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Dharwad district
Clockwise from top-left: Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Chandramouleshwar Temple, statue of Sindhura Lakshmana, Unkal Lake, Amruteshwara Temple in Annigeri
Location in Karnataka
Location in Karnataka
Coordinates: 15°23′N 75°07′E / 15.39°N 75.12°E / 15.39; 75.12
Country India
DivisionBelgaum division
TalukasDharwad, Hubli Nagara, Hubli, Navalgund, Kundgol, Kalghatgi, Alnavar, Annigeri[1]
 • Deputy Commissioner & District MagistrateDivya Prabhu G R J
 • Total4,265 km2 (1,647 sq mi)
 • Total1,847,023
 • Density430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
 • OfficialKannada
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code+ 91 (0)836
Vehicle registrationKA-25, KA-63

Dharwad or Dharawada is an administrative district of the state of Karnataka in southern India. The administrative headquarters of the district is the city of Dharwad, also known as Dharwar. Dharwad is located 425 km northwest of Bangalore and 421 km southeast of Pune, on the main highway between Chennai and Pune, the National Highway 4 (NH4).

Before 1997 the district had an area of 13738 km2. In 1997, the new districts of Gadag and Haveri were carved out of Dharwad's former territory, and a portion of Dharwad district was combined with lands formerly part of three other districts to create the new district of Davanagere.

District map


Historical studies show that people from early Paleolithic age inhabited Dharwad district. The district was ruled by various dynasties from the 5th century onwards, Important among them are Badami and Kalyan Chalukyas, Rastrakutas, Vijayanagar, Adilshahi, Mysore kingdom and Peshawas of Pune. Due to the rule of Peshwas, influence of Marathi is seen in the early decades of the 19th century. During the British rule, Dharwad became the divisional headquarter of educational administration and Kannada the vernacular language of the people gained prominence[2]

After India's independence in 1947, the Bombay Presidency was reconstituted as India's Bombay State. In 1956 the southern, Kannada-speaking districts of Bombay State, including Dharwad, were added as part of the state of Mysore. Following activist pressure, Mysore was officially renamed Karnataka in October 31, 1973.[3][4] Dharwad is home to the Karnataka University and the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) as well as numerous other colleges.

In 1962 the erstwhile towns of Dharwad and Hubli were amalgamated to constitute the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation.[2]

Geographical features

Dharwad district is situated in the Western sector of the northern half of Karnataka State. The District encompasses an area of 4263 km2 lying between the latitudinal parallels of 15°02' and 15°51' North and longitudes of 73°43' and 75°35' East. The district is bounded on the north by the district of Belgaum, on the east by the district of Gadag, on the south by the district of Haveri and on the west by the district of Uttara Kannada. All these districts, which surround Dharwad district, belong to the state of Karnataka.[2]

Sub Divisions of District (Taluka's)[5]

The District lies approximately 800 m above the sea level, which is why it enjoys a moderate and healthy climate. The District may be divided into 3 natural regions, the Malnad, the Semi-Malnad and the Maidan. These regions on an average receive moderate to heavy rainfall and have dense vegetation. Kalghatagi and Alnavar area in Dharwad taluka in particular receive more rainfall than other talukas of the District.

On the agricultural front, the presence of black soil helps in raising crops like Cotton, Wheat, Ragi, Jowar and Oil seeds and that of red soil is more suitable for paddy.

Important industrial centres

Hubballi is an important industrial center, with more than 1,000 small and medium scale industries established. They include machine tool industries,Cotton Industries, electrical industries, steel furniture industries, food processing, rubber, leather and leather tanning industries.[6]



NWKRTC (North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation) is a state run corporation headquartered at Hubballi. There is a good transportation between Hubli, Dharwad, Kalghatgi, Navalgund and Kundgol as NWKRTC and Bendre Nagara Sarige (a consortium of private bus-owners) compete to cater to the large number of commuters between these places daily. Bus services from the twin-cities exist to every part of Karnataka and neighbouring states and other destinations. There are many private bus operators who render travel services between Hubli and Bangalore, Mangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Goa and Hyderabad.


Hubli is the Headquarter of South Western Railways Zone of Indian Railways. There is modest intra-district Railway connectivity. Hubli being an important railway junction has daily trains to Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Miraj, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Vijayawada, Mysore and weekly services to Chennai, Howrah and Thiruvananthapuram.


Hubli Airport (IATA: HBX, ICAO: VOHB) serves the Dharwad district and one of the major operational airports serving northern Karnataka. Currently SpiceJet Airlines have started its operation from Hubli To Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jabalpur, Mangalore, Chennai and IndiGo Airlines have started its operation from Hubli to Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin, Goa, Alliance Air operates one flight everyday to the state capital Bangalore, Air India has started its operation from Hubli to Mumbai and Bangalore on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. and Star Air (India) will start its operation Hubli To Bangalore, Delhi (Hindon), Pune, and Tirupati on 15 September The airport is currently being upgraded to an international airport.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Religions in Dharwad district (2011)[8]
Religion Percent
Other or not stated

According to the 2011 census Dharwad district has a population of 1,847,023,[9] roughly equal to the nation of Kosovo[10] or the US state of West Virginia.[11] This gives it a ranking of 256th in India (out of a total of 640).[9] The district has a population density of 434 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,120/sq mi).[9] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 15.13%.[9] Dharwad has a sex ratio of 967 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 80.3%. 56.82% of the population lives in urban areas. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes make up 9.63% and 4.74% of the population respectively.[9]

Languages in Dharwad district (2011)[12]

  Kannada (70.08%)
  Urdu (18.40%)
  Marathi (3.16%)
  Telugu (2.36%)
  Gujarati (1.46%)
  Hindi (1.24%)
  Others (3.30%)

At the time of the 2011 census, 70.08% of the population spoke Kannada, 18.40% Urdu, 3.16% Marathi, 2.36% Telugu, 1.46% Gujarati and 1.24% Hindi as their first language.[12]


According to the modern scholar Hampa Nagarajaiah ("Hampana"), ancient Kannada poet Pampa who is also called Ādikavi ("First Poet") was born in Annigeri, a town in Dharwad district.

