Places of Interest
After the down-fall of the Vijayanagara kingdom in 1565, Bellary came into the hands of a Palayagar family, the originator of which was one Hanumappa Nayaka. He lived at Bellary and strengthened its defence. The place was in the hands of this Palayagar family until about 1631. From that year till 1692, it was practically under Muslims, though the names of two Palayagars are mentioned as having some authority over it. Bellary was also under the Marathas for a short period round about 1678. In 1692, the Palayagars again obtained authority over the fort. In about 1764, during the time of one Ramappa, the town became tributary to Adoni, which had been granted as a jagir to Basalat Jung, brother of Salabat Jung, the then Subedar of the Deccan. In 1775, Doddappa, the then Palayagar, refused to pay tribute to Basalat Jung, declaring that he owed allegiance to Haidar Ali. There was a clash between the forces of Basalat Jung and Haidar Ali, in which the former were completely routed. Doddappa also fled and Haidar Ali took possession of the fort. The latter built the upper and lower forts as they are now. Tipu Sultan held the fort until his defeat in 1792, when it became the property of the Nizam. It was finally ceded by the latter to the East India Company in 1800, along with the rest of the district.
At this time, the lower fort, like all other forts, contained dwellings of a large number of people who had flocked to it for protection. Later, to make room for the buildings required by the troops, houses, shops, etc., were removed from the fort to Bruce Pettah after paying the owners some compensation. Bruce Pettah was named after Peter Bruce who had first been in charge of Harapanahalli and then, from 1806 to 1830, was the Judge of Bellary. Now, the lower fort contains a number of public buildings, offices, educational institutions and churches, the chief of which is the Holy Trinity Church which was originally built in 1811, enlarged in 1838, consecrated in 1841 and is at present a place of worship for the members of the Church of South India in the city. Immediately east of the foot of the steps, leading to the upper fort, is a strongly built rnantapa which is pointed out as the place in which Munro used to halt during his visits to Bellary.
The Cowl Bazaar was developed later than Bruce Pettah. It got its name from the fact that it was originally occupied almost entirely by the fol1owers and merchants belonging to the troops, who settled there under angreement (cowl) that they should be free from taxes. Mellor Pettah was named after Abel Mellor, who was the Collector of the district from 1840 to 1850. The Cantonment was established in 1801, Bellary then being the headquarters of the General commanding the region known as the ceded districts. The Duke of Wellington is stated to have resided at one period in the northernmost of the two bungalows, which adjoin the fort’s ditch, immediately west of the Fort Hill. The excellent well in the compound of this house is one of the six which tradition says were built by the six sisters of Palayagar Hanumappa Nayaka. One of the graves here is that of Ralph Horsley, Head Assistant Collector of Bellary and son of John Horsley, I.C.S., whose name has been given to Horsley-konda near Madanapalli. He was murdered by burglars, whom he was trying to capture, on the night of the 4th .July 1856 in his bungalow.
Bellary city does not contain temples or mosques of architectural merits. An old shrine of the place is that of Durgamma. The goddess in it is represented by a heap of earth covered with turmeric powder; silver votive offerings of representations of hands, eyes and other parts are made to the shrine by devotees whom she is believed to have cured of diseases. The annual festival in honour of the goddess takes place in February, at which formerly animal sacrifice and hook-swinging ceremony used to take place. The city has a Shivanubhava Mantapa. Of the various mosques, the two biggest are on the Jumma Mashid lane in Bruce Pettah and in the Cowl Bazaar. There are also two Dargas of local repute.
Several new extensions have come up in recent years. Educationally, the city has advanced a good deal. It has a medical college, three arts, science and commerce colleges, a polytechnic and several high schools. Industrially also, some progress has been made and when the steel plant is set up at Toranagal, there will be much impetus for starting ancillary industries at Bellary. The M G. Automobiles at Bellary is to-day one of the largest units of its kind in the Mysore State. The Bellary Spinning and Weaving Company Ltd. was established in 1963. There are several oil mills producing mostly groundnut oil and cake.
Bommaghatta (T. Sandur) is a small 1nterior village situated at a distance of about 48 kms. from Sandur. It has an old temple of Hulikuntiraya (Anjaneyaswamy) which draws devotees not only from Bellary district but also from the neighbouring districts.
Bhyradevanahalli (T. Bellary ) is about 12 kms. to the north-east of Bellary city. Very close to the village, there is an aqueduct which leads the low-level canal of the Tungabhadra project across the Hagari river. The headworks and reservoirs of the Bellary city water supply system are also located here.
