Belagavi is a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the administrative headquarters of the eponymous Belagavi division and Belagavi 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.
Belagavi has been selected in first phase out of 20 cities, as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.
Earlier known as venugram, from the Sanskrit Velugrama, for Venugrama, i.e., “Bamboo village”. Of late, the city has carved itself a new name as “Kunda nagari” because of its famous sweet dish, Kunda, made with milk, sugar and spices. The city is also known as the “Sugar Bowl of Karnataka”, and the district as the “Sugar District” because of the enormous scope of its sugarcane cultivation and production facilities. The city is known as Belagavi in the state language Kannada.
On November 1, 2014, the city’s name was changed from Belgaum to Belagavi by the Karnataka government, with approval of the Central government of India along with 12 other cities.
Belagavi has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). It is known for its pleasant year-round climate. Belagavi is at its coldest in winter and it experiences almost continuous monsoon rains from June through September. Belagavi sometimes receives hail storms during April.
Belagavi is 502 km from Bangalore and 154 km from Panaji. Nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats, it enjoys a cool, salubrious climate and is surrounded by natural beauty in the form of rivers, hills and dense evergreen forests. In the vicinity there are popular tourists places like Amboli, Sindhudurg district and Jamboti.
A wide variety of historical sites, temples and churches exist in and around the city, most notably the Kamala Basti fort, Kapileshwar temple (South Kashi), the hills of Vaijyanath, Ramtirth waterfalls, Revan Siddeshwr Temple at Hunshevari in the valleys of Kakati, Siddeshwar Temple in Kanbargi, the aerodrome at Sambra,kittur fort,Suvarna soudha.
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, Mtech, 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), are 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.