Situated at the foothills of the Sahyadri mountain range, Belgaum is the fourth largest city of Karnataka. It derives it name from the Sanskrit word ‘velugrama’ which means ‘bamboo village’..
Belgaum was built in the 12th century AD by the Ratta dynasty. It was ruled by many powerful dynasties including the Rattas, the Yadavas of Devagiri, and the Vijaynagar Empire. Even during those days, it was known to trade in diamonds and wood..
Currently, it is the commercial hub of Karnataka. It is a significant manufacturing centre for heavy machine tools. It is also the foundry hub of Karnataka with 200 foundries that produce more than 70000 tons of automotive and industrial castings. Apart from this, Belgaum is also known for trading in vegetables, fish, wood and mining resources. In fact, The Indian Aluminium Company, Hidalco, was set up here after the discovery of rich deposits of Bauxite..
Belgaum has a cosmopolitan population of about 11 lakh people. Due to its close proximity to two states, you can find a mix of Goans, Maharashtrians and Kannadigas here. As a result, it has a vibrant culture, a true amalgam of customs and traditions. Marathi and Kannada are the main languages of the region..
The climate is pleasant all year around though temperatures dip during December-January. While the monsoons last from July to September, the intensity of rainfall remains medium all through..
Sightseeing in and around Belgaum:.
Belgaum Fort – Built in 1204 by Jaya Raya, an ally of the Ratta Dynasty, this fort underwent several renovations under different rulers. The fort is surrounded by a large moat and has several historical and religious monuments. It bears influences of Hindu, Jain and Muslim architectural styles and houses temples as well as mosques. During India’s struggle for independence, the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned by the British here..
Jamboti Hills – Also known as Zambotim, Jamboti is located 20 kms away from Belgaum. Goa’s longest river, Mandovi has its origins in these hills. The entire are is covered by lush green forests. Jamboti hills are also home to the spectacular Varapoha Falls..
Ramakrishan Ashram – The Govt. of Karnataka gifted the historic building that houses the Ramakrishna Ashram to the Ramakrishna Mission. It also has a magnificent temple of Sri Ramakrishna. The Ashram is engaged in spiritual as well as charitable and welfare activities for the needy and the underprivileged. A must-see if you are seeking a spiritual experience!