History of Bagalkot District
History of Bagalkot District comprises mainly of the early, medieval and modern history of India. The History of Bagalkot District deals with the times of Mahabharata, Pulakeshin I and other South Indian kings in the early times. Stone inscriptions recognize Bagadige as the early name of Bagalkot. As a certain myth goes, Ravana, lord of Lanka to his musicians as a gift, gave the area. Other taluks in Bagalkot District also have legends related to them. Badami, previously known as Vatapi, was named after a demon king who, as the Mahabharata goes, ruled the area along with his brother Ilvala. Many excavations have been made in Bagalkot District, which provide important information. A Chalukyan sculpture of Shiva has been recovered from the taluk of Badami. Moreover, evidence of megalithic habitat was also found at the foothills of Bachinagudda. The 12th century social reformer Basavanna, who sincerely fought against exploitation of the lower caste people by the upper caste ones, was born in Koodalasangama, a town in the taluk of Hungund in this district. The Government of India authorized a pilgrim centre in the town of Kudalasangama in honour of Basavanna. Purandara Dasa widely regarded as the initiator of Carnatic music and a well-known proponent of the Bhakti Movement stayed in Bagalkot District and composed his music in Kannada. In the 14th century, Muhammad Bin Taghlaq occupied a large fraction of this territory. In the late 15th century, the Adil Shahi dynasty founded by Yusuf Adil Shah set up an autonomous state with Bijapur as its capital. It is from this time that Bagalkot's history merged with that of Bijapur. In 1818, after having lost their kingdom to the British, the Maratha Peshwas of Satara became mere under lords of the kingdom with no significant power in their hands. In 1848, the Peshwas even lost this power and the district completely passed into the hands of the British Raj. It then became a part of the dominion of the Bombay Presidency. Taking a section of the existing Bijapur district in 1997 made a separate district of Bagalkot; 50 years after India got her independence.
Geography of Bagalkot District
The climate of Bagalkot district is hot and arid throughout the year and rainfall is scanty. Bagalkot district receives the lowest annual rainfall in Karnataka. 52% of the total annual rainfall occurs in the months of September and December. The regions are semi- arid with no dense vegetation. The Krishna River, Ghataprabha River and Malaprabha River flow through the area but none are perennial rivers. The soil found in the area is usually black or red. Black soil preserves moisture and is often used for the cultivation of cotton. Rabi and jowar are mainly cultivated in Bagalkot district, along with groundnut, cotton, maize, bajra, wheat, sugarcane and tobacco. As boundaries, Bagalkot District has Belgaum District to the west, Bijapur District and Gulbarga District to the north and north -east, Raichur District to the east and Koppal District, Gadag District and Dharwad District respectively to the south -east, south and south -west. It covers a total area of 6593 square kms.
Economy of Bagalkot District
The district is also rich in minerals. In the village of Kaladgi, which is situated 24 km from the town of Bagalkot, copper is found. Iron ore is also there in the southern part of the district. The gneiss family of rock is commonly found here. Frequent rock types in the region comprise quartzite, greenstone, sandstone and limestone. Due to the dry climate, the region is often prone to drought and crop failure. The mean rainfall in the area is more or less 318 mm annually. Agriculture is the most important means of survival in the district. Over 65% of the working people in Bagalkot district are engaged in agriculture. It should be significantly noted that 80% of female workers in the district are engaged in agriculture. Jowarcrop constitutes the chief food of the people of this region. Pulses are also cultivated in the region, principally gram, tuvar daal, kulith and moong daal. The district also grows Linseed, castor oil and sesamum. Reservoirs like the Kendur reservoir provide water for irrigation.
Demography of Bagalkot district
The district, with a growth rate of about 19% in every ten years is one of the ten fastest growing districts in Karnataka. 86% of the population in the district consists of Hindus, while 11% of the population is Muslim. Jains fill up a little over 1% of the population, while Christians constitute 0.17%. Scheduled Castes and Tribes make up about 17% of the total population. Kannada, the state language of Karnataka, is the most extensively spoken language in the district. The mean literacy rate of the district is 57.3%, higher than the national average of 52% but lower than the average literacy rate of the state, which is 66.6%. Bagalkot ranks 22nd out of the 27 districts in Karnataka in terms of adult literacy. The population density of Bagalkot is in the order of 251 persons per square kilometre. Housing conditions in the district are quite good and mass media (radio, transistor, television) penetrates about 67% of the total area of the district. The sex ratio of the district is 980 females per 1000 males, significantly higher than the national mean of 927.
Culture of Bagalkot District
Culture of Bagalkot district has been adequately influenced by Kannada culture and to some extent by Marathi culture as well, partly because of the district's nearness to Maharashtra and partly because of its previous history of being a taluk under the jurisdiction of the Bombay Presidency. The conventional cuisine of the district is characteristic of the North Karnataka cuisine. Jowar based food items such as Bhakri are commonly eaten. Other varieties of Indian bread made out of jowar are also widespread and are coloquially known as jolada rotti. As is common to most of the North Karnataka districts, Jhunka, a garbanzo beans based dish is very much prevalent and is usually eaten with Bhakri. These two dishes together are known as Jhunka bhakar. Though not cultivated widely in the district, rice, as in all of South India, is part of the staple diet. It is imported from other parts of the state and region. Soups prepared from lentil and pulses are commonly eaten. Ilkal town in Bagalkot district is well known for the Ilkal sarees manufactured there.