Bijapur Tourist Places – A Photo Guide
Bijapur is undeniably the icon of North Karnataka thanks to its collection of stunning royal monuments from the Adil Shahi dynasty. But what exactly is there to see in Bijapur? What is the story behind each of this massive heritage sites? Curious to know more? Read on and put together your own plan to visit Vijayapura, the city of Victory.
You’ll find everything you need to know to plan a trip to Bijapur in Karnataka in this blog post. This guide contains details on what to see in Bijapur and where to stay, where to eat, getting around in Bijapur and so much more! We’ve also put together the ideal itinerary if you are spending a day exploring the city.
Our experience of visiting the best Bijapur tourist places
Bijapur, or Vijayapura as it is known now, is north Karnataka‘s most popular tourist spot! Bijapur tourist places are very interesting to learn about too! These monuments date back to the islamic era in the Indian subcontinent. In other words, that era led to many changes in culture, tradition, architecture and education.
Our experience of visiting the city was also similar. We were curious to know about the history of the city and how it was an important part of the Adil Shahi dynasty. We visited the major monuments at the best time of the day while beating crowds. However, we learnt from locals that there are very few visitors from beyond nearby cities and towns. In other words, Bijapur might just be ideal if you are looking for an offbeat Karnataka destination!
We also enjoyed the delicious food in town. Street food was safe to consume and that made our experience wholesome! Above all, we found it to be very cheap to travel in and explore. Therefore, we’ve put together this little easy-to-use guide to the best places to see in Bijapur, Karnataka. Check it out!
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The Ibrahim Rouza tombs were built in 1627. Ibrahim Adil Shah II and his wife Taj Sultana were buried here. Therefore, the monument was built to the best of details with intricate Persian art on the walls. However, the carvings of the Quran verses on the walls are the most impressive feature even today. The monument also features sprawling gardens on one side. There is also a pond between the mausoleum and the adjacent mosque. It apparently featured a fountain back in the seventeenth century.
Tip: We recommend visiting Ibrahim Roza in the evening after 4 pm. The sunset glow makes the walls even more beautiful!
Make sure to visit this monument if you enjoy history and architecture. You can find ample space to sit and admire the mausoleum even though the place may be crowded at times! In addition, there are many view points across the fort-style walls and the colonnaded halls of the mausoleum and the mosque. The government has painstakingly maintained it and you can admire the intricate carvings and art even today.
The Gol Gumbaz is an icon of Bijapur and in fact, an icon for most of north Karnataka too! It remains one of the most popular monuments in Vijayapura and a highly visited tourist attraction. It is actually a mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah of the Adil Shahi dynasty!
Gol Gumbaz was built in 1659. However, you will be stunned at the technological and architectural advancement in its design! The dome of Gol Gumbaz is regarded as one of the largest domes in the world. This dome has no columns directly under it. As a result, the interiors look absolutely stunning. You can even climb to the top and walk around the inside of the dome. Thats where you will find the Whispering Gallery.
The Whispering Gallery is very fascinating. There are benches on opposite sides of the dome where visitors sit. Even the faintest whisper by one person is heard clearly by a person sitting on the opposite bench nearly 38 metres away! In addition, any sound made inside the dome echoes ten times before it fades out. Isn’t this remarkable?
Tip: We recommend visiting Gol Gumbaz as early in the morning as possible. This is because the crowds swell enormously during the day.
Bara Kaman was supposed to be many times the size of the Gol Gumbaz. It was intended to be grander than any other domed mausoleum in its time in the sub continent. In fact, this is very evident when you visit the site!
The Bara Kaman is the unfinished mausoleum of Ali Adil Shah II. He specifically wanted to build a mausoleum of marvellous architectural quality. However, the construction was not completed due to unknown reasons! As a result, twelve arched columns were left in the complex around the mausoleum. Hence the name came to be Bara (twelve) Kaman (arch).
