Location: Gagad is one of the district of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located on the western side of north Karnataka. Gadag shares boundary with Dharwad on West, Belgaum on the NorthWest, Bagalkot on the North,Koppal on the East, Bellary on the South East and Haveri on the SouthWest.
District Headquarter: Gadag
Distance: Around 480 km from Bangalore, 56 km from Hubli, 243 km from Karwar, 80 km from Dharwad
Journey time: Over 10 – 12 hours by bus, around 13 plus hours by train
How to reach there: By KSRTC bus, private bus and train.
1. Bangalore – Tumkur – Chitradurga – Gadag
2. Bangalore – Tumkur – Chitradurga – Hospet – Koppal – Gadag (Longer route)
Where to stay:
1. Welcome Hotel Vinayaka
Opp Bus Stand,
Bank Rd, Gadag, – 582101
2. Geethanjali Residency,
Station Road, Gadag – 582101
3. Prashant Lodge,
Near Bus Stand
Gadag – 582116
Where to eat: Gadag Restaurant or Geethanjali Restaurant, Kirti Bar & Restaurant,
Language spoken: Kannada. Hindi is understood and English to an extent.
What to see:
Gadag is a twin city along with its sister city Betageri. They have a combined administration. Gadag is famous for printing press or handloom. Gadag has also been historically an important center of art and sclpture. The Kalyani Chalukya arts are famous for ornate temple pillars.
1. Trikuteshwara temple: Trikuteshwara temple can be called as a temple complex containing a collection of many temples. The temple complex consist of a Saraswathi temple, nearby is a temple dedicated to 3 devis – Saraswathi, Gayathri and Sharada. The eastern side of the temple has lingas of Brahma,Maheshwara and Vishnu. Trikuteshwara temple complex was designed by Jakanachari and was built around 1050 to 1200 CE during the rule of Kalyani Chalukyas. The temple architecture is stunning with intricate cravings on the pillars and walls.
2. Veeranarayana temple: The Veeranarayana temple is located at the center of Gadag city. It is said that the great Kannda poet kumarvyasa had written the Mahabharatha in front of lord veeranarayana. Hoysala king Bittideva took the name Vishnuvardhan after changing his religion to Hinduism under Sri Shankaracharya. He built this temple among the series of pancha narayana kshetram in karnataka.
3. Doddabasappa Temple: Doddabasappa Temple is located in Dambal around 20 km from gadag city and around 24 km from Ittagi (Koppal district) where the Mahadeva temple is located. The temple built in western Chalukya style is dedicated to lord Shiva. The design of this temple has been inspired from central Indian temples and does not resemble any temple in karnataka or around this region. It is different from the conventional dravida or south Indian style. The star shaped temple has been built with accurate geometrical calculations.
Dambal earlier as late as 12th century used to be a center of Buddhism and one can find Buddhist relics around the town.
4. Kasivisvesvara temple, Lakkundi: Kasivisvesvara temple is located in Lakkundi around 11 km from gadag city and 14 km from Dambal. It is also known as Kashivishvanatha temple. The highest from of western Chalukya architecture can be found here. The temple has two shrines – one dedicated to Kasivisvesvara (lord Shiva) which faces east and sun god known as Suryanarayana facing west. This unsual in regard to other Sun temples which typically face east. This temple is beautifully chesilled, craved and ornated in style which are typically not found in south India. One can find many inscriptions on the temple wall as early as 1087 AD. One of the inscription suggest that the temple when originally built may have been simple but decorated later. Hoysala king Veera Ballala II annexed Lakkundi and made it his capital in 1193. Hoysala kings are known to renovate temples.
Lakkundi is also know by LokkiGundi.
5. Nanneshwara Temple: Nanneshwara Temple is located in Lakkundi nearby Kasivisvesvara temple. Nanneshwara temple seems to be the prototype before building the grand Kasivisvesvara temple.
One specialty of Lakkundi is the stepped wells which features small sculpted gopurams on the walls. Popular stepped well are Chateer Bavi, Kanne Bavi and Musukina Bavi etc.
6. Gajendragarh: Gajendragarh, also spelt as Gajendragad is a small town in Gadag district. Earlier it was just a fort city and the fort was renovated by Chhatrapati Shivaji. The name Gajendragarh literally means Gajendra fort. This place the famous Kalakaleshwara temple, fort, long beautiful hill strip, handloom and dress material market. A few Kannda movies are also shot here.
Kalakaleshwara temple: Kalakaleshwara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshiped as Kalakaleshwara. This place is also known as Dakshina Kashi. Nearby you can also find Virabhadra temple. Outside the temple you can find a small pond called AtharaGange. The water never dries up and nobody knows the source of water. The temple is also popular for the miracle which takes place on the previous night of kannada new year, Ugadi. The temple priest keeps rangoli along with a brush inside the temple and next day morning it is found done on its own.
One can see many windmills which are used to generate electricity using wind energy. However, this seems to posing threat the endangered rare hyenas and wolves, who find windmills disturbing to their habitat.
7. Sudi: Sudi is a small town in located around 12km from Gajendragad and 30 km from Badami. It is famous for the intricately carved stone temples built during the western Chalukya rule. Sudi was the capital city of the Kalyani chalukyas around 1100 AD and was ruled by the king’s daughter Akkadevi. This tells that ancient India was quite liberal with women rights. Chalukyas were also famous for their various designed coins which were minted here.
Twin Towered Shiva Temple:
Mallikarjuna Temple: Mallikarjuna temple was built at a later stage of the Chalukya rule under the rule of princess Akkadevi.
Nagakunda: Nagakunda literally means King cobra tank. It is beautifully made and designed temple tank.
Apart from this you can also see a large Shiva linga, Ishwara linga in stone structure, Large Ganapati Statue, Nandi statue, watch tower (hude).
One can also visit Tontadarya Matha also known as Sri Jagadguru Tontadarya Sansthana Math located in the heart of Gadag city. It follows the Veerashaiva sect of Hinduism.