Chellagurki (T. Bellay) is a village fl6 kms. from Bellary on Bellary-Anantapur road, which has become well-known on account of the Jiva Samadhi of Yerri Tata. This great saint came to Chellagurki in the year 1897 and after living there for about 25 years, he died there in 1922. He is credited with having performed several miracles. Pilgrims from all over the State visit the Sarnadhi of Yerri Tata, specially on new moon days and on the occasion of the annual car festival held in his honour. Facilities for lodging and boarding have been provided for the pilgrims. It has a high school and a rural dispensary.
Dammur (T. Bellary) is about 17 kms. from Dammur Bellary city. It is well known for its cave temple and the Samadhi (tomb) of Venkappa. An annual fair is held here.
Daroji (T. Sandur) is situated about 48 kms. from Sandur and about 28 kms. from Toranagal, connected both by bus and train. It is best known for the big tank near it. This tank, which is said to have been built by Tipu, has been constructed by throwing a huge dam, about two and a half miles long and in places 45 feet high, across a valley through which flows the Narihalla. In May 1851, the tank breached in two places and the mass of water which rushed out destroyed the old village of
Daroji. The present village (New Daroji) was built later on. The tank now irrigates a large extent of lands. Excellent fish are caught in it and sent to the Bellary market.
Deogiri (T. Sandur) is a village on the top of a hill of the same name, about 28 kms. from Sandur. It is rich in iron ore and manganese. The ore is loaded by an electric crane. A mining firm called the Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Ltd.
(SMIORE) is operating here. The ore is transported by a ropeway also. A firm from Holland was mining manganese previously in this area. A township has been constructed here for the employees of the SMIORE.
The Donimalai hill range, which forms a part of the Bellary- Hospet range of rich iron-ore-bearing hills, is being exploited by the National Mineral Development Corporation (A Government of India Undertaking). This is the first venture of the N.M.D.C. not only in Mysore State but in the southern region of the country.
Kampli (D. Ballari) is a town lying 33 kms. north-west of Hospet and 22 kms. from Kamalapura. Until 1851, this village was the headquarters of what is now Hospet taluk, which was then known as Kampli taluk. It has been an important place since ancient days. It was a Chalukyan capital in 1064 and the Cholas had once conquered it. Later, it is mentioned by Ibn Batuta as one of ‘the strongholds of the original chiefs of Anegondi and still later, it was a kind of outpost of the city of Vijayanagara. Its fort, which is built of the dark rock found locally in the bed of the Tungabhadra, stands on the edge of the river. It is said to have been built by one of the Palayagars of Bellary. The fort is crowded with houses. The ‘peta ‘, which is outside the fort, is also equally crowded. The streets in it are extraordinarily narrow. The great heroes, Kampila Raya and his son Kadugali Kumara Rama, died fighting the invading Muslim forces. Kampli formerly had a weaving industry. It also produced jaggery from the sugarcane grown on its wet lands and was also noted for wood-carving and manufacture of toys. There is a Cooperative Sugar Factory at Kampli working since 1954, which provides employment to about one thousand persons during the crushing season. The place has a ‘ Gandhi Kutir ‘ which renders social service to the people of the town.
Kanam.adavu (T. Kudligi), a hamlet of Alur revenue village situated about 40 kms. from Ujjini, has the samadhi of a Veerashaiva saint named Sharanarya who lived here about a hundred years back and who is stated to have performed miracles. The place has also a Veerashaiva Matha which is running a high school.
Kappagallu (T. Bellary) is a village 12 kilometres north-east of Bellary and about four kilometres from Moka Bellary road. The granite hill within its limits is known as the ‘Peacock Hill’. This name is said to have been given to the hill as it was the ‘ home ‘ of a number of peafowl in olden days. The hill is now chiefly noteworthy as containing the remains of an extensive pre-historic settlement.
There are three ash-mounds situated at the foot of the hill. Such mounds found in some places in the northern part of this State and in Andhra Pradesh have been ascribed to the neolithic age by some scholars. There has been difference of opinion about the origin and cause of these large-scale burnings. In 1965, an elaborate scientific examination of the biggest of the three ash-mounds here, which was better preserved, was made by G. G. Mujumdar and S. N . Rajaguru under the general guidance of H. D. Sankalia and the results were published in a monograph (“Ash-mound excavations at Kupgal “, Poona, 1966) . The diameters of the mound measured about 54 m. and 48 m. in north-south and in east-west directions and the highest portion was about 4.2m. from the level of the surrounding ground. Field and laboratory studies ” fairly confirmed” that the mound originated from burning of huge accumulation of cow-dung in the neolithic age. It appeared to the investigators that there were two burnings here, which were not of an industrial nature. However, the cause of such accumulation and its burning remained unknown; perhaps it was a ritual. The supposed metallurgical origin of slags and ashes here was disproved. At the base, there seemed to be a natural soil profile (sterile fossil soil) “developed on the gravelly and sandy granitic materials”. In the basal zone, were found patinated basaltic flake tools which were considered to be of a pre-neolithic age.
