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Bijapur

Mute witness to the royal grandeur the dynasty of Adil Shahi, who ruled Bijapur between the 15th and 17th centuries, Bijapur has been able to withstand the vagaries of time. The town is famous for the Gol Gimbaz, believed to be the largest unsupported dome in the world, built by Adil Shah as his own mausoleum! Bijapur is known for its hand-woven traditional Ikal saris.

Bijapur is located in the northern part of Karnataka, in southern India 530 km northwest of Bangalore.

A city of great historical significance, Bijapur is widely known for its ancient monuments of Islamic architecture, built by the Adil Shahi rulers.  The city is divided into three areas: the citadel, the fort and the remaining part. The citadel is well-built and is surrounded by a 91m long wall; it houses the remains of Hindu temples built in pre-Islamic times. The fort is surrounded by a 15m high wall, it is strengthened with bastions, and it is also surrounded by a deep moat. Outside the moat are the remains of a city which lie mostly in ruins today; nevertheless, the ruins suggest the splendour of the city.
The chief attraction is the imposing Gol Gumbaz or the Round Dome towards the eastern end of the city. This is the largest dome in India and the second-largest in the world.  The old city is surrounded by fortified walls. The foundation of Bijapur was constructed between the 10th - 11th centuries by the Chalukyan rulers of southern India; they named the city Vijayapura, the City of Victory. 

The golden era of Bijapur started only in 1489, during the reign of Yusuf Adil Shah, who made Bijapur the capital of his kingdom.  His descendants ruled until 1686 when they were finally defeated by the mighty Mughal ruler Aurangazeb. With that defeat, a glorious era in South Indian history came to an end.

The Gol Gombaz or Gola Gummata
This magnificent architectural gem is frequently visited by travelers. Gol Gumbaz boasts of being the second-largest freestanding dome beside St. Peter’s Basilica, (Rome) in the world. It was built by the then-ruler Muhammed Adil Shah in 1656 to bury his own mortal remains. It contains the tombs of his two wives, his mistress, daughter and grandson. It took Adil Shah 20 years to complete his tomb. The tomb is 40m in diameter, supported by four minarets, which lead to four staircases rising to the top of the dome. The unique acoustics make it possible for the slightest sound to be heard from one side of the Bojmbuz to the other, over 65m away. Any clap or other sound echoes 9 times, creating a stereophonic effect. According to history, the king up went to the balcony with his beloved. Looking down the nine-storied depth of the hall, she said that she loves him and asked if she could do anything to please the king. On getting an affirmative answer the king jokingly asked her to jump from this height and show her eternal bond. She proceeded to jump, and of course died. Heart-broken, the king cursed himself and wept for the rest of his life.
Jumma Masjid
Another attraction of Bijapur is the Jumma Masjid, a massive structure and among the earliest mosques built in India. The onion-shaped dome of the mosque sits on the beams of the hall, which is divided into 45 section. It is famous for the exquisite copy of the Quran, written in gold.
Asar Mahal and Gagan Mahal
Asar Mahal Near Jumma Masjid is an outstanding building called Asar Mahal, known as the “hall of justice”. This is a three-storied structure with tall minarets and beautiful windows. The gateways are exquisitely decorated. Persian style decorations are widely visible in the upper storey; women are not allowed to enter the structure. Gagan Mahal Built by Adil Shah I, in 1561, this was a palace cum ‘durbar hall’ with three arches; the middle arch is the tallest and widest of all arches in Bijapur. Formerly an impressive structure where thousands of people would assemble to witness the proceedings, time and neglect have taken their toll on the building which lies in ruins today.
Bijapur Castle
Built in the 16th century, Bijapur Castle is located next to a wildlife sanctuary where blue bulls, spotted deer, and leopards move freely. The castle was built by Rao Shakti Singh, the younger brother of Maharana Pratap. The castle is currently run as a heritage hotel by the royal family.
The Malik-e-Maiden
Malik-e-Maidan literally means ‘Monarch of the Plains’ or ‘Lord of the Battlefield’. It is an unusual attraction in the city: located on the top of a tower this is one of the largest surviving bell metal canons in the world. With a length of 5m and weight of 55 tons, it was the largest weapon built in medieval times. Even under scorching sun, the metal remains cool. It is cast of an alloy of copper, iron and tin, and sounds like a bell when struck. Persian and Arabic inscriptions adorn the outer surface, which is dark green and is polished like glass. The British were keen to take this massive piece to England, but gave up on this idea due to its weight.
Ibrahim Roza
This beautiful tomb on the western outskirts of the city contains the mausoleum of Ibrahim Adil Shah II, his queen Ibrahim Roza, two sons, daughters and mother. Spreading over an area of 10,805m2, it has well planned corridors and interconnecting buildings with richly decorated walls. The building is surrounded by gardens on three sides.
Bara Kamaan
This unfinished mausoleum of Ali Adil Shah, if completed, might have surpassed all others of its kind. It has 12 graceful arches.
Bijapur is known for its hand-woven traditional Ikal saris.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
HUBLI 196 Km 03H 00m
SAMBRE 184 Km 03H 26m
Bijapur 3 Km 00H 06m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
531 Km 08H 06m
Bangalore is the IT hub of India and the capital of the state of Karnataka. In Old days Bangalore used to be referred to as the garden city of India in reference to the numerous well maintained gardens and green space within the city. Wodeyers were the rulers of Karnataka, Mysore used to be the prime city and capital of the erstwhile Mysore state, and Bangalore came into prominence during the British rule. At present it has evolved as large cosmopolitan city.
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Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 25 °C 43 °C
Winter 10 °C 30 °C
Winter months usher in a glorious weather in Bijapur with temperatures taking a plunge. It is perfect time to explore the ancient monuments in and around Bijapur. The summer months of April and May are extremely hot and to be avoided.
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