—  city  —
Karnatak Arts College
Location of Dharwad
in Karnataka and India
Coordinates 15°27′N 75°00′E / 15.45°N 75.0°E / 15.45; 75.0Coordinates: 15°27′N 75°00′E / 15.45°N 75.0°E / 15.45; 75.0
Country India
Region Bayaluseeme
State Karnataka
District(s) Dharwad
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)


679 metres (2,228 ft)

Website http://dharwad.nic.in/
Dharwad pedha

Dharwad, also known as Dharwar, (Kannada: ಧಾರವಾಡ) is a city and a DISTRICT PLACE in India's Karnataka state.

Dharwad is the administrative seat of the Dharwad District. The municipality of Hubli-Dharwad (resulting from a merger in 1961 with its twin city Hubli, 22 kilometers away) covers an area of 200.23 km². Dharwad is located 425 km northwest of Bangalore, on National Highway 4, the main highway between Bangalore and Pune in Maharashtra. The climate is mildly hot during the summer, wet during the monsoons and pleasant during winter.

The twin cities have a history behind them dating back to the Hoysala period. Dharwad is famous for its contributions to Indian culture, most notably to classical music and literature, and prestigious educational institutions, such as the Karnataka University. The Dharwad pedha - a milk-based sweetmeat - from this town is very popular.

Today, Dharwad is well known as a quiet and pleasant city popular with students and pensioners. It continues to grow, with industries dotting both its northern and southern boundaries. In the years ahead, it promises to be a beehive of commercial activity. The location of the city on the NH4 makes it equidistant from 2 of the most industrialised centers in the country - Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, and Pune the 2nd most industrialised city in Maharshtra.

Ulavi Shree Channabasaweshwara temple at Dharwad



Dharwad is situated on the edge of Western Ghats and hence is a hilly town. Spread over seven small hills at an average altitude of 750 meters above sea level, the city enjoys a salubrious climate amidst thick vegetation. Years ago, Dhwarwad was known for its lakes but several have now dried out. The lakes that still exist are Sadhankeri, Kelgeri (a man made lake created during British rule, almost 100 years old) and Nuggikeri. Dharwad sits at the cusp of two distinct geographical divisions - Malenaadu (hilly, forest land with red soil) and Belavalanaadu (Deccan plains with black soil).

Dharwad has plenty of green cover. Karnatak University's Botanical Garden is a sanctuary for many rare plants, trees and birds. Kelgeri, Sadhanakeri and Nuggikeri are also homes for water birds.


The word "Dharwad" means a place of rest in a long travel or a small habitation. For centuries, Dharwad acted as a gateway between the Malenaadu (western mountains) and the Bayalu seeme (plains) and it became a resting place for travellers. The name is derived from the Sanskrit word 'dwarawata', 'dwara' meaning "door" and 'wata' or 'wada'meaning "town".

A different theory suggests that during the Vijayanagara rule of Dharwad there was a ruler by name "of Dharav" (1403), and Dharwad got its name from him. There are some inscriptions that refer to Dharwad as Kampana Sthana.

Inscriptions found near Durga Devi temple in Narendra (a nearby village) and RLS High School date back to the 12th century and have references to Dharwad. This makes Dharwad at least 900 years old. Also, there is an inscription at Hanuman Temple at Bokyapur lake near Garag (a village about 18 km from Dharwad).

The Chalukyas ruled Dharwad during the 12th century. A stone inscription indicates that there was a ruler by the name of BhaskaraDeva in 1117. In the 14th century, the district was first overrun by the Bahmani Sultanate, after which it was annexed to the newly established Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar, an official of which named Dhar Rao, according to local tradition, built the fort at Dharwad town in 1403. After the defeat of the king of Vijayanagar at Talikot (1565), Dharwad was for a few years practically independent under its Hindu governor; but in 1573 the fort was captured by the sultan of Bijapur, Adil Shah, and Dharwad was annexed to his dominions. Adil Shah built a fort in an area later called MannaKille, and later Nazratabad. With this fort, the strategic importance of Dharwad increased and it thus attracted the attention of subsequent conquerors, including Aurangzeb, Shivaji, Aurangzeb's son Mu Azam, Peshwa Balaji Rao, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and finally the British colonizers.