Kenchanagudda (T. Siruguppa) is a village on the bank of the Tungabhadra, about six kms. south-west of Siruguppa. The place contains two forts, a lower fort in which most of its inhabitants used to reside formerly and an upper one on the top of the rock called Kenchanagudda, which gives the village its name and on which Kenchana Gowda, a local chief, had his mansion. After abandoning the lower fort, the population moved interior to a distance of about a mile from the river. At the foot of this rock is the temple of Gangadhara.
Built into its southern wall, is a long inscription, dated in the year 1708, giving the genealogy of Kenchana Gowda and stating that he built the temple and the upper fort. According to this record, he had three sons, of whom one Virupaksha followed him as the chief. This latter, who was called Pampapati, was succeeded by his widow Tangamma, whose name is well-known in the locality. She is said to have narrowly escaped capture by Tipu Sultan on one occasion. A story is told about the end of her rule, according to which she had two sons, who were both captured by Tipu. One was murdered and the other was converted to Islam. Fearing that this convert would succeed her, it is said, she made over her possession to the East India Company, in exchange for a life pension. The place has the cave of Siddha Mallayya., a saint, with a Kannada. inscription near it. The village also contains a brindavana (tomb) of a disciple of the famous saint Raghavendraswami of Mantralaya.
Kudatini (T. Bellary) is a large village, 20 kms. west-north-west of Bellary and is on the railway line between Bellary and Hospet. Two Rashtrakuta inscriptions dated in the years 947 and 971 A.D. were found here, the latter mentioning the setting. up of an image of Skanda (Kumaraswamii) . Three grants of the Western Chalukya king, Vikramaditya VI, and one of Jagadekamalla of the same dynasty, belonging to the 11th and l2th centuries, were also discovered here. These frequently mention “the forest where Subramanya (Kumaraswami) sat in penance”. There are inscriptions belonging to the Hoysala and Vijayanagara periods also. There were found also two stones sculptured with figures apparently commemorating local heroes, besides a sati stone. East of the village, there is a line of black rocks formed by the out-crop of a trap dyke. Some five kms. from Kudatini, to the north of the pass leading to Toranagal, through the low-lying line of hills running down from the ‘ Copper Mountain’, is found a curious ash-mound, the origin of which gave rise to much speculation. (The local people call the spot” Boodikanive’ (ash-pass) or” Boodigunta” (ash-hill). Kudatini is one of the centres of blanket-weaving in the district. Very fine and costly blankets are made here. There is a high school in this village.
Kudligi is the headquarters of the taluk of the same name, and has a municipality. It is situated at a distance of about 80 kms. from Bellary city. The old town has narrow and ill-made lanes. There are now three well laid out extensions. There is a prominent temple of Siddheshwara on a rock south-west of the town. The festival of the village goddess was formerly a very popular event with the local people. The place is having a high school and banking facilities.
Kurugodu (T. Bellary) is a village situated at a distance of 28 kms. from Bellary on Bellary-Siruguppa road and lies close under the eastern end of Kurugodu hills which are conspicuous from Bellary to the north-north-west. It is a historical place. Inscriptions show that as far back as the beginning of the seventh century, it formed a part of the possessions of the early Chalukyas of Badami. Later, under the Chalukyas of Kalyana, it was the chief town of the Ballakunde-300 division. About 1185, it was also for some time a residence of the Western Chalukya kings. It was reduced in 1191 by the Hoysala king Ballala II. Much later, Kurugodu was one of the forts in the possession of Palayagar Hanumappa Nayaka referred to under Bellary. The present village and the fort were built by Devappa, a descendant of Hanumappa Nayaka, in 1701-02. Haidar Ali took this place in 1775 and probably improved the fort. The citadel on the top of Hanumanta hill and the lower fort are connected with each other by a path up the hill, protected at intervals by circular bastions.
