City : Bijapur
Location : Southern India
Language : Kannad, Telugu
Know About Bijapur
The beautiful city of Bijapur is located in Karnataka in South India. It is famous for the many historic marvels that dot the city. The history of the city dates back to the 11th century when it was founded by the Chalukya dynasty. They referred to it as Vijayapura.
It was since the 14th century that the city was being called Vijapur or Bijapur when it came under the Bahamani sultanate of Gulbarga. The city was taken over by the Adil shah dynasty in the 15th century. Much of the city's greatness belongs to the monuments that were constructed during this period. After India's independence the place became part of the Bombay state but it was restored to Mysore in 1956.
In 1518, the Bahmani Sultanate split into five splinter states known as the Deccan sultanates, one of which was Bijapur, ruled by the kings of the Adil Shahi dynasty (1490-1686). The city of Bijapur owes much of its greatness to Yusuf Adil Shah, the founder of the independent state of Bijapur. The rule of this dynasty ended in 1686, when Bijapur was conquered during the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
In 1724 the Nizam of Hyderabad established his independence in the Deccan, and included Bijapur within his dominions. In 1760, the Nizam suffered a defeat by the Marathas, and ceded the region of Bijapur to the Maratha Peshwa. After the 1818 defeat of the Peshwa by the British in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, Bijapur passed into the hands of the British East India Company, and was assigned to the princely state of Satara.
This is the second largest dome in the world and was built by Yaqut of Dabul, the renowned architect under the patronage of Mohammed Adil shah.
The room is an architectural marvel. The dome has been erected without the help of any pillars. There are four minarets with stairs that lead to the dome from where a magnificent view of the town can be seen.
The most unique feature of the structure is the whispering gallery. Even the tiniest of sounds get echoed several times in the gallery.
It is a must see tourist spot and is 2 km away from Bijapur.
This is one of the best structures in the historic town of Aihole. Designed by Malik Sandal, the site comprises a mosque to the right and a tomb to the left. There is a huge ornamental entrance.
The site contains the remains of the great Adil Shah ruler Ibrahim Adil Shah II and his wife. The mausoleum comprises a mosque and four minarets.
It is said that the grandeur of this structure inspired the construction of Taj Mahal. A neatly maintained garden complements the beauty of the monument.
This is one of the must-sees in the region. It is the largest mosque and covers an area of 10,810 sq m and rises up to 120 ft.
There is a fountain at the center and a lot of well designed arches and rooms. There is a big hall and a huge dome with 33 domes surrounding it. There are 12 arches constructed with 12 interleaving arches. There is an elaborately designed gateway designed by Aurangzeb.
It has the unique distinction of being one of the first mosques in India. The mosque contains a copy of the holy Koran inscribed in gold.
Mithari and Asar Mahals
This is a very beautiful building in the region of Bijapur and is located close to Jumma Masjid. A richly decorated gateway leads to a three storied building with exquisitely drawn windows and high minarets. In the northern side of this building is the Asar Mahal which stands supported by four pillars.
It was constructed to be a hall of justice. There is a step well near the building. Women are not allowed to enter the upper storey which has Persian style decoration but a little bit of persuasion might work.
There is an annual festival held at this place which is called urs.
This is a centrally located site. The Citadel is surrounded by its own walls and there is a wide moat in the center of the premise. It has in its enclosure palaces, gardens and halls which belonged to the Adil shah rulers. It was built by Yusuf Adil shah.
Most of the structures are dilapidated and some have been converted to government buildings but the unique charm of the place cannot be missed when you visit the place.
The most famous structures in the enclosure are Gagan Mahal, which was the royal palace as well as a Durbar Hall, Sat Manzil, Jala Manzil and Bara Kaman.
Bijapur is connected by a broad gauge railway (Gadag-Hotgi railway line) to Hotgi junction near Solapur and Kurduvadi on Central Railway towards the north and to Bagalkot on South West Railway towards the south. The metre gauge railway track from Bagalkot to Hotgi junction on the Hubli-Hosapete railway is being converted under Project Unigauge and is likely to commissioned in the second half of 2008.