Belgaum is the city in the state of Karnataka garlanded by western ghats holding many beauties of natural and historical importance, it’s name has been changed from Belgaum to Belagavi by the state government in the recent past. Belgaum is the famous tourist place for the people traveling to Karnataka and also for the people of Karnataka, there are lots of places to visit in and nearby Belgaum and most of them hold an interesting grip of roots of historical importance. So it makes us keen to know Belgaum History.

Belgaum History

In past Belgaum’s original name was Venugrama (a village of bamboo), one of the oldest places in the Belgaum is Halsi, which in the research was found to be the capital of Kadamba dynasty, it is believed that from 6th century to 760, Chalukyas used to rule this area and was succeeded by Rashtrakuta dynasty.

After the breaking up of Rashtrakutas, the Ratta dynasty gained control over the area in the 12th century AD making Venugrama the capital. A very known Rattan official at that time named Bicchiraja built the Jain temple named Kamalbasati in the Belgaum fort which is preserved today also, Belgaum fort is believed to be built by Rattas and the pillars found in the fort have Kannada inscriptions in Nagari script.

Get to know more about Belgaum Fort

In the 13th century, it is believed that Belgaum was ruled by the Yadav dynasty propounded by inscriptions belonging to king Krishna. In the 14th century, Delhi Sultanate ruled Belgaum and the rulers were from the Khilji Dynasty but after a short time, the Vijayanagara Empire gained control over this area.

In 1474, Mahmood Gawan of Bahmani Sultanate conquered Belgaum with his armed forces and ruled it for the time.

The mightiness of Belgaum fort shined under the supreme power of the Adil Shah dynasty and they also built the Safa Masjid and the credit for building this masjid goes to a Bijapur commander named Asad khan.

In 1518, Bahmani Sultanate got divided into 5 states and Belgaum came under Adilshah of Bijapur Sultanate who tried to increase his reach to the Goa ports but he was chased back by the Portugues in war.

In 1686, Mughals got control over the Belgaum and renamed it as Azamnagar and it was the second time in Belgaum’s history when it was renamed, but the Mughal control collapsed after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. Then Marathas came to power under the rule of Peshwas but shortly after this, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan occupied the area. Peshwas again gained control over the area because Tipu Sultan got defeated by British forces.

In 1818, Britishers annexed the Belgaum and also the region which was under the Peshwa control. In the meantime, in 1824 the queen of Kittur famously known and respected as Kittur Rani Chinnamma raged the bloody battle against British forces because they interfered in the tax collection process of her state (it came as the part of Britisher’s policy named as Doctrine of Lapse) but the battle was short and kittur rani lost it against the British.

Belgaum map in 1896
Belgaum Map, 1896

In December 1924, during British raj Mahatma Gandhi led the 39th session of the Indian National Congress in Belgaum. 

Mahatma Gandhi in Belgaum
Mahatma Gandhi in Belgaum

Till the Britishers ruled India, Belgaum always had an active military installation and it is the same as of now. In 1961, then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru used the forces from Belgaum to free Goa from the Portugues control. 

After the Independence of India, Belgaum was under the Bombay State but after the implementation of the State Reorganisation Act in 1956, it came under the Karnataka border.

Being at the junction of Karnataka and Maharashtra, Belgaum is an interesting mix of Kannada and Maharashtrian culture and it is one of the reasons which makes Belgaum an interesting place to visit. 

The Karnataka government in 2006 decided that Belgaum will become the second state of the capital and declared it for the fixed venue for the annual winter session of the Karnataka legislature. And on 1 November 2014, Belgaum’s official name was changed to Belagavi.

Want to know about Parasgad fort, in Belgaum?

Get to know about the famous history of KITTUR FORT

An interesting vantage point for Belgaum- “YELLUR FORT”

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