Vijayapura – The Epitome of Glory & Splendor

History has been benevolent to the significance of Vijayapura (Bijapur). Very few places across the world come close to the profound historical significance of this magnificent town, where so many dynasties ruled for centuries together and left behind their indelible imprints, forever. Vijayapura has truly seen it all.

Between the 10th and the 11th century AD, Vijayapura’s foundations were laid by the Chalukyas of Kalyani. Originally christened as Vijayapura or the “city of victory”.

Towards the end of the 13th century, the city came under the suzerainty of the famous Muslim ruler Allaudin Khilji. This was the period of unprecedented architectural development in Vijayapura. The “golden age” architectural and cultural renaissance flourished further under the Adil Shahi dynasty. In 1686, Vijayapura became a part of the Mughal Empire, under the reign of Aurangzeb.

It is only natural for a city immersed in such diverse and rich history, to be one of the prominent tourist destinations of the country. However in modern times, Vijayapura has with uncanny ease donned the mantle of a bustling cosmopolitan city.

Apart from the famed Golgumbaz and numerous other magnificent monuments within the city, other places of historical significance, close to Vijayapura include Badami, Aihole, Pattadakallu, Shivayogamandir, Kudalasangama and Hampi.

Vijayapura is where the medieval and the modern co-exist in a rare mutual harmony.

Vijayapur (formerly Bijapur), a historic city was once the capital of Adilshahis. It abounds with architectural marvels like the world famous Gol Gumbaz and Ibrahim Rouza. Nearby is the ancient Chalukyan capital, Badami with Cave Temples. Aihole and Pattadakal were once the schools of Temple Building wherein one can find the models of a variety of temples found all over India.

» It is a District Head Quarters has all the amenities of a metropolis without its hassles. The City is less crowded, calm & safe

» Access by Road: It is overnight journey from Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad

»  Direct Trains: Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad

»  Airports : Hubli ( 200 km ), Belgaum ( 200 km ),  Pune ( 350 km ), Hyderabad ( 450 km ), Mumbai ( 500 km ), Bengaluru ( 600 km )

» Local Transport : Buses, Autos

» Entertainment : Cinema Theatres, Local FM Station, TV Station, Cable TV, Dish TV

» Communication :Internet,Land lines on Optical Fibres,  Internet through Land Lines & Mobiles

» Food : Routine & inexpensive Udupi or Vijayapur style Plate Meal in regular hotels. North, South Indian & Chinese food is available in many high end hotels. A number of small messes ( just serving 10-15 people ) serving ethnic food like Punjabi, Andhra and Kerala style abound around the college campus. Vijayapur is known for quality milk and fresh vegetables and fruits.

Bijapur, officially known as Vijayapura, is the district headquarters of Bijapur District of Karnataka state of India. It is also the headquarters for Bijapur Taluka. Bijapur city is well known for its historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of the Adil Shahi dynasty. And it also well known for the sports by the popular Karnataka premier league team as Bijapur Bulls. Bijapur is located 530 km (330 mi) northwest of the State Capital Bangalore and about 550 km (340 mi) from Mumbai and 384 km (239 mi) west of the city of Hyderabad. The city was established in the 10th-11th centuries by the Kalyani Chalukyas and was known as Vijayapura (City of victory). The city was passed to Yadavas after Chalukya’s demise. In 1347, the area was conquered by the Bahmani Sultanate. After the split of the Bahmani Sultanate, the Bijapur Sultanate ruled from the city. Relics of the Sultanates’ rule can be found in the city, including the Bijapur FortBara KamanJama Masjid, and Gol Gumbaz.
Vijayapura, one of the popular heritage city located in the Karnataka state of India is also one of the top ten populated cities in Karnataka. 

Bijapur district is historically, traditionally and legendarily, one of the richest districts in the state. The evidence found here reveals that it was an inhabited place since the Stone Age. Many places of this district have legendary history. The history of this district is divided into four periods, from the Chalukya acquisition of Badami till the Muslim invasion.

  • Early Western Chalukya period lasting from about A.D. 535 to about A.D.757.
  • Rastrakuta period from A.D. 757 to A.D.973
  • Kalachuri and Hoysala period from A.D. 973 to about A.D.1200
  • Devagiri Yadava period from A.D.1185 to the Muslim conquest of Devagiri in A.D. 1312

In 1724 the Nizam of Hyderabad established his independence in the Deccan, and included Bijapur within his dominions. In 1760, the Nizam suffered a defeat by the Marathas, and ceded the region of Bijapur to the Maratha Peshwa.

After the 1818 defeat of the Peshwa by the British in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, Bijapur passed into the hands of the British East India Company, and was assigned to the Maratha princely state Satara.

In 1817, war broke out between the British and the Marathas. By 1818, the whole of Bijapur was occupied by the British and was included in the territory assigned to the Raja of Satara. In 1848 the territory of Satara was obtained through the failure of heir and the British rule started. Till 1884, the Bijapur district had headquarters at Kaladagi. Bijapur was made headquarters in 1885.

