Origins of the city's name
There are several legends about how Bellary got its name.
One of them is that a few devout travelling merchants halting in Bellary , could not find a Shiva Linga for their worship. They then installed a balla (a measuring cup or seru used to measure grain) upside down as a Shiva Linga and worshiped it. Eventually, that place was turned into a temple dedicated to Balleshwara or Shiva, which got distorted to Malleshwara , and Bellary derives its name from this temple. This temple can still be found in the Fort area of the city, and an annual festival and fair dedicated to Shiva is conducted at the temple premises even today
Another legend is that the city is named after Indra, the king of Gods, who slayed a Rakshasa (demon) named Balla who lived around this place. Balla-ari means 'enemy of Balla' (ari – enemy in Sanskrit). One of the two hills at the heart of the city is called Balahari Betta , and the Malleshwara temple is situated close by.
The third legend derives the city's name from the old Kannada word Vallari and Vallapuri. More »
Places to see
Granite rocks & hills form a prominent feature of Bellary , and granite quarrying is big business. The city is spread mainly around two huge rocky granite hills, the Ballari Gudda and Kumbara Gudda (Gudda - hill in Kannada). These two hills are dominant features of the city, and are visible from every part of the city.
Ballari Gudda has a circumference of nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) and a height of 480 feet (150 m). The length of this rock from north-east to south-west is about 1,150 ft (350 m). To the East and South lies an irregular heap of boulders, but to the West is an unbroken monolith, and the North is walled by bare rugged ridges. This hill is also said to be the world's second largest monolithic hill.
The other hill is called Kumbara Gudda (wikimapia). This hill, when viewed from the south-east looks like the profile of a human face and is also known as Face Hill.
Apart from these two hills, there are a number of other smaller granite hills within the city, the prominent among them being:
The Kaate Gudda opposite the Municipal Junior College , which also houses a water tank & pumping station. This is also nicknamed Kaage Gudda , for its teeming flocks of Crows (Kannada : kaage=crow)
The Eeshwara Gudda , behind the Anaadi Lingeshwara Temple in Parvati Nagar-Shastri Nagar area. This has now been quarried extensively and almost flattened with all loose boulders removed, making way for residential occupation.
The one housing a water tank, adjacent to the Bellary Central Jail
Adjacent to St. John 's High School in the Fort Area
It is also very common to find small boulders and rocks at numerous places within the city.
The Bellary Fort is built on top of the Ballari Gudda or the Fort Hill. The Fort was built round the hill during Vijayanagara times by Hanumappa Nayaka. Hyder Ali, who took possession of the Fort from the Nayaka family in 1769, got the fort renovated and modified with the help of a French Engineer. The lower fort was added by Hyder Ali around the eastern half of the hill. Legend has it that the unfortunate French Engineer was hanged, for overlooking the fact that the neighbouring Kumbara Gudda is taller than Ballari Gudda, thus compromising the secrecy & command of the fort. His grave is believed to be located near the East Gate of the fort, though some locals believe it to be the grave of a Muslim holy man.
The fort was classified as 1st class by the British Administration.
The fort is divided as the Upper Fort and the Lower Fort.
The Upper fort
The Upper fort is a polygonal walled building on the summit, with only one approach, and has no accommodation for a garrison. The upper fort consists of a citadel on the summit of the rock at 1,976 feet (602 m), guarded by three outer lines of fortification, one below the other. It contains several cisterns, excavated in the rock. Outside the turreted rampart are a ditch and covered way. The main turret on the east currently features a huge mural of the Indian Flag facing east . There is only one way up to the fort, which is a winding rocky path amongst the boulders. On the top, outside the citadel is a small temple, the remains of some cells and several deep pools of water. Within the citadel are several strongly constructed buildings, and an ample water supply from reservoirs constructed in the clefts of the rocks. Muzzaffar Khan, the Nawab of Kurnool, was confined here from 1823 to 1864 for the murder of his wife.
The Lower fort
The Lower fort lies at the eastern base of the rock and measures about half a mile in diameter, and probably had an arsenal and barracks. It consists of a surrounding rampart numerous bastions, faced by a deep ditch and glacis. The entrance to the lower fort is via two gates, one each on the western and eastern sides. Just outside the eastern gates of the lower fort is a temple dedicated to Hanuman - the Kote Anjaneya Temple (Kote ( ???? ) - fort in Kannada) (wikimapia). Later additions to the lower fort by the British include the Commissariat stores, the Protestant church, orphanage, Masonic lodge, post-office and numerous private dwellings. Now the lower fort contains a number of public buildings, government offices, schools & educational institutions and churches.
British Colonial Buildings
The following is a list of buildings built during the British Colonial period. Despite many of them having been partially modified, they retain the typical Colonial British style architecture.
