The Vadgoan and Madhavpur suburbs of Belgaum were important urban centres between 400 BC and 300 AD. The present city was built in the 12th century AD by the Ratta dynasty, which were based at nearby Saundatti. The fort of Belgaum was built in 1204 by a Ratta officer named Bichiraja. Belgaum served as the capital of that dynasty between 1210 and 1250, before the Rattas were defeated by the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri. Belgaum then briefly came under the sway of the Yadavas of Devagiri. The Khiljis of Delhi invaded the region at the turn of the 14th century and succeeded in ruining both indigenous powers of the region, the Yadava and the Hoysalas, without providing a viable administration. This lacuna was supplied by the Vijayanagara Empire, which became the established power of the area by 1336. A century later, the town became a bustling trading hub for diamonds and wood, owing to its favorable geographic location in the kingdom.
In 1474, the Bahmani Sultanate, then ruling from Bidar, captured the fort of Belagavi. Shortly afterward, in 1518, the Bahamani sultanate splintered into five small states and Belagavi became part of the Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur. The Adilshahis reinforced the fort of Belagavi; much of the existing structure dates from 1519. In 1686, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb overthrew the Bijapur sultanate and Belagavi passed nominally to the Mughals. However, the Mughal empire went into decline after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, and his principal detractors, the Maratha confederacy, took control of the area during the rule of the Peshwas (“prime ministers”). In 1776, the country was overrun by Hyder Ali of Mysore, but was retaken by the Peshwa with British assistance. In 1818, the British deposed the last Peshwa and annexed his kingdom, which included Belgaum. Kitturu Chennamma (1778–1829) was the queen of the princely state of Kittur in Karnataka. In 1824, 33 years before the 1857 War of Independence in Murree, she led an armed rebellion against the British in response to the Doctrine of lapse. The resistance ended in her martyrdom and she is remembered today as one of the earliest Indian and the First Indian Queen to have fought for independence.
Belgaum was chosen as the venue of the 39th session of the Indian National Congress in December 1924 under the presidency of Mahatma Gandhiji. The city served as a major military installation for the British Raj, primarily due to its proximity to Goa, which was then a Portuguese territory. Once the British left India, the Indian government continued and still continues to have armed forces installations in Belagavi. In 1961, the Indian government, under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, used forces from Belagavi to end Portuguese rule of Goa.
When India became independent in 1947, Belgaum and its district became part of Bombay State. In 1956, the Indian states were reorganised along linguistic lines by the States Reorganisation Act and Belgaum District was transferred to Mysore State, which was renamed Karnataka in 1972.
In 2006, the Government of Karnataka announced that Belgaum would be made the state’s second capital and that the city would be a permanent venue for the annual 15-day session of the state legislature.
Belagavi is located at 15.87°N 74.5°E. It has an average elevation of 751 metres (2463 feet). The city is in the northwestern parts of Karnataka and lies at the border of two states, Maharashtra and Goa on the Western Ghats (50 km from the Goa state border). It is one of the oldest towns in the state, lying 502 km from Bangalore, 515 km from Hyderabad and 500 km from Mumbai. The district comprises 1278 villages with an area of 13,415 km² and a population of around 4.8 million according to the census of 2011. Belgaum district is the biggest district of Karnataka. Situated near the foothills of the Sahyadri mountain range (Western Ghats) at an altitude of about 779 m, 100 km from the Arabian Sea with the Markandeya river flowing nearby, Belagavi exhibits swift and kaleidoscopic changes in topography, vegetation and climate.
Belgaum has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). It is known for its pleasant year-round climate. Belgaum is at its coldest in winter (November – February temperatures dropping to 9 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature in Karnataka state is usually recorded in Belagavi, and it experiences almost continuous monsoon rains from June through September. Belgaum sometimes receives hail storms during April.
Belagavi is also an important educational hub, consisting of eight engineering colleges, five medical colleges, and some dental colleges across the city and district. Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), the largest university of Karnataka for technical education (for BE, M.Tech, MCA, MBA) is based in Belagavi. Basic degree colleges, nine polytechnic colleges and three law colleges are other educational institutions. The Karnatak Lingayat Education Society (KLE), and Karnatak Law Society (KLS), is two educational giants based in Belagavi.
From the late 1970s onwards, Belagavi began seeing a substantial increase in the number of professional education institutions. While initially this was largely in the medical and engineering fields, Belagavi today hosts institutions serving a number of other professional streams as well.
The establishment of the Visvesvaraya Technological University in 1998, with the affiliation of more than 208 engineering colleges, raised the importance of Belagavi as a centre of education in Karnataka. Belagavi also hosts a number of medical colleges. The impact of this growth has considerably changed the cultural, linguistic and industrial profile of the city due to the influx of students from across India (and even across the world), some of whom made Belagavi their home base after completing their education there
Belgaum district is located in the Northwest region of Karnataka State. The ancient name of the Belgaum was Venugrama (in Sanskrit) meaning village of Bamboos. Till 1961, Belgaum was a part of the Bombay state. With creation of states based on the languages, Belgaum was brought under Karnataka State. The languages spoken here are Kannada and Marathi.
The Belgaum district is bounded on the west and north by Maharashtra state, on the east by Bagalkot district, on the northeast by Bijapur district, on the southeast by Gadag district, on the south by Dharawad district and Uttara Kannada district, and on the southwest by the state of Goa.
Belgaum has been ruled by the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Rattas, the Goa Kadambas, the Yadavas, the Vijayanagar rulers, the Bahmanis and the Marathas. Kittur in Belgaum district is a place of historical importance, it participated actively in the Freedom Movement with whole country. Rani Chennamma, one of the prominent lady warriors of Kittur is known for her resistance to British rule. She along with Sangolli Rayanna and Babasaheb was first to start this movement.
Belgaum district consists of ten taluks namely Athani, Bailhongal, Belgaum, Chikkodi, Gokak, Hukkeri, Khanapur, Raibag, Ramdurg and Saundatti.
Belgaum, officially known as Belagavi and also referred to as Beḷgaon by the marathi speakers, (earlier known as “Venugrama” or the “Bamboo Village” is a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the administrative headquarters of the eponymous Belgaum division and Belagavi district. The city is nearly 2,500 ft (762 m) above sea level. The states of Maharashtra and Goa border the district. The Government of Karnataka has proposed making Belagavi the second capital of Karnataka hence a second state administrative building Suvarna Vidhana Soudha was inaugurated on 11 October 2012.