Location : Northwest of Bangalore in
Main Attractions : Gol Gumbaz, Jumma Masjid
Population : 217,500
Languages: Kannada, Hindi and English
Best Time to Visit : October-February. The best time to
Bijapur is during winters.
¤ Bijapur - A Historical
Bijapur, an ancient town, the capital of the Adil Shahi dynasty,
nestles in the northern part of Karnataka State. Bijapur is close to
Belgaum - the gateway to Karnataka from Goa. It is 613 km from
Bangalore City and 486-km southeast of Mumbai City. The climate of
Bijapur is moderate with summers (April-June) temperately hot and
winters cool and pleasant (November-February). June to August the
region enjoys a monsoon season with heavy rains.
The city is recognized for its ancient monuments representing South
Indian style of architecture. The majestic Gol Gumbaz is the main
allure of this city. It is the biggest dome in India and the second
largest in the world. Tourists are attracted to Bijapur to site the
magnificent monument on their holiday trip in Bijapur. Gol Gumbaz
monument was constructed by the Adil Shahi rulers during 15th and 17th
century and many other places of historical, cultural and
Besides its monumental heritage, Bijapur is also famous for its hand
woven Ilkal sarees that includes a great part of tourist purchase.
During the rule of Chalukayan Dynasty between 10th and 11th centuries
the region was called as 'Vijayapura' from hence comes its present
Bijapur came under Muslim influence in 13th century under the rule of
Alauddin Khilji- the Sultan of Delhi. In 1481, Mohammed III, one of
the Bahamani Sultans, appointed Yusuf Adil Khan as the Governor of the
Bijapur. With the decline of the Bahamani power at Bidar, Yusuf
declared his independence in 1489 and thus became the founder of the
Adil Shahi Dynasty, which survived as the Kingdom till its annexation
by Aurangazeb in 1686.
¤ Bijapur Attractions
Gol Gumbaz is the famous tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah, a major holiday
attraction of the city. It is renowned as the second-largest tomb in
the world, about 44m in diameter comprising of vast hall. The special
feature of the monolith is, the dome is not supported by any pillar.
Adil Shah began the task of building his own tomb that took about
The architecture of this magnificent structure is unique, the four
minarets are the four staircases leading to the top dome. The aural of
the enclosed space make it a whispering gallery, where even the
smallest sound is heard across the other side of the Gombuz. At the
boundary of the dome is a circular balcony where visitors can
experience echo. Any whisper, clap or sound gets echoed 11 times and
creates an ideal stereophonic platform.
Masjid is the other attraction of this city. Jumma Masjid still used
for worship. It was built between 1557 -1686, during Ali Adil Shah
reign, one of the first mosques in India.
The total area of the mosque is 10,810 sq. m. The mosque houses nine
large arches on their subterfuge that form 45 compartments. The
majestic tomb rises above the roof in a semicircle resembling the bud
of a flower. Aurangzeb extended the mosque in the east and constructed
the eastern gate. The main gateway of the mosque is on the northern
side. The interior of the mosque shows some decorative motifs on the
apexes of the arches. It also holds an exquisite copy of the Quran,
written in gold.
The Ibrahim Rauza
To the edge of the city is the Ibrahim Roza, a gorgeous tomb with
elegantly laid out corridors and with copiously bedecked walls and
cleft stone windows. Rauza literally means a garden. The enclosure
consists of 2 buildings, the tombs of Ibrahim Adil Shah II & his
family & a mosque. The gardens are beautifully sculpted, enclosed
within an imposing wall and have some superb gateways. The facades of
the building provide for some remarkable designs in stone, including a
map to the basement, which lies under the mausoleum.
