The Rice Bowl of Karnataka
|Type of Tourism||: Natural Beauty|
|Area||: 50 sq km|
|Population||: 322,428 (As per Indian census- 2011)|
|Altitude||: 569 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: October to March|
|Languages spoken||: Kannada, Urdu, Hindi, English|
|Telephone Code||: India (08182), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 577201|
|Clothing recommended||: Cotton in Summer, Woolen in Winter|
|Food Specialties||: Tender-Mango Pickle, Sandige, Avalakki, Akki Rotti, Genesale, Thotadevvu, Thambli, Idly, Dosa, Uttappam, Appam, Wada, Sambhar, Rassam, Etc|
|Local transportation||: Auto Rickshaws, Taxis|
Cradled on the banks of the river Tunga and constituting the geographical nucleus of the Karnataka Terra Firma, Shimoga popularly known as ‘?ivamogga’ amongst the locals is an urban megalopolis and a municipal corporation that serves as the managerial command center of the Shimoga District. Embellished with the infinite treasure of splendorous natural charisma and sharing its Arcadian bequest with the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges of the Western Ghats, this debonair civic elegantly portrays the sublime amalgamation of the best of both the pastoral and the citified disposition. Enriched with sylvan hills and hillocks, dense verdurous woods, luxuriant dales, proliferating spice and sandalwood plantations, bountiful rivers, sparkling brooks, exuberant water cataracts and affluent flora and fauna, Shimoga is indisputably one of the most excellent sculptures ever molded in the workshop of the ‘King of Kings’.
Nurtured by the brimming watercourses of the Tungabhadra, Kumudavathi, Varada and Sharavathi rivers, the fertile alluvial soil of the Shimoga terrain yields plenteous crop for the entire province. Teeming with blooming verdant foliage, swaggering palm trees and abounding paddy fields, Shimoga much-admired as one of the most charming and picturesque vicinities of the state is also reckoned as the ‘Bread Basket’ and the ‘Rice Bowl’ of Karnataka. Speckled with numerous temples, forts and other historical monuments, Shimoga boasting of its lavish tradition, art and culture and also renowned for its warm hospitality and delectable cuisine is fittingly distinguished amongst the most sought after vacation spots and weekend getaways of Southern Indian Peninsula.
The appellation ‘Shimoga’ (or ‘?ivamogga’) is believed to have been coined from the name of the Hindu God of destruction; Lord Shiva. The term ?ivamogga is interpreted in several ways videlicet; ‘Shiva Mukha’ meaning the face of Lord Shiva, or ‘Shiva Moogu’ meaning the nose of Lord Shiva or ‘Shiva Mogge’ meaning the flowers offered to Lord Shiva. Apart from that, a prevalent myth suggests that the moniker ‘Shimoga’ has been derived from a word ‘Sihi-Moge’ which means; ‘the sweet pot’. As the legend goes, in the primordial ages the mythological sage Durvasa used to reside here in a hermitage. One day some local cowherds laid their hands upon an earthen pot which contained a sweet beverage cooked out of certain sweet herbs by Sage Durvasa for his meals. The cowherds tasted the beverage in the pot which was locally called ‘Sihi-Moge’. Henceforth, the vicinity came to be known as ‘?ivamogga’ or ‘Shimoga’ in the memory of the ‘Sihi-Moge’ prepared by the holy sage.
History of Shimoga
Shimoga constituted the southern portion of the Mauryan Empire in 3rd century BC when it flourished under the sovereignty of the Great Mauryan Emperor; Samrat Ashoka. The Satakarni inscriptions found in the Shikaripur Taluk evince that following the downfall of the Mauryan Empire, Shimoga was taken over by the Satavahana Kings who dictated the region till 2nd century AD. The Kadambas of Banavasi succeeded the Satavahanas who happened to be the earliest monarchs of the Shimoga Kingdom to coronet the ‘Kannada’ language as the administrative language of the state. Subsequently, approximately in 540 AD the Badami Chalukyas subjugated the domain and kept the Kadamba Rulers of Shimoga under their suzerainty.
After the Badami Chalukyas, Shimoga fell into the hands of the Gangas who were succeeded by the Rashtrakutas in 8th century AD. Before long, the Rashtrakutas were overwhelmed by the Kalyani Chalukyas who governed the empire till late 12th century AD. With the fall of the Kalyani Chalukyas, the Shimoga Territory was seized by the Hoysalas. Hoysalas were succeeded by the Vijayanagar Kings after whose all-inclusive breakdown in the Battle of Tallikota of 1565 AD, Keladi Nayakas; the previous feudatories of the Vijayanagar Kings ascended the throne. Shortly, they pronounced their self-government and dominated Shimoga as an autonomous kingdom for around 200 years.
The incumbency of the King Shivappa Nayaka was the most prosperous time span of Shimoga under the rule of the Nayaka Kings. Later on, the Shimoga District was captured by the Mysore Kingdom in 1763 AD who retained the throne till the independence of India. Shimoga, along with the rest of the Mysore State, was annexed to the Republic of India in 1947. Of late, on 1st Nov, 2006 the government of Karnataka declared the rechristening of Shimoga as ‘?ivamogga’. Notwithstanding the name still needs to get the official approval from the Government of India.