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Bagalkot (Bagalakote) district was formed in 1997. As per the inscriptions, Bagalkot was earlier known as Bagadige. Bagalkot was the capital of the Chalukyan dynasty of South India under Pulakesi I, who conquered the district. Today, Bagalkot is a major centre of trade, commerce, education and industries. The main temples here are Sri Bhavani, Panduranga and Kothalesh. Panka Masjid is a popular mosque here.
PLACES TO VISIT IN BAGALKOT
Aihole is located on the banks of Malaprabha River. It is a very popular tourist spot in north Karnataka. Aihole was the capital of the early Chalukyan dynasty. They built more than 125 temples in various styles. Most of these temples were built between the 6th & 8th centuries and some even earlier. Aihole has its own historical importance and is called as cradle of Hindu rock architecture. Many temples and caves of historical importance can be found at Aihole.
Badami is located at a distance of 45 km from Aihole. It was the royal capital of the Chalukyan Empire from 540 to 757 AD. Badami was formerly called as Vatapi. Badami is noted for its rock-cut cave temples. The four cave temples stand for the secular nature of the rulers then, with tolerance and a religious following that inclines towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Cave 1 is devoted to Shiva, and Caves 2 and 3 are dedicated to Vishnu, whereas cave 4 displays dedicated of Jain Tirthankaras.
Banashankari is located at a place called Cholachagudd which is about 5 km from Badami. The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Banashankari also known as Shakambhari. Banashankari is one of the most ancient temples in Kamataka. The Haridra Theertha - a sacred pool in front of the temple. Best time to visit the Banashankari temple is in the month of January during Pushya maasa.
Bilgi is house of several monuments built in the Kalyana Chalukya style of architecture. Few worth visit places of Bilgi are Aretthina Bhavi - the beautiful stone well, Siddeshwara temple and Hazrath Hassan Dargah.
Ilkal is famous for its hand-woven sarees popularly known as Ilkal sarees. Ilkal is also famous for variety of red granite granite, which is exported all over the world. The other attractions of Ilkal are Venkateshwara, Shankarlinga temples and Vijaya Mahanthesha Math.
Kudala Sangama is about 40 km from Bagalkot. The famous rivers Krishna and Ghataprabha merge here and flow towards Srishaila of Andhra Pradesh. Kudala Sangama is one of the important pilgrim centers of Karnataka. The Aikya Mantapa of Basavanna, the philosopher and a social reformer along with Linga, which is believed to be self-born, is situated here.
Lokapur if famous for its well known temples constructed in the Rashtrakuta style. Lokeshwara temple is one of the ancient temples found here.
Mahakoota is at a distance of 15 km from Badami. Legend has it that the sage Agastya lived at Mahakoota, on the banks of a tank by name Vishnu Pushkarini. Mahakoota is house of several temples built in early Chalukya period. The Mahakooteswara temple, set amidst a huge forest is the oldest temple of the early Chalukyan temples.
Mudhol is about 19 Km to the northwest of Mudhol. Mahalingapur is one of the important pilgrim centers for the Veerashaivas. Mahalingeshwara Math is one of the main attractions of Mahalingapur. Mahalingapur is a true spirit of communal harmony, where the Hindu fair is attended by Muslims and Moharram procession is inaugurated by the pontiff of the Math.
Mudhol is a picturesque town located at a distance of 50 km from Bagalkot on the banks of river Ghataprabha. Ranna, the great kannada poet was born in Mudhol in 949 CE. The main attractions Mudhol are Shiva and Kamaleshwar temples, the Mahavir Basadi, Bhramhagaddi Veershaiva Math and Syed Peer dargah.
Pattadakal is at a distance of 22 km from Badami situated on the banks of the river Malaprabha. Pattadakal is renowned for the group of the 8th century CE monuments. Pattadakal is the capital of the Chalukya rulers who built the temples in the seventh and eighth centuries. Pattadakal is one of the important places to see that many temples of the early Chalukyan architecture.
The Virupaksha temple built built by Queen Lokamahadevi, is one of the most beautiful temples here is in the south Indian style and is almost a replica of the Kailasanatha temple of Kanchi. The Virupaksha temple is rich in sculptures like those of lingodbhava, Nataraja, Ravananugraha and Ugranarasimha. The other temples of Pattadakal are Sangameshvara Temple, Kashivisvanatha temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, Galganatha temple, Papanatha temple, Jain Temple located on the Pattadakal-Badami Road, is built in the Dravidian style by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta.
Every year during January or February the annual dance festival called the Chalukya Utsava held here.
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