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Bijapur (also called as Vijapura in Kannada) was first settled by Chalukya dynasty of Kalyani in 11th century. They called it as Vijayapura, the "City of Victory". Then Bijapur came under Muslim control, first under Allaudin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, and then under the Bahamani kings of Bidar in 13th century.
Bijapur is well known for the great monuments of historical importance built during the Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur experienced a great burst of architectural activity under the Adil Shahi dynasty. The Adil Shahis produced over 50 mosques, more than 20 tombs and a number of palaces.
Bijapur in North Karnataka presents a tourist the variety of medieval monuments, which represents Islamic architecture in India. Bijapur is also home to famous temples like Siddeshwara and Shri Prasanna Ganesha.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN BIJAPUR DISTRICT
Anand Mahal was built by Adil Shah. This two-storied palace has an open front platform, which can be reached at both ends by a broad flight of steps.
Asar Mahal is located at a distance of 5 km from Bijapur. The Asar Mahal was built by Mohammed Adil Shah. It was used to serve as a Hall of Justice. The Mahal holds some relics of Prophet Mohammed. Here women are not allowed inside. A fair is held at this place every year.
Bara Kaman is located at a distance of 5 km from Bijapur. Bara Kaman is an incomplete mausoleum of Ali Adil Shah II. An elegant structures with 12 graceful arches gives the name Bara Kaman (Bara means Twelve).
The citadel was built by Yusuf Adil Shah, once contained the Durbar Hall, palaces and pleasure gardens of the Adil Shahi Rulers.
Gagan Mahal means Sky Palace is located about 5 km from Bijapur. Gagan Mahal was constructed by Ali Adil Shah I around 1561 to serve the dual purpose of a royal residence and Durbar hall. It was built with a 21 - meter fašade and four wooden massive pillars, has a majestic central arch. The ground floor was the Durbar Hall and the first floor (now in ruins), was the private residence of the royal family.
Gol Gumbaz (Gola Gummata in Kannada) is the most renowned monument in Bijapur. Gol Gumbaz is the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah. Gol Gumbaz is second largest dome, in size only to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The central chamber is the main attraction of this dome, where every sound is echoed seven times. The gallery around the dome provides a fabulous view of the town. Gol Gumbaz complex also includes a mosque, a Naqqar Khana and the ruins of guest houses.
Ibrahim Rauza is located about 2 km from Bijapur on the western outskirts of the city. This palatial mosque and tomb, with its delicate minarets, is very beautiful and symmetrical. It is said that the design for the Ibrahim Rauza served as an inspiration for that of the famous Taj Mahal at Agra.
Jamia Masjid was built by Adil Shah I, Jamia Masjid is considered as one of the finest mosques in India. Jamia Masjid is the largest and first built mosque in Bijapur. It is rectangular building with graceful arches and a dome, set in grounds that are perfect square of 116,000 sq. ft.
Jod Gumbaz is situated at southwest part of Bijapur city. Jod Gumbaz is twin domes are the tombs of Khan Muhammad and Abdul Razzaq Qadiri.
Malik-e-Maidan (The Monarch of the plains)
Malik-e-Maidan is one of the largest bell metal guns in the world. It measures 4 m long, 1.5 m in diameter and weighing 55 tons, this gun was brought back from Ahmadnagar in the 17th century as a trophy of war by 400 oxen, 10 elephants and tens of men. This cannon is placed on the walls of the city on the one of the bastions of the fort. A unique feature of this legendary cannon is it remains cool even in strong sunlight and if tapped, tinkles like a bell.
This finely shaped gateway leading to a mosque and a garden is a fine example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
This temple is dedicated to lord Siddeshwara (lord Shiva). This temple attracts thousands of devotees.
Sri Prassana Ganesh Temple
Sri Prasanna ganapathi temple is located on the station road. This temple holds carvings by Shyama Ramachar, a national award-winning sculptor of Karkala.
Taj Bawdi is located at a distance of 1.5 km from Bijapur. This was built by Ibrahim Adil Shah in honor of his wife, Queen Taj Sultana. Taj Bawdi is 223 ft square well and 52 ft deep. Its front is a superb arch flanked by two octagonal towers.
Upari Buruz was built around 1584 by Hyder Khan. This is another isolated tall tower (80 ft high), that formed part of the military defense of Bijapur. Top of the tower offers a commanding view of the city.
Thoravi is about 6 km from Bijapur city. Thoravi was chosen to be the site of the new city built by Ibrahim Adil Shah, that he named Nauraspur (means the city of Nine sentiments). Today, Thoravi is the venue for the annual Nauraspur Music Festival held by the Government.
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