The town Koppal is located in the Koppal district of the State of Karnataka. It was earlier well known as Kopana Nagar and is at a distance of 380 kms from the city, Bangalore. The town is surrounded by hills on three of its sides and has importance in the history of the State.
The place has various Jain temples which make it a sacred and religious place for Jains. It is also known as Jaina Kashi. It has significance for Jains because of the two Ashokan inscriptions that are present in the town, located at Gavimatha and another one at Palkigundu.
The history of the town Koppal is related with the kingdoms of Gangas, Hoysalas, Shathavahans and Chalukya Dynasties. Koppal gained high importance during the Ashoka reign.
Tourist Attractions in and around Koppal
Although a small town, Koppal is famous for its history and tourist attractions. Apart from the locals, a large number of tourists also visit the town for the temples and fort.
Located in Itagi, is a famous Mahadeva Temple built in 1112 A.D. The temple was built by the General of the Western Chalukya king Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI, named Mahadeva. The temple in Koppal is extremely famous for the style of architecture and intricate details. It has a shrine with a hall and an anti-chamber. There is a pillared hall, which has 68 pillars and out of these 68 pillars, 26 are large ones which stand on the floor and form the main support for the roof. While the remaining short pillars surround the hall area.
There are four large columns in the center of the temple. They have rich designs and exquisite carvings. This temple is dedicated to Shiva and has inscriptions saying ‘Emperor among temples’. In addition, there are shrines dedicated to the parents of Mahadeva inside the temple.
The significant Koppal fort, one of the most important attractions in Koppal is located at a height of 400 feet, the fort has historical significance. Although it remains unclear who constructed the fort, but various stories speak about Tipu Sultan, who acquired the fort in 1786 AD and rebuilt it with help and guidance of French engineers. It is one of the strongest forts in the country.
A small town located in the Yelburga taluk, is at a distance of seven miles from Bannikoppa on the Guntakal Hubli railway line. This small town is famous for the Chalukyan style architecture which attracts many tourists throughout the year. There is a collection of temples which reflect the Chalukyan style of architecture and this group is well known as Navalinga group. Apart from the group, there are two important temples named Kalleshwara and Mallikarjuna.
Kalleshwara temple is a perfect example of the architecture of Chalukyan style and the Mallikarjuna temple has been altered as well as rebuilt in recent years. One of the most significant temples from the religious aspects is of Mahamaya; it is situated in the enclosure in which the Navalinga temple is present.
Located at a distance of 13 km from the city of Koppal, is Kinhal. It is famous for the traditional and bright lacquer ware work and is well known for the manufacture of toys and images by Chitragars.
Kanakagiri was earlier known as “Swarnagiri” which means “Hill of God”. It is located at about 40 kms from Koppal on the Gangavathi-Lingasrgur road of Gangavathi taluk. It formed the headquarters during the Mauryan Empire and it is believed that the Saint Kanaka Muni visited the place and performed penance here.
The Kanakachalapati temple is also located here, the temple is an ideal example of the South Indian architecture during the Vijayanagara times, it has spacious halls as well as massive pillars. An annual fair is held here in the Phalguna month which is attended by a large number of local devotees and tourists.
Munirabad is located at a distance of 32 kms from the the town. It is located on the Hubli-Guntakal railway line and is well known for its Tungabhadra reservoir which is constructed across the river Tungabhadra. The huge water area of the river Tungabhadra reservoir is a tourist attraction. Tourists also throng the area for its ornamental garden, Pampa Vana.
How to Reach Koppal
The nearest International Airport in Koppal is Bangalore, which lies at a distance of 380 kms and Belgaum, which is at a distance of 200 kms.
There are regular buses plying between Koppal and Bangalore as well as to other important cities in Karnataka.