Koppal is an administrative district in the state of Karnataka in India. The district headquarters are located at Koppal. The Koppal district was formed after split of Raichur district. Koppal district is surrounded by Raichur district in the east, Gadag district in the West, Bagalkot district in the north, Bellary district in the south. Koppal district headquarters is closest to the world heritage Hampi.
The history of Koppal can be traced back to the kingdoms of Shathavahanas, Gangas, Hoysalas and Chalukya Dynasties. The name of the district i.e. "KOPPAL" is found in the poetic work of the great poet Kavirajamarga (During King Nrupathunga's time of 814-878 A.D.) as "VIDITHA MAHA KOPANA NAGARA". During Ashoka's period, the Jainism gained greater momentum in this region. Therefore, it was called "Jainkashi". In twelth century A.D. Veerashaivaism of Social Reformer Basaveshwara became popular. The present Gavi Math of Koppal has great attraction.
ANEGUNDI: is in Gangavathi Taluk and is one of the most ancient places in the district, meaning in Kannada "elephant pit" said to have been the place where the elephants of the Vijayanagara kings were kept, is situated on the left bank of the river Tungabhadra, just opposite the ruined capital of the Vijayanagara empire. Anegundi has been identified with a part of Kishkindha, the kingdom of Vali and Sugreva of the Ramayana. The picture at the left side shows one of the ancient palaces in ANEGUNDI and at the right side picture shows the Anegundi Fort Entrance Gate. Both Hampi and Anegundi were destroyed by the confederacy of Muslim kings after the great battle of Rakshasa-Tangadgi in 1565. Tippu Sultan sacked the town of Anegundi in 1776. For more photos related to Anegundi please click here.
ITAGI: in Yelburga taluk, is about three miles from the south of the Bannikoppa railway station on the Gadag-Koppal line. This place is famous for the Mahadeva temple, which is one of the finest of the later Chalukyan temples. The temple, which faces east consists of a shrine with an ante-chamber, a closed hall with porches on either side of it towards the north and the south, and the pillared hall which is open at the sides. The pillared hall was originally supported by 68 pillars. Of these, 26 are large ones, standing on the floor and forming the main support of the roof. The remaining, which are shorter, stand on the stone bench surrounding the hall and carry the sloping eaves. The large columns are of different designs, but are arranged symmetrically with regard to the shape and pattern of each. The four central ones, very rich in design, have angular carvings arranged vertically both in the shafts and capitals.
The inner hall, which is closed, has, beside the entrance from the outer hall, has also doorways towards the north and the south, which are richly adorned with sculpture. The top of the shikhara is now missing; but it was divided into three storeys which are quite distinct. The small niches, which decorate the centre of each storey rising one above the other, are exceedingly handsome. The three principal niches on the shrine walls, bold accentuated by their deep projecting cornices are now empty, their images having disappeared.
The temple was built in 1112 A.D by mahadeva, a General (Dandanayaka) of the Western Chalukya king Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI and praises the temple as 'Devalaya Chakravarti'. This temple can be said to be one of the best in the country both in magnificence of its architectural style and luxuriant decorative detail.
KINNAL: in Koppal taluk, about eight miles from Koppal, is noted for manufacture of toys and images by Chitragars. Weaving, preparing of combs from horns and pottery are the other industries of this place.
KANAKAGIRI: in Gangavathi taluk, is an ancient place situated on the Gangavati-Lingasugur road, about 13 miles from Gangavati. Kanakagiri means a "Hill of God" and its old name was Swarnagiri with the same meaning. This place was probably the head quarters of the southern viceroyalty of the Mauryas. It is said that Kanaka Muni, a saint, performed penance at this place. The place has several temples built by the Naiks of Kanakgiri, the chief among them being the Kanakachalapathi temple, which is a large one and is of considerable architectural charm; it is a fine specimen of soutn Indian architecture of the Vijayanagara times and has spacious halls and massive pillars. The gopuras and walls have well-executed sculpture. There are in this temple elegantly made statues of Rajas and Ranis in black polished stone and several large wooden statues and plaster models of the mythological figures. On the ourskirts of the town, there is a fine and well-designed royal bath constructed by Venkatappa Naik. According to a popular saying current in the area, "people with eyes must see Kanakagiri and those with legs, Hampi", which means that the Kanakagiri temples are a delightful feast for the eyes and that one must be prepared to go avout rirelessly to see the sprawling ruined capital of Vijayanagara (Hampi). An annual jatra (Fair) associated with the Kanakachalapathi temple, which is held in the month of Phalguna, is largely attended.
