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Bijapur

Bijapur

 

BIJAPUR - The history of the city dates back to the 11th century when it was founded by the Chalukya dynasty. They referred to it as Vijayapura. 
 

Since the 14th century the city is being called Vijapur or Bijapur when it came under the Bahamani sultanate of Gulbarga. Bijapur was taken over by the Adil shah dynasty in the 15th century. Much of the city's greatness belongs to the monuments that were constructed during this period.

 

Bara Kaman
Bara Kaman is the incomplete mausoleum of Ali Adil Shah II in Bijapur, Karnataka. Ali Adil Shah, ruler of the Adil Shahi Dynasty, wanted to build a tomb of exceptional quality. According to the plan, twelve arches were to be placed vertically and horizontally around the tomb. However, because of some unknown reasons, the work was left incomplete. As a result, only 2 arches were placed vertically. However, the remains of the 12 arches that were placed horizontally are also visible in the premises. It was also planned that the shadow of Bara Kaman would touch the Gol Gombaz.

 

Enroute visit Aihole
This Temple city is 110 kms away from Bijapur. It is famous as the 'Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture'. Aihole has over 125 temples all intricately carved and rich in detail. The oldest temple here is perhaps the 5th century Lad Khan Temple. The Durga (Fort) Temple has a semi-circular apse and a complete portico. The Hutchmalli Temple, the Ravalphadi Cave Temple, The Konti Temple Complex, The Uma Maheshwari Temple, The Jain Meguthi Temple and The Two-storeyed Buddhist Temple are the other attractions at Aihole.

 

Enroute visit Bidar
Bidar is an important historical town. It witnessed many vicissitudes in its eventful history. This small town was once the capital of the erstwhile Bahamani Kingdom (1347-1526) in the medieval period.

 

The main tourist attraction of Bidar is its fort, which welcomes the tourist to the town, located within its precincts. Ahmad Wali Shah built this fort and the well laid out gardens and other monuments within it, in 1429. This fort has five imposing entrances or Darwazas. In the center of this fort is the old city with its monuments and structures, belonging to the Bahamani era. There are important palaces within the ramparts of the fort. The Rangin Mahal, once the royal abode, has ornately carved wooden pillars and Persian artwork. The Solah Kambh Masjid (16-pillared mosque) is the oldest Muslim building in Bidar, and one of the largest in India. The Gagan Mahal, the Diwan-e-Am, the Royal Pavilion, the Takhat Mahal are other important places to be seen within the fort. Of great importance for the visitor is the Mahmud Gawan Madarsa, which is in ruins but still has a few colorful remains of Islamic mosaic work on its walls. Surviving blue-glazed tiles and Q'uranic verses carved on the walls in flowing calligraphic style point to the erstwhile splendor of this building. The surrounding areas both west and east of the town are dotted with domed tombs of Bahamani and Barid Shahi rulers. These structures, though isolated, are captivating.

 

Excursion to Aihole & Pattadakal
This Temple city is 110 kms away from Bijapur. It is famous as the 'Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture'. Aihole has over 125 temples all intricately carved and rich in detail. The oldest temple here is perhaps the 5th century Lad Khan Temple. The Durga (Fort) Temple has a semi-circular apse and a complete portico. The Hutchmalli Temple, the Ravalphadi Cave Temple, The Konti Temple Complex, The Uma Maheshwari Temple, The Jain Meguthi Temple and The Two-storeyed Buddhist Temple are the other attractions at Aihole. 

 

Pattadakal
Pattadakal has a distance of 134 kms from Bijapur. A world Heritage Center, it has 10 major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture. The biggest temple dedicated to Virupaksheshvara, has a huge gateway and several inscriptions. In front of the temple is a majestic Nandi. The Mallikarjuna and Papanatha Temples, and the Jain Temple rom the Papanatha Temples and the Jain Temple from the Rashtrakuta period are well worth visit.