After Independence, the movement for re-organisation of States gained further momentum and on 1 November 1956 a separate “Mysore State” was formed. By the wish of the people it was renamed as “Karnataka”. Thus, the district Bijapur along with other Kannada speaking areas became a part of “Karnataka State” on 1 November 1956.

Central government had approved the request to rename the city in October 2014 from Bijapur to “Vijayapura” on 1 November 2014.

  • The place is an important tourist place in the country, the former capital of the Adilshahi dynasty, situated about 579 km (360 mi) to the north-west of Bangalore. The Gadag-Solapur railway line traverses via this place. The Kalyani Chalukya kings made it a sub-capital according to an inscription of 1073. It is believed that Jain Poet Nagachandra, 12th century, had his residence here. The place had old names like Vijayapura, Vidyapura and Mohamudpura. For nearly 200 years from 1489 to 1686, this was the seat of the Adilshahi Dynasty.
  • Among the other historical attractions at Bijapur, some notable ones are the Anand Mahal, Jod Gumbaz, Jumma Masjid, Saat Manzil, and Jal Manzil. also among old houses at Bijapur, the most famous is Elavia House ( Nauzer Elavia) which is more than 100 years old.
  • Bijapur City was also held by Aurangzeb, the Nizam, Savanur Nawab, Satara Chatrapati and finally the British. Foreign travelers like Duarte Barbosa, Varthema, Poser, Mandeslo and Travernier visited this place.
  • The Ibrahim Rouza and the Gol Gumbaz are the most impressive monuments at Bijapur. A brief survey of spots of note in the city is given below.
  • Ain-ul-mulk’s tomb and mosque Lies on the eastern outskirts of the city and is the solid structure in square, surrounded by a fair proportioned dome. The tomb belongs to Ain-ul-mulk. Close by this the much adorned mosque and the building is plastered.
  • Ali Adilshah I’s tomb lies in the south-west part of the City. Ali Adilshah’s Tomb is a simple modest building containing an outer row of five arches surrounding a central chamber and is the earliest royal mausoleum in Bijapur.
  • Ali Adil Sha II’s tomb is located to the north-west of the citadel, and is housed in a big square roofless structure consisting of incomplete arches in dark basalt. This incomplete structure is 215 feet (66 m) square and on the raised platform stand the incomplete arches. In the centre on the elevated platform are the tombs.
  • Ali Shahi Pir’s mosque and tomb is a square massive structure, its mihrab is remarkable in some ways. The tomb of the saint is outside the north-east gate of the mosque.
  • Khwaja Amin Dargah is considered as the most sacred in the city and is situated about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) to the west of Bijapur. The tomb of Khwaja Amin-ud-din is on the high ground and conspicuous landmark for considerable distance round about.
  • Anand Mahal is to the west of Gagan Mahal and in the premises of the citadel stands this two-storeyed mansion. This was constructed by Ibrahim Adil Sha II in 1589, exclusively for music and dance. The roof was ornamented with stucco work. The Ananda Mahal presently is being used by the State for Government offices.
  • Andu Masjid stands a little away from the citadel to the west of the Jumanal road. It is a two-storeyed structure, upper floor being a prayer chamber while the ground is a hall. There is no pulpit in the mosque and probably it was restricted to the prayer of women. A Persian inscription here quotes that the mosque was constructed in 1608 by Itbar Khan, one of the nobles in the Court of Adil Shai II.
  • Aras Mahal Is to the south-east of Adalat Mahal and was once a joy resort of Ali II. It is now the residence of the District Surgeon.
  • Ark-Killa the citadel is at the centre of the city. It is also most important part of Bijapur. Yusuf Adilshah chose it as the site for his fort. The present citadel is nearly circular. Its defenses are a strong wall with several bastions of considerable strength on the south and east.
  • Asar Mahal on the crest of the eastern glacis of the citadel is the Asar Mahal. In about 1646 it was constructed by Muhammad Shah and was earlier called as Adalat Mahal. The walls and ceilings of the rooms bear paintings of landscapes and various designs. The room of the south side of the gilded hall is a gorgeously painted apartment. These paintings had been whitewashed by the orders of Aurangzeb and later restored. There is a big square tank outside in front of the building.
  • Aurangzeb Idgah Is a large square enclosure built by Aurangzeb in 1682 after the occupation of the city as a gathering place for Muslims on important days.
  • Bukhari Masjid is believed to have been constructed by Chandbibi for a moulvi of the Bukhari family. On the door of the Masjid there is a Persian Inscription.
  • Chand Bavadi is a well constructed by Ali Adil Shah I in honor of his wife Chand Bibi in the year 1579. It is at the west corner of the town. The entrance is spanned by a single arch, approached by a descending flight of steps.
  • Chota Asar is a small building, remarkable for the amount of rich ornamentation in stucco which covers the wall, ceiling and a portion of the façade.
  • Chini Mahal or Faroukh Mahal is an edifice that consists of a big lofty durbar hall in the centre and series of rooms in the wings. Yusuf Adil Shah constructed it. For its sheer size and loftiness none of the hall in any other palace of Bijapur can be compared with it.

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