Sirsi, Karnataka

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File:Bhiman Gudda.jpg
Bhiman Gudda near Sirsi, Karnataka
Sirsi is located in Karnataka
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Grid position MK74
Country India
State Karnataka
District Uttara Kannada
 • Body City Municipal Council
 • Total 11.33 km2 (4.37 sq mi)
Elevation 600 m (2,000 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,75,550
 • Rank 1st in (North Canara District)
 • Density 15,000/km2 (40,000/sq mi)
 • Official Kannada, Sirsi Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 581401, 581402, 581403
Telephone code +91-8384
Vehicle registration KA-31

Sirsi is a city in the Uttara Kannada district in the Indian state of Karnataka. Sirsi was also known as Kalyanapattana[1] during the Sonda Dynasty. It is a tourist destination with a population of 62882. It is the largest city in North Canara district. Sirsi is the main commercial centre and business hub in Uttara Kannada district. The city is surrounded by lush green forest and the region is popular for a large number of waterfalls. Hubli and Belgaum is the nearest large city, and the main businesses around the city are mostly subsistence and agriculture based. Adike (Supari) (Areca nut) or (betel nut) is the primary crop grown in the villages that surround the city, making it one of the major trading centres for Arecanut. The nuts grown there are transported all over India, and also exported abroad. The region is also popular for many other spices like cardamom, pepper, betel leaves and vanilla. The major food crop is paddy and rice is the staple food of the people.


Sirsi is located at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. (Grid Square MK74).[2] It has an average elevation of 590 metres (1936 feet), and is situated in the heart of the Western Ghats. Sirsi is about 425 km from Bangalore. The nearest airport is located in Hubli, about 102 km from Sirsi. River Aghanashini begins at a place near Sirsi called "Donihalla" and flows towards the Arabian Sea in the West. The river also creates many waterfalls along its path. Yana (Kannada: ಯಾಣ) is a village located in forests of the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India, which is known for the unusual rock formations (karst) or (asteroid). It is located in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Western Ghats, about 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Karwar port, 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Sirsi, and 31 kilometres (19 mi) from Kumta. The two unique rock outcrops near the village are a tourist attraction and easily approachable by a small trek through 0.5 kilometres (0.31 mi) of thick forests from the nearest road head.


The climate in Sirsi is strongly influenced by the monsoons, and the climate is tropical, moderated by proximity to the sea. During the monsoons, the region receives one of the heaviest rainfall in the world. As a result, the region also has a large variety of wildlife. The vegetation in the region is mainly moist deciduous, and valuable timber wood is commonly found in the forests of the region. Owing to the rich flora and fauna, deforestation and poaching have been causes for concern in recent years. The climate of Sirsi is moderate with winter temperatures rarely dropping below 13 degrees Celsius. Summers can get uncomfortable due to the proximity to the ocean. The best time to visit Sirsi is during winter, when the humidity is lower and the nights can get slightly chilly. The highest temperature recorded here is 40 degrees celsius and the lowest is 5.8 degress celsius respectively.

Climate data for Sirsi,KA,India (1961-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28
Average low °C (°F) 17.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 6.1
Source: Skymet Observatory
 "Climatological Information for Sirsi,India",


As of 2011 India census,[3] Sirsi had a population of 1,75,550.Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Sirsi has an average literacy rate of 92.82%, which is much higher than the national average of 74.05%: male literacy is 95.26 %, and female literacy is 90.43 %. About 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.In Sirsi City Municipal Council, Female Sex Ratio is of 1014 against state average of 973. The communities in Sirsi town are Havyak Brahmin, Goud Saraswat Brahmin, Lingayats, Namadhari Naik, Nadavas, Kurubas, Siddis, Shervegar Naayaks, Gudigars, Daivajna, Ganiga etc. The majority of the people in Sirsi speak dialects of Kannada known as Sirsi Kannada. A sizeable part of the population belonging to Gaud Saraswat Brahmin, Daivajna and Gavli communities and also Christians speaks Konkani. The Muslims in this town speak Urdu.


By road

Sirsi is linked to other parts of the state many state highways. Sirsi is linked to neighbouring district headquarters of Dharwad, Udupi, Haveri, Belagaum, Sagara, Shimoga, Shikaripura, Soraba. The state corporation has a network of buses to all major cities and towns in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa. VRL, SRS,Seabird and Sugama Transport are the major private bus operators.

By train

The nearest railhead is at Talguppa. Talguppa is 54 km from Sirsi. Talguppa railway connects Bengaluru city via Sagara. Major railhead is Hubli, which is the Zonal Headquarters of South Western Railways.

By air

The nearest airport is in Hubli and the other is Belgaum which are about 2.5 hrs and 5 hours drive from Sirsi respectively. Hubli is connected to Bangalore and Mumbai by air.