Tip: There is no fee and you can visit anytime after 6 am. Some greedy guards may force you to pay a ‘guide’ fee.
This temple is only a short twenty minute drive away from the city centre. However, it is well worth visiting if you are seeking a change from the islamic architecture and heritage monuments! It is popularly called as the Shivagiri Shiva Temple. The 85 foot tall Shiva statue is supposedly one of the biggest in Karnataka and also in the top three in all of India. It is more of a holy theme park than anything else. There are a few temples, a garden, some attractions for children and a museum hall. There are also many small shops selling yummy Bijapur style snacks and toys.
Tip: Visit on your way out of the city as you drive to Gulbarga or Bangalore. There is a small entry ticket of INR 15 and camera permit is extra.
Other Bijapur tourist places
There are many more places to see in Bijapur. Malik-E-Maidan is a citadel which features a historic cannon! The city is home to many small Royal buildings from the Adil Shahi dynasty’s era. They are Asar Mahal, Mehtar Mahal, Gagan Mahal and Sangeeth Nari Mahal. The Bijapur Burj is a small but interesting spot to visit too. Other attractions like Jod Gumbaz (twin mausoleums) and the Cenotaph of Afzal Khan are also popular!
Best itinerary for Bijapur tourist places
You can easily explore the city in one day by starting early. We recommend this itinerary for seeing Bijapur tourist places:
- Check into a hotel and then visit Ibrahim Roza by 4:30 pm and enjoy the evening till sunset.
- Taste Bijapur style Gobi Manchurian and freshly squeezed Orange juice for a light dinner.
- Visit Gol Gumbaz early in the morning before 7 am to beat the crowds inside. This way you can enjoy the whispering gallery all to yourself!
- Have breakfast and then go to Bara Kaman by 10 am.
- Visit the smaller Mahals if you have the time. Alternatively, you can visit the Shivagiri Shiva Temple on your way out of Bijapur.
Stay, food, transport, weather and budget in Bijapur, Karnataka
Bijapur has many small hotels and budget lodges. Not all are available via online booking. You can find some of them here though. We stayed at Hotel Pearl on the main road of the city. It was a five minute walk to Gol Gumbaz and close to many small restaurants and street food joints! We paid INR 800 for a very clean and nicely designed room. It had an in-house restaurant (multi cuisine) and parking space too.
Budget and costs: Food is reasonably priced in the city. Expect to pay INR 30 for a plate of Idlis, INR 40 for a dosa, INR 30 for fresh Orange juice. Expect to pay about INR 80 for north Indian dishes. However, there are many small Chaat stalls in and around the major tourist attractions. Street food is generally safe to consume. In addition, fresh coconut water costs about INR 30.
Must eat: Mandakki Puri and Girmit!
Auto-rickshaws and local buses are available in Bijapur. They are very affordable and easy to find. However, hire an auto for the day if you plan to visit all the monuments in one day. It may just make it easier. Vehicle parking is also available everywhere.
Weather is hot and dry like any other north Karnataka town. However, it gets cooler in the winter months. Therefore, we feel that its best to visit Bijapur between November and February. It is unbearably hot in summer months (March to August) and not a good time to visit.
Tip: Dress modestly to respect conservative local beliefs and traditions. Wear cotton clothing to beat the hot weather. Carry an additional layer for evening chills.
How to get to Bijapur, Karnataka
Bijapur is very well connected with most major cities in Karnataka and most of South India. There are daily buses from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune. Bijapur is also very close to Gulbarga, Bidar and Badami. These are the other important tourist cities in the region.
Love road tripping? Check this list of weekend getaways from Bangalore
Karnataka is indeed a very beautiful part of India! It is very popular for its greenery and architecture from the yesteryears. In fact, it is our home state and we’ve explored a few other places which you might just find just as appealing to explore! Check it out here.
If you have more questions or want to explore Bijapur with us, please write to us – we’d be very happy to help!
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Shishira & Navneeth