| Bijapur Fort
| Bijapur Map
Bijapur is a district headquarters of the Bijapur District in Karnataka. Bijapur city is well known for the great architectures of histrorical importance built during the Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur City is the head quarters of the district and is located 530 km northwest of Bangalore. The city is about 550 km from Mumbai (Maharashtra).
The city established in the 10th-11th centuries by the Chalukyas of Kalyani was referred as Vijayapura (City of victory). The city came under the influence of the Khilji Sultanate in Delhi by the late 13th century. In 1347, the area was conquered by the Bahmani Sultanate of Gulbarga. By this time, the city was being referred as Vijapur or Bijapur.
In 1518, the Bahmani Sultanate split into five splinter states known as the Deccan sultanates, one of which was Bijapur, ruled by the kings of the Adil Shahi dynasty (1490-1686). The city of Bijapur owes much of its greatness to Yusuf Adil Shah, the founder of the independent state of Bijapur. The rule of this dynasty ended in 1686, when Bijapur was conquered during the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. 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 princely state of Satara.
In 1848 the territory of Satara, along with Bijapur, was annexed to Britain's Bombay Presidency when the last ruler died without a male heir. The British carved a new district by the name Kaladagi. The district included present-day Bijapur and Bagalkot districts. Bijapur was made the administrative headquarters of the district in 1885, when the headquarters were moved from Bagalkot. After India's Independence in 1947, the district became part of Bombay state, and was reassigned to Mysore State, later Karnataka, in 1956. The former southern taluks of the district were separated in 1997 to form Bagalkot District.
The city consists of three distinct portions: the citadel, the fort and the remains of the city. The citadel, built by Yusuf Adil Shah, a mile in circuit, is of great strength, well built of the most massive materials, and encompassed by a ditch 100 yards wide, formerly supplied with water, but now nearly filled up with rubbish, so that its original depth cannot be discovered. Within the citadel are the remains of Hindu temples, which prove that Bijapur was an important town in pre-Islam times. The fort, which was completed by Au Adil Shah in 1566, is surrounded by a wall 6 m. in circumference. This wall is from 30 to 50 ft (15 m) high, and is strengthened with ninety-six massive bastions of various designs. In addition there are ten others at the various gateways. The width is about 25 ft (7.6 m); from bastion to bastion runs a battlemented curtained wall about 10 ft (3.0 m) high. The whole is surrounded by a deep moat 30 to 40 ft (12 m) broad. Inside these walls the Bijapur kings bade defiance to all comers. Outside the walls are the remains of a vast city, now for the most part in ruins, but the innumerable tombs, mosques, caravanserais and other edifices, which have resisted the havoc of time, afford abundant evidence of the ancient splendour of the place.
Bijapur is rich in historical attractions, mainly related to Islamic architecture.
This is the most famous monument in Bijapur. It is the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah (ruled 1627-1657). It is the second largest dome ever built, next in size only to St Peter's Basilica in Rome. A particular attraction in this monument is the central chamber, where every sound is echoed seven times. Another attraction at the Gol Gumbaz is the Whispering Gallery, where even minute sounds can be heard clearly 37 metres away. Gol Gumbaz complex includes a mosque, a Naqqar Khana (a hall for the trumpeters) (Now it is used as museum) and the ruins of guest houses.
This is the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II (ruled 1580-1627), the fifth king of the dynasty and, like the Mughal emperor Akbar, known for religious tolerance. Built on a single rock bed, it is noted for the symmetry of its features. It is said that the design for the Ibrahim Rauza served as an inspiration for that of the famous Taj Mahal.
Malik-e-Maidan (The Monarch of the Plains) the largest medieval cannon in the world. Being 4 m long, 1,5 m in diameter and weighing 55 tons, this gun was brought back from Ahmadnagar in the 17th century as a trophy of war by 400 oxen, 10 elephants and tens of men. It was placed on the Sherza Burj (Lion Gate) on a platform especially built for it. The cannon's nozzle is fashioned into the shape of a lion's head with open jaws & between the carved fangs is depicted an elephant being crushed to death. It is said that after igniting the cannon, the gunner would remain underwater in a tank of water on the platform to avoid the deafening explosion. The cannon remains cool even in strong sunlight and if tapped, tinkles like a bell. In 1854 the cannon was auctioned for Rs. 150 but the sale was cancelled in the end.
