Kolar is a district in Karnataka state of India. Kolar town is the district headquarters. Among other things, this district is famous for the large quantities of gold that are available for extraction in the Kolar gold mines. Kolar is popularly known as the golden land of India, for it is at the famous Kolar Gold Fields of this district that gold mining was first undertaken during modern times.
Kolar District is situated in the state of Karnataka, India and belongs to its semi-arid drought-prone region. It lies between 77° 21' to 78° 35' east longitude and 120 46' to 130 58' north latitude.
Kolar district is located in the southern region of the State and happens to be the eastern-most district of the Karnataka State. The district is bounded by the districts of Bangalore and Tumkur on the west and on all other sides by the districts of the adjoining States of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. On the north, it is bounded by Anantapur district; on the east by Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh and on the south by the districts of Krishnagirii and Vellore of Tamil Nadu.
The old city of Kolar mainly consisted of the four areas of Kurubarapet, Gowripet,Aralepet and Kataripalya. Kote or the fort area once encompassed the temples of Kolaramma, Someshwara and was bordered by the Kolaramma Lake. Now the fort is all but gone, disappeared into new residential areas, the collapse of old town was hastened by the British Christian Missionaries who constructed a Church and school next to the temples.
Formerly, Kolar was known variously as Kolahala, Kuvalala and Kolala. Kolar was called Kolahalapura during the Middle Ages, but later came to be known as Kolar. Kolahahapura in Kannada meant "violent city", as it was the battlefield for the warring kingdoms of Chalukyas in the north and Cholas to the south. It was the capital of the Gangas till 4th century AD when they shifted the capital to Talakad in Mysore. In 1004 A.D., the Cholas annexed Kolar till 1116 A.D,. Vishnuvardhana (1108-1142AD) freed Gangavadi from the Cholas, and in commemoration of his victory, built the celebrated Vijayanarayana (Chennakeshva) Temple at Belur.
The major and important temples in the town are Kolaramma Temple and Someswara Temple. Someswara Temple is a fine example of Vijayanagara style while the Kolaramma temple is of Dravida vimana Style built in Ganga Tradition(11 century-A.D).
Someswara Temple: This is fine example of Vijayanagara style, complete with a massive pillared mukha mandapa. Heavy Prakara walls , ornate Kalyana mantapa and a Devi Shrine, lofty gopura is known for fine stucco figures on the tower , while the door frame is carved in typical Vijayanagara style with dwarapalas etc.. The temple has large tank (Kalyani) also. There are vijayanagara inscriptions on the wall of store room and the yagashala datable to 15 cent A.D.
The Kolar Betta or Kolar Hills: which are also known as Satasringa hills present a barren and rockery appearance on all sides but on the tops are some villages with irrigable lands. A perennial spring on the east of the hills called Antaraganga is deemed sacred culminated a small pond having a mantapa in the center supplied with water falling through the mouth of a stone Bull. This Place is also a popular picnic spot..
Kurudumale: The famous Kurudumale Temple is situated 12 Kms away from Mulabagal, was the capital of Hoysala Dynasty. The gaint 13.5 foot sculpture of kurudumale Ganesha and the Someswara Temple, attract thousands of visitors from the surrounding states.
Koti Lingeshwara Kammasandra: a village 6 Kms away from Kolar Gold Fieid has a collection of number of Shiva Lingas. More than 80 lakhs of such Lingas have already been installed here since 1974. Among them 108 ft. height Linga is the main attraction. Accommodation and free food facilities are also available for Tourists.
The Kolar Gold Fields: is located 27 Kms away from Kolar. The K.G.F. City is entirely a creation of the Gold mining industry. The Champion mine is the deepest mine in the world. The BEML, recently established at this place by the Union Government as a large scale industry for the manufacture of Earth moving Equipments and Crawler tractors.
Avani: known as Gaya of the South, Avani has a cluster of Ramalingeshwara Temple all with in one courtyard dedicated to Lakshmana, Bharatha, and Shatrugna as well as a shankara muth built by the Nolamba dynasty. Legend has it, that the hill above was home to Valmiki's Ashram, where Lava and Kusha were Born and raised.