Bagalkot, one of the major towns in North Karnataka, is the district headquarters of Bagalkote district. The town's name was formerly Bagadige. Bagalakote remained under successive dominions of Vijayanagar emperors, Peshwas, Kingdom of Mysore, Maratha rulers, and finally came under the British rule in 1818.
The place was a noted centre of freedom movement and the Unification movement. Freedom fighter Sindhoora Laxmana lived in Kadalimatti and Bilagi mountain ranges.It was previously under the administration of Bijapur district and in the year 1997, it became an independent district. It consists of two parts - the 'Old Bagalkot' and the 'New Bagalkot' (Navanagara). Many areas of Old Bagalkot were submerged due to the construction of Almatti Dam, in Bijapur District on River Krishna, which prompted the construction of the planned town of 'New Bagalkot'
Bagalkot has an average literacy rate of 70 per cent with 77 per cent of the males and 61 per cent of females literate.Congress party's Meti Hullappa Yamanappa is the current MLA from Bagalkot. Yamanappa defeated BJP's Charantimath Veeranna Chandrashekharayya by 2,900 votes in 2013 assembly elections. Chandrashekharayya had won from Bagalkot in 2004 and 2008 assembly elections, in fact, in 2008 polls he had defeated Yamanappa by 9,246 votes.