Sunday, 8 January 2012

Shimoga, Karnataka

Located on the banks of Tunga River, the fertile land of Shimoga had been a coveted booty for most of the great kingdoms of Karnataka. The name of the city is derived from the term Shiva-Mukha, meaning Face of Shiva. Throughout its history Shimoga had played host to most of the great kingdoms of South India including the Kadambas (4th century), Rashtrakutas (8th century), Kalyani Chalukyas (9th century), Hoysalas (11th century) and the Vijayanagara rulers (15th century).

Shimoga rose to prominence during the patronage of the Kalyani Chalukyas who overthrew the Rashtrakutas. When the Kalyani Chalukyas faded into oblivion, the Hoysalas annexed this area. After overpowering the Vijayanagar Empire in the battle of Tallikota, the native Keladi Nayakas ruled as an independent kingdom for about two centuries until they were finally absorbed into the Kingdom of Mysore.

Due to the copious agriculture production, Shimoga is known by the sobriquet 'the rice bowl of Karnataka.' The meandering streams originating from the Western Ghats and the numerous lakes, ponds and water bodies make the Shimoga land very suitable for agriculture.

Places to See:


Also known as Dakshina Kedara, Ballegavi was the capital of Banawasi rulers in the 12th century. Abode of several eminent Veershaiva saints like Allama prabhu, Akka-Mahadevi, Animishayya and Ekantada Ramayya, Ballegavi has a number of prominent temples. The Kedareshwara temple hewn out of soapstone is a fine example of Chalukyan temple architecture. 


The first capital of Keladi Nayakas, the village of Keladi is well-known for a group of temples that exhibit elements of Kadamba, Hoysala and Dravida style of temple architecture. Among the three, the Rameshvara and Veerbhadreshvara temples are a mixed pattern of Hoysala and Dravidian style while the Parvati temple is relatively small. The Keladi Museum preserves a collection of copper inscriptions, palm leaves and coins from Nayaka's period. 

Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

The Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is an ideal place for the winged visitors. During the nesting season, migratory birds from different regions of the world flock this island sanctuary. Surrounded by dense lush green forest, the avian population of Mandagadde includes birds like Egrets, Bellakki Cormorant, Darter, Snakebird, etc. 

Tyarekoppa Lion Safari

Started in 1988, the Tyarekoppa lion-tiger safari is spread over an area of 200 hectares. Inside the safari, one can get up close and personal with the big cats roaming around fearlessly amid the verdant forest. Regular recreation and sight seeing outings are organized by the forest department for visitors.


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