Gokak is a town and taluk headquarters in the Belgaum District of Karnataka state, India. It is located around 70km from Belgaum at the confluence of two rivers, the Ghataprabha and the Markandeya. The population of the city is approximately 1,50,000 and the common language in use is Kannada. The town contains old Hindu temples with inscriptions.
Gokak city has its own history. Nature has been kind to this place with the ranges of hills on one side and the vast black soil on the other. The river Ghataprabha rushes forth in a majestic manner on the north side of the city. Before she passes through Gokak city, she dashes down through a cleft of 167 ft, to form a famous Gokak Falls. Her waters have been harnessed and hydroelectric power is generated to run the well-known Gokak Mills since long. The hanging bridge across the river adds to the dreamy charm of the beautiful picture painted by Mother Nature. Another dancing river Markendeya joins river Ghataprabha to form “Holy Sangam” on north-west side of the Gokak city. The river Markandeya, near village Godachinmalaki, dashes down through 43 ft step wise hill plates to form another beautiful Godachinmalaki Falls.
The town is growing rapidly in terms of industries, business, as well as the fields of education, arts, literature and folk-art. It is associated with famous Kannada writers and thinkrs such as Shri Krishna Murty Puranik, Anand Kanda, Basavaraj Kattimani,Prof.Kundanagar Rngler D.C.Pawate and Raghavendra Patil Many popular folk-artists such as Padmashri Dr.Chandrashekar Kambar, Ningayya Swami Pujari, Ishwarappa Minachi, Yallappa Pujeri, Dr. Hatapaki and Ishwarachandra Betageri are also associated with the town. Gokak has a world famous waterfall known as Gokak Falls. Famous Tikare Typing Institute which educated many people from past 30 years who are now serving in Govt, is still operating, even after the computers took over Typewriter.
Gokak is also renowned for its sweets, which are known all over India, such as karadantu (a Kannada term, which literally means fried edible gum), a sweet richly stuffed with nuts and edible gum, and ladagi laadu.
The town also specialises in the manufacture of wooden toy fruits, flowers, etc. which are then painted, polished and encased in transparent boxes.
The Mallikarjun temple, also known affectionately as the "Maliksaab Temple", stands atop a hill, also called the Mallikarjun hill or Malik-saab hill. The tomb of the Raja of Kittur Mallasarja is at the nearby Duradundeshwar temple in Arabhavi Math.
During the British rule in India, the Forbes Spinning Mill (now owned by Gokak Textiles Limited of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group) was started here, and is functional to this day, providing jobs for thousands of people. A small scale hydroelectric power generation plant was also set up in Gokak Falls, one of the oldest such projects in the whole of Asia. This plant is also in good working condition to this day, and is used by the Spinning Mill and the nearby area.