At the western end of the village, is the temple of Basaveshwara with a conspicuous modern gopura. Within it is a large Nandi or Bull of Shiva, which is a monolithic sculpture, about l2 feet in height. Attached to the temple, is what is known as ‘Nilamma’s matha’ held in great esteem. Nilamma was the daughter of a resident of Sindigeri, five miles east of Kurugodu, who lived during Haidar Ali’s rule. She is said to have led a very virtuous life and is credited with having performed miracles. There are a number of viragals in the village.
On the site of old Kurugodu, there are also nine old temples forming one group and a tenth standing alone on the other side of the Hanumanta hill. All these temples have been constructed of granite without the use of mortar. The inscription in one of them, dated 1175-76 A.D., mentions its erection by a merchant. The architectural aspect of these temples has been dealt with in Chapter II. The place is noted for blanket-weaving. There is a high school here.
Moka (T. Bellary) ,the headquarters of the hobli of the same name, stands on the bank of the river Hagari and is at a distance of about 17 kms. from Bellary city. There is an agricultural farm here, and a large area of lands has been brought under irrigation. The Malleshwaraswamy temple here attracts a number of pilgrims, especially during the car festival.
Ramanadurga (T. Sandur) is a hill station at a distance of about 16 kms. from Sandur town and about 20 kms. from Hospet town. The Trigonometrical Station here is at a height of 3,256 feet from the sea-level. (A similar station at Sandur is at a height of 1,815 feet from the sea-level). On all the sides of this hill station, the ground falls sharply, thus affording excellent views into the Sandur valley on the one side and over the western taluks on the other. The place gets its name from the village and the fort of the same name, which stands on the southern end of the plateau. There are remains of the old fort, in the form of walls of enormous blocks of stones. According to a local tradition, it was built by prince Kumara Rama of Kampili, a great hero. The Ramadeva temple here is said to be named after Kumara Rama (who had been hidden in this area for some time by minister Bychappa Nayaka in order to save his life). This is confirmed by an inscription found at the place. Though it is not a contemporary record, it clearly states that a temple was erected in memory of Ramanatha Odeya (i.e., Kumara Rama) by his admirers in appreciation of his supreme sacrifice. The epigraph is dated in the Shaka year 1450 when Krishnadeva Raya was ruling. The present temple of Ramadeva, where this inscription was found, is reported to have been rebuilt out of the ruins of an older temple, apparently the one referred to in the inscription.
During the Second World War, army units had been stationed here. A hospital was built here to nurse wounded soldiers. A sanatorium set up here was used mostly for the benefit of soldiers and Europeans and later closed. There was a handicrafts training centre here during 1943-44. There are a few bungalows belonging to individuals of Bellary and other places. The mean temperature here for April and May is only 26.7″C. The highest figure recorded in the hottest month is 30.5″c. Beautiful mango gardens are situated here. During the months from August to December, every year, forest flowers of various colours, presenting a pleasing sight, can be seen here. When the steel complex at Toranagal near here comes up, the importance of this place will considerably increase. There is a proposal to construct a tourist bungalow at this hill station and to develop the place as a tourist spot. The western base of this hill has got rich deposits of haematite.
Sandur is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name, situated at a distance of about 48 kms. west of Bellary city. It has a municipality and a junior college and a high school. It was the capital of the Sandur State, a small principality, ruled by the Ghorpade ruling house.
The town is accessible through three passes, Bhimanagandi near Taranagar, Obalagandi towards Yeshawantanagar, and the Venkatagiri pass. According to one version, the name of the town is derived from ‘sandu’ + ‘ur’ which mean in Kannada gap (or pass) and town respectively. In the past, it is said to have been called also Skandapuri (i.e., city of Skanda or Kumaraswamy, whose temple is situated nearby) . It is a pretty town with equable climate. The place seems to have been Fortified in some way in olden days. Haidar Ali built a fort altogether outside it, west to the road leading to Bhimanagandi. It is called the Krishnanagar fort, a quadrangular structure with stone curtains, some 20 feet high, protected by frequent bastions and a terreplein inside and surrounded by a ditch and glacis ; it was entered into by only one gate-way. Beyond Krishnanagar, there is .Bhima-teertha and near Taranagar, a village at a short distance, there is Bhairava-teertha. Both these teertha have perenuial springs flowing from clefts in the rocks and there is a shrine at each of them. Above the Obalagandi pass also, there is a temple which is dedicated to Narasimhaswami.