Art and culture

Yakshagana artist with Kirita depicts King
Yakshagana artist with Kedige

Yakshagana is a classical dance drama popular in the state of Karnataka in India mostly popular in the districts of North Kanara, Shimoga, Udupi, South Kanara and Kasaragod district of Kerala.[1] This theater art involves Music, Songs, Dance, Acting, Dialogue, story and unique costumes. While, songs and dance adhere to well established talas very similar to classical Indian dance forms, acting and dialogues are created spontaneously on stage depending on ability of artists. This combination of classical and folk elements makes Yakshagana unique from any other Indian art. This would be considered to be a form of opera in western eyes.

Traditionally, Yakshaganas used to start late in the night and run entire night. Bhagavata, the background singer is also the directory of the story and controls the entire proceedings on stage. Bagavatha along with background musicians who play Chande and Maddale forms himmela. The actors who ware colorful costumes and enact various roles in the story forms Mummela.

There are many professional troops in Karnataka. In spite of competition from modern movie industry and TV, these troops are arranging ticketed shows and making profit. Apart from this individuals arrange shows in their town inviting well known professional artists like Sri Chittani Ramachandra Hegde and Kondadakuli Ramachandra Hegde, providing an opportunity for local talents to act with legends.

Bedara vesha

Yakshagana is sometimes simply called as Aataā in both Konkani and Kannada (meaning play).[4] Yaksha-gana literally means the song (gana) of a Yaksha. Yakshas were an exotic tribe mentioned in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India.[5]

In Sirsi Holi is celebrated with a unique Carnival. Folk dance called “Bedara Vesha”, Which is performed during the nights beginning five days before the actual festival day. The festival is celebrated every alternate year in the town which attracts a large crowd on all the five days from different parts of the India.[6]

Dollu Kunitha is also another folk dance of Sirsi performed during Bedara Vesha and Marikamba Jathra.

Media and communications

BSNL provides the landline telephone services and is widely used.
Dharwad AIR is the nearest radio station. Dharwad AIR station can be heard on 765 kHz Medium Wave and Dharwad Vividha Bharathi can be heard on 103 MHz FM. Both these radio stations have entertained people here for a very long time and are quite popular among the villagers.
Amateur radio
QRZ.COM lists two amateur radio operators in Sirsi using the ITU prefix VU2/VU3.
Sirsi has LPT-49 TV relay station airing Doordarshan National Channel. Cable TV and Direct to Home services are widely used and these have replaced the conventional VHF/UHF TV antennas and satellite dish antennas.
Fixed-line Internet facilities have greatly improved[clarification needed] in the town with the launching of BSNL Dataone Broadband.
Mobile phone services
Majority of the mobile networks have coverage only in city limits. BSNL mobile has a good coverage[clarification needed] in the rural parts. Airtel, BSNL networks provide 3G data services as well.
Vijaya Karnataka, Prajavani, Samyukta Karnataka, Udayavani and The Times of India (all published from Hubli) are the major newspapers popular there. Patrakartha, Janamadhyama, Lokadhwani & Sirsi Siri are the local papers published there. Lokadhwani can also be accessed on the Internet & Janamaadhyama Newspaper, Nuthana Tv, Sumukha Tv Available in

Budget information

The annual budget of the CMC Sirsi for the year 2009–10 was Rs.1534.28 lakhs, out of which Rs.781.20 lakhs is proposed for capital expenses, Rs.462.45 lakhs towards proposed revenue payment, Rs.232.09 lakhs towards extra ordinary payment, and for development of SC&ST is Rs.9.86 lakhs.[7]

Special and sweet dishes of Sirsi

  • Kadubu: The main ingredients are jackfruit pulp and jaggery. The batter is prepared and, with additional ingredients, the batter is put into a container and steamed. The dessert is a local delicacy and is served hot with ghee.
  • Holge: These are similar to the sweet equivalents of tortillas. One variant is made with gram flour and jaggery, while the other is made with coconuts.
  • Todadevu is a special kind of thin-crust dosa made out of jaggery or sugarcane juice. (Most local desserts of Sirsi have jaggery rather than sugar.)
  • Kesaribath is rice cooked in sugar, ghee, and kesari.
  • Karakali is a special kind of chutney which tastes very spicy. It is prepared from colocacia leaves.


Sirsi is famous for the Marikamba temple, built in 1688. The 'Marikamba Jaathre', commemorating the goddess Marikamba, is held by the temple authorities every alternate year. Nearly a lakh devotees from all parts of the country attend the fair, making it one of the biggest festivals in the region. Close to the Marikamba temple are the temples dedicated to Maha Ganapati, Mahavishnu Temple and Shri Gopalakrishna.

