Some of the events in the Ramayana are related to this historical place. It is said that Rama while searching for Sita met Sugriva and Hanuman at a place near Hampi, the celebrated capital of the Vijayanagara empire.
300 BCE – 1336 AD
Bellary was ruled in succession by the Mauryas, Satavahanas, the Pallavas, the Kadambas, the Badami Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Kalyani Chalukyas, the Southern Kalachuryas, the Sevuna Yadavas, and the Hoysalas.
The Bellary area was also ruled briefly by the Cholas during the wars between Kalyani Chalukyas and the Cholas (often involving Vengi Chalukyas), the region constantly changing hands under turmoil.
A dynasty called Ballariya Naredu ruled Bellary under the Hoysalas.
9th century AD and 1000–1250 AD
A branch of the Pallava family called the Nolamba-Pallavas ruled Nolambavadi-32000.Later in the 11th century AD, they ruled parts of Nolambavadi under Western Chalukyas and Hoysalas.
Feudatories of Kalyani Chalukyas, Kalachuryas and Hoysalas, calling themselves Pandyas (Nolambavadi Pandyas), ruled parts of Nolambavadi-32000. They were actively involved in the conflicts amongst their overlords.
After the Sevuna Yadavas and the Hoysalas (and the Kakatiyas of Warangal & the Pandyas of Madurai) were defeated by the Islamic sultanates from Delhi under Allauddin Khilji, Malik Kafur and Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Vijayanagara Empire arose under Harihara I and Bukka I. The Bellary area was dominated by the Vijayanagara rulers until 1565 AD.
Bellary itself was ruled by the family of Hande Hanumappa Nayaka, a Palayagara - vassal) of the Vijayanagara rulers.
The dominance of the Vijayanagara Empire ended with the Battle of Talikote, where they were defeated by a conglomerate of Deccan sultanates. After the fall of Vijayanagara, the Hande Nayakas of Bellary were subsidiary to the Adilshahi Sultanate of Bijapur.
Bellary was subsidiary to the Marathas under Shivaji. The story goes that as Shivaji was passing that way some of his foragers had been killed by the garrison, prompting him to occupy Bellary; but he restored it again to the Hande Nayakas at once on condition that tribute should be paid to him.
Bellary fell to the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's campaign in the Deccan
Asif Jah I, who was the Subedar of Gujarat and Malwa, defeated and killed the Delhi sponsored Mobariz Khan, the Subedar of the Deccan, at the battle fought at Shakar Kheda in the district of Berar.
Soon after, Asif Jah assumed independence from Mughal control to establish Hyderabad as a separate state, beginning the Asaf Jahi dynasty. Asif Jah assumed the title Nizam-ul-mulk, and Bellary was included in the Nizam's Dominion.
Bellary became tributary to Basalat Jang, the brother of the then Nizam Salabat Jang and the Subedar of Aadavaani (Adoni) and Raichur.
The Hande Nayaka of Bellary refused to pay tribute to Basalat Jang, which prompted him to occupy Bellary. The Nayaka then pleaded for Hyder Ali of Mysuru (Mysore) to rescue Bellary. Hyder Ali forcefully expelled the occupiers, after which the Hande Nayakas were tributary to him.
At the partition of Tipu Sultan's territory by the British after the Third Anglo-Mysore War, the district was given to the then Nizam Asif Jah II.
After the defeat and death of Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at Srirangapattanam (Seringapatam), the Mysore territories were further divided up between the Wodeyars, Asif Jah II and the British.
In 1796 AD, Asaf Jah II, harassed by the Marathas and Tipu Sultan, had opted to get British military protection under Lord Wellesley's doctrine of Subsidiary Alliance. As part of this agreement, Asif Jah II ceded a large portion of the acquired territory including Bellary, to the British, to be added to the Madras Presidency as 'Bellary District'. This area was also known as the Ceded Districts, a term still used for the areas, and was considerably larger than the present district, including the present districts of Kadapa (Cuddapah), Anantapuram and much of Karnoolu (Kurnool).
All through these political changes since Vijayanagar times, the Hande Nayakas were the de facto rulers of Bellary - while their masters constantly changed, locally their powers were absolute. All this changed with the arrival of Major Thomas Munro, the first collector of the Ceded Districts (1800-1807), who disposed of the eighty palayagars (Polygars) of the districts either with pensions or assimilation of their estates and established the Ryotwari system - land revenue collected directly from the tiller of the soil.
The ceded districts area was split into two districts, Bellary and Kadapa. The Bellary area was still larger than Kadapa and the second largest district in Madras Presidency, measuring 13000 square miles (nearly twice the size of Wales), and a population of 1,250,000 (one and half times that of Wales).
Bellary became the head-quarters of the district. The Collector until this year lived in Anantapuram.
The Bellary Municipal Council was created, along with the Adoni Municipal Council. These were the only two municipal townships in the whole of Bellary district for a long time.
Seven of the southern talukas were was carved out to form Anantapuram district, further reducing the size of Bellary District.
The Maratha princely state of Sandur was surrounded by Bellary district.
A steam cotton-spinning mill was established.
Bellary was the seventh largest town in Madras Presidency, and was one of the chief military stations in Southern India, garrisoned by British and native Indian troops under the British Indian Government. A company of the Southern Mahratta Railway Volunteer Rifles was also stationed in the town.
The town included a civil railway station to the east of the Bellary Fort, the cantonment and its railway station on the west, the Cowl Bazar and the suburbs of 'Bruce-pettah' (currently spelt Brucepet) and 'Mellor-pettah', named after two British officers once stationed in the town.
The town was also headquarters for the Roman Catholic Mission and the London Mission.
The industries in the town included a small distillery and two steam cotton-presses. The steam cotton-spinning mill established in 1894 had 17,800 spindles, and employed 520 hands.
1 October 1953 AD
Bellary district of Madras State was divided on linguistic basis.
Areas with significant Kannada speaking populations (Harapanahalli, Hadagali, Kudligi, Hosapete, Sanduru and Siruguppa) were transferred to Mysore state, which would later become Karnataka state.
Areas of the district with significant Telugu speaking populations (Yemmiganuru, Aadavaani, Aaluru, Raayadurgam, D.Hirehaalu, Kanekallu, Bommanahaalu, Gummagatta) were merged into Anantapuram and Karnulu districts in what would later become Andhra Pradesh state.
Bellary city itself, with both Kannada and Telugu speaking populace in large numbers, was included into Mysore state after a protracted debate and controversy.
With the re-organisation of the districts in Karnataka, Harapanahalli taluk was transferred to Davanagere district, reducing the number of talukas in the district to seven.
Bellary City Municipal Council was upgraded to a City Corporation.
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