Kadambas ruled in southern India: the Kadamba of Hangal, Goa, Belur and Banvasi.[13]


Map of eighth-century Rashrakuta empire
Rashtrakuta empire of Manyakheta (Malkhed, in Gulbarga district), eighth century

During the rule of Dantidurga, an empire was built with the Gulbarga region in modern Karnataka as its base. This clan came to be known as the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta (Kannada: ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಕೂಟ), who rose to power in 753.[14][15] During their rule, Jain mathematicians and scholars contributed important works in Kannada and Sanskrit. Amoghavarsha I was the best-known king of this dynasty and wrote Kavirajamarga, a landmark Kannada work. Architecture reached a high-water mark in the Dravidian style, the best examples of which are seen in the Kailash Temple at Ellora, the sculptures of Elephanta Caves in modern-day Maharashtra and the Kashivishvanatha and the Jain Narayana Temples at Pattadakal in modern North Karnataka (all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Scholars agree that the kings of the imperial dynasty in the eighth to tenth century made the Kannada language as important as Sanskrit. Rashtrakuta inscriptions appear in both Kannada and Sanskrit, and the kings encouraged literature in both languages. The earliest existing Kannada literary writings are credited to their court poets and royalty. Kailash Temple is an example of Dravidian art. This project was started by Krishna I (757–773) of the Rashtrakuta dynasty which ruled from Manyakheta in modern Karnataka. It is located 40 km from the city of Manyakheta (modern Malkhed), on the banks of the Kagini River in Gulbarga district.

Carnatic expansion

Vijayanagara empire

Vijayanagara[16][17] (Karnata Empire, or Karnataka Empire) is considered the greatest medieval Hindu empire and one of the greatest in the world at that time. It fostered the development of intellectual pursuits and the fine arts. Abdur Razzaq (the Persian ambassador) said, "The eye of the pupil has never seen a place like it and the ear of intelligence has never been informed that there existed anything to equal it in the world".

Deccan Sultanates

The Vijayanagara Empire, with its capital at Hampi, fell victim to the army of the Deccan Sultanates[18] in 1565. As a consequence of this, Bijapur became the most important city of the region. It is a land of monuments; perhaps no other city except Delhi has as many monuments as Bijapur. Bahmani Shahis and Adil Shahis (Bahmani Sultanate) of Bijapur have played an important role in the history of Karnataka with their contributions to art and architecture and their propagation of Islam in the state. The Bidar Sultanate was part of the Deccan sultanates, which were founded by Qasim Barid.

Minor dynasties

Other kingdoms


Old inscriptions on green stone
Seventh-century Kannada inscription at Mahakuta (Mahakutesvara temple)

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North Karnataka historical sites

Template:Historical Places in North Karnataka

Princely states

The following are the princely states of British India:


Historic capitals

Architectural styles

Brown, one-story temple porch with pillars
Trikuteshwara temple complex at Gadag-Betageri, North Karnataka

North Karnataka has contributed to various styles of Indian Architecture during the rule of the Kadamba, Badami Chalukyas, Western Chalukya, Rashtrakuta and Vijayanagara empires:

History of Kannada language

Kannada is one of the oldest Dravidian languages, with an age of at least 2,000 years. The spoken language is said to have separated from its proto-Dravidian source later than Tamil, and at about the same time as Tulu. However, the archaeological evidence indicates a written tradition for this language of around 1,500–1,600 years. The initial development of Kannada is similar to that of other Dravidian languages and independent of Sanskrit. In later centuries, Kannada has been greatly influenced by Sanskrit in vocabulary, grammar and literary style.

As for the Dravidian race, the Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary lists for the Sanskrit word draviḍa a meaning of a "collective name for Karnatakas, Gurjaras, Kannadigas and Mahārāstras".[19] North Karnataka has its own dialect of Kannada.

Unification of Karnataka

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In Kannada utsava means "festival". The following are festivals celebrated in North Karnataka sponsored by Govt of Karnataka


Aerial photo of triangular temple and surrounding buildings
Hampi, in Bellary district
Temples of North Karnataka

The temples of North Karnataka may be categorised as historical or modern.

