History : Nestling in the northern part of Karnataka, Bijapur is a historically important city of the state. The city was established by the Chalukyas and the city was named as Vijayapura. Soon it came under the rule of Bahmini Sultanate and was named Bijapur. After the fall of the Bahmanis, the Adil Shahi sultans emerged as the principal rulers of the Deccan in the 16th and 17th centuries. Their capital, the fortified city of Bijapur, was protected by ramparts with prominent bastions; many of the original cannons are still in place. The Malik-i-Maidan ("Lord of the Plain"), reputedly the largest cannon of the period in India, still guards the western entrance. Within the fort's walls are splendid mosques, palaces and tombs built by a succession of enlightened rulers. Main Attraction: Bijapur is known for its medieval monuments, which are a unique form of Islamic architecture. The magnificent Gol Gumbaz is the main attraction of this city. It is the largest dome in India and the second largest in the world. Tourists are attracted to this city by the various monuments built by the Adil Shahi rulers, who ruled Bijapur between 16th and 17th century.
Bijapur Quick facts
Bijapur Geography and Climate
Geography: Bijapur is located at 16.83� N 75.7� E. It has an average elevation of 606 metres (1988 feet). Geographically, the district lies in the tract of the Deccan Plateaus. The lands of the district can be broadly divided into three zones: the northern belt consisting of the northern parts of Bijapur Taluks of Indi and Sindagi; the central belt consisting of Bijapur city; the southern belt consisting of the rich alluvial plains of the Krishna Rivers parted from the central belt by a stretch of barren Trap. Climate: The summer months of April and May are hot, very dry and generally uncomfortable. The average annual rainfall for the district is 552.8 mm with 37.2 rainy days. The monsoon generally breaks in the district during June and lasts till October.
Best time to visit Bijapur
The best time to visit Bijapur is during winters. There are number of interesting places to visit in and around Bijapur: Some of them are : Bijapur is best known for its magnificent Shivagari' which is the big statue dome in the Karnataka. The temple town of Aihole, 129 km from Bijapur, has a number of richly carved temples belonging to the Chalukya rulers, dating back to 6th and 8th century. The historic cities of Gulbarga (159 km) and Badami (132 km) can be visited from Bijapur.
Bijapur is often referred to as 'the Agra of the South'. Once the capital of the Adil Shahis, Bijapur's dignity and royal grandeur is still intact. This city is well known for the great monuments of historical importance built during the Adil Shahi dynasty. The cradle of several dynasties and civilisations, Bijapur has a grand and glorious history, Bijapur is also known as the "Queen of the Deccan" due to its geographic bounty and cultural wealth. It is home to the world famous mausoleum Gol Gumbaz. Today it is a modern city. It has a number of academic institutions including two medical colleges.
Bijapur Near Getaways
530 kms to the northwest of Bangalore is the ancient town of Bijapur, the capital of the Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur is close to Belgaum - the gateway to Karnataka from Goa and Bombay. The city has many places of Historical, Cultural and Architectural importance.
Bijapur is located in the northern part of the state of Karnataka, in the southern region of India. Bijapur District has an area of 10541 square kilometres. It is located at 530 km northwest of Bangalore.
How to reach Bijapur by Road
The main stand in Bijapur is near the southwestern side of the citadel, near the city center. Bus services to Badami (4 hours), Belgaum (5 hours), Gulbarga (4 hours), Bidar (7 hours), Hubli (4' hours), etc,. are frequent.
How to reach Bijapur by Rail
Bijapur railway station is located 2 km east of the city center, beyond the walled city. Few trains pass and stop at Bijapur. Trains from Bijapur to Mumbai and Hyderabad pass from Solapur. Bijapur railway station comes under Hubli administration. Bijapur is connected by a broad gauge railway (Gadag-Hotgi railway line) to Hotgi junction near Solapur and Kurduvadi on Central Railway towards the north and to Bagalkot on South West Railway towards the south.
Click on link
How to reach Bijapur by Air
Bijapur does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport to Bijapur is in Belgaum which is at a distance of 205 Km from here. There is connection to Bangalore and Mangalore apart from being well connected with Mumbai and Hyderabad. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus.
