Belgaum Knowledge Guide


Belgaum was founded in late 12th century AD by the Ratta dynasty, who shifted from nearby Saundatti. A Ratta official called Bichiraja built a Jain temple dedicated to Neminatha in 1204, which came to be called Kamalabasti. Pillars found inside Belgaum fort have Kannada inscriptions in Nagari scripts, one from 1199 by Ratta King Kartaveerya IV. The city original name was Venugrama, a Sanskrit word which means "village of bamboo". Alternatively, it is referred to as Venupura in early Indian texts, which means "city of bamboo".Belgaum became a part of the Yadava dynasty kingdom (Sevunas) in early 13th century. An inscription from 1261 of King Krishna belonging to the Yadava dynasty attests to this. The region was invaded by Khalji dynasty of Delhi Sultanate in 14th century. Shortly thereafter, the Vijayanagara Empire was founded, and Belgaum came under the rule of Vijayanagara. In 1474, the Bahmani Sultanate conquered Belgaum with an army led by Mahamood Gawan.The Belgaum fort was strengthened by the Adil Shah dynasty Sultans and they built the Safa Mosque. A Persian inscription states that the mosque was built by Asad Khan, a Bijapur Commander. In 1518, the Bahamani sultanate splintered into five small states and Belgaum became part of the Bijapur Sultanate. The Adilshahis extended their control to the port of Goa, but retreated after the arrival and wars with the Portuguese. In 1686, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb overthrew the Bijapur sultanate and Belgaum passed nominally to the Mughals, who called it "Azamnagar". However, the Mughal empire control collapsed after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. The Maratha confederacy took control of the area during the rule of the Peshwas. In 1776, the region was overrun by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan after Hyder Ali's coup in the Kingdom of Mysore. The Peshwa regained Belgaum, after Tipu Sultan was defeated by the British forces. In 1818, the British annexed Belgaum and the region in the control of the Peshwa. Kitturu Chennamma (1778–1829) was the queen of the princely state of Kittur in Karnataka and in 1824 she led an unsuccessful armed rebellion against the British in response to the Doctrine of lapse. Belgaum was chosen as the venue of the 39th session of the Indian National Congress in December 1924 under the presidency of Mahatma Gandhiji. The city served as a major military installation for the British Raj, primarily due to its proximity to Goa, which was then a Portuguese territory. Once the British left India, the Indian government continued and still continues to have armed forces installations in Belgaum. In 1961, the Indian government, under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, used forces from Belgaum to end Portuguese rule of Goa. When India became independent in 1947, Belgaum and its district were part of Bombay State. In 1956, the Indian states were reorganised along linguistic lines by the States Reorganisation Act and Belgaum District (except Chandgad Taluk) was transferred to Mysore State, which was renamed Karnataka in 1972. In 2006, the Government of Karnataka announced that Belgaum would be made the state's second capital, and that the city would be a permanent venue for the annual 15-day session of the state legislature.



Belgaum is connected by road via national highways 4 (connecting Maharashtra (now part of the Golden Quadrilateral), Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) and 4A (connecting Karnataka and Goa). North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) run buses to all corners of Karnataka and to neighbouring states. There are many prominent private bus companies providing services to all major destinations in Karnataka and surrounding states. KSRTC services almost all villages in Karnataka. 92% villages are served by KSRTC (6,743 out of 7,298 Villages) and 44% in other areas. KSRTC operates 6463 schedules in a day covering an effective distance of 23.74 lakh km with a total fleet of 7599 buses. It transports, on an average, 24.57 lakh passengers per day. The North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation was established in the year 01-11-1997, under provision of the Road Transport Corporation Act 1950, on the auspicious day of Karnataka Rajyotsava upon bifurcation from Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation to provide adequate, efficient, economic and properly coordinated transport services to the commuters of North Western part of the Karnataka. The Corporation jurisdiction covers the Belgaum, Dharwad, Karwar, Bagalkot, Gadag & Haveri districts. NWKRTC operates its services to all villages, which have motorable roads in its jurisdiction and also covering intra and inter state operations. The entire jurisdiction of the corporation is totally nationalised sector. The Government of Goa operates KADAMBA bus service from Goa to Belgaum city and some other parts of the Belgaum District. The Government of Maharashtra also operates MSRTC buses from various parts of Maharashtra to Belgaum City and some other parts of the Belgaum District.


The city is served by Belgaum Airport at Sambra, which is the oldest airport in North Karnataka and lies 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the city on State Highway 20. Belgaum airport is included in UDAN 3 scheme. Now, Alliance Air (India), Spice Jet, Star Air have daily flights to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmadabad. More flights and routes like Pune, Mumbai, Mysore and few other cities will be added in coming months under UDAN scheme.


Belgaum railway station is on the Indian Railways grid, being part of the South Western railways, and is well connected by rail to major destinations.