GOKAK FALLS: 6 kms from Gokak town. And once you are finished with the city and all it has to offer, set tracks for the sights close by. To explore or relax, the natural springs, rivers and hills give the maximum pleasure like only nature can. Let her take over at the Gokak Falls.

Take the unconventional low level bridge from the Dhunpadal village and watch the great Ghataprabha river wind its way serenely before plummeting over a sandstone cliff of 52 meters. The rugged valley and the picturesque gorge are what inspire poetry. The dull roar of the falls can be heard much before you reach it. Except in width and colour of the water, the general features of the fall, its height, shape and rapidity above are much like those of " Niagara".

Definitely so, the falls, with a horseshoe shape at the crest, have a flood breath of 177 meters. Interestingly, electricity was generated here for the first time in the country in 1887. The generating station can be reached on the ropeway. Recommended only for the extra courageous! A walk down either bank of the rocky gorge rewards you with ancient Chalukyan monuments waiting to be explored. Check out the inscriptions dating back to the 6th century or wander through the serene temples of Shanmukha, Mahalingeshwara, Basavanna or Durga.
 
 


 

GODACHINAMALKI FALLS:!: You could carry on your encounter with nature at the Godachinamalki falls. Be prepared for a brisk trek through a picturesque forest before you see the river Markendeya jump 25 mts. Follow it to see the second fall of 18 mts, 20 kms from Gokak.
 
The capital of the Early Chalukyas, Badami is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. Badami is famous for its four cave temples - all hewn out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill.
Enter the first cave temple - past Shiva's door keepers - and there he is! The eighteen-armed Nataraja striking 81 dance poses!

The largest and most ornamental is the third cave temple dedicated to Vishnu. Overlooking the cave temples is a reservoir dotted with temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Also a must are the Bhutanatha temples that lend their name to the lake beneath the cave temples.
 

 

KITTUR:
   

45kms from Belgaum is Kittur. Kittur is best known for the heroic resistance the Rani Channamma put up against the British here in 1824. Enraged by the high handiness of Thakeray, the collector of Dharawad, when he refused to let the adopted son of Mallasarja rule his death. When all negotiations failed, the brave Rani fought until the Kittur army defeated and she was taken prisoner. A visit to the museum here will take you down through the curtains of time to her time of glory. In the memory of this valiant woman, a nature park has been founded where you can jump and watch the friendly deer and sambar. Her statue also stands sentinel over Belgaum, at a prominent square.

 

Bijapur :
The one-time capital of the Adil Shahi kings (1489-1686) is dotted with mosques, mausoleums, palaces, fortifications, watchtowers, and strong gateways, with the massive Gol Gumbaz dominating the landscape for miles around.
Gol Gumbaz
Gaze in wonder at this magnificent mausoleum of Muhammed Adil Shah in Bijapur. It houses the world’s second largest dome, unsupported by pillars - an acoustic and architectural wonder. Built in 1659, its most arresting features are the seven-storied octagonal spires at the four corners and the heavy bracketed cornice below the parapet. The Gol Gumbaz is an enormous cube of stone and masonry, capped by a gigantic dome. The amazing whispering gallery, which distinctly echoes the faintest whisper eleven times, is an unforgettable experience. Be sure to get there early, before the school children arrive in droves.
 

Hampi and Vijayanagar
" If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi"

Saint Vidyaranya established the seat of Vijayanagara empire in 1336 A.D, with the help of his devotee disciples Hakka and Bukka. The empire later became famous for its support towards renovation/reconstruction of temples through out India. It also became renowned for re-establishment of Indian culture, its support for music, art and literature. With the prime purpose of caring for the people and their welfare, this empire stretched physically covering Karnataka, Andhra and Maharashtra and became a by-word for golden rule.

HAMPI, the seat of the famed VIJAYANAGARA empire was the capital of the largest empire in post-mogul India, covering several states. The empire reigned supreme under Krishnadevaraya, the Emperor. The Vijayanagara empire stretched over at least three states - Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The destruction of Vijayanagar by marauding Moghul invaders was sudden, shocking and absolute. They reduced the city to ruins amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beggaring description.


 

 
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