For those who believe in astrology or fortune telling but do not have a horoscope in place, there is a ritual performed at the Maha Ganapathy temple by the priests there. The seeker has to frame the question that will have a binary outcome (Yes or No; True or False) The priest does the needful and the seeker is told about the verdict from Lord Ganesha. Many decisions like buying or selling property, choosing a vocation for higher studies are taken by some people through this ritual

22 km from Sirsi, Banavasi hobli is situated. Madhukeshwar temple is situated in Banavasi. The reigning deity Madhukeshwara of Banavasi, derived name from the linga, which has colour of honey.


Sodhe or Sonda or Sonda or Swadi flourished during the Vijayanagara Empire and is a considered to be a sacred place by both Hindus and Jains. Sonda is famous for Shri Vadiraja Matha, Shri Swarnavalli Matha and is about 15 km from Sirsi.[8][9]

Jain Matha

A Jain Matha exists there and it is headed by Bhattaraka Swasti Sri Bhattakalanka.[10][11][12] The Sonda Jain Matha is also known as the Swadi Jain Matha.[13]


St. Anthony's church is in Sirsi and is situated in the center of the town, and is the main church for the minority Christian population in the region. Another church is St. John Bosco Church situated on Hubli Road. One more beautiful church is Infant Jesus Church in Agasebagil. St.Paul's Mar Thoma Church is situated near the Zoo Circle.

Prominent places in the Taluk of Sirsi

  • File:Devimane.jpg
    Devimane Ghat near Sirsi
    File:VIS 3131.jpg
    Sathodi Falls
    File:VIS 3415.jpg
    Bhairaveshwara Shikhara is 120 metres (390 ft) in height. Yana.
    File:VIS 2818.jpg
    Madhukeshwara Temple
    Banavasi, the capital of an ancient kingdom in Karnataka (state) ruled by the Kadamba Dynasty is 24 km away from the Sirsi town center. Banavasi is considered as the "first" capital of Karnataka state, with the current capital being Bangalore. Although most of the ancient grandeur of the dynasty in Banavasi has been lost, an ancient temple for Madhukeshwara (Lord Shiva) is still largely intact, and has been declared a monument of historical importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
  • File:Jenkal.jpg
    Jenukallu Gudda near Sirsi
    Sahasralinga (Sanskrit for a thousand Shiva (deity) lingas) is another place of significance, where sculptures carved from stone are installed in the middle of a flowing river. The river is surrounded by lush green forest; the place is about 10 km from the town center. The place is quite secluded, except during "Maha Shivaratri" celebrations when it receives a sizeable number[clarification needed] of pilgrims from the surrounding areas.
  • Sonda, famous for its Sri Vadiraja Matha, and Swarnavalli Mutt are about 15 km away from Sirsi.
  • File:Sirsi.jpg
    Winter is coming, Sirsi
    Unchalli Falls, (also known as Keppa Joga, referring to the other more famous waterfall nearby, Jog falls) is situated about 30 km from Sirsi, and is one of the biggest tourist attractions near Sirsi. The waterfall is a 116-meter drop and offers spectacular views at all times of the year.
  • File:Sahasralinga.jpg
    Sahasralinga, Sirsi
    Yana, known for the unusual rock formations (Asteroid). It is located 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Sirsi.

Other destinations

Vibhuthi fall near Sirsi, Karnataka
  • Shivaganga Falls
  • Burude Falls
  • Benne Hole falls
  • Pancha linga
  • Ganesh Paalu
  • Mattighatta falls
  • Waate Halla falls
  • Duggumane falls
    Unchalli Falls
    "Vedic vana" Bakkala
  • Kumbri gudda
  • Dhoranagiri
  • Musukina baavi
  • Manjaguni Devasthana
  • hariprasad kothari
  • pramod Gudda
  • Baroor Kenchagadde
  • Jog falls(Sagara Taluk)
  • Tapovan an sacred place of Shri Vadiraja swami
  • Banagere falls
  • Nishane gudda
  • Unchalli falls
  • Vibhuthi falls
  • Revanakatta Holye
  • bimanvare sun site
  • Sathodi Falls
  • Sahasra Linga
  • Magod Falls

Nature and terrain

Sirsi is a popular destination for trekkers and nature lovers alike, owing to its idyllic location in the middle of the Western Ghats. Many viewpoints and mountain peaks provide spectacular views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. The tourist infrastructure has improved considerably in the last decade, owing to an effort by the government to improve tourism in the area. There are many obscure destinations and trekking routes surrounding this region, known mostly only to the people native to the region. The region is also popular for numerous medicinal plants used in the traditional Ayurveda system of medicine, and there are protected reserves near Devimane Ghats for the conservation of medicinal species and biodiversity in the region.


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  7. Source: []
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External links