The Dharwad district has contributed to some of the greatest exponents of Hindustani music including Sawai Gandharva, Mallikarjun Mansur, Bhimsen Joshi, Basavaraj Rajaguru, Kumar Gandharva and Gangubai Hangal.

Jnanpith Award winners D. R. Bendre, V. K. Gokak and Girish Karnad trace their origins to Dharwad. Kannada writers and critics Kirtinath Kurtakoti and C. P. Siddhashrama are from Dharwad. Noted Marathi writer G. A. Kulkarni also lived most of his life. Actresses Shanta Hublikar and Leena Chandavarkar were born here.

Dattatreya Temple

Nandan Nilekani, the Co-Chairman of Infosys moved in with his uncle's family in Dharwad for his education and was a student of St Joseph's High School.

Sucheta Dalal, the Mumbai-based financial journalist, who exposed the Harshad Mehta scandal studied in Dharwad. Lucy d'Abreu (oldest Briton ever) was also born in Dharwad.

Dharwad is also the birthplace of Palwankar Baloo, the first member of the Dalit community to distinguish himself at cricket, and later to become a political activist for Dalit rights. Sunil Joshi, the Indian bowler, also hails from Dharwad.


It is a popular drum dance. The large drums are decorated with coloured cloth, and are slung around the necks of men. The dances are at times accompanied with songs relating to religious praise or wars.

Veeragase is popular folk dance. It is a symbolic presentation of the heroism and valour of God Veerabahadhra. Its exponents are called Lingadevaru and they perform the dance with religious fervour at festival time especially during the months of Shravana and Kartika.

This art form is the domain of male devotees of Lord Siva. The Nandi pole is about 18 cubits in length, each cubit representing a 'dharma'. The length of the pole is fitted with brass pots and plates, and ornate silver or brass umbrella at the top with a silk tassel, which is the flag. The performer on a sling balances the pole; this requires skill as well as strength. The sight of the devotee's inspired dance, to the background beat and the resulting symphony of sounds, from the pots and plates on the pole, is truly breathtaking.

Halige meaning two percussion instruments used by two artists to produce rhythmic notes of astounding energy and power. Their movements along the stage expressive of their physical energy harmonizes with the notes produced by the instrument. The Haligi (wood) circular in shape is made of buffalo hide. A short stick is used on it. The notes combined with the bodily movement pervade the stage and overflow to the audience.

Lambani women dressed colourfully and move circularly with clapping and singing. This dance is out of the common. In dress, mode of living and dwelling, they dance on important festivities in a free manner.

The dance form depicts the story of Veerabhadra, the legendary minor god created by Lord Siva to teach a lesson to his father-in-law Daksha. Veerabhadra to go to the place of the yaga and destroy the ceremony.


Places of interest in Dharwad district comprise many tourist attractions including temples and historical monuments.[13]


Chandramouleshwara temple at Unkal, Hubli
Amruteshwara Temple at Annigeri


Unkal Lake
Sidharudha Math, Hubli
Shambhulinga temple at Kundgol

Sri Jagadguru Ajaatha Nagalinga Swamy Mutta-Navalagunda

People, language, customs

Kannada is most spoken language in this district. The Kannada spoken here is known as Dharwad Kannada. This slightly varies from Kannada spoken in southern Karnataka. Men in rural areas wear headgear called a turban or Pheta. Also many wear white cap on their head.

Agriculture and commerce

Jowar, maize, wheat, cotton, onions and rice are grown. The district also grows mangoes, papaya, and bananas as horticultural produce. There are many subsidiary agricultural industries such as the production of puffed rice, beaten rice, and edible oils.

Notable people

Main article: List of people from Hubli Dharwad

See also


  1. ^ "Districts In Karnataka – A complete list including Taluks(2021)". About Karnataka. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "District Profile | Dharwad District | India". Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  3. ^ Pattanashetti, Girish (1 November 2023). "Kannada Rajyotsava | Push for 'correcting' of name began early in North Karnataka". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  4. ^ Bureau, The Hindu (1 November 2023). "Kannada Rajyotsava | Mysore State Renamed Karnataka". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  5. ^ "Districts In Karnataka – A complete list including Taluks(2021)". About Karnataka. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  6. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  7. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  8. ^ "Table C-01 Population by Religion: Karnataka". Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e "District Census Handbook: Dharwad" (PDF). Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011.
  10. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2011. Kosovo 1,825,632 July 2011 est.
  11. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2011. West Virginia 1,852,994
  12. ^ a b "Table C-16 Population by Mother Tongue: Karnataka". Census of India. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. Retrieved 26 July 2022.
  13. ^ "Chapter XIV, Karnataka, The Tourist Paradise". Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.