History of Belgaum
How Belgaum got its name
Venugram’ means ‘Velugram’. Velugram was renamed as Belgaum in 1160 A.D. At that time the Goa territory was ruled by the Kadambas & in a manuscript written by them, we come across the word Velugram,which suggests that Belgaum must have been first ruled by the Kadambas.From 1208 to 1250 A.D. Belgaum was under the rule of the Rashtrakutas.Belgaum was their capital as the same was found on a carving at Hennegiri.
From 1250 to 1327 A.D. Belgaum came under the Devgiri Yadavas. during their regime art & education flourished.From 1327 to 1472 A.D. Sultan Mohammed Tughulaq invaded South India & he won Hukkeri & Raibag & handed over the management to Two of his Sardars. But Belgaum, its fort was in the hands of a Hindu Sardar.In 1472, a king named Vikramrai was ruling over Belgaum. Gulburga’s Mohammed Shah Bahamani attacked Belgaum fort & even though he got a tough fight from Vikramrai Bahamani captured the fort.
For the first time in South India land mines were used to break the fort walls. There was severe financial & human loss also the fort was broken down. After the victory Bahamani handed over Blegaum to Mohammed Gavan.The years 1472 & 1473 A.D. were the worst years for the people of Belgaum. A severe drought hit the city & to add to that there was a war which caused severe human loss.The remaining died for want of food. In the year 1474 there were heavy rains but nobody to sow the land.Till 1510, Gavan ruled Belgaum & he did try to rebuild the city, but in 1511 Bahamani Kingdom collapsed & as a result of which Ismail Adil Shah founded his independent Kingdom of Bijapur.
During this time only Alfanso Albuquerque attacked on Goa & he Won. On the way he defeated many Muslim Kings. At this very time the Belgaumites went to Vijaynagars Krishnadevaraya. But at that very moment Ismail Adilshah awarded Belgaum to Khurutuk, a Shiya Irani for saving his life.Adilshah gave Khurutuk the name ‘Asadkhan’.He managed Belgaum very well till 1549.
Asadkhan was very popular amongst the people. He died in a village Mandoli, but he was buried at Camp, Belgaum. It is said the inner most scantum of the Darga was built by a Brahmin.In 1550, some Sherkhan, set up a market place Shahpet in Shahpur, a Small Kingdom next to the City of Belgaum. The business place for both the Fort & belgaum city was Shahpet. Finch, a English traveller has written in his diary ‘Belgaum is the first Big City in between Bijapur & Goa’. He also wrote that Belgaum was a big & renowned market for Diamond, Precious Stones etc.
In 1580, Bijapur was being ruled by Ibrahim,his brother was Ismail. (Not the Ismail who gave Asadkhan Belgaum province) This Ismail had rebelled against his brother and therefore he was put into prison in the Belgaum fort for 13 years.In 1673, Shivaji went on the Southern India Campagin. He captured Shahapur, Belgaum & went towards Hubli.In 1684, while proceeding towards goa,through the Ponda ghat, Sambhaji stayed for one night at Sambhujali Temple ( The Shiv Temple near Gogte Rangmandir) At that time it was a dense forest with temple being in a roofed house.In 1686, during the regime of Sambhaji,Aurangzeb came to South India to Capture it.Aurangzeb’s second son Azamshah defeated the Marathas took control of Belgaum & and that was the end of Bijapurs Adilshahi.Therefore some time Belgaum was known as Azamnagar.
Mustafa was the subedar for Belgaum fort and he tried to name the fort area as Mustafabad.In 1791 Sataras Chatrapati 1st Peshwa Vishwanath Bhat went to Delhi to help the Badshah with his army on latters request. In return Vishwanath Bhat got the province of Belgaum. To collect tax the Chatrapati of Satara apointed Fateh singh Bhosle, king of Akkalkot.1720 saw the death of Vishwanath Peshwa & taking this opportunity the Nizam of Hyderabad Ulmuluk took over Belgaum & Athani paraganas. In 1756 again the Peshwas took control of Belgaum till 1818
Belgaum fort, was under the Peshwas. In 1818 the English attacked the fort in war which lasted for three weeks, English won the Belgaum fort. At first Belgaum city & fort was put in Dharwad district for easy management. But later Belgaum was made as a separate district.Till 1858 all the activities were looked after by the East India Company. The company made some important changes in the city. In 1830 the company started the First Marathi School.
In 1848 seeing the keen inerest in literature the Collector started the General Library. First it was called ‘Native General Library’.It had English, Marathi & Gujrati Books.In 1859 Muncipalty was established. The Collector was incharge of the same. When the local self Government Act was passed the firts election took place in 1876-77 & Vishnu Raghunath Natu became the first Mayor. In the year 1856 the first Govt. School for Girls was started.From 1858 the British Govt. of England took over. In the same year political prisoners kept in the Belgaum fort of the 1857 war ofindependence Nargund’s Adhipati Srimant Babashaeb Bhave was hanged after a Court Marshall on June 1, in Camp area. From 1858 to 1956 Belgaum was under the Mumbai Province.
Events from 1858 to 1956:
1884 Ramtatva Prakshan was started by Ababji Ramchandra Sawant, which published sacred books.Swami Vivekanand came in 1892 & stayed at Advocate Bhate (At present it is the Ramkrishna Ashram).1916, Lokmanya Gangadhar Tilak here only in a public speech said ‘Freedom is My Birth Right’.1924, the All India Congress Convention was held under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
1936, Shubhash Chandra Bose visited Belgaum. 1942, Quit India movement, all the Yalgi’s were arrested & Nath Pai became underground. 1948, After independence all the smaller kingdoms were merged. Belgaum was still a part of Mumbai province.Nehru in 1956, in Belgaum itself said that within a year there will be states created on language basis.1957, Belgaum was put into Karnataka.