Upri Buraj, Built around 1584 by Hyder Khan, is an 80 ft (24 m) high tower standing to the north of Dakhani Idgah in Bijapur. This is a spherical structure with stone steps winding round the outside. Top of the tower offers a commanding view of the city. This is also known as ;Hyder Burj", "Upli Burj". On top of Upli Burj there are two guns of huge size. The parafeet this tower which was used for monitoring purposes has been fenced now. One needs to climb the circular stairs to reach the top. However except for this tower there is very little evidence of the citadel wall in this area due to rampant construction.
Ali Adil Shah (1557-1580) built this tank near eastern boundary of Bijapur. When there was large influx of people into Bijapur after the fall of the Vijayanagar empire, and new settlements came up within the walled city raising the need for better infrastructure and providing water supply. This has a storage capacity of 20 million litres. Later it became a model for many other tanks constructed in the city. A grandeur complex came up around it, which was mainly used to house the maintenance staff though members of the royal family occasionally used it for recreation. He named this after his wife "Chand Bibi".
The Asar Mahal was built by Mohammed Adil Shah in about 1646, which was used to serve as a Hall of Justice. The building was also used to house hairs from the Prophet's beard. The rooms on the upper storey are decorated with frescoes and the front is graced with a square tank. Here women are not allowed inside. Every year there is urs (festival) held at this place. In front of the hall, one can see three tanks the bigger tank, which is at the centre is about 15 feet (4.6 m) deep however the other two are comparatively smaller in size as well as depth. Behind Asar Mahal one can still see the remain of the citadel. Just a kilometer away behind Asar Mahal, one can still find the old mosque which is on top of the citadel wall. There is a big entrance with arc below this mosque. Many stones have inscriptions. The site is under maintenance of Archeological Survey of India.
Gagan Mahal Which means Sky Palace, is built with a 21- meter facade and four wooden massive pillars, has a majestic central arch. Sikandar Adil Shah, in silver chains, surrendered to Aurangzeb in 1681 here.
Barakaman (Ali Roza-II)
A mausoleum of Ali Roza built in 1672. It was previously named as Ali Roza, but Shah Nawab Khan changed its name to Bara Kaman as this was the 12th monument during his reign. It has now seven arches and the tomb containing the graves of Ali, his queens and eleven other ladies possibly belonging to the Zenana of the queens.
Among the other historical attractions at Bijapur, some notable ones are the Anand Mahal, Jod Gumbaz, Jumma Mosque, Sat 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.
State Protected Monuments in Bijapur
State Protected Monuments officially reported by Archeological Survey of India in Bijapur, Karnataka is listed below
► Hotels, Boarding, Lodging & Accomodation in Bijapur
|State Protected Monuments in Bijapur|
- Shankarlingdev temple, Hemadpanti temple with inscribed stone
- Mallikarjuna Temple Bijapur
- Temples of Basavesvar, Ramesvar (Jain), Basavanna Well
- Malesvami temple
- Siddesvara temple
- Temple of Ramling, Paramanand Dev
- Temple of Dattthreya with inscription
- Old temple of Shankarlingdev
- Temple of Golaliswar
- Temples of Narsoba, Amriteswar
- Iswar temple
- Bhageswar temple
- Temples of Lingadkatti Papannashankatti and Ramtirth
- Sungameswara temple
- Bijapur Fort
- Mosque and Tomb of Gangapaya
- Temple of Bageswar with worn inscriptions
- Ramaling temple
- Ishwar Temple / Eshwara Temple
- Durga temple
Hotel Ashoka Residency, Momin Lodge and Mysore Lodge and few Guest Houses are available at Bijapur.
Temples in Bijapur
Sri Sangameshwara Temple in Kudalasangama is situated at the confluence of two rivers, namely River Krishna and River Malapraha, the Kudalasangama attracts a lot of devotees every year.
