The twin cities of Hubli and Dharwad are actually two cities, unified by single Municipal Corporation. Hubli-Dharwad is the second biggest Conurbation of Karnataka. Hubli has been renamed as as Hubballi on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of formation of Karnataka state. The name Hubballi literally means "Hu" - flower and "Balli" - creeper in Kannada. In reality however, the city is a bustling trading centre of little scenic beauty. On the other hand Dharwad is a charming quaint town spread across seven little hills.
Hubli is the commercial centre and business hub of North Karnataka. It is also a noted industrial town. This historic town was known as Raya Hubli and also as Elaya Puravada Halli during the ancient times. This city metamorphosed into an important commercial centre for trade in cotton and iron during the reign of the Vijaynagara empire. The city is noted for its handloom textile units and has many cotton ginning and processing mills. Cotton and groundnuts (peanuts for the Americans) are grown aplenty in the surrounding rural areas, and Hubli serves as a major trading centre for both commodities. Sea It is also an important city for the Indian Railways, being the headquarters for South Western Railway Zone and the Hubli Division. It also has a century-old railway wagon workshop.
Dharwad, on the contrary is the seat of learning with two universities, plenty of colleges and some very progressive schools. Hubli-Dharwad are also the renowned seat of Hindustani Music. Dharwad is also emerging as hub for Automobile industry with big plants like Tata Construction (TELCON) & Tata Motors.