Bellary (Ballari in Kannada) district takes its name from the word Balari which refers to Goddess Durugamma. It is believed that Lord Rama while searching for Sita met Sugreeva and Hanuman at a place which is very near to Hampi, the celebrated capital of Vijayanagara kingdom. The history speaks about important role bellary obtained during the period of Satavahanas, Kadambas, Chalukyas of Kalyana, Kalachuryas, Sevunas and Hoysalas. The Vijayanagar Empire was founded by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I, which lasted until 1646 although its power declined after a major military defeat in 1565 by the Deccan sultanates.
Bellary city, the headquarters of Bellary district is spread mainly around two huge rocky granite hills, the Ballari Gudda (also referred as Fort Hill) and Kumbara Gudda (also referred as Face Hill). The Ballari Gudda or Fort hill is also said to be the world's second largest monolithic hill.
Bellary district is gifted with rich mineral resources. has both metallic and non-metallic minerals. The metallic minerals include iron ore, manganese ore, redoxide, gold, copper and lead. The non-metallic minerals include andalusite, asbestos, corundum, clay, dolomite, limestone, limekankan, moulding sand, quartz, soap stone, granite and red ochre.
PLACES TO VISIT IN BELLARY DISTRICT
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is located just 15 km from Hampi and is spread over 5,587.30 hectares. This sanctuary was mainly created for the preservation of sloth bears. It is estimated that about 120 Sloth Bears are living in this sanctuary, apart from Leopards, Hyena, Jackals, Wild Boars, Porcupine, Pangolins, Star Tortoise, Monitor Lizard, Mongoose, Pea Fowls, Partridges, Painted Spur Hen, and Quails etc. There are about 90 species of birda and 27 spicies of Butterflies also found here.
Hampi (Hampe in kannada) is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. Hampi is located at a distance of 75 km from Bellary, 13 km from Hospet and 353 km from Bangalore. Hampi is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, once the flourishing capital of the Vijayanagar Empire. Hampi is also called "The City of Ruins". The Vijayanagara ruins are listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Other main attractions of hampi are the temple complex of Lord Virupaksha, Ugra Narasimha, Matanga Hill, Achyutharaya Temple, Mahanavami Dibba, Kadanda Rama Temple, Yantrodharaka Anjaneyaswamy Temple, Chakrathirtha, Hazaara Rama Temple and the Vittal Temple complex.
The annual Hampi Festival or Hampe Utsava - organized by the Government of Karnataka is held on 3rd, 4th and 5th of November every year.
Hospet (Hosapete in kannada meaning "New Town") is located at a distance of 61 km from Bellary. Hospet was the entrance gate to the city of Vijayanagar. Hospet is also known as 'Steel City' this is because of the presence of many iron and steel industries in this belt.
Tungabhadra Dam is located just 6 km from Hospet. The dam is built across river Tungabhadra. This dam is considered as a multipurpose dam or project. This dam is used for generation of electricity, irrigation of land, Prevention and control of floods etc. Tungabhadra Dam has become a picnic or tourist spot over the years.
Ramanadurga Hill Station
Ramanadurga Hill Station is located at a distance of 16 km from Sandur. The hill station is situated at a height of 3256 ft above sea level. There is a fort in this village built by Prince Kumara Rama of Kampli at present in a ruined state. There is one Ramadeva temple which is rebuilt out the remains of an older temple.