Dharwad is located in the north western part of Karnataka. Geographically, This place is surrounded by Gadag in the east, Belagavi in the north, Uttara Kannada in the southwest and Haveri in the south. Dharwad had been a part of many dynasties and kings including the Chalukyas, Bahmani Sultanate, Vijayanagara Empire, Adil Shahis, Mughals, Shivaji Maharaj, Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and finally the British East India Company.
It was merged with Hubballi (which is located around 20 kms apart) to form the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad. The Karnataka Government combined the twin cities of Dharwad (an academic and cultural hub) and Hubballi (a commercial and industrial hub) and formed the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) which is the second largest in Karnataka after Bengaluru. Dharwad is home to the Karnataka University and the University of Agricultural Sciences as well as numerous other colleges.
The district is synonymous for its distinct culture, cuisine and a strong penchant for art and creativity. Prominent names that have left an indelible imprint in the field of music, literature and art include Jnanapeetha awardee Dr. D. R. Bendre, classical Hindustani singers like Kumar Gandaharva, Gangubai Hangal, Mallikarjun Mansur, Pt. Bhimasen Joshi, Basavaraj Rajguru and Sangeeta Katti, have also made the district proud. The well-known artist Halbhavi also belongs to this place. Alur Venkata Rao who spearheaded unification of Karnataka, Pampa Mahakavi and writer Patil Puttappa all hail from Dharwad. When it comes to cuisine, Dharwad Peda takes the cake and is the most famous culinary item of Dharwad which has also got the Geographical Indications (GI) tag. The traditional food ranges from the simple meal of Jolada rotis served with lentils and tangy chutneys to holiges, mandgis and kadabus. This place is also famous for its mango and guava orchards. Other must take souvenirs from here is the GI tagged Navalgund Dhurrie (a kind of floor carpet) and Kasuti embroidery sarees.
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- Kittur Rani Chennamma Park: This park is commonly known as KC Park, probably the biggest park in Dharwad. Within the park is a memorial of John Thackrey, the British Collector who was slain in a battle between Kittur Rani Chennamma's army and the British forces.
- Sadanakere Lake and Park: One of the most popular places in Dharwad is the Sadanakere Lake and Park. This place is surrounded with lush greenery with a beautiful lake. A good place to enjoy the beauty of nature. Facilities like pedal and battery boating is available which is a big draw for children. The main attraction of this park is the musical fountain which is played on Saturdays and Sundays. It is said that the great poet and Jnanapith Award winner Dr. Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre (D R Bendre) was inspired by the green environs and serene atmosphere of Sadanakere. You can also visit his house and memorial Bendre Bhavana which is quite nearby.
- Bendre Bhavan: Bendre Bhavan is the memorial built in memory of great Kannada poet and Jnanapith Award winner Dr. Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre (D R Bendre). Exhibits in Bendre Bhavana includes rare photographs of the poet, portrait paintings, quotes and extracts from his poems etc. It houses an auditorium, a photo gallery, a library and a research centre. Located adjacent to Bendre Bhavan is Dr. Bendre's home 'Shree Matha' which is also a place of memory of the great poet. Here, one can find various memorabilia associated with the poet like dresses, mementos and the prestigious Jnanapith Award certificate.
- Indira Gandhi Memorial Glasshouse: The Indira Gandhi Memorial Glasshouse is named after the late Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi. The main building is built like a glasshouse which usually hosts events and exhibitions inside. Surrounding this structure are beautifully laid gardens. Musical fountain show, toy train and sculptures scattered throughout the garden, are some other highlights of this place.
- Nrupatunga Betta: Nrupatunga Betta, situated at Unkal Hill, offers a breathtaking view of the entire city of Huaballi. The hillock provides a panoramic view of the entire cityscape amidst a green and serene atmosphere. A Devi Temple is situated on top of Nrupatunga Betta.
- Unkal Lake: Unkal Lake is a popular picnic spot in the city. Spread over 200 acres, the lake is believed to be over 100 years old. The area around the lake has a lovely garden with recreational facilities for children. There is also boating here wherein you can go and see the statue of Swami Vivekananda, which is right in the middle of the lake.
- Sun Ray Solar Museum: Established in 2006, it is perhaps the first Solar Museum in the country. As the name suggests, the museum gives information regarding the growth and development of renewable energy/ solar energy. This museum was established with the main aim to create awareness and to promote the usage of renewable energy sources. The Museum has a vast collection of all solar energy systems like solar cookers, solar water heaters, pumps, lanterns, torches, mobile chargers, solar dryers, solar fencing system etc. Live demonstration, seminars and training courses are conducted regularly.
- Dharwad Regional Science Centre: Dharwad Regional Science Centre is situated in the Karnataka University Campus and is surrounded by natural green cover. The Dharwad Regional Science Centre was set up by the National Council of Science Museums, an autonomous body under Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India with active support from the state government. This Centre acts as an ideal place to engage the young and old alike in creative activities and for spreading scientific knowledge among its visitors. It has been established in an area of around 4000 sq mts which houses a reception area, 3 exhibition galleries. It provides for a fun filled experience in understanding Science to the visitors.
