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The city is known for its historical monuments, including the ruins of the ancient fort Ballari which was built by Kempe Gowda I. The present day Bellary is a major centre for mining and steel industries in Karnataka. It has been referred to as "the Coalfield Capital of India" and "Steel City". History: Bellary was originally called Belligere (or Beligere) meaning 'white stream' in Kannada language, referring to its location on the banks of River Yagachi. Later it came to be known as Vijayanagara-Belli(ವಿಜ್ āñgārá-belli). This name later evolved into Beligera or Bellari (in English), which eventually became modern day Bellary..