Gadag, a district that lies in North Karnataka, was separated from Dharwad district in the year 1994. Gadag city is the district headquarters, and Gadag and its sister city Betagiri have a common city council. The twin cities are located 80 KM from Dharwad and 60 KM from Hubli.
History and Overview of Gadag
In ancient times, Gadag was known as Kritapuri, after a sage named Kritu. This sage, with the help of Lord Veeranarayana, is said to have vanquished a demon that was causing terror in this region. It is said that the sage requested Lord Veeranarayana to stay on here and he agreed, and so the Veeranarayana Temple came into being.
Gadag then evolved into a center of Western Chalukyan architecture. Records show that this place was probably known as Belvola-300 or Belvolanadu. The suffix 300 is said to indicate the number of villages in this province. Gadag has been ruled at different stages by the Banas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, and Hoysalas. There are many famous temples here built by these different dynasties, the main style of these temples is Western or Kalyani Chalukyan.
During the reign of Aurangzeb, Gadag was conquered by the Mughals, and it was during this period that the famous Jumma Masjid was built. It is said that 600 people can worship simultaneously in this big mosque. Gadag has also had a strong Jain presence over the centuries and there are many Jain Basadis here.
Historic Personalities of Gadag
Gadag has been and is home to many great and famous individuals. The immediate association that Gadag would have for Kannadigas would be the poet Narayanappa, better known as Kumaravyasa. He wrote the popular Kannada version of the Mahabharatha, sitting in front of the image of Lord Veeranarayana in the Veeranarayana Temple.
Other notable personalities are the poet Chamarasa, who wrote Prabhulinglile, and the famous poet and Nationalist, Narayana Rao Huilgol. But the most recognized name among all these illustrious personalities of the modern era would be that of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, who was born in Gadag.
Places to Visit in Gadag
Gadag was a major center of Chalukyan architecture and it has many beautiful temples and Jain Basadis. The famous Jumma Masjid is also a popular tourist attraction. Some of the main attractions are:
- The Trikuteshwara Temple This lovely example of Early Chalukyan architecture is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has three Shivalingas representing the Trimurthis, and an exclusive shrine for Goddess Saraswathi.
- The Veeranarayana Temple This beautiful temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is believed that it was in this temple that the Kannada Poet Kumaravyasa composed his Kannada Version of the Mahabharatha.
- LakkundiLakkundi, 18 Km from Gadag, has many beautiful temples of Chalukyan construction and ancient Jain Basadis. Lakkundi is also famous for the Pushkarini – a stepped well.
Dambal houses the famous Doddabasappa Temple, Gajendragad has a Shivaji Fort and the Kalakaleshwara Temple in Naregal has the biggest Jain Temple constructed by the Rashtrakutas, now called the Narayana Temple.
There are many other famous temples and monuments in other nearby places like Harti, Kotumachagi, Hombal, Venkatapura, Beladhadi, Ron and Kurtakoti. For nature lovers, there is the Magadi Bird Sanctuary, which lies 26 KM from Gadag.
Gadag faces hot and humid summers and the region experiences heavy rains during the monsoon. The weather can get very hot during summer, and so, this is not a good time to visit the city. Winter is the best time to visit Gadag, between the months of October to February.
How To Reach Gadag From Bangalore
Bangalore is located at a distance of 420 KM from Gadag. Regular bus services connect the two cities and there are six trains from Bangalore to Gadag, five of them that start from Yeshwantpur Junction and one, Hampi Express, which starts from Bangalore City Junction.
Gadag and its neighboring regions are architectural centers of the several dynasties that ruled Karnataka over the centuries. This makes it an ideal tourist and pilgrimage attraction.
- Forts in Gadag
- Amruteshwara Temple
- Brahma Jinalaya
- Doddabasappa Temple
- Kalakeshwara Temple
- Kasivisvesvara Temple
- Magadi Bird Sanctuary
- Mahadeva Temple
- Nanneshwara Temple
- Navalinga Temple
- Someshwara Temple
- Trikuteshwara Temple
- Veeranarayana Temple
- Venkateshwara Temple
- Temples in Karnataka
- Explore Karnataka