A charming place with emerald green landscapes, mesmerizing waterfalls, historic places, and misty hills – all of this constitutes Belgaum, a city in Karnataka. This city has a very rich history attached to it, so you can rest assured that along with its scenic natural beauty, the place has many other things to offer you. Although Belgaum resides in the state of Karnataka, it’s also in close proximity to other states like Maharashtra and Goa. So, if you’re a traveler who loves to explore places, this is the perfect city for your next adventure!
Not sold on the idea of visiting the city yet? What if we told you that Belgaum is also one of Karnataka’s commercial hubs recognized for its power looms? And that’s not it, the city has pleasant weather all year round which makes it an ideal destination for tourists throughout the year. Let us take you through our Belgaum Travel Guide to give you an insight into what this city has in store for you.
The history of Belgaum can be traced back to the 12th century AD when the city was under the Ratta dynasty. One of the most historical places in the city, the Belgaum Fort, was built by the Ratta officer Bichiraja in 1204. The Ratta dynasty came to an end after its defeat by the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri. After being under the rule of the Yadava dynasty, the city witnessed another invasion around the 14th century from the Khiljis of Delhi. The geographic location of the city made it an important center for diamonds and woods, a century after the invasion of the Khiljis.
The fort of Belgaum also witnessed many invasions, first by the Bahmani Sultanate in 1474 and later on by the rulers of Bidar. During that time, there was a split between the Bahmani Sultanate and it was broken into five states of which ‘Belgaum’ or ‘Belgavai’ came under the power of the Adilshahi Sultanate. The Adilshahi Sultanate was prominent in Belgaum until it was overthrown by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1686. After his death in 1707, Belgaum was under the rule of the Peshwas.
In the 1800s, the British took the opportunity to annex the last Peshwa who ruled Belgaum. One of the noteworthy people who ruled Belgaum after that was Queen Kitturu Chennamma, who is known to have started an armed rebellion against the British in 1824. For her spirit to fight for independence, she is to date remembered as the first and only Indian queen to have struggled to fight for independence.
Belgaum served as one of the major military bases in India during the British Raj. Jawaharlal Nehru had availed of the military forces here to bring an end to the Portuguese rule that prevailed here. An interesting thing to note is that Belgaum was still a part of Bombay when India gained its independence in 1947. It was only in 2006 that it was announced to be the second capital of the state of Karnataka. Today, Belgaum is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state of Karnataka. The city’s close proximity to Maharashtra and Goa has made it a culturally diverse place. So, don’t be too shocked if you encounter people speaking in both Kannada and Marathi languages here. It’s also known for its highly multi-cultural appeal.
Speaking of the city’s culture, the attire of men, especially in the rural areas, is the traditional turban with a tailpiece that is paired with a white dhoti. When it comes to women, it is the traditional Indian saree. Another common thing seen among the residents of Belgaum is their fondness for Kolhapuri chappals. When speaking of the culture of Belgaum, its mouthwatering food definitely cannot be forgotten! After all, one can’t help but indulge in the tempting delights like Kunda (from which the city got its sobriquet ‘Kunda Nagari’) which is a sweet delicacy made from milk. Apart from that, Belgaum is also known for other traditional sweet dishes like Mandige which is a North Indian-style pastry, and Ladagi Laddu which is a dessert that is very high in proteins.
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You can reach the Belgaum Airport at Sambra by domestic flights. From Mumbai, it’s almost 500 km whereas from Bangalore it’s around 525 km to this airport. You can also reach this airport via SpiceJet, an airline company that operates in various cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mangalore, and Jabalpur. There are also other international flights like Emirates, British Airways, and Qatar Airways that you can take to reach either Mumbai or Bangalore, if you’re traveling internationally.
Belgaum is well-connected by rail to various important cities in India. Since the Belgaum Railway Station is a part of the Indian Railways, you can reach the station via many rail routes. This railway station is also a part of the South Western Railways and is situated in Shastri Nagar. Some of the popular rail routes to reach Belgaum include Hubli from Bangalore and Miraj via Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, and Goa.
There are several private bus operators in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Bangalore that can take you to Belgaum. If you’re planning to reach Belgaum via Goa, then you can avail of the KADAMBA bus service that will drop you here. Otherwise, you can take the MSRTC buses that operate from Maharashtra to Belgaum city. The National Highway 748 connects Belgaum to various major Indian cities including Bangalore and Panaji.
The best time to visit Belgaum would be between the months of November and March. This is the best time to visit the different waterfalls and scenic wonders of the city. There are plenty of trekking trails and wildlife parks in the city that you can explore. In winters, a trip here would be an unforgettable experience as the weather is cool and pleasant and you get to witness the beautiful misty hills of Belgaum. Do keep in mind that November and December are peak months here, in terms of tourism, so your flight tickets and accommodation will be on the expensive side during this period.
Although Belgaum has a pleasant climate year-round, the time during Diwali and Ganesh Chaturti is one that awakens and lightens up the entire city. These two festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and splendor throughout the city. But, if you want to visit the city for a quick getaway from your monotonous routine, winters are the best time as the temperature here is known to drop down to almost 9°C! It can’t get any better than this to enjoy a morning cup of chai and marvel at the scenic surroundings of the place.