Malik-e-Maidan a colossal metal gun is one of the largest bell metal
guns in the world. This gigantic gun almost measuring 4.45-m in
length, 1.5 m in diameter and app. weighs up to 55 tons is kept on the
high walls of the city. This legendary cannon belonging to Adil Shahi
king holds miraculous attractions, the metal of cannon always remains
cool even under the scorching heat of summers. Also, when knock mildly
it chimes ethereally like a bell that's the reason the gun is named as
'metal bell gun'. Legend has it that if one touches a gun and makes a
wish, the wish will come true.
Mehtar Mahal is a massive gateway that leads to the mosque. It is
the foremost specimen of the Indo-Saracenic architecture splendor. The
gate is adorned by exquisite carvings that are worth a watch.
Taj Bawdi is a huge tank constructed to solemnize Ibrahim II 's
first wife Taj Sultana. There lies a royal arch gateway supported by
two octagonal minarets in front of Taj Bawdi. Luxurious rest houses
both on the east and west zones makes an idle spot for the visitors to
In 1646, Mohammed Shah constructed Asaar Mahal -5 km. Exquisite
paintings and designs embellish the walls and the ceilings of the
palace, which is a great source of attraction. Female folk are
restricted to the palace. Gagan Mahal- Ali Adil Shah I in 1561
constructed this mansion. The magnificent Durbar Hall on the ground
floor as well, entire first floor was the private residence of the
¤ Excursions from Bijapur
Aihole - 110 km from Bijapur is a holiday destination also known as
the 'Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture'. The town is dotted with
more than 125-temple complex scattered all around the region. The 5th
century Lad Khan Temple is one the oldest shrines in Aihole much
famous for its intricately carved structures. Durga (Fort), Hutchmalli
Temple, the Ravalphadi Cave Temple, the Konti Temple Complex, The Uma
Maheshwari Temple, the Jain Temple and Buddhist Temple are the must a
visit site at Aihole.
Pattadakal - a world Heritage Center lies at a distance of 134 km
from Bijapur. The region is arrayed with 10 exquisitely carved temple
shrines. Virupaksheshvara temple with its enormous gateway and a
majestic 2.6 in high Nandi is just worth a sight. The Mallikarjuna,
Papanatha Temples and the Jain Temples from the Rashtrakuta period are
other attractions of Pattadakal.
About 120 km from Bijapur, Badami is the capital of early Chalukyas.
The site makes an ideal holiday destination for its famous cave
temples, magnificently carved out of hard rocks. There are temples
nestling all around the reservoir dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Shiva.
Another attraction of Badami is the Bhutanatha Temples and the Museum
set up by the Archaeological Survey of India, must to visit sites.
About 43 km from Bijapur, developed by Birth is also a temple site
housing many important shrines.
67 km from Bijapur is another famous pilgrim center.
Karnataka local food specialty lies in its diverse variety of breads
prepared out of different grains. Jowar Roti ('Jwalada Bhakri') and
Bajra roti ( 'Sajji Bhakri") are the types of breads delicately
prepared and served with 'Bhartha' (Brinjal-egg plant) curry, along
with "Shenga Chutney" (spicy peanuts powder mix ) served
either with peanut oil , and a delicious creamy yogurt (curd). One can
enjoy the pure traditional food at famous "Khaanavali"
eating joints. Non-vegetarian preparations include mainly Mughlai and
Milk Sweets like Pedhe, Kalakandh, Mysore pak are just mouth
watering, trying once results in to continuously carving for more.
¤ Accessibility to Bijapur
By Air: Bijapur does not have an airport of
its own. The nearest airport is Belgaum, 205 km away.
By Rail: Bijapur railway station is located 2 km east of the
city center. 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.
By Road: Bijapur is well connected by means of road transport.
Bus services from Badami take 4 hours, Belgaum -5 hours, Gulbarga -4
hours, Bidar -7 hours, Hubli -4½ hours, to reach the city.
To roam in the city, easiest means of transport are auto-rickshaws
and tongas (horse-carts). Bikes can be taken on rent from the bus
stand, on hourly basis. and even you can hire a bicycle and move
around, as the visiting spots are very nearby.