The vitthoba temple at Sandur has a shrine containing wellcarved stone pillars and a beautiful ceiling. The Raja’s palace is an elegantly built modern structure. The famous Kumaraswami temple complex is about 12 kms. away from the town and is picturesquely situated on the wooded slopes at the head of a ravine.
A legend says that Karthikeya (Kumaraswami) on his way to the south from Kailasa rested here with sage Agastya.. Twice in five years, the ‘ Mahayatra ‘ of the deity is celebrated and this attracts pilgrims from various parts. According to a legend, Kumaraswami, the son of Shiva, killed a demon named Tarakasura who dwelt on the Sandur hills. There are a few Bati stones and several inscriptions in the temple. Among the epigraphs, the most interesting one is of the time of the Hoysala king Ballala II dated in the year 1206 A.D. It refers to gifts made formerly for offerings to the Shanmukha temple by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna III. There are actually two temples here, one dedicated to Parvati and the other to Kumaraswami. Both these are centrally protected monuments of national importance. The Parvati temple is the older one and architecturally also it is more important. It was constructed in the typical southern vimana style in the early Chalukyan period and is datable, according to the Archaeological Survey of India, ” perhaps to at least the middle of the 8th century A.D., if not slightly earlier “. A massive wagon-shaped tower on the roof of the front mantapa was also added. The top portion of the main tower of this temple over the garbhagriha seems to have been renovated at a later date. There are fine figures of divinities in the main cardinal niches and many well-executed images placed on pedestals in the interior of this temple. The other temple, that of Kumaraswami, which has become more well-known, belongs to the later Chalukyan period; it is datable to the late 11th century A.D. and is relatively plainer. It does not have now its original super structural tower, but has a renovated shikhara constructed later. The image of Karthikeya (Kumaraswami) is made of black stone and he holds a club in his hand and beside him stands a peacock, his usual vehicle. In accordance with an old custom, women do not see this image of Kumaraswami. Outside these temples, there is a tank with steps on all sides, which is called Agastya-teertha. It is surrounded by small shrines. A path, which takes off from the right side of the road, leads to a little shrine of Harishankara, where a perennial mineral spring pours through a rudely carved mouth of a cow, into a square basin. Also behind the shrine, there is a cave. At the foot of the hills on which the Kumaraswami temple stands on the Kudligi side, there is another shrine of Kumaraswami, known as Navilu-swami, meaning a peacock god.
Seedaragadda (T. Bellary) is about eight kms. from Bellary city. The Central Government is running a Soil Conservation and Research Station here.
Siruguppa is the headquarters town of the taluk of the same name standing on a narrow branch of the Tungabhadra at a distance of 56 kilometres on Bellary-Raichur road. It has a town panchayat and one high school. The name Siruguppa perhaps means ” pile of wealth ” and is well-earned by it on account of its rich wet lands watered by the channels from the river. The lands around this place, together with those surrounding Ibrahimpura and Desanur, are reputed to be among the best lands in the district. From these lands are sent to Bellary and other places large quantities of paddy, plantains, cocoanuts, sweet potatoes and garlic. On a bastion of the fort here, stands an old temple of Shambhulinga, the oldest temple of the place. The temple of “Kotturu Basavanna” is a modern structure with a conspicuous gopura. It was built in 1887 by a rich local merchant. A sugar factory is being established at this place.
Somalapura (T. Sandur) is a village on the road from Kudligi to Sandur situated at a distance of 9 kms. from Sandur. lt contains three varieties of pot-stone occurring in the beds close to the base of the Dharwar rocks. The stone is used for making vessels, etc
Telckailakota (T. Siruguppa) is a town 43 kms. north of Bellary on the Siruguppa road. West of it, lies a bold group of granite hills containing many fine blocks and tors. The place is called ‘Papekallu’ in a Kannada inscription dated in the year 1021 A.D. found on a rock here. The epigraph was meant for announcing concessions in payment of dues on cultivated lands and mentions an officer of high rank named Brahmadhiraja who had the responsibility of the entire administration (Samasta-Rajyabhara-Nirrupita) (“The Stone-age Hilldwelllers of Tekkalakota ” by Nagaraja Rao, M. S. and Malhotra, K. C., pp. 104-105, Poona, 1965) . Along with the village adjoining it, Tekkalakota came under the control of Palayagar Hanumappa Nayaka of Bellary after the down-fall of Vijayanagara. He built a fort which stood round about the Amareshvara temple in the southern part of the village, but of which almost no trace now remains. It was perhaps from this fort that the village got its name, which means southern fort, in contrast with the Hale-kote or the old fort, further north.
