Gadag Tourist Places – Offbeat Travel Guide
Gadag is considered the gateway into North Karnataka. It has a vibrant small city vibe. In other words, Gadag is one of the simpler off-beat tourist places in the state. It is well worth a visit for its monuments, history and delicious food! But what exactly can you see in the city? How to get there? Is there an itinerary for visiting Gadag? We tell you everything in this post!
You’ll find everything you need to know to plan a trip to Gadag in Karnataka in this blog post. This guide contains details on what to see in Gadag. In addition, we tell you about where to stay, where to eat and getting around in Gadag! Above all, we’ve put together the perfect itinerary for a travel day in Gadag.
Our experience of visiting the tourist places in Gadag Karnataka
Gadag is in north Karnataka. It is just a little north of Davangere, which is famous for its butter dosas. If you love off beat travel destinations like us, you will enjoy the simple feel of Gadag.
We visited the city on a road trip through north Karnataka. It was an impromtu plan indeed! We decided to spend the night at Gadag before heading out to Badami the next day. That evening, we explored the city on foot and enjoyed the sunset. We made our way to the temples and statue of Basavanna in the city centre the next morning. In other words, it was a wonderful experience.
We also enjoyed the delicious street food in town. A piping hot cup of tea cost INR 5! That was like a time machine journey to a lost era! After that, we snacked on street food and feasted on Jolada rotti meals. Above all, we found it to be very cheap to travel in and explore.
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The Trikuteshwara temple is a Shiva temple in the heart of old Gadag. There are three lingas mounted on one single stone in the main temple within the complex. It became a unique feature! Many pilgrims and devotees visited the temple over centuries. A royal architect from the Chalukya era designed the temple in the eleventh century. His name was Shilpi Jakanachari.
Tip: We recommend visiting Trikuteshwara temple in the morning to enjoy a peaceful experience.
There is another shrine dedicated to Saraswathi, Gayathri and Sharada devis behind the main temple. It features carved columns and intricate designs. There is a central mantapa (stage) with pillars around. In addition, there is a holy water tank in the back. The tank was used for watering the temple gardens and keeping the holy place pristine. However, it is not in the best condition now.
This is the tallest Basaveshwara statue in the world. Basavanna, as he was fondly known, was the pioneer of the Lingayat sect. He was born a Brahmin and became the chief minister of the region in the 12th century. But he witnessed society and how backward people were downtrodden upon by the elite. As a result of this, he worked towards their empowerment. He actively propogated the community of Veerashaivas (devotees of Shiva) where caste based discrimination would cease to exist.
As a result, many people accepted these new beliefs with great reverence for him. He also penned his thoughts about an ideal world with no discrimination, honest work and faithful worship. He wrote in the local language to reach the simple devotees. These soulful poems were then called as Vachanas.
The Basaveshwara Statue in Gadag is nealy 118 feet tall and can be spotted from the city’s main road which connects the state highways. There is a beautiful lake called Bhishma Kere around the statue and is very popular for sunset. You can also go boating at the lake around the statue! Locals love relaxing in the sprawling gardens in front of the statue.
Tip: We recommend visiting the statue just before sunset hour to enjoy the views.
There is a very nice museum at the base of the Basava statue at Gadag. The museum has many small scenes of the milestones in Basavanna’s life. Starting with a tale of his birth and youth, it goes onto his early marriage and profession. It then narrates his moment of revolt against discrimination. After that, the carousel takes visitors through his later years of struggle to establish people on a liberal path. It is very interesting and well worth spending fifteen minutes inside.
Tip: There is a fee of INR 20 for the park. This includes a visit to the statue and the museum. Car parking is free. On the other hand, boating and other leisure activities are extra.
Other Gadag, Karnataka tourist places
Gadag has a small but very popular zoo. Many locals and people from nearby villages and towns frequently visit the attraction. There are leopards, deers, bears, tigers and many birds too.
In addition to the Trikuteshwara temple, Gadag is home to the holy Shri Veera Narayana Temple. The temple is maintained by ASI and dates back to the twelth century. God Vishnu is the deity of the temple and is worshipped here to this day.
Best itinerary for Gadag tourist places
You can easily explore Gadag in one day by starting early. We recommend this itinerary for seeing Gadag tourist places:
- Check into a hotel and then visit Basaveshwara statue and museum by 4:30 pm and enjoy the evening till sunset.
- After that, taste fresh Girmit and Bhajji near the main bus station. In addition, have Rotti meals at any Khanavali for dinner for a great culinary experience.
- Visit the Trikuteshwara and Veera Narayana temple the next morning.
- Have breakfast at the five rupee Idle shop (you’ll find it as you exit the temple neighbourhood to the main road).
- Proceed to the next destination on your north Karnataka itinerary!
Stay, food, transport, weather and budget in Gadag, Karnataka
Gadag has many small hotels and budget lodges. But they are not available via online bookings. You can find some of them here though. We stayed at Hotel Vishwa on the main road of the city. It was close to many small restaurants and street food joints and was also close to the major attractions! We paid INR 650 (USD 9) for a clean room. It had an in-house restaurant and parking space too.
Budget and costs: Food is very reasonably priced in the city. Expect to pay INR 10 for a plate of two Idlis, INR 30 for a dosa, INR 30 for fresh Orange juice. Expect to pay about INR 70 (USD 1) for a local meal and INR 80 for north Indian dishes. However, there are many small snack stalls in and around the major tourist attractions. Street food is generally safe to consume. In addition, fresh coconut water costs about INR 30.
Must eat: Mandakki Puri, Girmit and traditional Uttara Kannada meals.
Auto-rickshaws and local buses are available in Gadag. They are very affordable and easy to find. However, hire an auto if you want to visit the temples and the statue as it is inroad from bus stands. Alternatively, if you are driving, vehicle parking is also available everywhere.
It is hot and dry like any other north Karnataka town weather wise. However, it gets cooler in the winter months. Therefore, we feel that its best to visit Gadag between November and February. It is unbearably hot in summer months (March to August) and not a good time to visit.
Tip: Dress modestly to respect conservative local beliefs and traditions. Wear cotton clothing to beat the hot weather. Carry an additional layer for evening chills.
How to get to Gadag, Karnataka
Gadag is very well connected with most major cities in Karnataka. There are daily buses from Bangalore and Bijapur. These cities are well connected other parts of India. In addition, Gadag is also very close to Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal. These are the other important tourist cities in the region.
Love road tripping? Check this list of weekend getaways from Bangalore
Karnataka is indeed a very beautiful part of India! It is very popular for its greenery and architecture from the yesteryears. In fact, it is our home state and we’ve explored a few other places which you might just find just as appealing to explore! Check it out here.
If you have more questions or want to explore Gadag with us, please write to us – we’d be very happy to help!
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Shishira & Navneeth