|• MLA||T. Shakuntala Shetty|
|Elevation||100 m (300 ft)|
|• Regional||Tulu, Malame language|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Vitla (Tulu: ವಿಟ್ಲ, Kannada: ವಿಟ್ಲ) also Vittal or Vittel is a Town Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada district, India, around 18 km from Bantwal in Bantwal Taluk. It is also 14 km from Puttur and 40 km from Mangalore. Vitla was an assembly constituency of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, but discontinued from 2008 elections. Agriculture is the main occupation of people in and around Vitla town. Arecanut, cocoa, pepper, Cashew and coconut are grown here.
There is a regional station of Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) which conducts research on areca nuts, an important commercial crop in the area. It also researches cocoa growing, including its production, protection and increasing drought resistance.
Formerly ruled by the Vittala Arasas or kings belonging to the Domba Heggade Dynasty, the head of the dynasty, even today, plays a dominant role in the religious ceremonies of 16 temples. One can see the palace in the outskirts of Vittla. Standing in the middle of the vast greenery, it houses members of the dynasty.
The town is famous for the Panchaligeshwara Temple. Vittla is surrounded by a dense forest called Kalenjimale. It is believed that Bakasura lived in this forest. A cave still exists in the forest which is supposed to have been the demon's resting ground.
Vittla is placed on a junction of four roads connecting Puttur, Kasargod, Mangalore and Saletur. Alike educational institutions is situated six kilometers from the city. The institution is one of the oldest in India and is quite popular in the state. Puttaparthi Sai Baba voluntary super specialty hospital is also located in Alike.
This little town at the foot of the Western Ghats is one of the richest areca growing areas in the country. It is also known for its Panchalingeshwara temple.Hidden from the public glare so far, the temple had a limited patronage from both the government and the devotees but its glorious past relates to the Mahabharata.
It is said the five Shiva Lingams at the temple were consecrated by the Pandavas. The undated shilashasanas (rock inscriptions) found on the premises of the temple bear testimony to this. An inscription of 1894 speaks about the pension paid to the hereditary trustees belonging to "Doddamarasugalu" by the government. The Pancha Lingams are different in size resembling the Pandavas' physic. The three-storey temple is similar in structure to those built in Madhur (Ganapathy), Adoor, Kavu and Kaniyaru. They all belonged to the Mayippady royal family of Kumble (which is now in Kasaragod district of Kerala). The sthalapurana says that it belonged to the time of the Pandavas or even earlier as the Pandavas had only performed "prathisthe" of the Pancha Lingams during their "Agnatavasa".
To support the sthalapurana, the geographical features mentioned in the "Upa Katha" of "Bakasura Vadhe" in the Aranya Kanda of the Mahabharata can been seen on the periphery of the temple. The "Gami" where Bakasura lived is on a hillock close to the town. People still visit the place where Bhima vanquished Bakasura. There are three other places, Netthare Kere (puddle of blood), "Chipparu" where Bakasura's head was found and "Kayyaru" where the hands of the demon were found.
The Vittal Palace - in the present Bantwal taluk - is one among those several monuments, which have not been accorded their due place.History speaks of the Vittal king Achuta Heggade who was overhauled by Hyder Ali. The former was supported by the British and was residing in Talacheri.
Achuta would visit Vittal occasionally to regroup his men and fight Hyder Ali. For this, he had to lose his life. Hyder Ali had him hanged to death. His palace in Vittal is on a 10-acre (40,000 m2) land with a large magnificent stone-carved door. The ancient foundation has round towers and even had a stable. Ravivarma Narasimha Domba Heggade, the successor of Achuta Heggade kindled the sparks for the first revolt against the British who were ruling coastal Karnataka after the death of Tipu. But Domba Heggade was hanged by the British.
The foreigners took possession of all that Vittal Heggade owned, except the personal property and wealth. In return, the Englishmen paid an annual royalty.
The descendants of the royal family still live in the palace. In 1783, the family went on a pilgrimage to Kashi and in memory of it set up a Kashi Math.
Ravivarma Narasimha Domba Heggade built a new palace within the premises of the old one between 1790 and 1800. He along with his son-in-law won back the Vittal kingdom and ruled to the end of his life. The palace today is in a state of decay, requiring considerable renovation if this heritage building is not to be lost.
Some of schools and colleges in and around Vitla.