Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan

Tripoto
4th Aug 2013

The Pride of bijapur

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Barah Kamaan

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

An Incomplete Monument

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Built by Ali Adil Shah II

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Gagan Mahal

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Gagan Mahal-built by Ibrahim AdilShah

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Ibrahim Rouza- known as Taj Mahal of South

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

An inspiration to build Taj Mahal

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Contains edifices of Ibrahim Adil Shah tomb

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Ibrahim Rouza

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Ibrahim Rouza

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

2nd tallest Shiva Statue in India

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Shiva Shivagiri, Bijapur

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Archaeological museum

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Emblem of Persian Empire on the cannon

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Gol Gumbaz

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Dome from the outside

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

seventh floor of the dome

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

Gol Gumbaz- An architectural Marvel

Photo of Rendezvous with the Queen of Deccan by Endless Voyages

To begin with, let me tell you that Bijapur was never a part of our Karnataka itinerary in the first place. But may be the idea of killing two extra days on our annual holiday made us explore this small city at the Border of Karnataka. And to our surprise, Bijapur was not just another city but it added yet another fascinating chapter to our Karnataka diaries. Popularly known as the Queen of the Deccan or Agra of South India, Bijapur is a small city which can be easily covered in a day's trip and has much to offer for architectural and history lovers. As the weather of Karnataka is pleasant throughout the year, we planned our trip for an early August.

Before you pack your bags and leave for this beautiful destination, here are some tips that might help you to have a good holiday: 

Accommodation

We arrived at the Bijapur railway station from Hubli at about 10.30pm in the night and as expected, it was pitch dark with hardly any people outside the station or on the way to our hotel. With limited options to stay in Bijapur plus keeping in mind a budget hotel, we chose Hotel Pearl. This hotel is a pretty good option for a night stay if you wish to cover Bijapur in a single day. The hotel is very close to Gol Gumbus (main attraction of Bijapur-1 km from the hotel) plus the other monuments are also very nearby. We stayed in the deluxe ac room: The room was clean, the washroom was very clean and the ac worked fine. It is definitely good value for money(1000/- INR per night...you can bargain), has a restaurant in the hotel itself (serves decent veg and non veg food) and is 2 kms away from the railway station and the main bus station.

Food:

As we had a long journey from Mumbai to Hubli and then to Bijapur, our first day came to an end with a scrumptious dinner that included special Bijapuri Chicken Tikka Masala (must try) and rotis. There are many small restaurants around the major attractions and they all offer more or less the same things... Being at the border of Karnataka and Maharashtra, one may find many similarities in the food.

Basic Info/ Tips:  

* we began our day trip as early as 8 in the morning and finished the entire trip by 3 in the afternoon without any rush. One day is sufficient to cover Bijapur.

*we explored the city all by ourselves by booking an auto for the entire day and it cost us about 800/- INR.

* Do not expect any tourist facilities, as there are hardly any tourists seen in the city expect for in Gol Gumbuz.

* Shopping- there is hardly anything to shop for as it is a small city.

*Eating- there are plenty of small eating joints and serve pretty much the same kind of food

*safety- is like anywhere in India.. Be aware of locals who try to click pictures if you are traveling with a woman.  

 * tip- instead of spending one more night in Bijapur, head to Hampi. There are plenty of evening buses run by the Karnataka Government. It takes about five hours and you'll reach by night (10 pm approx). However, there is nothing to worry as it is absolutely safe and the locals are very helpful.

With this, we come to an end to our beautiful day in Bijapur.

If you have any queries, do write to us... Would be Happy to help...

Happy Travelling! 

