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Bijapur District

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Bijapur District

Birthplace of Bhaskara Acharya - the man who conceived Differential Calculus

Bijapur is a district in the state of Karnataka in southern India . The city of Bijapur is the headquarters of the district, and is located 530 km northwest of Bangalore . Bijapur is well known for the great monuments of historical importance built during the Adil Shahi dynasty. More »


Places to see

Gol Gumbaz: This is the most famous monument in Bijapur. It is the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah (ruled 1627-1657). It is the second largest dome ever built, next in size only to St Peter's Basilica in Rome . A particular attraction in this monument is the central chamber, where every sound is echoed seven times. Another attraction at the Gol Gumbaz is the Whispering Gallery, where even minute sounds can be heard clearly 37 metres away. Gol Gumbaz complex includes a mosque, a Naqqar Khana (a hall for the trumpeters) (Now it is used as museum) and the ruins of guest houses.

Gol-Gumbaz Archaeological Museum

Located in the building in front of the Gol-Gumbaz, the museum houses art from the Chalukyan as well as Adil Shahi periods.

Ibrahim Rauza: This is the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II (ruled 1580-1627), the fifth king of the dynasty and, like the Mughal emperor Akbar, known for religious tolerance. Built on a single rock bed, it is noted for the symmetry of its features. It is said that the design for the Ibrahim Rauza served as an inspiration for that of the famous Taj Mahal.

Rauza literally means a garden. the square enclosure consists of 2 buildings, one housing the tombs of Ibrahim Adil Shah II & his family & the other a mosque. The tomb, evidently executed under the orders of Ibrahim Adil Shah (1580-1627) is noted for its striking symmetry of proportion, exquisite minarets cupolas, parapets & cornices & is supposed to have been an inspiration for the Taj Mahal at Agra . This monument shows the creativity of its Iranian born architect. Built on a single slab of bed-rock, the architect has attained a perfect balance on the site, with the mausoleum on the left and the prayer hall to the right. The gardens are beautifully sculpted and are enclosed within an imposing wall and have some superb gateways.

Two stone chains (each carved from a single rock) hang from the sides of the prayer hall. Each door (made in teak wood and re-enforced in metal) in this complex is unique, with some excellent features. The arches in the hallway surrounding the inner perimeter of the mausoleum are superbly crafted. The facades of the building provide for some stunning art-work in stone, including a map to the basement, which lies under the mausoleum.


Jumma Masjid:
Built by Ali Adil Shah I (1558-80) is one of largest Mosque in the region. It has a large hall, elegant arches, and an excellent dome with thirty-three smaller domes surrounding it. It has an exquisite copy of the Quran, written in gold. Elaborate entrance gate was built by Emperor Aurangzeb.

Called Jumma Masjid because the Khutba is recited here on Jumma ie. Friday, it is the largest & first constructed mosque in Bijapur. It was built between 1557 -1686, most of it during Ali Adil Shah reign, who acquired the land after defeating the rich Ramaraja of Vijayanagar. The total area of the mosque is 10,810 sq m. The main part of the mosque stands to the west & has nine huge arches on their facade that deepen into five arches & form 45 compartments. The majestic tomb rises above the roof in a semicircle resembling the bud of a flower. This imposing mosque (the rectangle is 170m x 70 m) is incomplete, lacking in 2 minarets. Aurangzeb extended the mosque in the east, the south & the north verandah & built the eastern gate. The original gateway is on the northern side. The interior of the mosque shows restraint, except for some decorative motifs on the apexes of the arches. The heavy curtain hangs over the "Mehrab", which has domes, minarets, niches with books, flower vases & Persian writings inscribed on it.

Malik-e-Maidan (The Monarch of the Plains) the largest medieval cannon in the world. Being 4 m long, 1,5 m in diameter and weighing 55 tons, this gun was brought back from Ahmadnagar in the 17th century as a trophy of war by 400 oxen, 10 elephants and tens of men. It was placed on the Sherza Burj (Lion Gate) on a platform especially built for it. The cannon's nozzle is fashioned into the shape of a lion's head. It is said that after igniting the cannon, the gunner would remain underwater in a tank of water on the platform to avoid the deafening explosion. The cannon remains cool even in strong sunlight and if tapped, tinkles like a bell. In 1854 the cannon was auctioned for Rs. 150 but the sale was cancelled in the end.

Upri Buruj , Built around 1584 by Hyder Khan, is an 80 ft (25 m) high tower standing to the north of Dakhani Idgah in Bijapur. This is a spherical structure with stone steps winding round the outside. Top of the tower offers a commanding view of the city. This is also known as "Hyder Burj", "Upli Burj". On top of Upli Burj there are two guns of huge size. The parafeet this tower which was used for monitoring purposes has been fenced now. One needs to climb the circular stairs to reach the top. However except for this tower there is very little evidence of the citadel wall in this area due to rampant construction.