Talikota also Talikote is a town with a Town Municipal Council, in Bijapur district in the northern part of Karnataka. It lies on the left (north) bank of the Doni River and is about 85 kilometres to the southeast of Bijapur city. It is famous for the Battle of Talikota which was fought in 1565 and is having famous Khasgateswer temple which attracts the devotees from bijapur, bagalkot, yadgiri, raichur and Gulbarga districts and this town is having many educational institutes. Talikota is on an upland plateau in the Western Ghats at an average elevation of 509 metres (1669 feet).
The Battle of Talikota
The Battle of Talikota (26 January 1565), a watershed battle fought between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Deccan sultanates, resulted in a defeat of Vijayanagara, and ended in greatly weakening one of the greatest Indian Empires originating from the South before the Marathas. Talikota is situated in northern Karnataka, about 80 km to the southeast from the city of Bijapur.
By 29 December 1564 the first battles broke out. Qutb Shah and Nizam Shah, who were friends, decided to go on their own first and led their divisions to clash with Tirumala Deva Raya's division. The Hindu army inflicted defeat on the Muslims and the Sultans fled in disarray losing thousands of men in the encounter. The Sultans were shaken by this encounter and asked Adil Shah to forget previous arguments and stand by them for the intended Hindu counter-attack. The Sultans met secretly and decided that the only way to succeed was to resort to stratagem. Nizam Shah and Qutb Shah decided to parley with the Raya who was now planning a large counter-thrust into the Muslim flanks. At the same time Adil Shah sent a false message to the Hindu commander that he wished to remain neutral. As a result of these parleys Ramaraya delayed his counter-thrust giving a small but critical time window for the Muslims to regroup. Sultan Imad Shah of Berar made the first thrust by attacking Tirumala Deva Raya 's division guarding the Krishna ford. Tirumala fell upon him with his full force and in a short but intense encounter destroyed the Sultan's army and sent him fleeing for life. However, the sultans Nizam Shah, Qutb Shah, Barid Shah on one side and Adil Shah on the other used this distraction to cross the Krishna and attack the main Hindu divisions.
Rama Raya, though surprised, rapidly responded. Despite being in his 70s he decided to personally lead the Hindu armies and took to the field in the center. He was faced by Nizam Shah's division. Ramaraya's first brother Tirumala hurriedly returned to form the left wing of the Hindu army that was countered by Adil Shah and traitorous Hindus under the Maharatta chief Raja Ghorpade. His second brother Venkatadri formed the Hindu right wing that was opposed by Qutb Shah and Barid Shah, strengthened by Nizam Shah`s auxiliaries as the battle progressed.
On 23 Jan 1565, the armies clashed on the plains near the villages of Rakshasi and Tangadi. Several reports claimed that over a million men were involved. Venkatadri struck early and within the first two hours the Hindu right wing's heavy guns fired constantly on the ranks of Barid Shah. As the ranks were softened the Hindu infantry under Venkatadri ploughed through the divisions of Barid Shah annihilating them. The assault was so vigorous that it looked like a Hindu victory was imminent. Qutb Shah was also in retreat, when Nizam Shah sent his forces to shore up the ranks of the Sultans. Nizam Shah himself was then pressed hard by the heavy cannonade from Rama Raya`s division and was facing a Hindu infantry thrust with Ramaraya at the helm. At this point the Sultans signaled to the Muslim officers in the Vijayanagaran army to launch a subversive attack. Suddenly Ramaraya found his rear surprised by the two Muslim divisions in his ranks turning against him. About 140,000 Muslim troops had opened a vigorous rear attack on the Hindus and captured several artillery positions. Several cannon shells landed near Ramaraya's elephant and he fell from it as his mount was struck by a cannon shard. Ramaraya tried to recover but Nizam Shah made a dash to seize him.
The battle seems to have been decided by the Deccan sultanate`s artillery and the capture and execution of the ruling Hindu minister Rama Raya. Venkatadri was also killed as the Qutb Shah, Nizam and Barid put all their forces together and launched a concerted punch. Tirumala tried to stiffen the center but at that point the whole division of Adil Shah that was waiting all the while made the final assault on the rear of Tirumala Deva Raya's division. The Vijayanagar artillery had by then been exhausted and was blasted by the Adil Shah's artillery and the Hindus faced a rout.