 

Excursion to Badami
Situated in North Karnataka, Badami was founded by Pulakesin I in the 6th century A.D and was once the capital of the Chalukya Empire. The Chalukyas are to be acknowledged with path finding a new architectural style, examples of which can be seen in Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal and other neighboring areas. They built a number of temples, and other monuments that marked the beginning of the Hindu style of architecture. This new style combined the better of two distinct styles - the North Indian, Indo-Aryan Nagara style and the South Indian Dravidian style. Known as the Chalukyan style, this style is manifested in many cave temples, dedicated to Brahmanical deities, as well as the many Buddhist and Jain monasteries in the region.

 

The caves found here are as follows

Cave 1: The first cave made of red sandstone; dates back to 578 A.D. and were probably the first to be carved. One has to climb up 40 odd steps to reach the colonnaded verandah, a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped sanctum hollowed in the control back wall.

Cave 2: Dedicated to lord Vishnu depicted here as a dwarf or 'Trivikrama' of awesome dimensions with one foot mastering the Earth and the other the sky, the second cave is atop a sandstone hill. 

Cave 3: Still going higher up one comes across this cave antedating 578 A.D. The facade of the cave is nearly 70 feet wide; on the plinth one can see the carvings of ganas. The sheer artistry and sculptural genius makes this cave the highlight of Deccan art. 

Cave 4: The only Jain cave, the construction of Cave four started in the 6th century and completed after nearly 100 years later then the earlier three caves.

 

Gol Gumbaz
This is the second largest dome in the world and was built by Yaqut of Dabul, the renowned architect under the patronage of Mohammed Adil shah. The room is an architectural marvel. The dome has been erected without the help of any pillars. There are four minarets with stairs that lead to the dome from where a magnificent view of the town can be seen. The most unique feature of the structure is the whispering gallery. Even the tiniest of sounds get echoed several times in the gallery. Any whisper, clap or sound gets echoed 9 times (11 times with fading) and creates an ideal stereophonic stage even for the weak-lunged singers.

 

Jumma Masjid 
This is one of the must-sees in Bijapur. It is the largest mosque and covers an area of 10,810 sq m and rises up to 120 ft. There is a fountain at the center and a lot of well designed arches and rooms. There is a big hall and a huge dome with 33 domes surrounding it. There are 12 arches constructed with 12 interleaving arches. There is an elaborately designed gateway designed by Aurangzeb. It has the unique distinction of being one of the first mosques in India. The mosque contains a copy of the holy Koran inscribed in gold.

 

Malik - e- Maiden
The largest medieval cannon in the world is 14 ft long, weighing 55 tons. Legend has it that if you touch the gun and make a wish, it will come true! Malik-e-Maidan, considered as one of the largest bell metal guns in the world, is situated around 3 km away from Bijapur District. Meaning of the word 'Malik-e-Maidan' is 'The Monarch of the Plains'. It was built in 1549 by Ali Adil Shah I and was considered as a war trophy. The cannon is sitting on top of the Sherzah Burj facing west towards the plains outside the city. It is believed that the legendary cannon always remains cool and tinkles like a bell on tapping.

 

Mehtar and Asar Mahal
Mehtar Mahal is a very beautiful building in the region of Bijapur and is located close to Jumma Masjid. A richly decorated gateway leads to a three storied building with exquisitely drawn windows and high minarets. In the northern side of this building is the Asar Mahal which stands supported by four pillars. It was constructed to be a hall of justice. There is a step well near the building. Women are not allowed to enter the upper storey which has Persian style decoration but a little bit of persuasion might work. There is an annual festival held at this place which is called urs.

 

The Ibrahim's Rouza
Further to the edge of the city is the Ibrahim Roza, a beautiful tomb with artistically laid out corridors and interconnecting buildings with richly decorated walls and perforated stone windows. Ibrahim Roza, the mausoleum of Ibrahim Adil Shah II, is said to have inspired the Taj Mahal in Agra. At the centre of the town are large arches signifying the forts and its beauty in moonlight.

 

Upri Burj
Upari Burz is located to the north of Dakhani Idgah in the district of Bijapur. It is an 80 ft high tower, which was built around 1584 AD by Hyder Khan. Spherical in shape, it has stone steps all around. Furthermore, it contains various guns, powder chambers, war material, and water cisterns. This tower is also known by some other names such as Hyder Burj and Upri Burj. Tourists can also enjoy an aerial view of the city from the top of this tower.