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Seal of Karnataka.png
Karnataka Coat-of-arms
State Karnataka
Division Belgaum
Taluks Dharwad, Hubli,Kalghatgi, Navalgund,Kundgol
District headquarters Dharwad
District Commissioner Darpan Jain (IAS)
Area 4265 km²
Population (2011) 1,846,993
  • Telephone
  • Vehicle

Time zone IST (UTC+5.30)

Dharwad District (Kannada: ಧಾರವಾಡ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ) is an administrative district of the state of Karnataka in southern India. Dharwad is the cultural headquarters of North Karnataka.

The administrative headquarters of the district is the town of Dharwad. Dharwad, also known as Dharwar. Dharwad is famous for its Dharwad Peda - a milk based sweetmeat. Dharwad is the administrative seat of the district of the same name. The municipality (resulting from a merger with neighbouring Hubli in 1961) covers 191 km2. Dharwad is located 425 km northwest of Bangalore and 421 km south of Pune, on the main highway between Bangalore and Pune in Maharashtra. KREIS North Unit of National Projects Construction Corporation has its headquarters here. Karnataka High Court circuit Bench is also based here.

Before 1997 the district had an area of 13738 km2. In 1997, the new districts of Gadag and Haveri were created out of Dharwad's former territory, and a portion of Dharwad district was combined with lands formerly part of three other districts to create the new district of Davanagere.

District map

History[edit | edit source]

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 Malenadu region and the 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".

Another theory is 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. 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 famous freedom fighter and the "Karnataka Kulapurohit", Sri Alur Venkatrao. It was Sri Alur Venkatrao’s work, ‘Karnataka Gatha Vaibhava’, that mooted the idea of unification of Kannada-speaking areas.

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.[1] 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 circuit bench at Dharwad caters to the Mumbai - Karnatak region.

Geographical features[edit | edit source]

Climate chart for Hubli
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: YR

Dharwad district is situated in the Western sector of the northern half of Karnataka State. The District encompasses an area of 4263 km2 lying between the latitudinal parallels of 15°02’ and 15°51’ North and longitudes of 73°43’ and 75°35’ East. The district is bounded on the North by the District of Belgaum, on the East by the district of Gadag, on the South Haveri and on the West by Uttara Kannada district. All these districts which surround Dharwad district belong to Karnataka State itself.

Sub Divisions of District (Taluka's)

The District lies approximately about 800 mts above the sea level, which is why it enjoys a moderate and healthy climate. The District may be divided into 3 natural regions, viz., the Malnad, Semi-Malnad and Maidan. These regions on an average receive moderate to heavy rainfall and have dense vegetation. Kalghatagi and Alnavar area in Dharwad taluka in particular receive more rainfall than other talukas of the District.

On the agricultural front, the presence of black soil helps in raising crops like Cotton, Wheat, Ragi, Jowar and Oil seeds and that of red soil is more suitable for paddy.

Notable people[edit | edit source]

Education[edit | edit source]

Karnatak University

Dharwad has been a renowned centre of learning, with many famous high schools, colleges and universities. List Of Educational Institutions in Dharwad. Marathi was a popular language in Dharwad till the middle of 19th century. Marathi schools Existed. Marathi and English were used in Govt. offices and court of law, so the language of the soil suffered a grate setback. So some great veterans of Karnataka the Kannada loving educational persons like Deputy Chennabasappa, Artal Rudragouda, Rodda Shrinivas Rao, Sir Siddappa Kambli, Sakkari Balacharya, R.H. Deshpande, Alur VenkatRao, Kadapa Raghavendra Rao, Sali Ramachandra Rao and others devoted their life's time to restore kannada by founding schools and colleges, teaching through the medium of Kannada.

The city of Dharwad is deemed to be the seat of Saraswati because of the educational institutions, educationists, education loving people and the atmosphere. Students from all surrounding districts came to educational purpose. At 8 and 10 in the morning and 12 and 5 in the afternoon the roads of Dharwad, busses and autorikshas brim with students. It appears as though the whole of Dharwad itself is one big school.

Dharwad has Kannada, English, Hindi, Marathi and Urdu medium schools. We would have a very brief outline of some of the very outstanding educational institutions

Important industrial centre[edit | edit source]

Hubli is an important industrial centre, with more than 1000 allied small and medium industries already established. There are machine tools industries, electrical, steel furnitures, food products, rubber and leather industries and tanning industries.

With the establishment of:

  • Tata Marcopolo Motors Ltd.
  • Telco Construction Equipment Company Limited (Telcon).
  • Kirloskar Eelectrical Co Ltd.
  • Bhoruka textile Mill.
  • NGEF Limited.
  • Karnataka Milk Federation.
  • BDK Group of Industries.
  • Murudeshwar Ceramics Ltd.
  • Kamat Group of Hotels (Popular group of hotels) started off in this very city.
  • JBM Industries.

