Friday, 14 November 2014

Long drive to Delhi - 24 : To Belgaum, Karnataka

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page - Saint Augustine 

From Ponda in Goa we proceeded towards Belgaum via Panjim Belgaum Road. This part of Goa is also beautiful but was sadly not clean. Heaps of rubbish lying on the roadside were eyesore. But the scenery on the way to Belgaum was beautiful & rains on the way enhanced the beauty.

Belgaum or Belgavi is a charming city full of greenery & has round the clock free supply of cool breeze. It is situated in Sahyadri Hills & is 760 mtr above mean sea level, about 100 km from Goa & midway between Mumbai & Bangaluru that is about 500 km each side. Temperature ranges from 15 to 34 degrees & rain fall is 1000 mm annually. Humidity remains high throughout the year. It has large cantonment & number of technical colleges. There are plenty of hotels to suit all budgets in city.

In ancient times parts of Belgavi like Vadgaon & Madhavpur were known urban centres. Town has a strategic location because of which it has seen many wars & rulers. Bichiraja of Ratta dynasy built a fort in 1204 for Ratta dynasty which ruled till 1250. Thereafter Yadavas of Devagiri took over. Khilji of Delhi took over in early 14th century & Vijayanagara Empire captured in latter part of 14th century. In 1474 Sultans of Bidar took over & in 1518 it came under Sultan of Bijapur. Aurangzeb overthrew Bijapur sultanate in 1686 & Belgaum came under Mughals. In 1707 Peshwas took over & ruled till 1776. They were removed by Hyder Ali of Mysore briefly. But the Pashwas came back with British help. In 1818 British East India Company took over.

Another interesting historical story is that of Rani Chennamma (1778-1829) the queen of princely state of Kittur in Belgaum district. She lost her son & adopted another boy to which British objected under their 'doctrine of lapse'. She led an armed rebellion against British & fought fiercely. In second attack by British she was captured & jailed where she attained martyrdom. She is revered as first Indian Queen to have fought the British. Statue of Rani Chennamma was unveiled in Parliament House in 2007 as a mark of respect to her.

Friendly people & not so friendly roads 

Milestone of Belgaum is buried in the green
Clouds, hills & jungles gave company all the way 

Green Safari has twists & turns

From Ponda in Goa to Londa in Karnataka!

Konkan Railway crossing - road disappears in the jungle! 

Near Doodh Sagar - had nice buffet breakfast here

Fort is almost non-existent. Kamal Basti has a small but beautiful Jain Temple

Jain Temple in Kamal Basti. More photos shall follow in next blog

 Tirthankar Neminath - lovely statue in black stone in the sanctum 

Warrior queen: President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others near the statue of Kittur Rani Chennamma, which was unveiled in the Parliament House complex on Tuesday.
Unveiling of statue of Rani Chennamma in Parliament House New Delhi by President Pratibha Patil. Photo courtesy
Shops in Jinnah Chowk, Fort Road, Belgaum. In 1928 Jinnah addressed public here & since then it is called Jinnah Chowk. 

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