Belgaum ( Karnataka , South India)
Belgaum is the gateway to Karnataka from Mumbai and Goa. Belgaum is a major tourist destination of South India, particularly Karnataka. It is a charming blend of the old and new. The fort of Belgaum is in the heart of the city having the shrines of Ganapati and Durga. There are two Jain Basadis built in late Chalukyan style. Kamala Basadi, built in 1204 AD is an important monument. Two ancient mosques-the Safa Masjid and Jama Masjid are located here. Outside this fort are a few temples- Kapileshwara, Ananthashayana, Maruthi and Military Mahadeva. Belgaum was once the capital of the Rattas. Other than these monuments, there are many other places of touristic interest around Belgaum.
Devagaum: Devagaum, 42 kms from Belgaum, is home to temples of Mahalakshmi and Kamala Narayana, built by the Kadambas. Kadamba was a famous ruling Brahmin dynasty of ancient Karnataka.
Gokak Falls: Gokak falls are 60 kms away from Belgaum. The river Ghataprabha takes a leap here over a rocky bed into a ravine 60 metres deep. It has excellent natural scenery and the beautiful garden maintained by the Gokak Mills. A famous sweet preparation of Gokak is Karadhant which is very popular even outside the country.
Kittur, situated 40 kms from Belgaum, has been an historical place. It has continuous and glorious historical past of thousands of years. Rani Chennamma made history from this place fighting against the British even before the First Freedom Struggle of India against the British in 1857. Remnants of the mud fort and ruins of Desai palaces stand as silent witnesses to the ancient glory of the place.
Savadatti: Situated about 70 kms from Belgaum, Savadatti is a popular place of pilgrimage in Karnataka, having the ancient temple dedicated to Yellamma Devi. The temple is constructed in Dravidian style but the original shrine belongs to Jain school. There are three sacred ponds near the temple whose waters are believed to have curative properties. Renuka Devi is considered here as a Shakti Deity and worshipped as Yellamma Devi. The annual fair during Chaitra (February) attracts lacs of pilgrims and visitors.
How to reach Belgaum:
Belgaum is connected by air, rail and road with many places of the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. State buses and private vans operate to all the places regularly. City bus service, auto-rickshaws and tongas are available to visit local places. Reasonably good lodging facilities are available for overnight stay in all the places.