Bijapur Festivals and culture
Bijapur Music Festival: There is a music bonanza held every year by the administration of Karnataka government known as the Bijapur Music Festival. All sort of top class music are displayed here. Fair organized by Shri Siddheshwar temple during Makar Sankranti : Shri Shiddeshwar Temple situated at the heart of the city is a holy place for Hindus which is also a very beautiful tourist place to visit. During Makar Sankranti a fair organized by Shri Siddheshwar Temple. This fair is well known for the cattle market which is organized outside the city limits. Farmers from neighboring villages and even some parts of Maharastra come to trade in cattle. During this period fireworks display will be held.
Bijapur is also known as the "Queen of the Deccan" due to its geographic bounty and cultural wealth. The local population is mainly a mix of Dravidian and Aryan descendants. Majority of people are Hindu Lingayats. But still in the urban areas one can find considerable population of Brahmin. However very little population of Muslim and Christian community can be found in the district. The people of the Bijapur city speak Kannada as it is their local regional language. They also commonly speak Hindi, Urdu and English too. The literacy rate of this state is very high in ranking.
Bijapur Religious Places
Hindu temples (within the citadel): Within the citadel are the remains of Hindu temples, which prove that Bijapur was an important town in Pre-Islam times. Shri Shiddeshwar Temple : Shri Shiddeshwar Temple situated at the heart of the city is a holy place for Hindus which is also a very beautiful tourist place to visit. Badami, Aihole, and Pattadakal, near Bijapur, are noted for their historical temples in the Chalukyan architectural style. Asavana Bagevadi : The birthplace of Saint Basaveshwara, Asavana Bagevadi is a famous pilgrimage situated at a distance of 43 km from Bijapur. The place is well known for its temples. Lad Khan temple at Aihole: Aihole, 50 kilometers (32 miles) from Badami, is the site of the first capital of the Chalukyas. The temple known as Lad Khan, dating from AD 450, is probably Aihole's oldest building. It was sometimes used as an assembly hall for royal marriages, and is named after a mysterious Muslim prince who later converted it into his residence, leaving the Hindu images untouched. Lad Khan has an upper sanctum with images of Vishnu and Surya, the sun god, carved on its walls. From here you can view the village of Aihole, known locally as Aivalli and historically as Arya-Hole (the city of the Aryans).
Gol Gumbad or Round Dome : Bijapur's most celebrated building, the monumental tomb of Muhammad Adil Shah (1627-56), second son and successor of Ibrahim II, is commonly known as the "Round Dome", or Gol Gumbad. The slightly bulbous dome, the largest in the world after St Peter's in Rome, rises on a base of petals to form a fitting climax to the whole composition. Completed in 1656, the tomb stands in the middle of a formal garden. On the west side is a small mosque with five arches flanked by slender minarets. A particular attraction in this monument is the central chamber, where every sound is echoed seven times. Another attraction at the Gol Gumbad is the Whispering Gallery, where even minute sounds can be heard clearly 38 metres away. Citadel : Surrounded by fortified walls, the citadel once contained palaces, pleasure gardens and Durbar Hall of the Adil Shahi kings, most of them are now in ruins. The Gagan Mahal, gives a good idea of the scale on which things were built here. This palace was built by Adil Shah I to serve the dual purpose of royal residence and Durbar Hall. The Sat Manzil, Mohammed Adil Shah's seven storey palace and the Jala Manzil (water palace) is the more delicate pieces of architecture in Bijapur. Ibrahim Rauza : This exquisite mausoleum, often described as the finest Islamic building in the Deccan, was built by Ibrahim II for his wife. In fact, he pre-deceased her and is buried here too. The funerary complex consists of a tomb and a mosque, raised on a plinth in the middle of a formal garden. A huge tank nearby is named after his wife, Taj Sultana. The walls of the tomb, are embellished with superb calligraphic and geometric designs. The tomb chamber is roofed by a flat vault with curving sides.