IT Park Hubli - situated in the heart of the City and is promoted by the Government of Karnataka IT Department and KEONICS acts as the modalagency for maintaining and marketing of IT Park Hubli.


IT Park in Hubballi

Transportation[edit | edit source]

By Road

NWKRTC (North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation) is a state run corporation headquartered at Hubli. There is excellent inter-city transportation between Hubli, Dharwad, Kalghatgi, Navalgund and Kundgol as NWKRTC and Bendre Nagara Sarige (a consortium of private bus-owners) compete to cater to the large number of commuters between these places daily. Bus services from the twin-cities exist to every part of Karnataka and neighbouring states and other popular destinations. There are many private bus operators who render travel services between Hubli and Bengalore, Mangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Goa and Hyderabad.

By Railway

Several express and passenger trains ply between Hubli and Bangalore everyday. Hubli being an important railway junction has daily trains to Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Miraj, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Vijayawada, Mysore and weekly services to Chennai, Howrah and Thiruvananthapuram.

By Air

Kingfisher Airlines provides daily flights to Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. With night-landing facilities being constructed at Hubli Airport, the traffic is expected to grow. .

Demographics[edit | edit source]

According to the 2011 census Dharwad district has a population of 1,846,993,[2] roughly equal to the nation of Kosovo[3] or the US state of West Virginia.[4] This gives it a ranking of 256th in India (out of a total of 640).[2] The district has a population density of 434 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,120 /sq mi) .[2] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 15.13 %.[2] Dharwad has a sex ratio of 967 females for every 1000 males,[2] and a literacy rate of 80.3 %.[2]

Culture[edit | edit source]

The Dharwad region has contributed to some of the greatest exponents of Hindustani music including Sawai Gandharva, Mallikarjun Mansur, Bhimsen Joshi (Died in 2011), 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.

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 Sahitya Akademi, also lived in dharwad for a good 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, famous Hindi actress and wife of late Kishore Kumar, belongs to this town and still owns property in Dharwad near the Railway Station.

Dattatreya Temple

Nandan Nilekani, the 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. Mr. Nilekani has sponsored the construction of Srijana, a state-of-the-art auditorium in the Karnatak College premises.

Dharwad has produced eminent legal luminaries like Sanglad J., Bannurmath J., A.C. Kabbin J., Mohan Shantangoudar J., B.S.Patil, Ashok Hinchigeri J., Subhash Adi J., and lawyers like Late Shri Hiregoudar, C.B 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. Sunil Joshi, the Indian cricket bowler, also hails from Dharwar and is also incidentally related to Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

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

Tourism[edit | edit source]

Places of Interest, Dharwad district has many tourist attractions including historical temples and other monuments.[5]


  • Amminbhavi is about 6 km from Dharwad, It is famous for 24 Tirthankara Basadi, Hire Matha and cave temple. Hire Matha has the paintings on a wooden plank those are transferred from Kittur.


Chandramouleshwara temple at Unkal Hubli-Dharwad

Amruteshwara Temple at Annigeri

  • Chandramouleshwara Temple at Unkal is famous for Historical Western Chalukya period Chandramouleshwara Shiva temple and Unkal lake. Chandramouleshwara Temple is one of the beautiful temples in Dharwad district.
  • Unkal Lake A pictorial water spot with a magnificent sunset view, this perfect picnic spot has green garden, recreational facilities for the children, boating facilities, etc. The lake is 3 km away from Hubli.

Unkal Lake

  • Bhavanishankar Temple This Chalukyan temple with the image of Sri Narayana is flanked by the ten incarnations of God.
  • Asar It was built by Mohammed Ali Shah in about 1646 to serve as a hall of justice. The building was also used to house two hairs from the Prophet's beard. Women are not allowed inside.
  • Nrupatunga Hill is a hillock located on the North-Eastern fringe of Hubli. The top of the hillock offers a pleasing panoramic view of Hubli city. The span of the panoramic view extends from Amargol in the North, to the Airport in the West all the way to the Southern parts of Hubli. It is a popular location for morning-walkers and especially in the evenings for the youth of Hubli to spend time.

Sidharoodha Math Old-Hubli

  • Siddharoodha Math is the eminent religious institution, a centre of Advaita philosophy as preached by Swami Siddharoodha, is located at near outskirts of Hubli.
  • Glass House As the name suggests, this is a palace of glass, inaugurated by the former Indian Prime Minister, Smt.Indira Gandhi.
  • Banashankari Temple Amargol is famous for the Shankarlinga and Banashankari Temple. It is in between Hubli and Dharwad, and near to Navanagara.
  • Annigeri has many historical temples including Kalyani Chalukya period Amriteshwara temple. It is about 30 km from Hubli, between Hubli and Gadag.


