Bhatkal also known as 'Batecala' in some Portuguese historical texts, is a port town in Uttara Kannada District of South Indian state of Karnataka. The town of Bhatkal lies on National Highway 66 (India) running between Mumbai and Kochi and is one of the major railway stations along the Konkan Railway line running between Mumbai and Mangaluru. The closest airport is Mangaluru International Airport. In the early ages Bhatkal belonged to followers of Jain and Hindu religion and later acquired more religions and cultures. Bhatkal gets its name after the Jain Grammarian Bhattakalanka based out of Haduvalli Village. It is a town located on the shores of Arabian sea, with Sharavathi river few miles to its north. Bhatkal's location, although very strategic, was the main factor behind the country side's erratic history. Bhatkal witnessed the rise and fall of several dynasties and rulers. Bhatkal 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 of Hadwalli (a town on the State Highway towards Jog Falls). Numerous temples and basadis were constructed during the Saliva's reign. Vestiges of this period can be found in Mudbhatkal, where a few temples still stand as an old witness of that era. 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 the Kannada country between Gangavadi on the Mysore plateau and Bhatkal on the Sahyadri coast during 880-975 AD. As a sign of their victory in Kannada country, they built the Solesvara Temple in commemoration of their conquest. Inscriptions from successive kings from Parantaka Chola I to Kulothunga Chola III mention their generals as 'Lords of the Konkana' which included Bhatkal and of paying obeisance to Lord Solesvarar of Konkana. The Portuguese also made their presence felt here in the beginning of the 16th century. Krishnadevaraya allowed them to build a fort in 1510.[1] From the Keladi rulers, Bhatkal was passed on to Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and later to the British Empire in 1799 after the death of Tipu Sultan. Bhatkal is connected by road and rail. The National Highway 66 (India) passes through this 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. The local economy depends mostly on tourism and fishing. Bhatkal also has imported goods markets, including the Dubai Market and the Mirchi Gully.




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