Koppala is a city in Koppala district in the Indian state of Karnataka. Koppal is surrounded on three sides by hills. It was an important town in the history of Karnataka. It is also known as Kopana Nagara. It contains historical landmarks such as the Koppal Fort, the Gavimath (a religious shrine) and the Malle Mallappa Temple. Koppal is known as Jaina Kashi, meaning the "Kashi" or most sacred place for Jains. It is so named because there were more than 700 Basadis (also called Bastis), Jain meditation halls or "Prarthana Mandir"s. Koppal district was carved out of Raichur district, located in the northern part of Karnataka state, on 1 April 1998.


Koppal is located in Karnataka
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: 15°21′N 76°09′E / 15.35°N 76.15°E / 15.35; 76.15Coordinates: 15°21′N 76°09′E / 15.35°N 76.15°E / 15.35; 76.15
Country India
DistrictKoppala district
 • Total28.78 km2 (11.11 sq mi)
529 m (1,736 ft)
 • Total70,698
 • Density2,070.62/km2 (5,362.9/sq mi)
 • OfficialKannada
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
583 231
Telephone code08539
Vehicle registrationKA-37


As per the 2011 census, Koppal district had a population of 70,698.[1] This gives it a ranking of 350th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 250 inhabitants per square kilometre (650/sq mi).[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 16.32%.[1] Koppal has a sex ratio of 1006 females for every 1000 males[1] and a literacy rate of 79.97%.[1]

Tourist attractionsEdit

Mahadeva Temple at Itagi in the Koppal district, 1112 CE, an example of Karnata-Dravida articulation with a nagara superstructure

Most notable of the many buildings dating from the time of the Western Chalukya Empire[2] are the Mahadeva Temple at Itagi in the Koppal district, the former capital of Vijayanagar emperors, Anegondi, the Kasivisvesvara Temple at Lakkundi in the Gadag district, the Mallikarjuna Temple at Kuruvatti, and the Kallesvara Temple at Bagali. The last two are both in the Davangere district.[3] Other monuments notable for their craftsmanship include the Siddhesvara Temple at Haveri in the Haveri district, the Amruteshvara Temple at Annigeri in the Dharwad district, the Sarasvati Temple in Gadag, and the Dodda Basappa Temple at Dambal, both in the Gadag district.

The Mahadeva TempleEdit

Open mantapa (hall) at the Mahadeva Temple in Itagi, the Koppal district, 1112 CE
Figure sculpture at Mahadeva Temple

The Mahadeva temple at Itagi dedicated to Shiva is among the larger temples built by the Western Chalukyas and perhaps the most famous. Inscriptions hail it as the 'Emperor among temples'.[4] Here, the main temple, the sanctum of which has a linga, is surrounded by thirteen minor shrines, each with its own linga. The temple has two other shrines, dedicated to Murthinarayana and Chandraleshwari, parents of Mahadeva, the Chalukya commander who consecrated the temple in 1112 CE.[5] Soapstone is found in abundance in the regions of Haveri, Savanur, Byadgi, Motebennur and Hangal. The great archaic sandstone building blocks used by the Badami Chalukyas were superseded with smaller blocks of soapstone and with smaller masonry.[6] The first temple to be built from this material was the Amrtesvara Temple in Annigeri in the Dharwad district in 1050 CE. This building was to be the prototype for later, more articulated structures such as the Mahadeva Temple at Itagi.[7] The 11th-century temple-building boom continued in the 12th century with the addition of new features. The Mahadeva Temple at Itagi and the Siddhesvara Temple in Haveri are standard constructions incorporating these developments. Based on the general plan of the Amrtesvara Temple at Annigeri, the Mahadeva Temple was built in 1112 CE and has the same architectural components as its predecessor. There are however differences in their articulation; the sala roof (roof under the finial of the superstructure) and the miniature towers on pilasters are chiseled instead of moulded.[8]