Shambhulinga temple at Kundgol, North Karnataka


  • Tamboor about 8 km from Kalghatgi. It is famous for Basavanna temple and Devikoppa Forest.
  • Shri Basaveshwar Temple is located in Bhogenagarakoppa at a distance of approximately 14 km from Kalghatagi.
  • Mahalakshmi temple
  • Shantinatha Basadi Jain temple

Rich Folk Heritage[edit | edit source]

  • Dollu Kunitha

It is a popular drum dance. The large drums are decorated with coloured cloth, and are slung around the necks of men. The dances are at times accompanied with songs relating to religious praise or wars.

  • Veeragase

Veeragase is popular folk dance. It is a symbolic presentation of the heroism and valour of God Veerabahadhra. Its exponents are called Lingadevaru and they perform the dance with religious fervour at festival time especially during the months of Shravana and Kartika.

  • Nandikolu kunitha

This art form is the domain of male devotees of Lord Siva. The Nandi pole is about 18 cubits in length, each cubit representing a 'dharma'. The length of the pole is fitted with brass pots and plates, and ornate silver or brass umbrella at the top with a silk tassel, which is the flag. The performer on a sling balances the pole; this requires skill as well as strength. The sight of the devotee's inspired dance, to the background beat and the resulting symphony of sounds, from the pots and plates on the pole, is truly breathtaking.

  • Jodu halige

Halige meaning two percussion instruments used by two artists to produce rhythmic notes of astounding energy and power. Their movements along the stage expressive of their physical energy harmonizes with the notes produced by the instrument. The Haligi (wood) circular in shape is made of buffalo hide. A short stick is used on it. The notes combined with the bodily movement pervade the stage and overflow to the audience.

  • Lambani nruthya

Lambani women dressed colourfully and move circularly with clapping and singing. This dance is out of the common. In dress, mode of living and dwelling, they dance on important festivities in a free manner.

  • Veerabhadra kunitha

The dance form depicts the story of Veerabhadra, the legendary minor god created by Lord Siva to teach a lesson to his father-in-law Daksha. Veerabhadra to go to the place of the yaga and destroy the ceremony.

The folk art forms of Karnataka need to be revived at the earliest, failing which they will disappear without a trace. Nowadays there is no attempt to perform or encourage in North Karnataka, especially with regard to Doddata, Sannata and Gombeyata.

People, Language,Customs[edit | edit source]

Kannada is most spoken language in this district. However, Marathi is also spoken by a large population here and is second most important language here. The Kannada spoken here is known as Dharwad Kannada. This slightly varies from Kannada spoken in southern Karnataka. Men in rural areas wear headgear called a turban or Pheta. Also many wear white cap on their head.

Agriculture and Commerce[edit | edit source]

Jowar, maize, wheat, cotton, onions and rice are grown. The district also grows mangoes and bananas as horticultural produce. There are many subsidiary agricultural industries such as the production of puffed rice, beaten rice, and edible oils.

Commercial centre[edit | edit source]

Hubli is the main trading centre for agriculture produce. Farmers not only from Karnataka, but from elsewhere sell their produce here. Hubli has a large APMC market at Amargol located between Hubli and Dharwad. Hubli APMC is an important market for red chillies, onions, rice, cotton and jowar. Hubli-Dharwad city has many medium and small sized industries producing engineering items, electrical goods and agricultural implements. There are several cotton spinning and ginning mills.

Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation[edit | edit source]

Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) was constituted in the year 1962 by combining two cities separated by a distance of 20 kilometers. This is a unique experiment in urban development history. The area of this Corporation is 181.66 km². spread over 45 revenue villages. The population of the city as per the 1991 Census was 7 Lacs. The present population is around 15 Lacs.

  • Hubli: Under the Government of India Act of 1850, the Hubli-Municipal council was established on August 15, 1855.
  • Dharwad: The Dharwad Municipal Council first came into existence on 1 January 1856. The first non-official President of the Council was S.K. Rodda in 1907, and Shri S.V. Mensinkai, was nominated in the following year. But the credit of being the first elected President goes to Shri S.G. Karigudari, who took office in 1920.

Hubli is well known as a commercial as well as industrial centre, whereas Dharwad is seat of learning. Popularly believed that, it is this diversity and geographical positions that the state government amalgamated the two cities. The twin-city Corporation occupies unique place in Karnataka State. After the capital city of Bangalore, this is the largest city Corporation in the State. Off late, HDMC has seen numerous positive changes. The administration has become more transparent and public-friendly. The processes have been streamlined and developmental projects have been taken up on all fronts. With all the standards and policies set, HDMC has been awarded with ISO certification.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  1. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer. p. 511
  2. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  3. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Kosovo 1,825,632 July 2011 est." 
  4. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. "West Virginia 1,852,994" 
  5. ^ "Chapter XIV, Karnataka, The Tourist Paradise". Retrieved 2009-03-30. 

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