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Location : Near Bangalore, Karnataka
Languages : Kannada, Hindi & English
Major Attractions : Ara Quila
Best Visiting Time : Months between September and February
The place of monuments and palaces, the fortified Bijapur was the jewel of Deccan. Ruled by Adil Shahi dynasty, this city was famous for its royal grandeur and magnanimity. Even today, it is famous throughout India for its mausoleums, mosques, historical and architectural structures that are scattered all over.
Gol Gumbaz :
No words can explain the elegance and grandness of this tomb of Adil Shah. It boasts of being the 2nd largest dome of the world. The diameter of the dome is 44 meters. Its mesmerizing architecture will catch your fancy, the exterior of the structure carries 4 minarets. As you reach the interiors, you will be surprised to note the slightest sound created from one end will be heard from the opposite side. This wonder of acoustics has earned it the name of "whispering gallery". A balcony present at the fringe of the dome is also marvelous as any voice created here gets magnified and returns with an echo. Visit this lovely place to experience the joyful stereophonic effects.
Jumma Masjid :
This attraction of Bijapur is known for its antiquity. The mosque houses the Quran, the holy book of Muslims. The outstanding feature of this book is that its words are written in gold.
Barah Cummon :
This structure of 12 arches is a magnificent piece of architecture. Here, you will see interspersing arches here. This building was used for holding several festivals.
Ibrahim Roza :
Yet another piece of excellence at Bijapur is Ibrahim Roza which is a tomb with artistic layout. The corridors are exquisitely adorned with decorations. The stone windows are perforated. This splendid structure is believed to be the inspiration behind Taj Mahal. The mausoleum is the tomb of Adil Shah II.
This massive cannon of 55 tons is the largest one of medieval India. Its snout is shaped like a lion. It carries a length of 14 feet and was considered "lord of war". It is believed if a wish is made while touching it, it comes out to be true.
Anand Mahal :
Other attraction of Bijapur is Anand Mahal. Constructed in 1589 by Adil Shah, this double storey structure was the living accommodation for royal ladies. Today, it houses several structures like Inspection Bungalow, residential quarters and Gymkhana Club.
Mehtar Mahal :
It is believed that this palace was constructed a menial worker. Its gateway is decorated beautifully. The gateway will lead you to a mausoleum. The brackets at the roof are adorned with carved figures of several birds.
Asar Mahal :
A yet another structure by Adil Shah is Asar Mahal. Its rooms are lavishly decorated with mural paintings. The interiors have three tanks, one of which is larger while the other two are smaller. The entry is prohibited for women. There are numerous structures nearby that can interest you.
Gagan Mahal :
This palace of Bijapur has a facade and four supporting pillars. The place is historically important as it was here that Adil Shah surrendered before Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Sath Kabar :
Though it is the place of 60 graves and does not have any architectural structure to boast of, yet a touching incident related will make your visit a memorable one. Afzal Khan, the chief of Adil Shah, was ordered by him to capture Shivaji. Khan, being the believer of destiny, consulted an astrologer in order to predict about his fate in the battle. The astrologer predicted his defeat and death. Being afraid that his 60 wives would remarry after his death, he killed all of them by pushing them in a well.
Upli Buruj :
This sphere shaped structure was constructed in the 16th century. From its top, you can have a panoramic view of the entire city. In order to reach at the top, you will have to cover a flight of circular steps. After covering the winding steps you will see two huge cannons placed at the top.
Chand Bawdi :
This water tank was constructed in order to meet the water requirements of the newly assimilated population from Vijaynagar. Its storage capacity was about 20 m liters and catered to a large chunk of population. A grand complex was also built here for housing the staff members.
There are numerous places around Bijapur that are worth mentioning here:
A set of about 125 temples, Aihole is famous for the minutely detailed architecture. Here you can visit places like Ravalphadi Cave, Hutchmalli Temple, and Buddhist temple.
Kudala Sangama :
At the conflux of River Krishna and Malprabha, a small village called Kudala Sangama is present. The site worth visiting here is Sangameshwar Temple whose architecture resembles Chalukyan style.
Excursion to this place from Bijapur is a distance of 134 kilometers. This World Heritage Site is built in Chalukyan style and architecture. At Pattadakal, you will get to see a number of temples like Mallikarjuna Temple, Papnatha Temple, and Jain Temple.
Here you can behold 4 cave temples that have been carved out of a rock. Other attraction here is Bhutnath Temple. If you time to spare, you can pay a visit to a museum built by ASI.
There are numerous hotels at Bijapur that you can choose from. A few names are Hotel Maurya, Hotel Samrat, Hotel Sanman, and Hotel Godavari.
Local Food :
The specialties of the place are Mughal and Hyderabadi cuisines.
Though a number of festivals are celebrated here, Music Festival is the main attraction here; every year, it is celebrated in the month of January or February.
Visit to Bijapur can be a delightful experience especially if you are an admirer of architectural monuments.