World Heritage Sites
National park and sanctuaries in North Karnataka

Utsav Rock Garden is a sculptural Garden located near NH-4 Pune-Bangalore road, Gotagodi Village, Shiggaon Taluk, Haveri District, Karnataka. Utsav Rock Garden is an sculptural garden representing contemporary art and rural culture. A typical village is created where men and women are involved in their daily household activities. A unique picnic spot which delights common people, educated and intellectuals. There are more than 1000 sculptures in the garden of different sizes. It is an anthropological museum. It represents traditional farming, crafts, folklore, cattle herding and sheep rearing.

Notable people of North Karnataka

Universities and other educational institutions

Template:Related article Janapada University

Hindustani Music

North Karnataka has produced many Hindustani classical musicians of repute. The golden era of Hindustani music in North Karnataka began with the rise to fame of five vocalists: Mallikarjun Mansur, Gangubai Hangal, Kumar Gandharva, Bhimsen Joshi and Basavaraj Rajguru. These five not only contributed to Hindustani classical music, but also left behind a large number of students.

Musicians from Karnataka



Arts and crafts

Folk dances

  • Dollu Kunitha is a drum dance. The large drums are decorated with coloured cloth, and slung around the necks of men. The dances are accompanied by songs of religious praise or war.
  • Veeragase is a folk dance, a symbolic presentation of the heroism and valour of the god Veerabahadhra. Its exponents are called Lingadevaru; they perform the dance with religious fervour at festival time, especially during the months of Shravana and Kartika.
  • Nandikolu kunitha is an art form of male devotees of Lord Siva. The Nandi pole is about 18 cubits long, each cubit representing a dharma. The length of the pole is fitted with brass pots and plates, and an ornate silver or brass umbrella at the top with a silk tassel (which is the flag). The performer (on a sling) balances the pole; this requires skill and strength. The sight of the devotee's inspired dance, to the background beat and the resulting symphony of sounds from the pots and plates on the pole, is impressive.
  • Jodu halige are percussion instruments used by two artists to produce rhythmic notes of energy and power. Their movements along the stage (expressive of their physical energy) harmonise with the notes produced by the instrument. The Haligi (wood), circular in shape, is made of buffalo hide, and a short stick is used on it. The notes, combined with the bodily movement, are pleasing to an audience.
  • Lambani nruthya Lambani women, dressed colourfully, move in a circle with clapping and singing. This dance is uncommon, and performed primarily for important festivals.
  • Veerabhadra kunitha depicts the story of Veerabhadra, the legendary minor god created by Lord Shiva to teach a lesson to his father-in-law Daksha. Veerabhadra goes to the place of the yajna and disrupts the ceremony.


Garag, a small town located 15 km north of Dharwad, was the sole producer of the national flag and the hand-woven khadi for its manufacture. Hubballi Siree produces both silk and cotton sarees, worn by most villagers in North Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra. The fabric is primarily woven in Gadag-Betigeri. Bellary has approximately 4,800 families employed in the textile industry. Belagavi Saree also known as "Shahpur Saree" is also famous in North Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.[citation needed] Rabakavi-Banahatti, the twin cities which is also one of the taluqs of Bagalkot district, is most famous in cotton sarees especially Jakhads and Combed sarees. Ilkal sarees is most famous and Traditional sarees.[citation needed] These sarees are famous in Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala,[citation needed] where they are worn in most of the ethnic occasions and also they may be seen in most of the Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Marathi serials. The famous textiles in Rabakavi-Banahatti are Padmavati Sarees, Sinchana Sarees, Bharati Sarees and Vijayalakshmi Sarees.[citation needed]

Natural resources

The Hutti Gold Mine is the only gold-extraction company in India. It operates in Hatti, an ancient gold- mining area about 70 km from Raichur. Tourism is also permitted inside the mine.[24] The Gadag, Koppal and Bellary districts are rich in manganese, gold and iron ore.kalaburagi district is rich in lime


Gokak karadant
Staple vegetarian meal of Karnataka Jolada rotti, Palya, and anna-saaru.
Dharwad Pedha

Northern Karnataka cuisine may be primarily found in the districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Belgaum, Raichur, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Koppal and parts of Bellary. Wheat and jowar rottis (unleavened bread made with millet) are common.[citation needed]

