Monuments in Karnataka
Karnataka has a rich treasure of relics ancient remains, vestiges, ancient monuments of archaeological and also historical importance. It has its own heritage intertwined with culture. There are many Neolithic and megalithic sites in Karnataka The ancient monuments of noted ruling dynasties have stood the test of time even after thousands of years. Their style, inbuilt, sculpture, architecture, technique, vastness and magnitude have wonders of their own. List of famous Historical Places, Heritage Spots, Temples and Protected Monuments in Karnataka are given below:
Neolithic & Megalithic Sites in Karnataka
Karnataka has a rich treasure of relics ancient remains, vestiges, ancient monuments of archaeological and also historical importance. It has its own heritage intertwined with culture. There are many Neolithic and megalithic sites in Karnataka The ancient monuments of noted ruling dynasties have stood the test of time even after thousands of years. Their style, inbuilt, sculpture, architecture, technique, vastness and magnitude have wonders of their own.
Hirebenkal: Hirebenkal is a megalithic site in Karnataka. It is among a few Indian megalithic sites dated 800 BC to 200 BC which are located 10 kilometres west of Gangavati town in Koppal district and 35 kilometres from Hospet city. It contains roughly 400 megalithic funerary monuments, dated to the transition period between Neolithic and the Iron Age periods. Known locally in the Kannada language as elu guddagalu, their specific name is Moryar Gudda. Hirebenkal is reported to be the largest necropolis among the 2000 odd megalithic sites found in South India, mostly in Karnataka State. Since 1955, it has been under the management of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) within the Dharwad circle. Hirebenkal has been proposed for recognition as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Brahmagiri: Brahmagiri is an archaeological site located in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka. Legend has it that this is the site where age Gautama Maharishi and his wife Ahalya lived. He was one among seven noted Hindu saints. This site was first explored by Benjamin L. Rice in 1891, who discovered rock edicts of Emperor Ashoka here. These rock edicts indicated that the locality was termed as Isila and denoted the southernmost extent of the Mauryan empire. The Brahmagiri site is a granite outcrop elevated about 180 m. above the surrounding plains and measures around 500 m east-west and 100 m north-south. It is well known for the large number of megalithic monuments that have been found here. The earliest settlement found here has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BC.
Hirebenakal: Hirebenakal in Karnataka is a large and diverse Megalithic site that can offer insights into our past. Although the ASI has sought World Heritage status for the site, it is not adequately protected from marauding treasure hunters.
In Karnataka some of the other important Megalithic sites that have been excavated are in T. Narasipur, Jadigenahalli, Hallur, Chandravalli, Brahmagiri and Maski.
Popular Historical Tourist Attractions of Karnataka
Monuments of Hampi: Monuments at Hampi is located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, The capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi village is home to several other monuments such as Bukka�s Aqueduct, Elephant Stable, Talarigatta Gate and Hampi is also the most searched historical place in Karnataka.
Monuments at Pattadakal: Monuments at Pattadakal is an important tourist attraction in Karnataka. Pattadakal monuments are the best example of Hindu temple architecture in Nagara and Dravidian styles of temple architecture.
Bidar Fort City: Bidar is a hill-top city well known for its many places of architectural, historical and religious importance. The fort in the city has been built with a number of monuments, over 30 monuments inside Bidar fort and seven gates.
Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu:Hoysaleswara Temple is dedicated to Hindu god Lord Shiva, well known for its sculptures that run all along the outer wall. Hoysaleswara temple and Kedareswara temple complex are one of the well visited tourist attractions of Karnataka and renowned for its exquisite architecture.
Aihole Historic Temples, Bagalkot: Aihole village is a historic temple complex in the Bagalkot district and a popular tourist spot in north Karnataka. The temple complex has the unique collection of architectural structures,monuments and 125 stone temples from Chalukyan period.
Mahakuta Group of Temples, Mahakuta: Mahakuta group of temples is an important place of worship for Hindus constructed by the early kings of the Chalukya dynasty. The Mahakuta complex provides important information about the Chalukyan lineag, conquests and monuments.
Basavakalyan Fort Monuments, Bidar: Basavakalyana Fort has seven gates and monuments located in Bidar district and also famous as Karmabhoomi of Basavanna. Basavakalyan is also known for some Islamic monuments Moti Mahal, Hydari Mahal, Peeran Durga and the fort has Jain images on its walls and a Shiva Temple at Narayanpura.
Lakshmeshwara Trading Town, Gadag: Lakshmeshwara is an agricultural trading town with many important Hindu temples,ancient Jain temples as well as a notable Jamma Masjid. Lakshmeshwara is also home for many smaller shrines and most famous Someshwara Temple.
Badami Cave Temples, Badami: Badami cave temples are famous for its sandstone caves,rock cut halls and stone steps. The Badami temple complex is considered as one of the best example of Indian rock-cut architecture,surrounded by hills forts and an artificial lake.
Somanathapura Heritage Site, Somanathapura: Somanathapura is located near to historic Mysore city and famous for the Keshava Temple. The temple is in the care of the Archaeological Survey of India as a protected heritage site and one of the finest and most complete examples of Hoysala architecture.
Chennakesava Temple, Belur: Chennakesava Temple also called as Vijayanarayana Temple is located on the banks of the Yagachi River and well known for its marvelous architecture. The temple complex is one of the favored tourist destinations in Karnataka.
Lakkundi Ruined Temples, Gadag: Lakkundi village is full of ruined temples, a place of antiquarian interest with stepped wells,50 temples and inscriptions. The tiny village on the way to Hampi is known for the temple architecture and has about 50 temples of various stature and antiquity.