Dharwad is the district headquarters of Dharwad district. In 1961 it was merged with Hubli to form the twin cities of Hubli - Dharwad. Hubli is well known as a commercial as well as industrial centre, whereas Dharwad is the seat of learning. Dharwad cultivates a variety of food products. The Dharwad Cotton Hybrid (DCH), a popular variety of cotton a few years back, was basically invented in University of Agricultural Sciences. One of the largest automotive giants Tata Motors has a commercial vehicle manufacturing facility at Dharwad. The unit produces small and intermediate commercial vehicles for the Indian market.
Hubli-Dharwad is a developing industrial hub in Karnataka after Bangalore, with more than 1000 allied small and medium industries already established basically located in Gokul Road & Tarihal regions of Hubli. There are machine tools industries, electrical, steel furnitures, food products, rubber and leather industries and tanning industries. Dharwad is an educational centre and students from far off places come to study.
Dharwad is supposed to have been ruled by the Chalukyas during the 12th century. In the 14th century the Bahamani Sultanate first overran it and annexed it to the then newly formed Vijayanagar kingdom. The Dharwad fort was built in 1403 by Dhar Rao. Subsequently after the defeat of the King of Vijaynagar in mid 16th century. After a few years of independent rule under a Governor, it again came under Adil Shah of Bijapur towards the end of the 16th century. The strategic importance of Dharwad grew and this also attracted the attention of Mughal rulers, Shivaji, other Maratha rulers and passed from one hand to another till it finally came under British rule in the early part of the 19th century and stayed that way till India’s independence in 1947. It has a rich traditional and cultural history of music, fine arts, literary and other fields, which have contributed to make it a hub of Karnataka state for all such activities.