In 1685, the fort was taken by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, and Dharwad, on the break-up of the Mughal empire, fell under the sway of the Maratha Peshwa of Pune. In 1764, the province was overrun by Hyder Ali of the Mysore, who in 1778 captured the fort of Dharwad.[1] The fort was retaken in 1791 by the Marathas. After the final defeat of the Peshwa by the British in 1818, Dharwar was incorporated into the territory of the British East India Company's Bombay Presidency. During the early 19th century, when the British were expanding their domains, they faced a lot of opposition from local rulers, including Baba Saheb of Naragund and Kittur Rani Chennamma.

Dharwad was the home to the movement to unify Kannada speaking areas that eventually became Karnataka state.

Dharwad was peaceful for most of late 19th century. During those times, the British started an English medium school in Dharwad in 1848. Later, in 1863, the Basel Mission organization started another school. In 1867 the British opened another school, Varmal school, which later on became known as a training college. In 1883, the municipality area included Sidapur, Lakamanhalli, Haveri Pete, Bagtalan, Madihal, Galaganjikop, Malapur, Kamalapur, Narayanpur, Saptapur, Atti kolla and Hosayellapur. The British government also established a railway station in 1888.

The town had a station on the Southern Maratha railway. By 1901, the town had a population of 31,279 and was home to several cotton gina, a cotton mill, and two high schools, one maintained by the government and the other by the Basel German Mission.

After India's independence in 1947, the Bombay Presidency was reconstituted as India's Bombay State. In 1956 the southern, Kannada-speaking districts of Bombay State, including Dharwad, were added to Mysore and renamed Karnataka in 1972. Dharwad is home to the Karnataka University and the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) as well as numerous other colleges.

In 1941, Dharwad had a population of 47,992.[2] In 1961, the town merged with the adjacent town of Hubli to become a single municipality, Hubli-Dharwad. The population of the twin cities is the second-largest in Karnataka, after Bangalore. Hubli-Dharwad's population increased 22.99% between 1981 and 1991, from 527,108 to 648,298, and by 21.2% between 1991 and 2001. In the year 2008, a Circuit bench of the High Court of Karnataka was established in Dharwad.


The Dharwad region has contributed some of the greatest exponents of Hindustani classical music including Sawai Gandharva, Mallikarjun Mansur, Bhimsen Joshi, Basavaraj Rajaguru, Kumar Gandharva and Gangubai Hangal.

Dharwad is an unlikely outpost of the Kirana Gharana. Ustad Abdul Karim Khan was a frequent visitor to Mysore Darbar, where he had been conferred the title of Sangeet Ratna. On the way to Mysore, he used to stay with his brother in Dharwad, where he taught his most famous disciple, Sawai Gandharva. Sawai Gandharva in turn was the guru to Gangubai Hangal, Bhimsen Joshi and Basavaraj Rajaguru.[3]

Jnanpith Award winners D.R. Bendre, V. K. Gokak and Girish Karnad trace their origins to Dharwad. Kannada writer and critic, Kirtinath Kurtakoti winner of the Sahitya Akademi award, also lived in Dharwad for a large part of his life. One of the greatest Marathi writers, Sahitya Akademi Award winner G. A. Kulkarni also lived most of his life here in Dharwad. Leena Chandavarkar, a well-known Hindi/Marathi film actress and wife of late Kishore Kumar, belongs to this town and recently sold her property in Dharwad near the Railway Station to a religious community. Noted film maker and environmentalist Suresh Heblikar, who won a National Award for his contribution to cinema also belongs to Dharwad. The eminent political scientist, Dr. R T Jangam, made Dharwad his home for over 40 years till his demise in 2005.

Dattatreya Temple

The recipient of President's National Award for teachers, Sri S G Nadgir, also known as the father of innovative education for NTSE coaching, was the Headmaster of K.E Board's High School, Dharwad.

Nandan Nilekani, the former Co-Chairman of Infosys moved in with his uncle's family in Dharwad for his education and was a student of St Joseph's High School.

