Famous for the Gol Gumbaj and Ibrahim Rauza which is considered to be the Taj Mahal of the Deccan, Bijapur is a tourist destination in Karnataka that takes its visitors back in time through its glorious ancient structures. Bijapur is an important commercial district in the state of Karnataka. Built around the 10th-11th century by the Kalyani Chalukyas, Bijapur was known as Vijayapura in those times. Vijaypura literally translates to City of Victory. Among other important attractions, there are various mosques including Jumma Masjid, palaces and citadels.
Places to Visit
Gol Gumbaz is the crypt of Mohammed Adil Shah, who was the Sultan of Bijapur. He was the seventh ruler of Adil Shah Dynasty. This magnificent monument was constructed by the architect Yaqut of Dabul, in the year 1656. The monument derives its name from “Gola Gummata” or “Gol Gombadh”, which mean a “circular dome”. Constructed as per the Deccan architecture, Gol Gumbaz is one of the most significant monuments of India located in the state of Karnataka.
The grand structure of the monument is composed of a cube on each side, which is capped by a dome in external diameter. Inside the gigantic dome, “whispering gallery” runs around. These are named so because even the slightest of the sound can be heard on the other side due to the acoustics of the space. The construction of Gol Gumbaz started in the year 1626 AD, and it took about a span of 30 years to complete its structure. It is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Made from Dark Grey Basalt, the monument proudly exhibits the Deccan Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The memorial is widely known for its dimensions and unique acoustic features. It is sometimes even referred as “the Taj Mahal of South India”. Along with the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah, Gol Gumbaz is also the resting place for his wives and daughters. Gol Gumbaz is known as an imposing structure of national importance; hence it is visited by travellers from all across the globe, throughout the year.
Also known as The Taj Mahal of the Deccan, it is home to the remains of the Adil Shah ruler Ibrahim Adil Shah II and his wife Taj Sultana.
It was designed by Malik Sandal with a mosque to the right and a tomb to the left.
Built by Ali Adil Shah to celebrate his victory in the Battle of Talikota, it is one of the first mosques in India.
This Masjid is spread over 10810 sq m and displays fine architecture with the twin minarets and beautiful arches and the dome.
With its own surrounding walls and a moat, The Citadel houses palaces, gardens and halls from the Adil Shahi Dynasty. It is mostly dilapidated.
The royal Gagan Mahal and the Durbar Hall, Sat Manzil, Jala Manzil and Bara Kaman are the most fascinating structures here.
Shopping In Bijapur
While in Bijapur, shop for local handicrafts and artifacts. Take home some pieces of Lumbini Jewellery, crafted by the local tribes of the stat, sandalwood items, and the Ilkal Saree, exclusive to the area.
Mithari & Asar Mahals
Built by Muhammad Adil Shah in 1640s, it serves as a place of worship for Muslim devotees, originally meant to be a Hall of Justice.
Persian architecture is displayed here in the upper storey where women are not allowed.
Bijapur Fort is an important monument of historical importance situated in Bijapur. It was built during the rule of Adilshah dynasty and is endearingly known as the Agra of South India. It is also known as Vijapura Fort and is enclosed within a moat of 50 feet.
Built in 1672 AD by Adil Shah II, Bara Kaman is an unfinished structure situated in Bijapur. The structure was supposed to have twelve arches vertically and horizontally surrounding the mausoleum of the king and his wives. However, the mausoleum and the arches was left unfinished as Adil Shah II was murdered by his own father and the construction of Bara Kaman was left incomplete as he did not want Bara Kaman to lessen the architectural marvel of Gol Gumbaz.
Built by Adil Shah I in 1561, Gagan Mahal or endearingly known as Heavenly Mahal (Sky Mahal) is known for its architectural finesse and design. Boasting of three arches, the two storeyed monument had the Darbar Hall on the ground floor and the upper storey was supposed to be the residence for the royal family.
Situated inside the premises of the Bijapur Fort, Mehtar Mahal dates back to the 1620 and is known to be the most elegant structure within the fort. Built in the Indo-Sarcenic style, the carvings on the minarets are in the Hindu architectural style.
Must Try Food in Bijapur
2. House Of Paratha
3. Qaswa Hill Restaurant
4. The Sigdi
5. Hotel Shree
6. Mysore Restaurant
7. Oviya Coffee & More
8. Hotel Hallimane
9. Hotel Yogi Broadway
10. Priyanka Vegetarian Restaurant
How To Get Here
Bijapur has its own railway station where trains connecting to Bangalore, Hyderabad and other cities halt. Buses are also available frequently from and to Badami. The nearest airport is at Belgaum (205km) which can be accessed by taxis.
Bijapur Airport is the main airport which is linked with other states via direct and connecting flights. However, it has very limited connectivity.
Nearest Airport: Goa International Airport – 257 kms from Bijapur
There are frequent bus services to Bijapur from most major cities and towns in India.
Bijapur Railway Station is just 2 km from the main city and is well linked with other cities. Trains are frequent and comfortable which make it a viable option for a commute.