Ballari is a beautiful and historical city of Karnataka can be a never-forgettable experience for all the travel enthusiasts. It is undoubtedly the most amazing city for all the historians, art-lovers and travelers. It offers a wide range of things to make the visitors feel close to the past. The city tells the tales of many famous battles and dynasties. It is a silent witness of the rise and fall of many empires. Historians and archaeologists have unraveled many neolithic archaeological sites around Bellary.
Situated in the eastern part of Karnataka, the city is bounded by Dharwad, Raichur and Chitradurga districts. This historic place stands amidst the level, wide plain of black cotton soil. This rapidly growing industrial town is known for the magnificent granite rocks and hills and is surrounded by Kumbara Gudda and Ballari Gudda, the two big rocky granite hills. These two Guddas (meaning hills) are the most prominent features of the city.
The city owes its name from the word ‘Balari’ (name of the Goddess Durugamma). It has become one of the best places for tourists coming from far across the planet. The reason lies in its historical and natural treasure.
Art and architecture shows the creative side of the inhabitants of the city. From wood carvings, doll making to ivory carving, each and every art just makes you fall in love with the place. The design, paint, texture and finishing are just amazing.
Ballari Fort can be divided into two parts-the Upper fort and the Lower fort. The Upper fort was originally constructed during the Vijayanagara times. The polygonal Ballari Fort is with a single entrance. This part of the fort consists of a citadel (1976 ft.), cisterns, temple, several pools and cells. There was a seven-color waterbody that has currently evaporated. The tunnel here is also said to link the cities of Mysore and Sriragapatna. A single rock-strewn way will lead the travellers to the top of Ballari Fort.
The Lower part of the fort was constructed by Hyder Ali. This part lies in the eastern base of the rock. Measuring half a mile it once had armory and garrisons. There are two entrances to access the Lower fort facing the eastern and the western directions. Outside the eastern gate the tourists will come across a temple of Lord Hanuman. Ballari Fort is a major tourist attraction in the Ballari district. Recently the fort has been beautified with light and it is spectacular to witness the huge structure at evening. The green expanse and the hill top sceneries are the other attractions of the Ballari fort.
Location: It is about 2 km from Railway Station and Bus Stand.
Hampi was the capital city of the magnificent Vijayanagara Empire. Founded by Harihara and Bukka in 1336, it fell to the rulers of Northern India in 1565 after the Battle of Talikota, and subsequently lapsed into decline and abandonment.
The once proud city of victory is now a city of desolation. However, the ruins of these historical monuments have stood the ravages of man and time and still evoke memories of regal splendour.
Amidst an awesome boulder-strewn landscape along the banks of the Tungabhadra river, Hampi was one of the glittering showpieces of India's might in the 15th century. There were opulent palaces, marvellous temples, massive fortifications, baths, markets, pavilions and stables for royal elephants. The city's merchants traded in diamonds, pearls, fine silks, brocades, horses and much more.
The Hampi Bazaar, 35 yards wide and nearly 800 yards long was known to be a "very beautiful street with very beautiful houses".
The Virupaksha Temple rises majestically at the western end of the famous Hampi Bazaar. The temple has a 120 feet tall tower on its eastern entrance. The temple contains the shrines of Shiva, Pampa and Bhuvaneswari.Parts of this temple are older than the Vijayanagar kingdom itself. The work of this style dates back to the 11th or 12th century.
Nearby is the 6.7m tall monolith of Ugra Narasimha. An inscriptionnearby states that it was hewn from a single boulder in 1528 during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya.
Vithala Temple Complex
The most splendid monument of Hampi is undoubtedly the Vithala Temple Complex with its 56 musical pillars.
To the east of the hall is the famous Stone Chariot with stone wheels that actually revolve. In front of the shrine stands the great mantapa. Resting on a richly sculpted basement, its roof is supported by huge pillars of granite, about 15 feet in height, each consisting of a central pillar surrounded by detached shafts, all cut from one single block of stone. Several of the carved pillars were attacked with such fury that they are hardly more than shapeless blocks of stones and a large portion of the central part has been destroyed utterly. Nearby is the 'Purandra Dasara Mantapa' which has been also declared a protected monument.
Hazara Ramaswami temple
Westwards from the House of Victory, leading through two ruined gates, the path leads to the Hazara Ramaswami temple. This temple is believed to have been the private place of worship of the royal family. The chief attraction of the temple is the series of scenes from the Ramayana carved on two of the inside walls of the mantapa. The genesis of the place known today as Hampi dates back to the age of the Hindu epic Ramayana when it was the site of Kishkinda, a monkey kingdom.
Hampi is also full of surprises: like the King's Balance where kings were weighed against grain, gold or money which was then distributed to the poor, the Queen's Bath, a swimming pool, 50 ft.long and 6 ft.deep, with its arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains that once sprouted perfumed water, the two-storeyed
shaped like a lotus flower from top, this two-story structure has beautiful arc ways set in geometric regularity. It was an air-cooled summer palace of the queen.
