Infobox Indian Jurisdiction

latd = 15.55|longd=74.35
leader_name= Under DC Rule
population_as_of = 2005 | population_total = 564000 | area_magnitude=1 E?
area_telephone= 91831
postal_code= 590 001-8
vehicle_code_range= KA-22, KA-23, KA-24, KA-49
footnotes = |

Belgaum ( Kannada: ಬೆಳಗಾವಿ Belgaavi, Marathi: बेळगांव "Belgaon") is a city and a municipal corporation in Belgaum district in the state of Karnataka, India.

It is situated nearly 2,500 ft (762 m) above sea-level and is the headquarters of Belgaum district, which borders the states of Maharashtra and Goa.

Karnataka government has decided to develop the city of Belgaum as the state's second capital and make it the permanent venue for an annual 15-day session of the state legislature. Rs 165-crore 'Suvarna Soudha' modelled on the 'Vidhana Soudha' (Secretariat) will be constructed in Belgaum for the session that will commence from next year.


The city of Belgaum was built in the 12th century AD by the Ratta dynasty who were based at nearby Saundatti. The fort of Belgaum was built in 1204 by a Ratta officer named Bichiraja. Belgaum served as the capital of that dynasty between 1210 and 1250, before the Rattas were defeated by the Yadava Dynasty of Devagiri. Belgaum then briefly came under the sway of the Yadavas of Devagiri. The Khiljis of Delhi invaded the region at the turn of the 1300s and succeeded in ruining both the indigenous powers of the region, the Yadava and the Hoysalas without providing a viable administration. This lacuna was supplied by the Vijayanagara Empire, which had become the established power of the area by 1336. A century later, the town had become a bustling trading hub for diamonds and wood, owing to its favourable geographic location in the kingdom.

In 1474, the Bahmani Sultanate, then ruling from Bidar, captured the fort of Belgaum. Shortly afterwards, in 1518, the Bahamani sultanate splintered into five small states, and Belgaum became part of the Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur. The Adilshahis reinforced the fort of Belgaum; much of the existing structure dates from 1519. In 1686, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb overthrew the Bijapur sultanate, and Belgaum passed nominally to the Mughals. However, the Mughal empire went into decline after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, and his principal detractors, the Maratha confederacy, took control of the area during the rule of the Peshwas. In 1776, the country was overrun by Hyder Ali of Mysore, but was retaken by the Peshwa with British assistance. In 1818, the British deposed the last Peshwa and annexed his kingdom, which included Belgaum.

Belgaum was chosen as the venue of the 39th session of Indian National Congress in December 1924 under the President ship 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 the Prime Ministership of Nehru used forces from Belgaum to end Portuguese rule of Goa.

When India became independent in 1947, Belgaum and its district became part of Bombay State. In 1956, the Indian states were reorganised along linguistic lines by the States Reorganisation Act, and Belgaum District 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. [ | wired ] ]


Belgaum is anglicized name of Belgaon/Belagaavi. The names are possibly from the Sanskrit "Venugrama", "Bamboo village".

The name Belgaum had been proposed to be changed to Belagaavi by the Karnataka government.] However in August 2007, the Central Government refused permission to rename Belgaum while giving a go-ahead to rename 11 other cities in Karnataka.cite news
author =
title = Federal nod to renaming of 11 cities in Karnataka
url =
publisher = Khaleej Times
date = 2007-08-22
accessdate = 2007-08-22

] cite news
author =
title = Central government refuses to rename Belgaum as Belagavi
url =
publisher = Yahoo! India News
date = 2007-08-21
accessdate = 2007-08-22


Border dispute

The Belgaum district was incorporated into the newly formed Mysore state (now Karnataka) with the passage of the "States Reorganisation Act" (1956), which reorganised India's states along linguistic lines, despite having a large Marathi-speaking population cite news
author =Girish Kuber
title = District’s always been bone of contention
url =,curpg-2.cms
publisher = The Economic Times
date = 2005-11-28
accessdate = 2006-11-01

] ; about three-fourths of the total population.cite news
title = Karnataka caught in ‘language’ web
url =
publisher = The Financial express
date = 2005-11-21
accessdate = 2006-11-01

] . Since then, Maharashtra has claimed the district, and the case is now in Supreme Court of India.


