The city of Bijapur was known as Vijaypura or the city of victory in ancient times and was founded by the Chalukyas between the 10th and the 11th centuries. The name underwent the current state during the reign of the Adil Shah dynasty in the 14th century during which the city’s most important monuments were built. The city is a cultural hub due to the influences from the various dynasties that has ruled this region. Bijapur ranks among one of the popular places to visit in Karnataka. Here’s the list of the best places you can visit in the ancient and historical city of Bijapur.
1. Gol Gumbaz
Gol Bumbaz is the mausoleum of the Sultan of Bijapur, Muhammad Adil Shah in 1656. The dome is the second largest dome in the world and is considered to be one of the most impressive structures in the world. The dome is 51 meters high and covers 18000 square feet of land. The ‘Whispering Gallery’ is another famous attraction in the Gol Gumbaz where even the softest sound can be heard.
2. Ibrahim Rauza
Said to be the building that inspired the design of the ‘Taj Mahal’, Ibrahim Rauza is the mausoleum of Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II and his Queen. The structure is a marvel of the Persian Muslim architecture and is built on a single slab of rock. Ibrahim Rauza is exemplary of its marvelous minarets and gateways. The whole building has been adorned with various stone awnings and decorative windows and arches.
Malik-e-Maidan literally means the Monarch of the Plains and is the largest mounted medieval cannon in the world. The cannon weighs a tremendous 55 tons and are 4 meters in length. The muzzle’s outer diameter is above 1.5 meters and is shaped like a lion’s head with an elephant being mauled in its teeth. It is said that the gunner had to take a dip in a water tank to protect his ears from the massive sound when the cannon was fired.
4. Jami Masjid
The oldest and the largest mosque in southern India, the Jami Masjid was built by Ali Adil Shah I after he defeated the Vijaynagar Kings. The mosque covers an area of 116,300 square feet and is one of the most brilliantly designed mosques in India. The interiors of the mosque are amazingly crafted and are decorated with various paintings and murals.
5. Upli Buruj
The name Upli Buruj refers to a watch tower that was built in the 16th century by Hyder Khan. The tower stands at an impressive height of 24 meters and the top of the tower is a famous view point that gives a wide panorama of the city. The top is accessed though winding circular stairs and two massive cannons are placed on the top of the tower.
6. Gagan Mahal
Gagan Mahal literally means the sky palace and was built by Ali Adil Shah I in the 16th century. The structure is characterized with arches and a central large arch which acts as an entrance to the citadel. The ground floor had a Darbar or an assembly hall and the upper floors served as the residence to the royal family.
Bijapur saw its splendor during the reign of the Adil Shah dynasty that defeated the waning Vijaynagar Kings to seize control of the region. Ibrahim Adil Shah II was considered to be the most illustrious of the Adil Shah sultans and due to his religious tolerance like the Mughal Akbar, is responsible for most of the grandeur of the city. The above-mentioned places are the best of the several monuments located in the historical city of Bijapur and should not be missed.
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