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Dharwad District

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About the Dharwad district

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Brief About Dharwad District
Dharwad, also known as Dharwar, is a town in India's Karnataka state. Dharwad is famous for its Dharwad Peda - a milk based sweetmeat. Dharwad is the administrative seat of the district of the same name. The municipality (resulting from a merger with neighbouring Hubli in 1961) covers 191 sq. km. Dharwad is located 425km northwest of Bangalore, on the main highway between Bangalore and Pune in Maharashtra. KREIS North Unit of National Projects Construction Corporation is Head Quartered here.

The word "Dharwad" means a place of rest in a long travel or a small habitation. For centuries, Dharwad acted as a gateway between Malenaadu (western mountains) and Bayalu seeme (plains) and it became a resting place for the travelers. Another theory is, during Vijayanagara rule of Dharwad, there was a ruler by name "Dharav" (1403) and Dharwad got its name from him. There are some inscriptions that refer to Dharwad as Kampana Sthana. Inscriptions found near Durga Devi temple, in Narendra (a village near by) and the local RLS high school date back to 12th century and have references to Dharwad. This puts Dharwad at least 900 years old. The Chalukyas ruled Dharwad during 12th century. A stone inscription indicates that there was a ruler by the name BhaskaraDeva in 1117.

In the 14th century the district was first overrun by the Bahmani Sultanate, after which it was annexed to the newly established Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar, an official of which named Dhar Rao, according to local tradition, built the fort at Dharwad town in 1403. After the defeat of the king of Vijayanagar at Talikot (1565), Dharwad was for a few years practically independent under its Hindu governor; but in 1573 the fort was captured by the sultan of Bijapur, Adil Shah, and Dharwad was annexed to his dominions. Adil Shah built a fort in an area later called MannaKille, and later Nazratabad. With this fort, the strategic importance of Dharwad increased and it thus attracted the attention of subsequent conquerors, including Aurangzeb, Shivaji, Aurangzeb's son Mu Azam, Peshwa Balaji Rao, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and finally the British colonizers.

In 1685, the fort was taken by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, and Dharwad, on the break-up of the Mughal empire, fell under the sway of the Maratha Peshwa of Pune. In 1764 the province was overrun by Hyder Ali of Mysore, who in 1778 captured the fort of Dharwad. The fort was retaken in 1791 by the Marathas. After the final defeat of the Peshwa by the British in 1818, Dharwar was incorporated into the territory of the British East India Company's Bombay Presidency. During early 19th century, when British were expanding their kingdom, they faced lot of opposition from local rulers, including Baba Saheb of Naragund and Kittur Rani Chennamma. Dharwad was peaceful for most of late 19th century. During those times, the British started English Medium school in Dharwad in 1848 and in 1856, started town municipality. Later in 1863, the Basel Mission organization started another school.

In 1867 British opened another school, Varmal school, which later on became known as Training college. In 1883, the municipality area included Sidapur, Lakamanhalli, Haveri Pete, Bagtalan, Madihal, Galaganjikop, Malapur, Kamalapur, Narayanpur, Saptapur, Atti kolla and Hosayellapur. The British government also established the Railway station in 1888. The town had a station on the Southern Mahratta railway. By 1901 the town had a population of 31,279, and was home to several cotton ginning factories, a cotton mill, and two high schools, one maintained by the government and the other by the Basel German Mission. After India's independence in 1947, Bombay Presidency was reconstituted as India's Bombay state. In 1956 the southern, Kannada-speaking districts of Bombay state, including Dharwad, were added to Mysore state, renamed Karnataka in 1972.

Dharwad takes great pride in being a 'University Town', being home to the Karnatak University and the Univesity of Agricultural Sciences as well as numerous other colleges. In 1961 the town merged with the adjacent town of Hubli to become a single municipality, Hubli-Dharwad. The population of the twin cities is 786,000, and is the second-largest conurbation in Karnataka, after Bangalore. Hubli-Dharwad's population increased 22.99% between 1981 and 1991, from 527,108 to 648,298, and by 21.2% between 1991 and 2001.

Dharwad District has an area of 427 sq. km., and a population of 1,603,794 (2001 census), a 16.65% increase from the 1991 census. The district is bounded by Gadag district on the northeast and east, by Haveri district on the south, by Uttara Kannada district on the southwest and west, and by Belgaum district on the northwest and north. Before 1997 the district had an area of 13738 sq. km. In 1997, the new districts of Gadag and Haveri were created out of Dharwad's former territory, and a portion of Dharwad district was combined with lands formerly part of three other districts to create the new district of Davanagere.