9th century old Kannada inscription at Navalinga temple in Kuknur, Karnataka

The difference between the two temples, built fifty years apart, is the more rigid modelling and decoration found in many components of the Mahadeva Temple. The voluptuous carvings of the 11th century were replaced with a more severe chiselling.[9]


In Karnataka their most famous temples are the Kashivishvanatha[10] temple and the Jain Narayana temple at Pattadakal, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.[11] Other well known temples are the Parameshwara temple at Konnur, Brahmadeva temple at Savadi, the Settavva, Kontigudi II, Jadaragudi and Ambigeragudi temples at Aihole, Mallikarjuna temple at Ron, Andhakeshwara temple at Huli, Someshwara temple at Sogal, Jain temples at Lokapura, Navalinga Temple at Kuknur, Kumaraswamy temple at Sandur, at Shirival in Gulbarga and the Trikunteshwara temple at Gadag which was later expanded by Kalyani Chalukyas. Archeological study of these temples show some have the stellar (multigonal) plan later to be used profusely by the Hoysalas of Belur and Halebidu.[12] One of the richest traditions in Indian architecture took shape in the Deccan during this time and one writer calls it Karnata dravida style as opposed to traditional Dravida style.[13]

Hideout for Balkrishna Hari ChapekarEdit

Domical ceiling in Mahadeva Temple at Itagi, the Koppal district

In the year 1897 Balakrishna Hari Chapekar, one of the three Chapekar brothers, involved in the shooting of Ryand and Ayrest in Pune,[14] was arrested by one Mr. Stephenson in the district of Raichur. For this arrest the Hyerabad Police received a reward from the Government of Bombay. Balakrishna Hari Chapekar seems to have stayed for more than six months in the hills between Koppala and Gangavathi which were then in the district of Raicur. He attracted a great deal of sympathy from the local people. In spite of the enquiries made by the Government of Bombay, the Hyderabad Police refused to reveal the names of the informers who were responsible for the arrest of Balakrishna Hari Chapekar. Their names have not been mentioned, in the statement of the distribution of rewards. This demonstrates the strong sympathy among the local population for the Chapekars and how deeply were the informers afraid of the revelation of their names. The arrest of Chapekar, which took place at the end of 1898, reveals the movements of Maratha revolutionaries in the State of Hyderabad.[15]


Koppal has a railway station which is located north-west from the city center. The town also has an airport located 4 km west of the city center. The airport does not have any scheduled flights. Airport can be located here 15°21'34.2"N 76°13'09.5"E.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  2. ^ Western Chalukya architecture
  3. ^ The Mahadeva Temple at Itagi has been called the finest in Kannada country after the Hoysaleswara temple at Halebidu (Cousens in Kamath (2001), p 117)
  4. ^ Kamath (2001),pp 117–118
  5. ^ Rao, Kishan (10 June 2002). "Emperor of Temples' crying for attention". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 28 November 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2007.
  6. ^ Cousens (1926), p 18
  7. ^ Foekema (2003), p 49
  8. ^ Foekema (2003), p 57
  9. ^ Foekema (2003), p 56
  10. ^ Rashtrakutas
  11. ^ Vijapur, Raju S. "Reclaiming past glory". Deccan Herald. Spectrum. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2007.
  12. ^ Sundara and Rajashekar, Arthikaje, Mangalore. "Society, Religion and Economic condition in the period of Rashtrakutas". 1998–2000 OurKarnataka.Com, Inc. Archived from the original on 4 November 2006. Retrieved 20 December 2006.
  13. ^ Sinha, Ajay J. (1999). "Reviewed work: Indian Temple Architecture: Form and Transformation, the Karṇāṭa Drāviḍa Tradition, 7th to 13th Centuries, Adam Hardy". Artibus Asiae. 58 (3/4): 358–362. doi:10.2307/3250027. JSTOR 3250027.
  14. ^ "The Revolutionaries: Chapekar Brothers" (PDF). Maharashtra Government. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  15. ^ "Nanded District Gazetteer". Maharashtra Government. Retrieved 8 July 2009.

External linksEdit