Historically and traditionally speaking, Vijayapura or Bijapur district of Karnataka is considered to be one of the richest districts in the State. Early records show that the land has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Although a lot of legends and tales are related to the region, the most famous of them is about the reign during the Adilshahi dynasty.
The place is an important tourist place in the country. If you want a taste of royalty in Karnataka, Vijayapura is the place to go. The City is divided into three distinctives sections, the citadel, the fort and the remains of the City which was the capital of the Islamic dynasty. The citadel is a well-built massive structure which is surrounded by a ditch which is 100 yards wide, and was earlier supplied with water. The Citadel houses palaces, gardens and halls from the Adil Shahi Dynasty.
Vijayapura is a very popular heritage City of the State. The beginnings of the region as per the historical records is considered to be around the 10th and 11th centuries. The first leaders of the land were the Kalyani Chalukyas who named the place Vijayapura which means the ‘City of Victory’. After the demise of Chalukya, the City was passed to Yadavas. Bahmani Sultanate conquered the land and named it as their own in the year 1347. After the split of the Bahmani Sultanate, the Bijapur Sultanate ruled from the City. Artefacts from this period of rule can be found in the City including the Vijayapura Fort, Bara Kaman, Jama Masjid, and Gol Gumbaz.
The Vijayapura fort was built during the rule of Adilshah and is endearingly known as the Agra of South India. A lot many structures can be found inside the structure which has its different styles, reflecting the various interest of the rulers that reigned over the land. The fort is enclosed within a moat of 50 feet. Another beautiful piece of architecture located here is the Bara Kaman. This is an unfinished structure situated which is a mausoleum of 12 beautiful arches. History has it that the structure which was built in 1672 AD were left unfinished as Adil Shah II was murdered by his own father and the construction of Bara Kaman was left incomplete as he did not want Bara Kaman to lessen the architectural marvel of Gol Gumbaz. The Jama Masjid built here was erected by Ali Adil Shah to celebrate his victory in the Battle of Talikota. It is considered to be one of the first mosques in India.
The rest of history is now mostly in ruins. But there are innumerable tombs, mosques which still have resisted the havoc of time. Badami, Aihole, and Pattadakal, near Vijayapura, are noted for their historical temples in the Chalukya architectural style.
Image courtesy SWE-Yaatrik from Wikimedia Commons.