The following are typical items in a vegetarian Northern Karnataka meal:

Festivals and associated foods

  • Sankranti (January – harvest festival): Madeli, holige of gingelly seeds, Bengal gram dal and ground nut; jowar roti, bajra roti, bharta, chutney powders of Niger, linseed and ground nut
  • Shivarathri (February/March - eaten after a day's fast): Godhi huggi, aLLiTTu, Bengal gram usali, moth bean usali and holige
  • Holi (March - destruction of evil): holige, jowar wade, pumpkin gargi (some groups prepare a nonvegetarian curry)
  • Ugadi (April/May - Kannadiga new year): holige, karigadabu, vermicelli payasa, bevu bella and godhi huggi
  • Basava Jayanthi (May - birthday of Basava): holige, karigadabu and mango sihikarane
  • Karahunnive (June - bullock-worship): holige, karigadabu, jowar wade, pumpkin gargi, kodabale and mango sihikarane.
  • Mannettina Amavasye (June - clay-bullock worship): karigadabu, holige, jowar wade, sajjaka, pumpkin gargi and vermicelli payasa
  • Naga Panchami (July - cobra-worship): laddu of semolina, bunde, besan, sev, groundnuts, gingelly seeds, gulladki, puffed jowar, kuchagadabu, aLLiTTu, Bengal gram usali, moth bean usali, bajra and jowar rotis
  • Ganesh Chaturthi (August - Ganesha-worship): godhi huggi, holige, modaka, vermicelli payasa, sajjaka, mesta bhaji,beaten rice with curd, panchakajjaya, karigadabu and gudagana huggi
  • Dasara/Mahanavami (September - Durgaunnive (October - farmers' festival, worship of standing crop): foxtail millet holige, chakli, akki huggi, kodabale, holige, karigadabu, undigadabu, kuchchida khara, bhaji of capsicum, cluster beans, pumpkin; chutney powders of Niger, linseed and ground nut (some communities prepare a nonvegetarian curry)
  • Deepavali (October - Lakshmi puja): holige, karigadabu, karachikayi, laddu of semolina, besan and sajjakada holige[25]




The followers of Basavanna and Panchacharyas who worship god through "istalinga". Lingayats constitute the majority population of this portion of the state.Lingayatism is a sect of Hinduism and worship Shiva in the form of Linga.


Varna (class) in Hinduism specialising as priests, teachers (Acharyaru) and protectors of sacred learning across generations are known as Brahmanaru.


Buddhism in North Karnataka dates from the third to the first centuries BC. Sannati and Kanaganahalli are two important excavation sites, and there is a Tibetan Buddhist colony at Mundgod.



Banjara's are the followers of Banjara.

See also

External links


  1. "Cities having population 1 lakh and above, Census 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  2. "Upgraded Belgaum airport inaugurated". Business Standard. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  3. [1]. Hubli airport to be upgraded to international.
  4. "Handbook of Karnataka, History". Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  5. "The Chalukyan magnificence". Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  6. "Ambitious plan for South India's oldest village". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 18 February 2009. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  7. "History of Karnataka". Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  8. "Granite in The Service of Man - Through The Ages". Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  9. "ASI begins work to protect ancient monument". The Times of India. 20 January 2011. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  10. "Kuras of Kolhapur and Belgaum, Vasisthiputra Kura". Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  11. "Chalukyas of Badami". Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  12. "Chalukya Dynasty". Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  13. "Kadamabas of Hangal". Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  14. "Kamat's Potpourri: The Rashrakutas". Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  15. " History of Karnataka: The Rashtrakutas". Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  16. " History of Karnataka: Vijayanagar Empire". Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  17. "History of Vijayanagara". Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  18. "Islamic Art of the Deccan". Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  19. "Dravidian languages, Kannada". Archived from the original on 10 August 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  20. "Group of Monuments at Hampi - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  21. "Group of Monuments at Pattadakal - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  22. "IIIT Hubli". Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  23. "Wooden Toys of Gokak, Karnataka | The Craft and Artisans". Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  24. "Striking it rich: Hutti gold mines on expansion spree". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 28 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
  25. "Major festivals and associated traditional foods" (PDF). Retrieved 25 August 2008.