Bellary Central Jail
The Wardlaw High School Complex
St. Philomena's School Complex
St. John's School Complex
St. Joseph 's School Complex
The main building of VIMS
This was originally the Allipur Jail during the British rule. Famous personalities of the freedom movement were imprisoned here, such as C.Rajagopalachari, V V Giri and Tekur Subramanyam. This jail was closed in 1958 and the old buildings and entire area of 173 acres (0.70 km2) was converted into the Medical College campus in 1961.
The Government Wellesly TB & Chest Diseases Hospital .
The Tehsildar's Office
The DC's Office
The District and Sessions Court
The Jail Superintendent's Residence
The District Chief Judge's Residence
The DC's Residence
The Residence of Superintendent of Police
The Railway Stations (both City & Cantonment)
Sandur - Places of Interest
This village is situated at a distance of 48 kms from Sandur town.It is famous because of an old temple of Hulikuntaraya (Anjeneyaswamy).
This tank built by Tipu at Daroji village whicj is 48 kms from Sandur town.This tank is said to be one of the biggest tanks in the district.When this tank breached in 1851,the old village of Daroji destroyed under its impact.Susequently a new village was built (new Daroji).
Donimalai Hill Range :
The Donimalai hill range with huge potentiality of iron ore is being exploited by NMDC.This is the first venture of NMDC in the southern region of the country.
Ramanadurga Hill Station:
From Sandur at a distance of 16 kms the said hill station is situated at a height of 3256 feet from the sea level.The hill station provides excellent views into the Sandur valley on one side and over the western taluks on the other side.There is a fort in this village built by prince Kumara Rama of Kampli which ofcourse now in a ruined state.There is one Ramadeva temple which is rebuilt out the remains of an older temple.
Kumaraswamy Temple Complex :
This is 12 kms away from sandur on a hill station.
Vithoba Temple , Maharaja's Palace at Sandur
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Welcome to Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary. Locally known as KARADI, the Sloth Bear (Melursus Ursinus) lives in open scrub forests having outcrop of rocks, tumbled boulders and caves as shelter. Being more of vegetarian, it has choice food habits like consuming fruits, tubers, honey, insects and termites. But if it happens to live near human settlements, will not hesitate to add sugarcane and maize crops to its regular diet. It has a fond taste for Ber fruits and Mahuva (Madhuka latifolia) flowers. In a mischievous mood, a bear will also climb palm trees to steal toddy from collection pots. They usually hunt for food during nights and rest during the mornings, drinking water at least once in a day.
Hampi near Hospet, in Bellary district is a renowned world heritage centre. The unique Sloth Bear sanctuary is situated very close to this heritage site. Situated only 15 kilometers from Hampi, Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in North Karnataka .
Though the sanctuary is relatively new, which began in 1994 in the eastern plains of Karnataka, it has proved to be a suitable habitat for the Indian Sloth Bears in a span of few years.
The rock-strewn hillocks that stretch between Daroji of Sandur taluk and Ramasagar of Hospet Taluk in Bellary district have been the abode of Indian Sloth Bears since ages. In October 1994, the Government of Karnataka declared 5,587.30 hectares of Bilikallu reserve forest as Daroji Bear Sanctuary.
Geographically, it is located between 15o 14' to 15o 17' N latitude and 76o 31' to 76o 40' E longitude. However, at the time of declaration, the forest had nothing but barren stony hillocks and thorny trees. Owing to the arduous efforts of the staff and support of the surrounding villagers, the sanctuary has transformed into a lush green area boasting of a verdant forest with exuberant local species of flora and fauna.
It is estimated that about 120 Sloth Bears are living in this sanctuary, apart from Leopards, Hyena, Jackals, Wild Boars, Porcupine, Pangolins, Star Tortoise, Monitor Lizard, Mongoose, Pea Fowls, Partridges, Painted Spur Hen, Quails etc. About 90 species of birds, and 27 species of butterflies have also been identified in this sanctuary in a preliminary survey.
About Indian Sloth Bear.
There are eight species of Bears in the world. Indian Sloth Bear is confined to India and Sri Lanka only. Its scientific (Zoological) name is Melursus ursimus. It has long, dark unkempt coat of hair with a characteristic v-shaped chevron on its chest.
Fore limbs are longer than the hind limbs. The hairless feet are armed with white, blunt, curved claws, which extend up to three inches. Hairless webs unite the pads of the fingertips. Though the head is comparatively large, the Sloth Bears have relatively small ears and eyes. Hence their sense of hearing and vision is poor. But they have outstanding sense of smell.
Their short-haired, grayish-colored muzzle is extremely flexible and ends in the nose. The nostrils can be closed at will. The lips are extremely loose and two incisor teeth are absent in the upper jaw. All these arrangements are helpful for sucking termites and ants.
