|Facts and Figures|
|Languages||Kannada and English|
|Best time to visit||October-February|
THE CITY OF GOL GUMBAZ
Bijapur is known for its medieval monuments, which are a unique form of Islamic architecture. The magnificent Gol Gumbaz is the main attraction of this city. It is the largest dome in India and the second largest in the world. Tourists are attracted to this city by the various monuments built by the Adil Shahi rulers, who ruled Bijapur between 15th and 17th century.
Bijapur is located in the northern part of the state of Karnataka, in the southern region of India. It is 613 km from Bangalore city and 486 km southeast of Mumbai (Bombay) city. The climate of Bijapur is temperate with summers (April-June) being moderately hot and winters are cool and pleasant (November-February). It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in the months of June to August.
The best time to Bijapur is during winters.
The origin of Bijapur goes back to the early medieval period. The Chalukyan rulers of south India, between the 10th and 11th centuries laid the foundation of Bijapur. At that time, it was called as Vijayapura (the City of Victory). The local Yadavas rulers ruled it for about a century. Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, captured it and made it a part of his empire at the end of the 13th century. Khilji could not hold on to Bijapur for long and it became the part of the Bahamani Empire in 1347. The golden period of Bijapur started with the decline of the Bahamani rulers, when, in 1489, Yusuf Adil Shah, one of the nobles under the Bahamani rulers, laid the foundation of the Adil Shahi dynasty and made Bijapur the capital of his kingdom. The Adil Shahis ruled Bijapur until 1686, when the last great Mughal ruler Aurangzeb defeated them.
Fortified walls surround the old city. The main places to visit within Bijapur are its monuments, which belong to the reign of the Adil Shahi dynasty. The imposing Gol Gumbaz or the Round Dome, which is to the eastern end of the walled city, is the main attraction of this city. Mohammad Adil Shah built it in 1659.
This structure has the largest dome, unsupported by pillars, to be found in India and the second largest in the world. It houses the tomb of Mohammad Adil Shah. From the turrets of the Gol Gumbaz, one can have a panoramic view of the city. The medieval complex near the Gol Gumbaz has important buildings. There is an archeological museum and well-maintained gardens near the Gol Gumbaz. Ibrahim Roza, which is on the western outskirts of the city, is a beautiful tomb built by Adil Shah II for his queen. It is an important structure and is known for its highly decorative carving. The citadel, which is situated at the center of the walled city, is a small, fortified area with a moat.
It has palaces, pleasure gardens and public halls belonging to the Adil Shahi rulers. Though most of the monuments are in ruins, the remnants of Gagan Mahal are worth seeing. The Sat Manzil (seven-storied palace), Jala Manzil (water pavilion) and the Bara Kaman (twelve arches) are important spots near the citadel. Jama Masjid, the mosque built by Ali Adil Shah I, is an important place to visit. The Taj Bawdi (water tank), Upli Burj (watch tower), the Mehtar Mahal (palace built by sweepers) and Asar Mahal are other important places to visit in Bijapur. The Malik-e-Maidan (monarch of the plains) cannon, which is one of the largest surviving bell-metal cannons in the world, is placed on the city walls and is an important attraction of the city.
There are a number of places of interest around Bijapur. The temple town of Aihole, 129 km from Bijapur, has a number of richly carved temples belonging to the Chalukya rulers, dating back to 6th and 8th century. The historic cities of Gulbarga (159 km) and Badami (132 km) can be visited from Bijapur. Basavana Bagevadi (43 km) is known for its temple and is the birthplace of Saint Basaveshwara. Kundalasangama, 67 km from Bijapur, is an important pilgrim center and it is associated with the 12th-century poet and social reformer Saint Basaveshwara.
SHOPPINGBijapur is known for its hand-woven traditional Ikal saris.
HOW TO REACHBijapur does not have an airport of its own. Bijapur railway station is located 2 km east of the city center, beyond the walled city. Few trains pass and stop at Bijapur. However, there are a number of trains to Sholapur (in the state of Maharashtra) and Gadag, which are important railheads, from where one can get trains to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. The main stand in Bijapur is near the southwestern side of the citadel, near the city center. Bus services to Badami (4 hours), Belgaum (5 hours), Gulbarga (4 hours), Bidar (7 hours), Hubli (4½ hours), and Sholapur (2 hours) are frequent.
Auto-rickshaws and tongas can be used to move around the city. Bikes can be taken on rent from the bus stand, on hourly basis.
PLACES TO STAYApart from Karnataka State Tourism Development Council's hotels and lodges, there are a number of hotels in the city to suit all types of budget. Most of the hotels in Bijapur are located on the Station Road/Gandhi Road.
PLACES TO EATBijapur does not have a cuisine of its own but the traveler can savor traditional non-vegetarian Mughlai and Hyderabadi delicacies in some of the good restaurants and hotels here. Bijapur is also famous for its traditional sweets made from milk.
|Indian Culture History|