KOPPAL: is the District head quarters and is situated on the left bank of Hirehalla, a tributary of the Tungabhadra, and is on the Guntakal-Hubli railway line. Koppal is situated at the foot of a rock, the later being crowned by a fort. There is another range of hills to the west, the highest spur of which is called Palkigundu, 2,399 ft. in height. There is another spur on the east, called Gavimatha, (shown at the right side) which is about 50 ft. above the surrounding land. There is a third spur to the south; its height above sea level is 1,980 ft. and is called Bahadur Bande. The fort rock is in the middle. The Gavimath spur contains four caves and a modern temple, with Lingayat Gurus. There are also some jain samadhis opposite one of these caves. The hill commands a beautiful view. ( Right side picture shows the Gavimatha situated on hill ) The annual Gavisiddeshwara Jatra (Fair) held here about the month of January is the biggest in the District.
To the west of Palkigundu, there is a hillock called the Malimallappa hill, on the top of which are a number of dolmens. Some of these dolmens, which are locally called Moriyara-angadi or Moriyas shops, are intact, while others are disturbed. The fields between this hill and the Palkigundu hill are called Pandavara vathara
There have been found two Ashokan edicts, belonging to the 'Minor' series and agreeing with the northern version, on the Gavimatha and Palkigundu hills, one on each. The one on the Gavimatha hill is complete and legible, while that on the Palkigundu is so worn out that only a few letters are legible. ( Left side picture shows the Malemallappa temple on Malemallappa hill )
KOPPAL FORT: is another important object of historical interest at Koppal. It is not known definitely by whom it was built. But it was acquired by Tippu Sultan in 1786 AD from a Paleyagar and rebuilt into one of the strongesxt forts with the help of French engineers. In may 1790, it was besieged by the forces of the British and the Nizam. ( Right side picture shows the Koppal Fort ) Sir John Malcolm, who participated in this siege, has described it as without exception the strongest place. The fortifications consists of two forts, The upper fort is situated on a lofty and almost isolated summit in a gorge on the eastern side of a cluster of tocky hills which occupy an area of several square miles. The fort is about 400 feet above the plains.
KUKANOOR: in Yelburga taluk, is a small town lying seven miles due north of Bannikoppa station on the Guntakal-Hubli railway line. The town, though now small, was an important place in the early and mediaeval days and is rich in antiquarian remains of the later Chalukyan style of architecture and these buildings range from the 8th to the 13th century A.D. and illustrate the building tendencies of the age. The group of temples that represents the early Chalukyan school is called teh Navalinga group. Two other important temples are those of Kalleshvara and Mallikarjuna. The Kalleshwara temple is a fine example of the Chalukyan style and is in good condition. The original form of the Mallikarjuna temple, however, cannot be fully made out; the shrine and the mantapa also have been altered and built over in recent years. The Kalleshwara temple contains one Kannada inscription, while the other has three, one of them recording the date of construction of the temple in the 12th century A.D. But the most important temple from the relegious point of view is that of Mahamaya; (left side picture shows Mahamaya temple) it is in the same enclosure in which the Navalinga temple is situated, a building of considerable dimensions but devoid of architectural merits.
MUNIRABAD: in Koppal taluk, about eight kilo meters from Hospet, on the Hubli-Guntakal railway line and about 32 kilometers from Koppal District headquarters. It has become an important place now, especially due to Tungabhadra dam ( shown in right side picture ). The Left Bank Canal from here, which passes through the Koppal, Gangavathi taluks, irrigates a large extent of agricultural lands in the district.
It is humming with industrial activities also with a sugar factory, Iron, Chemicals and fertilizers factory. The vast water-spread of the Tungabhadra reservoir here presents a fascinating spectacle and is a source of attraction for the tourists. . There are also a few well-furnished modern guest houses at the place, as also well maintained flower gardens. Besides a Japanese-type ornamental garden known as Pampa Vana (as shown in pictures) which is the first of its kind in the state, and it is also a source of attraction for tourists.
An inscription dated in the year 1099 A.D. found here mentions that this place was gifted to one Chaturvedi Bhatta, by the Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI. The former constructed an irrigation canal from the Tungabhadra river. Huligi, is the old name of this place called Vyagrapuri in Sanskrit. It has a temple dedicted to Huligemma, which appears to have been built originally in the 13th century. There is a Dhwajasthamba, which is of a height of about 25 ft., in front of the temple. Annually, a jatra (Fair)is held under the auspices of the Huligemma temple.
PURA: in Kushtagi taluk, about the five miles from Tavargera, is noted for its fine and spacious temple of Someshwara which has Koti Lingas , where annually a big jatra(Fair) is held in the month of Shravana.