BIJAPUR TOURISM : Treasure House of Islamic Architecture
Bordered by the Bhima river in the north and the river Krishna in the South, present Bijapur District consists of the dry and arid tract of the Deccan Plateau. Billowing treeless uplands are interspersed with small wooded valleys inhabited by shepherd communities. The jewel of the district is the historical city of Bijapur with its beautiful Islamic monuments of the 15th-16th Century, making it one of the classic tourism destinations of India.
The Chalukyan Rulers of Kalyana laid the foundations of Bijapur City, naming it "Vijayapura" or "City of Victory". Bijapur came under Muslim influence, first under Allauddin Khailji, Sultan of Delhi and then under the Bahmani Rulers of Bidar in 1347. Yusuf Adil Shaha, Governor of Bijapur in 1481, declared his independence in 1489, establishing the Adil Shahi dynasty. The nobel buildings of Bijapur, mausoleums, mosques, palaces and fortifications, built mainly by the rulers of the Adil Shahi dynastry, give Bijapur an air of imperial grandeur.
Bijapur District Map
Located in North Karnataka, Bijapur district is bordered by the rivers Bhima on the north and Krishna on the South. It represents a stark landscape of red, rocky hills, long stretches of treeless fields and gigantic boulders strewn in groups over the rolling plains. The most popular attraction of the district is the historic city of Bijapur, the one – time capital of the Adil Shahi kings. It is dotted with mosques, mausoleums, palaces, fortifications, watchtowers, imposing gateways, graceful minarets; and mile of ruins steeped in history. Apart from these monuments, Bijapur is also home to famous temples like Siddeshwara and Shri Prasanna Ganesh.
The gigantic mausoleum dominates the landscape of Bijapur for miles around. At the centre of the mausoleum are the tombs of Muhammed Adil Shah, his wife, daughter, grandson and favorite court dancer. It houses the world's second largest dome unsupported by pillars, after St. Peter's in Rome. The dome forms a highly sensitive echo-chamber with the remarkable Whispering Gallery around the base of the dome. This Gallery distinctly echoes the faintest whisper eleven times. One can have a fabulous view of the town from the Gallery. Built in 1659, the buildings most arresting features are the seven-storied octagonal spires at the four corners and the heavy bracketed cornice below the parapet.
Set in a sprawling ground covering 1,16,300 sq.feet, the Jumma Masjid is often described as one of the finest mosques in India. With its graceful arches, aisles, halls, intricate designs and large crowning onion dome, it is said to be the jewel of Adil Shahi architecture. Aurangzed later added a grand entrance and painted the floor with 2250 squares, one for each worshipper. What makes it even more special are the verses of the Quran beautifully inscribed in letters of gold in the mihrab.
On the western outskirts of the city, stands the Ibrahim Roza. There are two buildings here on a common platform, surrounded by gardens on three sides. One houses the tombs of Ibrahim Adil Shah II and his family, and the other, a palatial mosque. The tomb is noted for its striking symmetry of proportion, elaborately decorated walls, slender minarets, cupolas, parapets and cornices. The Ibrahim Roza is considered an inspiration for the Taj Mahal at Agra. The carved decorative panels, with crosses, lotuses and wheels highlight the various religious influences during the rule of the Adil Shahi dynasty.
It was built by Ali Adil Shah I around 1561 to serve the dual purpose of a royal residence and durbar hall. There are three magnificent arches. The central one being the widest. The ground floor was the Durbar Hall and the first floor, now in ruins, was the private residence of the royal family.
An elegant structure with 12 graceful arches, it is an incomplete mausoleum of Ali Adil Shah II.