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The town of Belgaum is the assimilation point of various cultures. Due to its proximity with the states of Maharashtra and Goa, Belgaum has acquired the cultural flavor of these states and blended it with the local Kannada culture to create a rich heritage, which is unique in its manifestation. Belgaum is not only famous for its history but also for its natural beauty. It is also known as Malenadu or Rain Country and the vegetation here is lush green throughout the year. The Past of Belgaum is chequered. It was overrun many times, owing to its strategic location on the Indian peninsula. In the past Belgaum was known as Venugrama (Bamboo Village) because of the abundance of bamboo trees in this region. Belgaum has grown into a prominent educational and industrial center today. Belgaum is a picture of contrasts. On one side is the old town area where the cotton and silk weavers still create magic with their fingers, and on the other the modern, busting tree lined Cantonment built by the British. The important places of Belgaum are KLE Society’s Hospital and MedicalCollege, Visvesvaraya Technological University of Karnataka, Udyambag Industrial Area, Kamal Basti Temple in Fort, Companies such as HINDALCO, Ashok Iron Works Ltd. etc.

BELGAUM CANTONMENT HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE

1) Belgaum Cantonment is Class II Cantonment situated in the heart of Belgaum City well known as the “Poor Man’s Switzerland”. Old, well maintained tile roofed bungalows, modern R.C.C. houses. The Cantonment is spread over in two zones Viz. the Main Cantonment and Fort Zone. Mango trees, Tamrind trees, Gulmohar trees, newly paved foot paths on Road side along with Chirping sound of birds give the place a pleasant and scenic beauty for morning and evening walkers of entire Belgaum city. The fresh oxygen to the citizens of Belgaum city is being pumped in the hearts by the green zone of Belgaum Cantonment. Old fort, St. Mary’s Church, Kamalbasti still retains its archelogical importance. Ramkrishna Ashram has given a modern look to the Belgaum Cantonment Belgaum Cantonment is famous as cradle of infantry. In the December 1924, 39 the session of Indian National Congress was held in Belgaum under the presidentship of Mahatma Gandhi. After this session, the Road travelled by Gandhiji is named as Congress Road, which is a part of Cantonment Roads.

2) On 20th March 1818, General, munaro took possession of the Belgaum Town, and on 10th April 1818 the fort was captured. The fort of Belgaum was vacated by the peshava Commander named Laxman Bhat Thakur. In those days, the fort was having population of 300 persons. They were paid monetary compensation for their houses in the fort. The earlier houses are not in existence except Dargah, Durga Mata Temple and Jain Temple. The Land around the fort was taken out by British troops as per Governor General order No. 372 dt. 14th August 1837.

3) The Present Cantonment Limits were finally notified by the Governor General order No. 99 dt. 2nd March 1832. During the First world war, the Maratha Army fought in the western front and earned the name of Maratha light infantry.

4) Territorial Army in fort, Maratha Light infantry J.L. Wing Commando Wing a Military Hospital, Military School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, P.C. Wing as well as other troops are garrisoned here.

5)Basic Data of Cantonment.

  • Name of the Cantonment : Belgaum
  • Class : II
  • Year of establishment : 1832
  • Total Area in Acres : 1763.79
  • Extent of Civil/Bazar area : 58.823 area in acres.
  • Total Population as per 2011 census : 19411
  • Situation
    i. North Latitude 15º 23” & 16º 58”
    ii. East Longitude 74º 5” & 75º 28”
  • Elevation : 2497 feet above mean sea level.
    The permanent Bench mark Located in St. Mary’s Church of Cantonment.
  • Climate
    i) Temperature May to April - Max 39º C Dec. to Jan. - Min 12º C
    ii) Rainfall 1370mm (54”) annually.
    iii) Summer normally extends from 1st April to 31th May

6. Languages Spoken : Kannada, Hindi, English, Marathi and Urdu.

7. Communication :

  • Railways : Railway Station is situated in Belgaum Cantonment on the central Railway line from Mumbai to Bangalore.
  • Roads : Central Bus Stand is situated in Belgaum Cantonment. National High way (NH -4 ) Pune to Bangalore Road is near to Belgaum Cantonment. Belgaum to Goa Highway (NH-4-A) passes through Belgaum Cantonment. Belgaum is located at 500 Kms. From Mumbai, 502 Kms. From Bangalore and 125 Kms. from Goa.
  • Airport : A Small Airport is situated in Sambra Village 11 Kms. away
    from Belgaum Cantonment.

City Map

TOURIST Locations

BELGAUM FORT

The Belgaum fort built in 13 century (Originally built by the Ratta dynasty, later fortified by Yakub Ali Khan of the Bijapur Sultanate) was well known for its unique building structure and its huge moat surrounding the fort, which made it inaccessible to the enemies. The Belgaum fort served as a bulwark against the attacks of invading armies. It steadfastly held fort as Belgaum played host to a multitude of dynasties, from the Rattas, the Vijayanagar emperors, Bijapur Sultans, Marathas and finally the British. During the freedom movement of India, Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned here.
The inside of the fort is stretched about 1000 yards long and 800 yards broad. The fort was well built as a Military store.
Belgaum Fort has been ruled by Dynasties such as Kadambas, Rashtra Kutas, Kalyan Chalukyas, Rattas, Bahamanis. In the year 1778 it was under Tipu Sultan kingdom. In 1818, Gen. Munro British Officer took over the fort & built houses inside the Fort for Residence of Army Officers.

KAMAL BASTI

A famous Jain temple constructed during the Ratta Kingdom by King IV Kartavirya during the year 1254. The rare idols of Navgraha, Thirthankara Neminath installed in the temple are built in Granite stone. The granite pillars give ringing sound & look like polished stones. The front verandah of temple is given the shape of Lotus flower & over that 1008 Jain idols have been carved.

RAMKRISHNA MISSION ASHRAMA

A historical place where Swami Vivekananda stayed for 9 days in October 1892 during his wanderings all over the India. Newly Built universal temple of Sri Ramkrishna is located on the first floor. The central arched door leads to prayer hall that spans 70 feet X 40feet. The roof is 21 feet high providing a feel of expanse. Pillars are provided at regular intervals with a cement lotus placed on top of each of these pillars which give a festive look to the temple.

SHIVA TEMPLE

Not many know this but there was old Shiva Temple in the Fort near the Military Training area. The same as been taken over by the ASI in 2008-09 and they have upgraded it with new doors. This Shiva temple was built in 12th century. There were 108 Jain temples and 101 Shiva temples in the fort and the fort was built after demolishing many of these temples luckily 5 were spared out of which 2 are mosques now and 2 Jain temples and 1 Shiva temple.

ST. MARY’S CHURCH BELGAUM

St. MARY’S Church, Belgaum was consecrated on 15th April 1869. Only local material like Gokak pink stone and Dandeli & Alnavar Teak was used. The uniqueness of this construction is that no steel or cement has been used. The height of the Church is 60 feet. The stain glass behind the alter made of Belgium glass with Italian workmanship is 20 ft high, depicting the life of Jesus Christ in 12 frames.