This huge stable, a beautiful example of Hindu-Muslim style of architecture, housed about 11 elephants in separate compartments.
The foundation of a lion story wooden structure from which the royalty viewed Hampi with pomp, colour and revelry during the Mahanadu festival. This platform has beautiful carvings.
Sister Stones :
These are two giant boulders leaning against each other, making an archway like formation. You can find them on the left side of the main road when you go from the Underground Shiva Temple towards Hampi bus station. The road almost passes through under the stones. Akka Tangi Gundu means ‘sister stones’ in the local language. The local folklore has it that it that they were two sisters and they became stone as a curse when they ridiculed the place!
Badavi Linga :
This is the largest monolithic Linga in Hampi. Located next to the Narasimha statue the Linga is housed inside a chamber with an opening in the front. A close look on this icon can reveal three eyes (depicting the three eyes of Siva) carved on it. Legend has it that this was commissioned by a peasant woman and hence the name (Badava means poor in local tongue). The sanctum in which the Linga is installed is always filled with water as a water channel is made to flow through it. According to Hindu mythology the River Ganga (Ganges) was brought from heaven to earth to quench the drought. But the river was so forceful that it could split the earth into two pieces if allowed to fall on earth. Lord Shiva consented to take the impact by allowing the torrent of Ganga to fall on his matted hair. Thus helping to release a smooth flowing river on to earth from his hair. As an iconic representation of this, in Siva temples you can spot a dripping pot hanged over the Linga. Both Lakshmi Narasimha & Badavilinga shrines can be visited together.
Tungabhadra Dam is built across the river Tungabhadra. It is one of the biggest multi purpose dams in Karnataka. It is spread over an area of 400 sq.kms. It has 33 gates from which water gushes out forming it into a breath-taking site. The water canals of this Dam genarate 27 mega watts of electricity and also irrigates thousands of acres of lands. This dam also forms a great place of recreation for tourists with its beautiful gardens, children parks, aquarium and musical fountain.
The Tungabhadra is a river of southern India. It is the chief tributary of the Krishna River. It formed by the confluence of two rivers, the Tunga and the Bhadra, which rise in the eastern slope of the Western Ghats, in the state of Karnataka. The Tungabhadra flows east across the Deccan Plateau, joining the Krishna in Andhra Pradesh state, from where the Krishna continues east to empty into the Bay of Bengal.
The wedge of land that lies north of the Tungabhadra, between the Tungabhadra and the Krishna, is known as the Raichur Doab.Vast stretch of Beautiful Garden enhances the unforgettable view of the Dam. Every Visitor takes home happy memories.
How to Reach
Air - The nearest Airport to reach Tunga Bhadra Dam is Bangalore, 340 KM away
Rail - Hospet is the nearest rail head (6 kms). Hospet is linked by rail to Bangalore, Bijapur,Hubli and Guntakal.
Road - Tunga Bhadra Dam is 340 kms from Bangalore. KSRTC Buses ply regularly from Hospet.
Welcome to Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary. Locally known as KARADI, the Sloth Bear (Melursus Ursinus) lives in open scrub forests having outcrop of rocks, tumbled boulders and caves as shelter. Being more of vegetarian, it has choice fodd habits like consuming fruits, tubers, honey, insects and termites. But if it happens to live near human settlements, will not hesitate to add sugarcane and maize crops to its regular diet. It has a fond taste for Ber fruits and Mahuva (Madhuka latifolia) flowers. In a mischievous mood, a bear will also climb palm trees to steal toddy from collection pots. They usually hunt for food during nights and rest during the mornings, drinking water at least once in a day.
Hampi near Hospet, in Ballari district is a renowned world heritage centre. The unique Sloth Bear sanctuary is situated very close to this heritage site. Situated only 15 kilometers from Hampi, Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in North Karnataka.
Though the sanctuary is relatively new, which began in 1994 in the eastern plains of Karnataka, it has proved to be a suitable habitat for the Indian Sloth Bears in a span of few years.
The rock-strewn hillocks that stretch between Daroji of Sandur taluk and Ramasagar of Hospet Taluk in Ballari district have been the abode of Indian Sloth Bears since ages. In October 1994, the Government of Karnataka declared 5,587.30 hectares of Bilikallu reserve forest as Daroji Bear Sanctuary.
It is estimated that about 120 Sloth Bears are living in this sanctuary, apart from Leopards, Hyena, Jackals, Wild Boars, Porcupine, Pangolins, Star Tortoise, Monitor Lizard, Mongoose, Pea Fowls, Partridges, Painted Spur Hen, Quails etc. About 90 species of birds, and 27 species of butterflies have also been identified in this sanctuary in a preliminary survey.