- Dharwad Adventure Base: Spread within 14 acres of land and surrounded with mango orchards, Dharwad Adventure Base is a day activity centre filled with exciting outdoor activities/ indoor games. These are particularly ideal for families/ corporate groups. An ideal place to unwind and celebrate special days; be it reunions, school picnics or corporate outings. And it has a list of activities to keep you busy for the entire day which includes water-based activities, indoor games, rides, zorbs, rope activities etc.
- Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Museum: Situated on the premises of the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC), this museum has many valuable articles including stamps, coins, manuscripts, original certificates of many writers, paintings etc. The museum is a treasure of photographs and information on the achievements of prominent personalities in the field of literature, music and social service. It also has awards and citations of those personalities.
- Maruti Waterpark: A privately operated theme park in Hubballi
- Dharwad Fort: Only two main gates are intact of the original fort built in 1043 covering 76 acres.
- Mural Paintings at Hirematt: Worth visiting the Panchagriha Hirematha in Amminabhavi, 9 kms North East of Dharwad. Amminabhavi also has Parshwanatha basadi from the Chalukyan
- Museum of historical antiquities: Located inside campus of Karnataka University
- Chandramouleshwara Temple, Unkal: Chandramouleshwara Temple at Unkal is a Chalukya architectural monument and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located opposite the Nrupatunga Betta and near the Unkal Lake. And in its backdrop, the temple looks very beautiful. A unique feature of this temple is the presence of two Shivalingas and two Nandi statues. Another unique aspect is one of the Shivalinga is a Chaturlinga (a linga with four faces carved on it). The temple is built in a very symmetrical design and has four doors in four directions. In total, the temple has twelve doors.
- Murugha Math: Murugha Math is one of the most revered place for the Lingayats and was established by Sri Mrutyunjay Swamiji with the blessings of his Guru Sri Athani Shivayogi Swamiji in 1917. Apart from spiritual education, this Math provides free boarding and hostel facilities to thousands of needy students. There are four shrines inside the campus and all those visiting the Math are provided with free food. Since its inception, the Math has helped a large number of students to pursue college/ higher education at Dharwad.
- Bhavanishankara Temple: One of the oldest temples in Dharwad, Bhavanishankara Temple is located in Old Hubbali area and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvathi.
- Temples inside Dharwad city: Mailara Devi temple, Panduranga temple, Raghavendra Swamy Matha, Dattatreya Temple, Veerabhadra and Ulavi Basappa temple, Someshwara Temple, Nuggikeri Hanuman and Vyasaraja Hanuman T
- All Saints Church and Basel Mission Church: Two important churches in Dharwad city
- Annigeri: Home to Amrutheshwara Temple (with 76 pillars and interesting mythological carvings built in Kalyana Chalukya style), Veerabhadra Temple, partly ruined Banashankari Temple, Hire Hanuman Temple, Mailara and Uma-Parvati Temple as well as a Jain Basadi. Several old wells and Chalukya era inscriptions are also found in Annigeri.
- Bhavani Shankar Temple: Oldest temple in Hubballi.
- Jumma Masjid: Oldest mosque in Hubballi
- Mastan Sofa Mosque: A recent (built in 1980) mosque in Hubballi known for carvings and artistic beauty.
- Ananthanatha and Parshvanatha Basadis: Ancient and historic Iain basadis in Hubballi city.
- Vorooru: Vorooru (Varur) is a village 19 kms south of Hubballi city, popular for Bhagwan Shri Parshwanath Digambar Jain Temple
- Navalgunda: Navalgunda is a town 47 kms from Dharwad, popular for Ganapathi, Venkatesha, Navileshwara, Govindaraja, Veerabhadra and Nagareshwara temples.
- Mukti Mandir: A pilgrimage center sections of the society, promoting manava dharma (humanity)
- Kundgol: Ancient site with Shambulingeshwara The 11th century temple has an impressive figure of dancing Shiva.
- Gudageri: Jain center with Mahaveera Basadi and home to many modern temples
- Kasuti Embroidery: Kasuti, a form of embroidery practiced especially in Dharwad district, is known for its intricate and stunning workmanship and has the Geographical Indications (GI) tag. Four kinds of stitches are commonly used in Kasuti, and the designs are many and intricate. These are influenced by the architectural patterns of temples, and are symbolic of rituals and life around temples.
- Navalgund Dhurrie: The origin of this craft, which is today protected with the Geographical Indications (GI) tag, dates back to the 16th century where women belonging to the Muslim Sheikh community spun unusual patterns in bright yellow, red, blue and green. Navalgund is a place in Dharward and was famous for our national bird – the Peacock. The colours and designs of the Peacock is incorporated as a part of the pattern in the jamkhana, which are famous for their colorful designs of Peacocks. Jamkhana in local language means floor mats which are widely used as floor coverings for decorations. Basically, it is a carpet made of twisted cotton yarn which are locally called durrie. These are placed on the floor during certain occasions like weddings, religious gatherings and other special occasions. Famous motifs include the dice game board and geometric designs.