We had only half a day to explore the entire city(as we had a bus to board in the evening for our next destination- Hampi... much on that, later) and so our second day began early in the morning with our first stop "Barah Kamaan". Though an incomplete structure, Barah Kaaman is a complete beauty with 12 unfinished pillars... Originally raised to build a mausoleum for Ali Adil Shah, the structure remained incomplete for unknown reasons. It is absolutely fascinating to visualize what would the structure look like, had it been completed. Interestingly, all the historical monuments in Bijapur are bordered with beautiful gardens surrounding them(check out the pics). And unlike the Gol Gumbud of Bijapur, which gets a lot of visitors every day, most of the other monuments are totally ignored by the tourists... Well, it's a perk for the travelers who wish to experience the heritage and the serenity of these places. Entry fee: NA
Photo of Bara Kaman, JM Road, Kanakadas colony, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Bara Kaman, JM Road, Kanakadas colony, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Bara Kaman, JM Road, Kanakadas colony, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Our second stop was the absolutely awe-inspiring and magnificent Ibrahim Rouza... Well, here's a little secret... Apparently, the construction of The Great Taj Mahal- one of the Seven wonders of the World was inspired by Ibrahim Rouza . One of the must see places when you are in Bijapur, Ibrahim Rouza offers you a simply delightful picturesque view. It consists of the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah, father of Adil shah II, along with his family. Even though the walls of the monument have been damaged and worn off to some extent, it has been well preserved along with a beautiful garden by the tourism authorities. Only sad part is the names scribbled on the walls by the locals and tourists alike.  The monument requires at least two hours to be explored completely. Don't forget to carry your camera along as it is worth clicking a few snaps. Entry Fee: five rupees
Photo of Ibrahim Rouza, Shastri Nagar, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Ibrahim Rouza, Shastri Nagar, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Ibrahim Rouza, Shastri Nagar, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Ibrahim Rouza, Shastri Nagar, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Ibrahim Rouza, Shastri Nagar, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
As we were already behind schedule, we decided to quickly covered the next four attractions on our list- Gagan Mahal, Taj Bawdi, Malik-e-Maidan (Burj-E-Sherz) and Jod Gumbuz . Unfortunately for us, Malik-e-Maidan (apparently the largest medieval canon in the world) was closed due to maintenance issue. So we proceeded further to Gagan Mahal. Gagan mahal is a small stage like structure with a big central arch and surrounded by well maintained garden... If you are short of time, you could easily pass this one. Next, it was Taj Bawdi and Jod Gumbus but sadly both the places were in pathetic state. While we saw locals wash and dry their clothes in Taj Bawdi, Jod Gumbus, known so for double dome was almost in a dilapidated state with monkeys surrounding the structure. However, the mosque is still used by the locals. The interesting historical bit about Jod Gumbus is that Afzal Khan got all his 64 wives killed (except one who escaped) and buried them in the graves present at the monument due to a prediction by an astrologer that he would never make it back to Bjapur if he went to meet Shivaji. Sadly, there are no tourism authorities present at the monument thus leading to its terrible state. Entry fee: Rupees 20
Photo of Gagan Mahal, Gopalpur Galli, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Gagan Mahal, Gopalpur Galli, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Our next stop was the face of Bijapur- The Gol Gumbuz/Gumbud. It is without a doubt, the best attraction of Bijapur because of it's architectural marvel! The kind of engineering used in that era will mesmerize you when a whisper made by you is heard at the other corner of the huge dome. Inside Gol Gumbuz, on the ground floor, there are replica tombs of Mohammed Adil Shah & his family at a raised platform . In reality, tombs lie in a crypt below. Don't forget to hire a guide as Gol Gumbuz is not a place for just sightseeing. It is an amazing experience when the guide gives you demonstration of your slightest whisper which is magnified 10 times and heard as an echo at the other end of a pillar. The guide will explain you everything in detail in regards to the historical aspect, why is it known as the whispering tower and all the other interesting facts. It will take you about an hour or two to see the structure completely from the bottom to the top level. A word of caution for our elderly travelers or friends who have a knee problem...to see the top level of the tomb i.e. the dome, one has to climb seven floors and though the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has made provisions to sit on a bench on almost every floor, it is quite a steep hike. But at the end, if you make the climb, it is worth it! The entry fee is about five rupees. Another five rupees will be charged if you want to visit the archaeological museum maintained by the ASI before Gol Gumbuz. In case, you are short of time, this could be easily given a miss.
Photo of Gol Gumbaz, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Gol Gumbaz, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Gol Gumbaz, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Gol Gumbaz, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Gol Gumbaz, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Gol Gumbaz, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Gol Gumbaz, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Our final stop of the day was the majestic statue of Lord Shiva at Shivgiri. Religious or not, the place is simply worth visiting for its elegance and beauty. At a towering height of 85 feet and a width of 104 feet, it is the 2nd tallest Shiva Statue in India. In the rudraksh garland worn by Lord Shiva, each rudrakshi is about 50 kg in weight and the serpent swirling around Shiva's neck is 145 ft in length.  Entry Fee: NA
Photo of Shivagiri, Bijapur, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
Photo of Shivagiri, Bijapur, Karnataka, India by Endless Voyages
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