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Bhatkal, also known as 'Batecala' & 'Al Nawayath' in some historical texts, is a port town in the North Canara District of the South Indian state of Karnataka. The town of Bhatkal lies on National Highway 66, which runs between Bombay and Cochin, and has one of the major railway stations along the Konkan Railway line, which runs between Bombay and Mangalore This place is sometimes referred to as Mini Dubai. The people here have a lavish lifestyle.
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|• Type||Town Municipal Council|
|• Body||Bhatkal Town Muncipal Council|
|• Total||355.50 km2 (137.26 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|• Density||450/km2 (1,200/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Bhatkali, Bhatkalite, Nawayathi|
|• Regional||Konkani, Nawayathi|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
In its early days, Bhatkal belonged to followers of the Jain and Hindu religions and later acquired more religions and cultures. Bhatkal gets its name from the Jain Grammarian Bhattakalanka, who hailed from Hadwalli village. It is a town located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, with Sharavathi river few miles to its north. Bhatkal's location, although very strategic, was the main factor behind the erratic history of the countryside in the area. Bhatkal witnessed the rise and fall of several dynasties and rulers. It was a part of the Hoysala Empire from 1291 to 1343 before falling into the hands of the Vijayanagara Empire. After the disintegration of the latter, the much-coveted town of Bhatkal was brought under the control of the Saluva (Jain) rulers based in Hadwalli (a town on the state highway towards Jog Falls). Numerous temples and basadis were constructed during the Saluvas' reign. Vestiges of this period can be found in Mudbhatkal, where a few temples still stand as an old witness of that era. The Nawayaths came to the west coast of India from countries like Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco etc as traders of spices, leather, jewellery and arabian horses. They choose to settle down in here and married into another trading community of India, the Jains who had been converted to Islam more than 1,000 years ago.With this a new caste system emerged. Their face cuts of Arabs and the fair skin tone of Jains stands testimony to that.
Chola emperors under Aditya I, his son Parantaka I and successor Sundara Chola, also known as Parantaka Chola II, initially invaded and conquered territories in Kannada country between Gangavadi on the Mysore plateau and Bhatkal on the Sahyadri coast between 880 and 975. As a sign of their victory in Kannada country, they built the Solesvara Temple in commemoration of their conquest. Inscriptions there from successive kings, from Parantaka Chola I to Kulothunga Chola III, refer to their generals as 'Lords of the Konkana', and include inscriptions paying obeisance to Lord Solesvarar of Konkana.
The Portuguese also made their presence felt in Bhatkal at the beginning of the 16th century. Krishnadevaraya allowed them to build a fort there in 1510. From the Keladi rulers, Bhatkal was passed on to Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan made Bhatkal one of his important ports and a Mosque and an street named after him stands testimony to that. Bhatkal passed on to the British Empire in 1799 after the death of Tipu Sultan while fighting the British.
It is also said that the origins of Nawayaths of Bhatkal comes from Yemen, Jordan, Iran, Iraq & Saudi Arabia etc. The Nawayaths came to the west coast of India for the purpose of trade which included spices and arabian-horses.
Bhatkal is connected by road and rail. The National Highway 66 (India) passes through the town and has a major impact on the development. It is well connected by rail as well, the Konkan Railway runs many trains running day and night. The railway station has two platforms paving way for smooth running of trains.
As of 2011 India census, Bhatkal Taluk had a population of approximately 1,61,576. Males constitute 49.98% of the population and females constitute 50.02%. Bhatkal has an average literacy rate of 74.04%, with male literacy of 78.72% and female literacy of 69.36%. 11.17% of the population is under 6 years of age. Scheduled Castes constitute 8.87% and Scheduled Tribes constitute 5.67% of the total population.
The local economy depends mostly on tourism and fishing. Bhatkal also has imported goods markets, including the Dubai Market and the Mirchi Gully. More than 70℅ Nawayath youths are employed or have business in the Middle East, Europe & America & also in the various metropolitan & large cities of India..
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Bhatkal
- Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 109. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
- "Bhatkal Religion Data 2011". Census 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- "Census of India - Population Enumeration Data (Final Population)". Census of India 2011. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India, New Delhi-110011.
- "Bhatkal Assembly Constituency Page". partyanalyst.com. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014.