Koppala (koppaLa) (PÉÆ¥Àà¼À) which is now the head quarters of an independent district in Karnataka was a renowned city in ancient Karnataka. It is important for more than one reason and one finds nuemerous references to Koppala in inscriptions and literary texts. It lies on the left bank of Hirehalla which is a tributary of Tungabhadra river. There is a range of three hills towards the west of the town. They are Gavi Matha, Palki Gundu and Bahadur Bande. The Gavi Matha spur contains four caves and a modern temple. There are some Jaina samadhis in front of one of these caves. Mali Mallappana betta contains some huge stone cysts dating back to the great stone age indicating the fact that this was one of the earliest human habitations in South India. This place is also called ‘Moriyara Angadi’ hinting at a connection with the Maurya dynasty of the north.

The history of Koppala dates back to pre-chrstian era and two minor rock edicts installed by Emperor Ashoka in 300 B.C. were found here.( ‘gavimaTha beTTa’ and ‘pAlki gunDu beTTa’) Both Buddhism and Jainism had their centers in this city at different times in history. An inscription says that there were 772 Jaina temples (basadi) in Koppala. This place was once known as ‘Jaina Kashi’. More than twenty inscriptions and a few idols of Teerthankaras are found in Koppala. Hyu En Tsang the Chinese traveller who visited India during the regime of Pulikeshi-2 refers to Koppala as ‘konkina pulOvu’. Srivijaya in his ‘Kavirajamarga’ opines that Koppala is one of the boundaries of the region where pure Kannada is spoken. (tiruLgannaDa) Ranna avers that Attimabbe his benefactress was as pure as the hill at Koppala. This place has known ancient dynasties such as Shatavahana, Ganga, Chalukya and Hoysala.

Koppala fort is about 400 M from ground level and houses many inscriptions. It is also a classic example of military architecture of South India.


1.      References: 1. Koppal : koppalcity.gov.in/tourism.html

2. ‘Inscriptions of Koppal district’ by Channabasappa S. Patil and Vinoda C. Patil, Mysore , Director of Archaeology and Museums

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