Chand Bawdi , Ali Adil Shah (1558-1580) built this tank near eastern boundary of Bijapur. When there was large influx of people into Bijapur after the fall of the Vijayanagar empire, and new settlements came up within the walled city raising the need for better infrastructure and providing water supply. This has a storage capacity of 20 million litres. Later it became a model for many other tanks constructed in the city. A grandeur complex came up around it, which was mainly used to house the maintenance staff though members of the royal family occasionally used it for recreation. He named this after his wife "Chand Bibi".

Asar Mahal , The Asar Mahal was built by Mohammed Adil Shah in about 1646, which was used to serve as a Hall of Justice. The building was also used to house hairs from the Prophet's beard. The rooms on the upper storey are decorated with frescoes and the front is graced with a square tank. Here women are not allowed inside. Every year there is urs (festival) held at this place. In front of the hall, one can see three tanks the bigger tank, which is at the centre is about 15 feet deep however the other two are comparatively smaller in size as well as depth. Behind Asar Mahal one can still see the remain of the citadel. Just a kilometer away behind Asar Mahal, one can still find the old mosque which is on top of the citadel wall. There is a big entrance with arc below this mosque. Many stones have inscriptions. The site is under maintenance of Archeological Survey of India

Gagan Mahal , Which means Sky Palace , is built with a 21- meter façade and four wooden massive pillars, has a majestic central arch. Sikandar Adil Shah, in silver chains, surrendered to Aurangzeb in 1681 here.

Barakaman (Ali Roza-II) A mausoleum of Ali Roza built in 1672. It was previously named as Ali Roza, but Shah Nawab Khan changed its name to Bara Kaman as this was the 12th monument during his reign. It has now seven arches and the tomb containing the graves of Ali, his queens and eleven other ladies possibly belonging to the Zenana of the queens.

Mehtar Mahal

The Mehtar Mahal, to the east of the citadel, is not a palace as its name suggests. It was supposed to have been built for the sweepers of the royal household. The Mahal has an ornamental gateway, embellished by a profusion of carvings in the form of brackets supporting the balconies and stone-trellis work in Hindu style. The gateway leads to a mosque and a garden.

Uppali Buruj

A 24m high, 16th century watchtower built on high ground with its long cannons formed part of the military defence of Bijapur. From the top of the tower, one can get a bird's eye view of the city and plains.

Jod Gumbaz

Located in the southwest part of the city are the twin tombs with their bulbous domes. The gardens around them are a popular picnic spot.

Anand Mahal

Sat Manzil

Jal Manzil.

Taj Bawadi

Ark Qila & Afzal Khan's Cenotaph

Around Bijapur

Basavana Bagewadi
About 43 kms from Bijapur, this town is the Birth-place of Saint Basaveshwara. There are several important temples here.

Kudalasangama

67 kms from Bijapur is a famous pilgrim centre, associated with the great 12th century poet and reformer Saint Basaveshwara.

Almatti Dam

The Almatti Dam is a Dam project on the Krishna River in North Karnataka, India . The annual energy design is 713 million units. It was completed in July 2005. Almatti dam is the main reservoir of the Upper Krishna project, an irrigation project. The 290 MW power project is located on the right toe of Almatti Dam. The Power House has 5 units of 55 MW each and 1 unit of 15 MW. The turbines are vertical kaplan. The annual design energy is 713 Million Units. The project, when allotted for private initiative was estimated to cost Rs.14,70,00,00,000. Subsequently, KPCL took up the project at an estimated cost of Rs.6,74,00,00,000 and completed the project at a cost of Rs.5,20,00,00,000 in a period of 40 months by July 2005.Alatti is in between Bijapur and Bagalkot district.But geographically, it is included in Bijapur. Large areas of Bagalkot were submerged during its construction.

Distance:-

Road Bijapur is connected by road to most places in south and west India . These are: Aihole (110 km), Badami (138 km), Pattadakal (148 km), Hampi (220 km), Belgaum (205 km), Bangalore (550 km), Bombay (486 km). The National highway 13 passes through the district in the eastern and central parts.

Rail You can get to Bijapur easily as the railway line connecting Solapur in Maharastra and Hubli passes through the center of the district, via Indi and Basavan Bagewadi. Bijapur is well connected to Bangalore , Mumbai (via Solapur), Hyderabad (via Solapur), Hospet (via Gadag), Vasco da Gama (via Hubli and Londa). Bijapur railway station comes under the administrative control of HUBLI division of South Central Railway (SCR).

Air The nearest airport is Belgaum (205 km), which is well connected to Mumbai and Bangalore

When to go:-
 
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