The finest Islamic Monuments
Originally founded by the Kalyani Chalukyas way back in the 10th century, the city of Bijapur had its face adorned with beautiful monuments during the reign of Adil Shah Dynasty. Today, it is one of the most prominent attractions in Karnataka, representing the glorious Islamic architectural style through numerous structures. The rulers of the dynasty had immense interest in art and architecture that led to the construction of multiple tombs, palaces, mosques and other structures in the city.
Bijapur fort and citadel form an important part of the city. The fort has a massive wall that showcases extreme strength and numerous bastions. Another significant feature of the fort is its five gateways, each decorated with bastions. The most popular attraction of the city is Gol Gumbaz, the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah constructed in the mid-17th century. Cubical in shape, the monument has many impressive features like intersecting arches and octagonal towers.
The monument also features what is called The Whispering Gallery. Designed for interesting communication between the Sultan and his wife, the gallery makes the softest of the sounds hearable from one end to the other. The central chamber, one of the biggest in the world, is known for producing multiple echoes of a sound. Jama Masjid, the Friday Mosque, is another site of interest in the city. Though incomplete in design, the mosque has attractive features like semi-circular dome and beautifully painted mihrab that features Quran written in gold.
Ibrahim Rauza is the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II. A beautiful complex with splendid architecture, it is righteously called the Taj Mahal of the South. The complex contains twin buildings of a tomb and a mosque with decorative features like ornamental minarets, decorated teak wood doors and wonderfully crafted arches. A fountain and a pond add to the beauty and serenity of the place.
Among other interesting highlights of the city is Malik-e-Maidan, the grand cannon placed on the Lion Gate of the fort. An amazing fact about the cannon is that it remains cool even under the shinning summer sun. Asar Mahal, where hairs from Prophet Mohammad’s beard were housed, is known for its frescos and landscape paintings. The ruins of Gagan Mahal feature a façade with three huge arches.
Mehtar Mahal in the city is one of the well-preserved structures. Built in the early 17th century, the palace flaunts Indo-Saracen architectural style with many beautiful features like bird and swan carvings and stone trellis. Saat Kabar is a heritage site where Afzal Khan, a notorious army chief in Adil Shah Dynasty, killed and buried his 63 wives to prevent them from remarrying after his death.
Among other popular attractions of Bijapur include the 26 m high statue of Lord Shiva; Sangeeth Mahal, Chand Bawdi and the Archaeological Museum. The city offers a great opportunity to explore the rich Islamic heritage.