If you want to visit Belgaum and check out all the major tourist attractions here, then you should avoid visiting the place during summertime. This is because the weather here during summers can get really humid. It can get very hot as the temperature in the city is known to rise up to almost 40°C which can make your sightseeing a difficult experience here.
One of the most convenient ways to get around Belgaum is by bus. And the best thing about traveling by bus here is that the fare is as cheap as INR 10 and buses go to the major attractions of the city. There are several private buses that can take you to places like Hubli, Dharwad, Goa, and other places that are close to Belgaum and worth visiting.
Another cheap way to get around in the city is through the auto-rickshaws. Fortunately, Belgaum has many auto-rickshaws that operate in almost all parts of the city.
If you’re planning to visit Belgaum with your family and friends, you can choose to hire a rental car and go sightseeing in the major attractions of the city. The city has fairly good roads, so a road trip to visit the major spots in the city will certainly be a blissful experience for you.
'Belgaum is all about history and architecture'
It’s no secret that Belgaum has a very rich history attached to it and the many historical sites and temples here speak for themselves. Surely, the city has some great architectural marvels and historic sites like the Belgaum Fort, Kapileshwar Temple, Safa Masjid, and many more. But the city is not limited to just that; it has many other scenic attractions for all kinds of travelers.
Whether you want to go sightseeing, trekking, hiking, or camping, there are tons of activities to do in Belgaum. The city has the most breathtakingly beautiful rocky hills and hilly terrains making it a perfect place for adventure junkies. So if you’re up for a challenging trek, you know where to go. And the beautiful scenery of the city is just like a cherry on the cake. What else can one ask for?
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One of the most popular and beautiful places to visit in Belgaum is Gokak Falls. The city has many waterfalls but this one certainly stands out from the rest of them. Why, you ask? Well, the sight of the Ghataprabha River cascading down from a height of almost 171 feet is simply jaw-dropping. The place is one of the most preferred among trekkers. Another nearby attraction near Gokak Falls is the Lord Mahalingeshwara Temple where you can go and pay your respects.
Ghataprabha Bird Sanctuary is in close proximity to Gokak Falls. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, then this should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Belgaum. Here, you’ll witness many migratory birds including the European White Stork, Demoiselle Crane, and many more. The sight of the tranquil waters of the Ghataprabha River is something that will surely calm your soul. Don’t forget to carry your camera to capture the beautiful birds and scenic beauty of this place if you’re visiting the sanctuary.
The Belgaum Fort is one of the most ancient historical sites in the city. This 13th-century architectural marvel was built during the reign of the Ratta dynasty. One of the best things about visiting this fort is that you get to witness many Jain temples and mosques that are built inside this fort. At the entrance of the fort, you’ll see the shrines of Goddess Durga and Ganpati. The architecture of the fort is absolutely stunning and will remind you of the many rulers that once reigned in Belgaum.
Whether it’s to visit the ethereal wonders of the city’s history or go sightseeing at the many waterfalls and lakes here, Belgaum certainly has something for everyone. Right from adventurous activities like trekking to mouthwatering sweet delights and serene surroundings, Belgaum is one of the most diverse cities in Karnataka. If you’re keen on traveling to Belgaum, we hope that our Belgaum travel guide has covered everything you needed to know. Now, all that’s left is for you to pack your bags and plan your trip to Belgaum!
Is Belgaum Worth Visiting?
Belgaum is a beautiful, diverse and prosperous city in Karnataka. Here, you’ll find many historical sites, ancient temples, and mesmerizing waterfalls that will blow your mind. The city also has a great power loom and is known for its sarees. So, if you’re up for a trip to a serene place rich in history, then Belgaum is certainly worth visiting.
What Is Belgaum Famous For?
Belgaum has had a magnificent history in the past and so, it is known for its many places that have illustrious legacies. Some of the most famous historic sites in the city are Belgaum Fort, Kapileshwar Temple, Maruti Temple, and many more.
Which Belgaum Sweet Is Famous?
One of the most famous sweets in Belgaum is the Belgaumi Kunda. This is a traditional sweet delicacy that is prepared using milk, curd, and cardamom powder that the locals enjoy.
Does Belgaum Have A Beach?
Belgaum has the beautiful Devbagh Beach which is a gorgeous white sand beach that the locals love to take a dip in. Other beaches in close proximity to the city include Calangute Beach, Tarakarli Beach, Kode Beach, and Malpe Beach, among many more.
Is Belgaum part of Maharashtra?
The Belagavi district and Belagavi city in Belgaum are part of the state of Karnataka. Though there is an ongoing dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka governments, the Supreme Court's verdict is awaited.
What language is spoken in Belgaum?
Kannada, Marathi, and Hindi are spoken across Belgaum.
What is the old name of Belgaum?
Belgaum or Belagavi was earlier referred to as Venugrama meaning the 'bamboo village'.
What type of climate does Belgaum have?
Since Belgaum is located in the southern part of India, the climate here is hot and humid. The monsoon season is extremely hot with high humidity while the summers are hot and dry.