Dharwad, mentioned as `Dharawada’ in a record of the 12th century of the Kalyani Chalukyas,is a major town located in the northern part of the state of Karnataka. It is located at a distance of 420 Kms from Bangalore. The city of Dharwad is just east of the famous Western Ghats and is surrounded by hills and lakes. Dharwad is famous for its milk based sweet called the Dharwad Pedha.
The Town had the honor of being crowned as the center of Education even during the British regime. The word Dharwad means a place to rest if your travelling long.The name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘dwarawata’, ‘dwara’ meaning “door” and ‘wata’ or ‘wada’meaning “town”.For centuries, Dharwad acted as a gateway between the Malenaadu (western mountains) and the Bayalu seeme (plains) and it became a resting place for travellers.
The twin cities have a history behind them dating back to the Hoysala period. Dharwad is the administrative capital of the Dharwad district and Hubli serves as the commerce center. Dharwad is a quiet, pleasant, and fast growing city in the northern part of Karnataka. Together with Hubli , which is a city twenty-two kilometers away, Dharwad forms a twin city.
Together with Hubli, it is the second largest city in state of Karnataka. It is also a cultural Headquaters of North Karnataka.
History of Dharwad
Ancient Dharwad was ruled by a host of kingdoms which included the Sevunas, the Vijayanagara rulers, Bijapur rulers, Mughuls, Marathas and Haider and Tipu. The Vijayanagara rulers built a fort here which was strengthened by Bijapur rulers.Chalukyas ruled Dharwad during 12th century. A stone inscription indicates that there was ruler by the name BhaskaraDeva in 1117 AD. Later Dharwad became a part of the Vijayanagara empire.
After then fall of the Vijayanagara empire(1453 AD), Bijapur’s Adil Shah captured Dharwad and built a fort. The fort area was called MannaKille, and later Nazratabad, with this fort the strategic importance of Dharwad increased and it thus became part of everyone’s empire.
This is the district which boasts as the birthplace of Kumaaravyaasa-the great 16th century poet known for his Kannada recreation of the Mahabharata. From time to time the district has been sanctified by a host of saints and godly persons like the Shariff of Shishunaala ( Shishvinahalli of today), Guru GovindaBhat of Kalasa, Naagalingswaamy of Navalgunda, Madivaaleshavara of Garaga and the Siddhaaruudha of Hubli.
Dharwad was the home to the famous freedom fighter and the “Karnataka Kulapurohit”, Sri Alur Venkatrao. It was Sri Alur Venkatrao’s work, ‘Karnataka Gatha Vaibhava’, that mooted the idea of unification of Kannada-speaking areas.
During early 19th century , when British were expanding their kingdom , they faced lot of opposition from local rulers. To mention two of them, Baba Saheb of Naragund and Kittur Rani Chennamma. It is known for its prestigious educational institutions. It houses the Karnataka University, which caters to graduate and research students.
Karnataka College offers educational services to students just out of high school who aspire to make a career either in the arts or the sciences. S.D.M. Engineering college a more recent addition to the list of educational institutions offers education in Engineering. Hubli has an Engineering college (B.V.B College of Engineering and Technology), the Karnataka Medical College and other institutions.
Dharwad is home of Hindustani classical music. Musicians of fame like Mallikarjun Mansur, Gangubai Hangal, Bhimsen Joshi, Basavaraj Rajguru hail from this place. More than a dozen excellent vocalists, instrumentalists and Tabla artists belong to Dharwad.
Tourist Places In Dharwad
Someshwara Temple is one of the notable landmarks in Dharwad. Built in 12th century by Chalukyas, It houses statues of Mahishasuramardini and Chaturbhuja Ganesh (Ganesh/Ganapathi represented with four hands). There is a lot of natural beauty surrounding the temple.The river Shalmala originates near the temple and flows under ground.
Unkal Lake is a beautiful water spot where you can have a wonderful view of the sunset. Here you experience cool breeze blowing in the dusk, where people of all ages relax forgetting their worries. It has green garden, recreational facilities for the children, boating.
Dattatreya Temple dedicated to Lord Dattatreya, is situated at Gandhi Chowk in Dharwad.Regarded as an incarnation of the Hindu trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. Dattatreya is usually depicted with three heads. Large numbers of devotees throng the temple to obtain the blessings of the Lord.
Siddharoodha Math is a prominent religious institution, a centre of Advaita philosophy as preached by Swami Siddharoodha (1837-1929). The latter has a very large number of devotees among all communities, all over Karnataka and also in the neighboring states, Maharashtra and Goa.
Bhavanishankar Temple This Chalukyan Temple with the image of Sri Narayana is flanked by the ten incarnations of God.
Asar Mahal It was built by Mohammed Ali Shah in about 1646 to serve as a hall of justice. The building was also used to house two hairs from the Prophet’s beard. Women are not allowed inside.
Nrupatunga Betta This is a beautiful picnic spot on the Unkal Hill in Hubli. From here you can have a panoramic view of Hubli. The span of the panoramic view extends from Amargol in the North, to the Airport in the West all the way to the Southern parts of Hubli. It is a popular location for morning-walkers and especially in the evenings for the youth of Hubli to spend time. However, the development of real-estate on this hillock is a cause for concern.
Hazarat Sayyed Fateh Shah wali Darga The most famous Darga situated in Old Hubli, its one of the very old and all the community people are visiting and perform their prayers.
Best time to visit: is between August and March.
How to Reach Dharwad
Air: The Airport at Hubli (18 KM) is the nearest airport to Dharwad.
Rail: Hubli being an important railway junction has daily trains running from Bangalore.
Road: National Highway 4 connecting Pune Bangalore passes through Dharwad.There are numerous luxury buses plying everyday from Bangalore.
Where to stay:
- Private hotels and PWD Rest Houses