It appears that in 1725, Hanumappa’s descendants who were ruling Tekkalakota from Bellary, lost it to the Muslim governor of Adoni. In 1759, Basalat Jung, who then held the Jagir of Adoni, appointed one Hassanulla Khan as the Amildar of Tekkalakota. Ten years later, in 1769, Basalat Jung gave it as jagir to one Pir Mohidin Saheb. It was captured by Haidar Ali in 1775, and he built the square stone fort which adjoins the Siruguppa road. The Amareshvara temple contains an inscription which states that it was built by one Jakka Raya in 1511, as an offering to Shiva and in honour of the king Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagara. The temple, which had been nearly buried in earth and debris, was excavated and provided with a set of steps leading down to it.
West of the village, is the temple of Kadu Siddappa, a saint, and a mantapa under which he is buried. Many miracles are said to have been performed by Kadu Siddappa. It is stated that he brought rain whenever it was wanted, protected the village cattle from wild beasts and on one occasion mounted a wall and made it move about. His help is still invoked when difficulties arise. In the north-eastern part of the village, about two miles away, is a temple of Hari Mallappa, where a festival and a fair are held annually. The place is noted also for weaving of cloths by the Dudekula section of Muslims. There is a high school here.
- S. Nagaraja Rao conducted excavations at the site on the hills of Tekkalakota in order to ascertain the particulars of living of the stone-age hill-dwellers of the area. This was done between November 1963 and March 1964 under the direction of H D. Sankalia and the results were published in a monograph (“The Stone-age Hill-dwellers of Tekkalakota,” Poona, 1965). Pottery characterised by grey, pale-grey, brown, buff, dull-red and black and red wares, edge-tools, non-edge tools, blades, etc. made of stone, bone tools and bone and shell objects, terracottas, beads, a well-made copper axe besides five small copper objects, two gold ornaments, fractional burials and animal remains were discovered. The evidence disclosed a settled life, domestication of animals, practising of agriculture and making of pottery during the neolithic period. The basic technology was of stone, and copper played a very restricted role during the period. An examination of the human skeletal remains by K. C. Malhotra revealed that the racial types that existed there were ‘mediterranean’ and ‘proto-australoid’ in a mixed form.
Toranagal (T. Sandur), situated on the road linking Bellary and Hospet, is about 28 kms. west of Bellary city and 21 kms. east of Hospet. The village is said to take its name from the fact of its being the outer gateway (torana) to Vijayanagara city. The village has a wood . depot belonging to the Forest Department. The great bare blocks of rocks surrounding the conical hill which rises close to the village, are in strong contrast with the smoother, grass-covered slopes of the Sandur hills. On the north side of the hill, occurs a very handsome dark prophyry, its blackish grey base studded with bright fleshcoloured felspar crystals of large size” In some parts of the rock, the longer axes of these crystals lie in two directions which are nearly at right angles to each other.
Toranagal has been selected for the location of the fifth integrated steel plant and will become a big steel town. The Prime Minister of India inaugurated the work on the fifth steel plant on October 14, 1971. The Vijayanagara Steel Project, as it has been called, is designed for an initial production of two million tonnes of steel with the provision for future expansion to four million tonnes.
The new township will assume huge proportions and will occupy about ten thousand acres of land to accommodate the workers and the service ,population alone in addition to a similar area to be covered by the plant complex. The population is expected to reach the figure of two-and-a-half lakhs during the first phase (by about 1980), while it may reach the optimum of five Iakhs by the end of the current century. The development of the town is proposed to be entrusted to a statutory body called the New Town Development Authority to be constituted under the proposed amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act. The primary object of the authority will be to develop a co-ordinated town, not only for the steel plant, but also covering the whole region including ancillary industries. The State Government have already constituted an official committee for considering the questions of accelerating land acquisition, planning, water supply facilities, transport and communications in the area. It will also consider the questions relating to training of technical personnel and labour. The Toranagal site is served by broad and metre-gauge railway lines, as well as by a State Highway leading to Hospet and Bellary. The two air strips in the vicinity at Bellary and Ginigera can be further developed.
Yeshwantanagar (T. Sandur) is a small pleasant township, about eight kms. from Sandur. The registered office of the Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Ltd. is located in the ‘Lohadri Bhavan’ here.
Yemmiganur (T. Bellary), situated at a distance of about 46 kms. away from Bellary, has the samadhi of a great saint known as Jade Tata. The Low-Level Canal of the Tungabhadra Project has provided irrigational facilities as a result of which the village has considerably improved.