Belgaum is located at coord|15.87|N|74.5|E| [ [ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Belgaum] ] . It has an average elevation of 751 metres (2463 feet).The city is situated in the northwestern parts of Karnataka and lies at the border of two states, Maharashtra and Goa. It is one of the oldest towns in the state, lying at a distance of 502 km from Bangalore;515 km from Hyderabad and 500 km from Mumbai. The district comprises 1278 villages with an area of 13,415 km² with a population of around 8 lakh (800,000). Situated near the foothills of the Sahyadri mountain range (Western Ghats) at an altitude of about 779m, 100km from the Arabian Sea with the river Markandeya flowing nearby, Belgaum exhibits swift and kaleidoscopic changes in topography, vegetation and climate.


Belgaum is well known for its pleasant climate throughout the year, but the last few years, summers (April through June) have been warmer than usual. It is at its coldest in winter (November through February), and experiences continuous monsoon of medium intensity during July to September. The annual average rainfall is 50".


As of 2001 India census [GR|India] , Belgaum had a population of 399,600. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Belgaum has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 65%; with 54% of the males and 46% of females literate. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. [ [ Census of India] ]


Belgaum enjoys rich cultural diversity stemming from its proximity to the states of Maharashtra and Goa. Kannada and Marathi are the main languages spoken. The customs and traditions of Belgaum have been influenced by both the Kannada and Marathi cultures. Traditional dressing in rural Belgaum is similar to the attires of people in the north Karnataka and south Maharashtra belt; the men wear a turban with a long tailpiece at the rear and a dhoti (a sarong worn in a manner that allows easier movement) and the women wear sarees but with the lower half drawn like a dhoti. However, in the city, the costumes are very much in tune with modern urban India.

The colleges of Belgaum have a rich blend of students, not just from all over India,but from all over the world.The dress styles at these institutes ranges from the traditonal Salwar Kameez, worn by the more conservative girls, to the latest fashion trends of the urban youth.Youth parties are also very varigated,from stag parties(all male) to all night Dance parties (having both women and men), where the latest music is played by professional Disc Jockeys.

Belgaum's positioning has also made its cuisine a potpourri of central(Marathi)and north Indian flavours and the fast food is predominantly influenced by Marathi tastes (e.g. vada pav, missal) and other north Indian chaat.A person from Belgaum is called "Belgaonker" in Marathi and a "Belgaumite" in English. Konkani is also spoken by a small amount of people here. A person from Belgaum in Konkani is known as "Belgaoncar.


Belgaum is an important location for vegetable trading, fish, wood & mining resource trading in north Karnataka. Rich deposits of bauxite are found in Belgaum district, and have led to the creation of the (HINDALCO) Indian Aluminium Company for production of aluminium. [ [ Natural Resources in the State of Karnataka - Directorate of Industries and Commerce, Government of Karnataka] ] Additionally, uranium deposits have recently been found in Deshnur, a small village near Belgaum. [ [ Uranium deposits put Deshnur on world map - New Indian Express] ]

From the early 1970s, Belgaum began developing as an important centre for the manufacture of heavy machine tools, including the manufacture of high pressure oil hydraulics.

Trade flourishes in Belgaum, and many areas of the city are dedicated to certain kinds of trade. For example, almost all automobile-related trade and manufacture happens in the Fort Road area of the city. The Raviwarpeth area is known as the wholesale market which sells commodities like grains, tea, etc.

Belgaum also is a strong industrial hub for Machine Shops catering to Automotive Manufacturing, Specially in Crank-shaft machining. The geographical location of the city is an advantage since it is situated right in between Bangalore and Mumbai/Pune to support the major automotive and aerospace companies.

A 300 acre SEZ is being setup along the Pune-Bangalore highway to cater to precision engineering requirements of the global aerospace, automotive and industrial verticals. [ [ Quest plans 300-acre aerospace SEZ in Belgaum] ]

Defence Training Centres

Its salubrious climate, proximity to the coast and strategic position near Portuguese Goa commended it to the British as a suitable location for an army training center and cantonment, which it continues to be today for the Indian Armed Forces, along with an air base of the Indian Air Force.

The British had a sizable infantry post here, having realised the military importance of its geographical location. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for Belgaum's sobriquet The Cradle of Infantry. Development of a Rail Network for movement of resources and later troops was one of the means employed by both the East India Company and the British to exert control over India.

Belgaum houses the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre (MLIRC). It also houses the Commando Training Wing which is a part of the Infantry School, Mhow, where the country's infantry commandos are trained in endurance, escape and evasion, guerilla and commando warfare techniques and to live off the land. The Commando course at Belgaum is mandatory for all infantry officers. Officers of other arms and services and even some foreign officers undergo the course.