Bijapur Entertainment and Night Life
Bijapur Castle provides jeep safari: The 16th-century Bijapur Castle entices tourists with its location right next to a wildlife sanctuary where leopards and wild boar, blue bulls and spotted deer roam free. Built by Rao Shakti Singh, the younger brother of Maharana Pratap Singh in the 16th century, the castle is being run as a heritage hotel by the Bijapur royal family now. The castle provides excellent lodging facility with an option of jeep safari in the nearby villages and opportunity to enjoy the traditional Mewar hospitality.
Nightlife does not exists that much here as this place is more of historical importance.
Kidding around Bijapur
Taj Bawdi: Taj Bawdi is a great water tank located just a kilometer from Bijapur, Karnataka. The tank was built in memory of Taj Sultana, the first wife of Ibrahim II. The front of the tank is a magnificent arch flanked by 2 octagonal towers. The east and west wings of the towers form spacious rest houses.
Bijapur is known for its hand-woven traditional Ikal saris.
Famous To Eat at Bijapur
Bijapur does not have a cuisine of its own but the traveler can savor traditional non-vegetarian Mughlai and Hyderabadi delicacies in some of the good restaurants and hotels here. Bijapur is also famous for its traditional sweets made from milk. The main road in town, Station Rd (MG Rd), runs east-west. This is where most of the hotels and restaurants are located. Prabhu Cafeteria, Station Rd, next to the Hotel Tourist, has very good, cheap dosas, lassis, and snacks.
Bijapur Museum and Hill Stations
Gol-Gumbaz Archaeological Museum : There is a museum maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India in front of the Gol Gumbaz. The museum houses art from the Chalukyan as well as Adil Shahi periods. It contains stone sculptures, inscriptions, manuscripts, arms & weapons, chinaware, wood carvings & carpets. Archaeological Museum at Badami : The Archaeological Museum at Badami(near to Bijapur), is another tourist attraction, which houses some outstanding sculptures of the by gone era including the remarkable Lajja-Gauri images of fertility cult.
Gardens and Parks at Bijapur
Gol Gumbaz Garden, Jhansi Lakshmi Bai Park, Netaji Park.
Lake at Bijapur
Taj Bawdi: Taj Bawdi is a great water tank located just a kilometer from Bijapur, Karnataka. The tank was built in memory of Taj Sultana, the first wife of Ibrahim II. The front of the tank is a magnificent arch flanked by 2 octagonal towers. The east and west wings of the towers form spacious rest houses. Bhuthanatha Lake: Badami nestles amongst hills which enclose the healing waters of Bhuthanatha Lake. Lotus Lake: Around 25 kilometres from Bijapur is the picturesque 12th century Pangarh Fort. The fort overlooks the beautiful Lotus Lake where the local tribal population harpoons fish in their traditional way.
Bijapur Travel Tips
You can change travelers cheques at Canara Bank, Azad Rd, north of Gandhi Chowk; and at the State Bank of India in the Citadel. Always hire a Government approved tourist guide who invariably carry an Identity Card. If a summer tour is on the cards, opt for light cotton apparels. Sunscreen lotions and sunglasses should be a priority. For the pleasant winter weather light woolens would suffice. Carry a route map in case of emergency. Carry along your documents like Visa, Passport, Id card, Licence card, etc,. along with two sets of photocopies in case of lost or theft.
Bijapur Tourist Offices
The Tourist Office (50359) is on Station Rd, behind the Hotel Mayura Adil Shahi Anex. KARNATAKA TOURISM Government of Karnataka 1 Floor, Cauvery Bhavan, K.G.Road, Bangalore-560009 Phone : 91-80-2215489, 2211285
Must do at Bijapur
A visit to this monument is a must: Bijapur's most famous monument is the Gol Gumbad. This gigantic mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah has to its credit the second largest dome in the world after that of St. Peter's in Vatican City. It also has a whispering gallery where a message carries through 38 meters repeating 11 times.
Not to do at Bijapur
Don't accept food/drink from strangers. Do not change money through unauthorized dealers. It is tempting but may turn out more expensive as it is illegal.