Normally, adults attain a length of about six feet and stand three feet at the shoulder. Male adults weigh about 140 kg and female adults about 75 kg. While sommer is their mating period, this is often accompanied by a lot of quarrel and fighting between the males and the females. Usually two to three cubs are born in winter. The newborn cubs are small, hairless and blind for three weeks. The mother rears the cubs for two to three years. The life span of Bears is 40 to 50 years. The Sloth Bears are nocturnal animals.
Visiting hours of the sanctuary is between 6.00 A M and 6.00 P M on all days. To watch the Bears one must be in the watch-tower on a hillock and sit quietly to look at the Bears descending from the opposite Karadikallu Gudda. This hillock has hundreds of caves where the Bears take shelter.
For the travel enthusiasts, who nurture plans to visit this sanctuary, it is advisable to wear natural dark colored clothes. Avoid white and light colored garments. Arm yourself with binoculars and cameras. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between August and April.
By Road: Bangalore to Chitradurga (199 kms) on NH-4, then to Hospet (135 Kms) on NH-13. And then to Kamalapura (12 Kms)-which is 10 Kms from the Sanctuary. By Rail: Nearest railway station is Hospet where trains from Bangalore and Hubli are accessible.
Forest Guest House, Kamalapur and Gunda Forest Guest House, Vyasanakere near Hospet.
HPC guest house, HPC, Kamalapura.
PWD guest house Kamalapura.
KSTDC's Mayur Bhuvaneshwari, Kamalapura.
"Vaikuntha" TB board guesthouse Hospet.
Mallige Tourist Home, Bellary road, Hospet-583 201. Ph: +91-8394-228101 to 16.
Priyadarshini Lodge, station road, Hospet. Ph: +91-8394-228838, 228096, 227313, Fax : +91-0894-224709
For more details contact:
The Range Forest Officer, Daroji Bear Sanctuary, Vidyaranya.583 2 76 (Kamalapura), Hospet taluk, Bellary district. Karnataka , INDIA Phone +91-8394-242869.
The Assistant Conservator of Forests, Wildlife sub-division, Ranebennur-581 115 Haveri dist Karnataka. INDIA .
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Aranya Bhavan, Bangalore-580 003. Ph: +91-80-23345846.
Amidst an awesome boulder-strewn landscape along the banks of the Tungabhadra river, Hampi was one of the glittering showpieces of India 's might in the 15th century. There were opulent palaces, marvellous temples, massive fortifications, baths, markets, pavilions and stables for royal elephants. The city's merchants traded in diamonds, pearls, fine silks, brocades, horses and much more. More »
Road :- The main inter-city bus station is located just outside the city, in the now empty Nalla Cheruvu (Telugu - Black Lake or Tank) basin. This is a new improvement over the cramped older bus stand located near Gadigi Chennappa Circle . The old bus stand still serves private and state owned buses connecting rural locations.
An excellent truck stationing facility, located in the Nalla Cheruvu basin, serves lorries and hauliers.
Railway :- Two railway stations serve the city, both built during the British rule - The city station (Bellary Junction) and the Cantonment station (Cantonment). The city is served by the Hubli-Guntakal line and the extended Bellary-Rayadurgam-Chitradurga line and falls under the jurisdiction of South Western Railway. Bellary is well connected by Rail to Bengaluru, Raichuru, Anantapuram,Hindupuram,Tirupati, Hubballi, Guntakallu, Vijayawada , Howrah etc. Guntakallu is an important junction near Bellary from where trains to Delhi , Chennai, Mumbai and to most of the places in India are available.
The following is the list of trains available from Bellary :
584 (SBC Fast Passenger) Hosapete-Bengaluru
7228 (VSG BZA Express) Vasco da Gama- Vijayawada
251 (JRU-GTL Passenger) Chikkajajuru-Guntakallu
6591 (Hampi Express) Hubballi-Bengaluru
303 (Hubli Passenger) Gunturu-Hubballi
7416 (Haripriya Express) Kolhapur-Tirupati
8048 (Amaravathi Express) Vasco da Dama- Howrah
Air :- The civilian Bellary Airport , located at the far end of the Cantonment area, used to have infrequent flight links to Bangalore run by the state owned Vayudoot. After many years, this airport has come to life again, with frequent Air Deccan flights linking Bangalore and Goa .
An Air strip is located at the Jindal Vijayanagar Steels complex, Toranagallu in Sandur Taluk, 40 kilometres from Bellary . Bangalore based Charter airline, Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd (TAAL), operate sightseeing charter flights to Hampi and Mysore since October 2002.
Intra-city :- The intra-city transport network is serviced by city buses connecting important points within the city, albeit over the city's appalling roads.
The city is also served by private but unregulated auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.
|When to go:-
||KSTDC (bookings and info) Badami House, NR Square, Bangalore Tel: 080-2275869, Fax: 2352626 Email: email@example.com
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