In between the Military hospital and the commondo training centre there lies an eminent school called Belgaum Military School established in 1945 spread over an area of 64 acres

Tourism and attractions

Belgaum is located 502 km from Bangalore and 154 km from Goa. Nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats, it enjoys a cool, salubrious climate and is surrounded by natural beauty in the form of rivers, hills and dense evergreen forests. Inside the city, A wide variety of historical sites, temples and churches exist in and around the city, most notably the fort Kamala Basti, Kapileshwar temple (South Kashi), the hills of Vaijyanath, Ramtirth in Kanbargi, the aerodrome at Sambra and others.----Within the City Tourist attractions
1.The Handloom cottage industries, and Silk weavers located in Vadgaon and Angol are known for the exquisitely designed Saris.
2.The [ Cantonment] Area with its lush cover of greenery , the MLIRC(Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre) is also based here.

1.Jamboti, 20 km south-west of Belgaum, is a popular tourist spot with its evergreen hilltop forests.
2.Vajrapoha Falls on the Mandovi river are located 26 km from Belgaum.
3. [ Godchanmalki falls] is a popular destination at a distance of about 60 km from Belgaum. They are stepwise falls which are approximately 100 metres in length, with a step at every 30 metres.
4.Gokak Falls is yet another resplendant waterfall 62km from Belgaum and 6km from the Gokak town.
5. [ Amboli falls] This little known coastal highland area is fabulous during the monsoons. Thick forests, curving misty ghats and shades of vibrant greens.


Belgaum houses many interesting monuments, including the famous Belgaum fort which dates back to 1519 AD (Refer to the 'History' section).
1. [ Kamal Basadi] is a famous Jain temple located within the walls of the fort.

2. [ Belgaum Fort] is a huge construct present in the heart of the town. It is said that its 15-meter deep moats were filled with ravenous crocodiles to ward off enemies in the early days.

The foundation of the "Suvarna Vidhana Soudha", a legislative administrative office complex, was laid in Belgaum in August 2007 to celebrate the golden jubilee celebrations of its formation. [ [ CM, DyCM to lay stone for Vidhana Soudha on Sunday] ]


Belgaum is known for its cross culture food right from the Bombay chaats to the Chinese delicacies ,Niyaz hotel, Mahadev Biryani, Delhi Darbar is worth a try. Belgaum is also famous for its "Kunda" and "Kalakand" . A special sweet called "Mandige" or "Maande" is a must during weddings.

Educational Institutions

Belgaum is also an important educational center.

From the late 1970s onwards, Belgaum began seeing a substantial increase in the number of professional education institutions. While initially this was seen largely in the medical and engineering fields, Belgaum today hosts institutions from a number of other professional streams as well. Apart from these, Belgaum also has a large number of law, science and arts colleges, affiliated to the Karnatak University.

The establishment of the Visvesvaraya Technological University in 1998, with the affiliation of more than 140 engineering colleges, raised the importance of Belgaum as a centre of education in Karnataka. Belgaum also hosts a number of medical colleges.

The impact of this growth has considerably changed the cultural, linguistic and industrial profile of the city, due to the influx of students from across India (and even across the world), some of whom made Belgaum their home base after completion of their education there.

The KLE Society and Karnatak Law Society (KLS) among others have contributed immensely towards education in Belgaum and surrounding districts of Karnataka.



Belgaum is connected by road via the National Highways 4 (connecting Maharashtra [ Now part of the Golden Quadrilateral] , Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) and 4A (connecting Karnataka and Goa).


Belgaum is directly connected with Bangalore, Goa, Mumbai, Miraj and Kolhapur. The airport currently serving the city is Belgaum Airport. Schedules have been erratic, as the air connectivity is primarily provided by feeder airlines.


Belgaum is on the main Indian Railways grid being part of Hubli Division and is well connected by rail to major destinations such as Bangalore (via Hubli), Mumbai (via Miraj) and Goa.


External links

* [ Belgaum city's latest news]
* [ Municipal Corporation of Belgaum]
* [ Government website on Belgaum district]
* [ Directorate of Industries & Commerce]
* [ Zilla Panchayat, Belgaum]
* [ Belgaum on Wikimapia]
* [ Vishveshvaraya Technological University]
* [ Karnatak Law Society]
* [ Gogte Institute of Technology]
* [ KLE University]
* [ K.L.E. Society's Hospital & Research Centre, Belgaum]
* [ Outlook India]

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