BELGAUM FORT or KOTE

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Located in the heart of Belgaum, Belgaum Fort is one of the oldest monuments of Karnataka. This stone and mud structure was constructed in 13th century by Jai Raya, an ally of the Ratta dynasty. The Bijapur Sultan, Yakub Ali Khan, built huge walls, bastions, battlements and the parapets and rebuilt this fort surrounded by a deep moat.

The fort was possessed by Rattas, Vijayanagar emperors, Bijapur Sultans, Marathas, and finally by the British. During the British rule, Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned here.

Belgaum Fort is a remarkable monument, where mosques and temples co-exist. At the entrance, there are two shrines - one devoted to Shri Ganapathi and another to goddess Durga. Two basadis built in the Chalukyan style is located inside the fort. Kamal Basadi is the famous one. A Jain temple is on the right side of the fort. Safa Masjid and Jamia Masjid are within the fort.

Belgaum Fort is near the Belgaum Central Bus Station. Belgaum Railway Station is the nearest railhead. Belgaum Airport is around 10 km.

Safa Masjid

Safa Masjid, noted for its minars, domes and arches, is situated inside the Belgaum Fort,
Belgaum. It was constructed in typical Mughal and Deccan styles.

The arches at the three entrances to the Jamia Hall have floral and calligraphic designs carved on it. An underground passage, situated out side the mosque is believed to be lead to Yellurgad.

Kamal Basadi [ The Lotus Jain Temple ]


Kamal Basti is one of the two bastis situated within the walls of Belgaum Fort which is encircled by a Moat. There are two Jinalayas in later Chalukya style. One of them is Kamal Basti. This Jain Temple was built in 1204 AD by Bichirja, a minister of Kartavirya IV of the Ralta Dynasty. Two of its pillars have Kannada inscriptions in Nagari scripts, one of 1199 of Ratta King Kartaveerya IV and another of 1261 of Sevuna (Yadava) Krishna. The temple has Kadamba Nagara Shikara. The other Jinalaya is almost a ruined one. This 10th Century AD Basti is under the protection of Archeological Dept. This temple is nearby to Belgaum Main Bus Stand. The two temples in the fort are known as Kamal Basadi (Mandir) and Chikki Basadi.

Kamal Basadi is so called because of the Gumbaj of the temple as the masterpiece here is the "Mukhamantapa" with a well-executed in the form of the Lotus of 72 Petals on the ceiling. Outside the Kamala Basti is another ruined Jain temple called the Chikki Basti. The Belgaum Fort is the ancient architectural pre-Muslim monument is one of the best and shining examples of communal harmony with both mosques and temples co-exist in perfect harmony, though not much of the original structure remains.

In this temple, the past present and future Tirthankars 24 for each period are shown on the 72 petals of the lotus flower. The Sanctum Hill has the stone carved Sinhasan with seated Idol of Bhagwan Neminath and is very artistic. The pillars of the temple are decorated with carvings and brightly polished. The Idol of Bhagwan Neminath was found in the Jungle about 200 years ago. The Idol and other statues are of 11CAD.

There are Idols of Bhagwan Sumatinath in standing posture, Idol of Bhagwan Adinath in Padamasan, Idol of Bhagwan Parsvanath under the shade of 7 hooded Nagraj.

Also the only single Masterpiece in the world is the Idol of Navgraha which is also worth seeing. This temple is under active puja.

For More informartion about Kamal Basti and its history visit http://kamalbasti.blogspot.com/


MILITARY MAHADEVA TEMPLE

It is said to be the oldest, is well worth a visit. The other temples you could visit are those of Kapileshwara Temple, Maruti etc.

ST. MARY'S CHURCH

Of the churches, the st. Mary's church awesome with its imposing gothic stone structure built in 1869. Light filters through the gorgeous stained glass windows and doors to enhance the fine Biblical drawings on the walls. You could take time to visit the St. Xavier's church ( the oldest ), st. Anthony's church, the cathedral of Our Lady and Methodist church.The church in the camp was built in 1869. Reverend Francis Gell designed the building. This imposing stone church of the Anglicans has fine pillars in the prayer hall and gorgeous stained glasses at its doors and windows. The paintings on the inner walls have pleasant colour combinations and reflect biblical episodes. In front of the West Porch almost at the meeting of the four chief cantonment roads, stands a lofty memorial cross raised in memory of the 64th Regiment coldies who fell in the 1857 Revolt.
RAJAHANSAGAD

About 10kms south of Belgaum and 4 kms east of Desur Railway station, this place is situated. It is a good place for bauxite mine.

Accommodation: Belgaum.

YELLUR

Situated at the foot of a small hillock locally called Yellurgad. The place has temples dedicated to kamaleshwar, Lakshmi, Dattatreya, Parameshwara and Chaugaleshwari. The jatra in honour of the goddess is held during Chaitra when about 10,000 people participate.

Kapileshwar Mandir

The temple appears to be the oldest as the 1204 AD Kamal basti inscription makes amention of this and is renovated now. This being a shiva Temple has flat peetha with Shivalinga. The annual jatra is held during Shivaratri . It is called as the South Kashi of India.


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Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre :

Belgaum also has a number of training centers of the Indian Armed Forces, and an air base of the Indian Air Force. The British ad a sizable Infantry post here, having realized the military importance of its geographical location. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for Belgaum's sobriquet. The Cradle of Infantry. Belgaum houses the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre(MLIRC). Belgaum also houses the Commando Training Wing which is a part of the Infantry School, MHOW, where the country's valiant infantry commandos are trained in endurance, escape and evasion, guerilla and commando war fare techniques.

Belgaum's Watchtower and sunset point should not be missed if one wants to savor the scenic beauty surrounding this town

This entry was posted on Friday, October 31, 2008 at 12:02 AM and is filed under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

4 comments

Hi, Vinayak from Belagavi.
It was nice to see a kannada site.
So i went through it.
Its fine and need some more photos or present photos also.

August 6, 2010 at 3:01 AM

nice work keep up, but I personally feel some information are incomplete in few topics as for eg: you have missed out a shrine located in KOTE/FORT of Hazrat Badruddin Shah Baba which is 600+ years old kindly update the same.

October 4, 2012 at 1:49 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
January 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Nice post on Belgaum .Thanks for the lovely pictures. There are many popular places to visit in Belgaum. The city served as a major military installation for the British Raj and the Indian government continues to have its military installation there. It is an important historic destination.

April 20, 2016 at 2:04 AM

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