Dharwad has produced eminent legal luminaries like Narayanarao Karagudri, Sanglad J., Bannurmath J., A.C.Kabbin J., Mohan Shantangoudar J., Ashok Hinchigeri J., Subhash Adi J., and lawyers like Late Shri Hiregoudar, C.B Patil, B.L. Patil, Sharat.S. Javali (Supreme Court), Mohan Katarki (lawyer for Karnataka in the Cauvery Water Dispute).

Uma Shashikant, eminent Investment Advisor and Sucheta Dalal,the Mumbai based financial journalist, who exposed the Harshad Mehta scandal also studied in Dharwad. P. B. Mahishi, T M Shivkumar, Ganapati Bhatt, Manish Desai and K Nandini have distinguished themselves in Civil Service. Lucy D'Abreu (oldest Briton ever) was also born in Dharwad.

Dharwad is also the birthplace of Palwankar Baloo, the first member of the Dalit (or "Untouchable") caste to distinguish himself at cricket, and later to become a political activist for Dalit rights.

There are many spiritual personalities associated with this laid-back town. Some of them are Shishunal Sharif Saheb, Siddharoodha Swamigalu, Kumara Swamiji, Hurakadli Ajja, Mrityunjaya Appagalu, Mahanta Appagalu, and Garag Madiwaleshwara.

The Karnataka Vidyavardhaka Sangha was founded in Dharwad. Dharwad is also the cultural capital of North Karnataka.


Karnatak Arts College, Estb 1917
Karnataka University

Dharwad has been a renowned centre of learning, with many famous high schools, colleges and universities. These include:

  • Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Anjuman College Of Arts Science and Comerce
  • Anjuman College Of Business Information Science and Management
  • University College of Law
  • Karnatak University
  • University College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Hurakadli Ajja Law College
  • KPES English Medium School
  • KPES Law College
  • Vidyaranya School and College
  • Training College for Men
  • JSS Banashankari Arts, Commerce & S.K.Gubbi Science College
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya, Dharwad
  • University public school, Dharwad
  • Karnataka High School, Fort, Dharwad
  • K.E.Boards High School, Dharwad, Malamaddi
  • International Institute for Advanced Studies
  • Kittle College
  • C.S.I. College of Commerce and BCA
  • Kousali Institute of Management Studies
  • Basel Mission English Medium High School
  • University College of Law
  • Pavan English Medium High School,Dharwad
  • Presentation Girls High School, Dharwad
  • St Joseph's High School
  • R.L.S
  • University of Agricultural Sciences
  • SDM College of Engineering and Technology
  • Dakshina Bharata Hindi Prachar Sabha
  • SDM college of Dental Sciences
  • Siddarameshwara margadarshi B.Ed. college
  • SDM college of Medical sciences
  • Sai Institute of Fashion Technology (SIFT)
  • Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF)
  • Kirana Sangeet Academy, Hosayellapur, Dharwad (music school)
  • Baala Balaga Srujanasheela Shikshana Pratisthana
  • Srujana Lalit Kala Maha Vidyala
  • D. V. Halbhavi School Of Art
  • Sathya Sai College of Homeopathy
  • B.D. Jatti Homeopathic College

These institutions of learning have established themselves as reputed places of learning and have contributed many famous personalities[who?].


Dharwad cultivates a variety of food products. The Dharwad Cotton Hybrid (DCH), a popular variety of cotton a few years back, was basically invented in University of Agricultural Sciences[citation needed]. In addition to this, Dharwad produces varieties of channa, kardi, soya and groundnut seeds. Also, farmers grow sugarcane, paddy, jowar, wheat, green gram, Bengal gram, munge and many other food products. Dharwad Alphonso mangoes and Navalur gauvas are also produced.


  1. ^ "Imperial Gazetteer2 of India, Volume 11, page 316 - Imperial Gazetteer of India - Digital South Asia Library". Dsal.uchicago.edu. http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V11_322.gif. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  2. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer. p. 511
  3. ^ "What is it about this place?". Tehelka Magazine. Vol 8, Issue 11, Dated 19 Mar 2011. http://www.tehelka.com/story_main49.asp?filename=hub190311WHAT.asp. 

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