Pilgrimage Tourism in Belgaum District
Located at Saundatti is the beautiful and ancient Yellamma temple, dedicated to the Goddess Renuka. It is situated at a distance of 70 kms from Belgaum, and the place can be reached by road. The temple is situated on a mountain which was earlier known as the Siddhachal Parvat. The construction style of the temple reflects the architecture of the Chalukya dynasty and that of the Rashtrakutas dynasty. The carvings reflect Jain architecture. The temple was constructed by Bomappa Nail of Raybag in the year 1514. There are temples of Lord Ganesh, Mallikarjun, Parshuram, Eknath, Siddeshwar etc in the temple premises. Devotees from Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh also come here especially during the time of Jatra, which is held twice in a year. The management of the temple has been handed over to the Government in 1975 and the government has made provisions such as Dharmashalas, Health Centres and other facilities to make the devotees feel at home.
Kapileshwara temple is said to be one of the oldest temples in Belgaum. It is called the 'Dakshina Kashi' and it is believed that the journey of the 12 Jyotir lingas of India is said to be incomplete without a visit to Kapileshwara. The temple is best visited during the month of Shravan or on the day of Mahashivratri in order to feel the religious essence to the fullest. The jyotirling here is said to be self-originated and there are temples of Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman, Datta, and Saibaba in the temple premises. There is also a Navgraha Mandir situated here.
Nature Tourism in Belgaum District
Gokak Falls is a beautiful waterfall located at a distance of 60 Kms from Belgaum and 10kms from Gokak town. Located right on the main road it is a celebrated tourist centre in the district. The waterfall has a height of about 170 feet. The river Ghataprapha after winding a course of a long route takes a leap of 52 meters, over a rocky bed 170 feet down. The falls is famous for its spread and shape. The dull roar of the falls can be heard much before one reaches it. The falls are horse-shoe shaped at the crest, with a flood breadth of 177 metres. June to September is the best season to visit Gokak. Electricity was generated here for the first time in the country in 1887. This generating station can be reached on the rope way.
Godachinmalki Falls is situated 16 Kms from Gokak, it is at a fine spot located to the west of the Gokak-Konnur road in a deep green valley. Markandeya River takes the first jump from a height of about 25 metres and flows into a rocky valley and after a short distance from here it takes a second jump at a height of about 18 metres.
Naviltirtha is a place of remarkable natural beauty and a popular picnic spot. Located 10 Kms from Saundatti, it is a low valley, located in between two hills. Formerly, it was full of Peacocks, frequently flocking round the pond, and thus the place was named Naviltirtha. The Malaprabha River Dam near Renukasagar is situated here.
Leisure Tourism in Belgaum District
Belgaum Fort is an ancient architectural pre-Muslim monument where mosques and temples co-exist in perfect harmony; though not much of the original structure remains. The fort was built in the 12th century A.D by the local Ratta rulers. It was renovated and built on by successive rulers who ruled Belgaum from time-to-time. At the very entrance, one will find two Shrines; One dedicated to Lord Ganpati and the other to Goddess Durga.
Safa masjid is one of the two mosques inside the fort and is by far the best of the 25-30 mosques in the city. The minars domes and arches point to a typical fusion of the Deccan style and Indo-Sarcenic architecture in India. The sense of the past is all-pervading here. Two of the circular pillars in the Jamia hall are said to be from the old temples. Some of them have Kannada Inscriptions in Nagari Script, while others have beautiful Persian script forming exquisite calligraphic decorations.
The Kamala Basti is one of the two bastis located inside the walls of the fort. It was built in 1204 in the late Chalukyan style of architecture, with the Neminatha idol in black stone. The master piece here is the "Mukhamantapa" with a well-executed lotus on the ceiling. Outside the Kamala Basti is another ruined Jain temple.
Rakaskop, 16 Kms from Belgaum, literally means a hamlet of a Rakkasa (Giant), who is stated to have lived on a hillrock near the village. A cavern in laterite on the hillrock resembling a huge seated human figure is shown by the people to remind of his past existence. There is found here a Dam across the river Markandeya, supplying drinking water to Belgaum.
Thus, tourism in the Belgaum district has a lot to offer the tourist, both for those who are religiously inclined as well as those looking to soak in nature's beauty.
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