History of Hubballi Dharwad

The name ‘Hubballi‘ comes from the name ‘Hoovina Balli‘ meaning Flowering Creeper. Though there are no references to why it was called as Hoovina Balli, the place did serve as a logistic hub between many flower-producing districts and markets in North Karnataka.

And talking about Dharwad, it is derived from a Sanskrit word called ‘Dwarawata‘ Dwara means Road and Wada means town. Dharwad acted as the Doorway or Gateway between the Malenadu region(Read as the Western Ghats) and North Karnataka Plains.

History of Hubballi

Old pics of Hubballi
Rani Chennamma Circle, Hubballi in 1960s

Hubballi was earlier known as Rayara Hubballi or Purballi or Elaya Puravada Halli. Hubballi became a strong commercial hub under the Vijayanagara empire. Later the city was ruled by Mughals, Peshwas, and Savanur Nawabs.

Later in 1820 Hubballi was taken over by the British. Britishers built the railway station in Hubballi which helped it to get commercially strong and eventually became a major industrial center. Basappa Shettar, a businessman took the task of building a new Hubli and he built a new market now known as Durgad Bail.

History of Dharwad

Old Pics of Dharwad
Dharwad in 1950s

Dharwad was ruled by Chalukyas in the 12th Century. In 1403 an official called Dhar Rao under the Vijayanagara empire built the fort at Dharwad. Adil Shah built a fort in an area called Manna Kille and later renamed it Nazratabad.

In 1685, the fort was taken by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Hyder Ali captured the fort of Dharwad in 1778. The fort was retaken in 1791 by the Marathas. After the final defeat of the Peshwa by the British in 1818, Dharwad was incorporated into the territory of the British.

Under the Government of India Act of 1850, the Hubli-Municipal council was established on 15 August 1855. The Dharwad Municipal Council first came into existence on 1 January 1856.

Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) was formed in the year 1962 by combining two cities that are separated by a distance of 22 kilometers. This was a unique experiment in urban development history.

The area of HDMC is around is 404 km² and it is spread over 45 revenue villages. The Population of the city as per the 1991 Census was around 7 Lacs. According to the 2011 Census, The population of Hubballi-Dharwad is 943,857.

Contribution of Dharwad in Unification of Karnataka

  • Dharwad has contributed immensely towards the Unification of Karnataka and can be easily called the epicenter of the movement for a United Karnataka.
  • The movement for the unification of Karnataka began in the late 19th century, with the formation of the Karnataka Vidyavardhaka Sangha in Dharwad in 1890 by RH Deshpande.
  • Records show that the Sangha passed a resolution in 1912, calling for the merger of the Kannada-speaking areas under the British.
  • When the Congress passed a resolution in 1928 to formulate a constitution for India, NS Hardikar of Dharwad and Ranganath Diwakar collected over 36,000 signatures of people who demanded that all the Kannada-speaking regions be merged into a single state.
  • The Karnataka Unification Movement started in Dharwad also played a pivotal role in giving new dimensions to Kannada Literature. Karnataka Vidyavardhaka Sangha gave momentum to the Literary activities and was also instrumental in conceptualizing the State-Level Literary Festivals.
  • Based on the call given by V K Gokak and others, the writers started to produce works essentially to create awareness about Unified Karnataka among people.
  • Sadhanakeri was where the likes of Alur Venkatarao, one of the leading lights of the Unification Movement started to conceptualize the unification of the people across the region.
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2 thoughts on “History of Hubballi Dharwad

  1. It’s Proud to Say, Dharwar Dist. Fought and achieved the Unification of Karnataka.
    Many People played important role to bring life to Unification Movement.

    Great job ! By collecting valuable informations to bring a light upon the forgotten history of Dharward Dist, Karnataka.

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