Tirumala Deva Raya, seeing the rout, fled to Vijayanagara and taking up the treasury on 1500 elephants fled south towards Penukonda. The looting of Hindu Vijanagara by the victorious army of the Muslim sultanates is supposed to have gone on for six months, after which the sultans set fire to the city. The heat from the burning of the city is supposed to have been so intense that it left cracks in the granite hills on its periphery.
A victorious army along with dwellers then fell upon the city. Using axes, crowbars, fire and sword the victorious armies went about the task of destroying the city of Vijayanagara which never recovered from the onslaught. The highly diminished Vijayanagara empire now tried to stage an unsuccessful resurgence with its capital at Penukonda. Tirumala however could not lay claim over Vijayanagara as locals instead supporting the younger brother of Aliya Rama Raya, also called Tirumala, the regent. It was another six years before Tirumala could claim regency over the former capital of Vijayanagara. During this time, anarchy had spread. Aliya Rama Raya's habit of nominating family relatives to key positions of the former kingdom instead of loyal officers became a reason for family feuds and rebellion. The Polygar (Palyagar) system (local chieftains) which had been so successful earlier was also a reason for break away factions. The Nayaks of Tamil speaking regions; Gingee, Madurai Nayaks and Tanjore Nayaks were flexing their freedom and in fact Tirumala Deva Raya had to tacitly accept the independence of these Nayakas in order to keep their friendship in an hour of impending invasions from Bijapur. Later, the Vijayanagara empire shifted capitals to Chandragiri and eventually to Vellore during which time the other feudatories, the Kingdom of Mysore, Nayakas of Keladi in Shimoga and Nayakas of Vellore also became independent. As a result of the Vijayanagara empire's collapse, the political system of the southern areas disintegrated. However, it left a residue of Telugu enclaves and local elites scattered over most of South India. Kannada country lost its united identity for the coming four centuries, with the creation of smaller states such as the Kingdom of Mysore, Keladi Nayakas, Nayakas of Chitradurga, the latter two eventually merging with the Kingdom of Mysore. For the Sultanates and Muslim rulers of the south, victory seemed temporary as they continued to engage in squabbling and fighting amongst themselves which ultimately resulted in their capitulation to the Marathas and later the British Empire. Some Kannada speaking regions became part of Hyderabad Karnataka ruled by the Nizam of Hyderabad and Bombay Presidency governed by Maratha chieftains all of whom came under the British umbrella.
After the fall of Vijayanagar, some historians believe that Tirumala, the brother of Rama Raya made an attempt to revive the city but failed. It is believed that there was a conflict between him and his nephew Pedda Tirumala over the control of the city and hence he decided to abandon it. With the Vijayanagar army in shambles, Rama Raya's nepotism at the expense of traditional Hindu civil officers left the whole kingdom in a state of chaos. Muslim horsemen roved over the countryside extorting money and goods from the people. There was also a profusion of robberies and plundering operations by gangs of warlords in the Telugu country. In the Tamil country Nayakas of Madurai, Tanjavur and Gingee established independent kingdoms, which to a great extant restored local stability in these regions. It took Tirumala a whole six years to restore civil administration and rebuild an army. He attacked Portuguese horse traders and seized horses from them to raise a cavalry. He made Penukonda his capital and started heavily fortifying it to prepare for a major defensive war.
Imad Shah of Berar suffered massively and his kingdom soon ended within a few years of Talikota. Barid Shah of Bidar, founded by the Turk Qasim Barid from Azerbaijan, and Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar were also considerably weakened. Adil Shah, who had recovered from the Talikota war, marched southwards again in 1567 to continue the conquest of the Vijayanagaran kingdom. Pedda Tirumala entered into negotiations with the Sultan and directed the invader against his uncle Tirumala, whom he feared. But the Sultan in brushed him aside and took Vijayanagar and then marched on Penukonda. Tirumala dispatched his commander Savaram Chennappa Nayaka to repulse the Sultan. The Nayaka inflicted a defeat on the Muslim forces through a surprise sally when the Sultan was expecting a defensive reaction from the fort of Penukonda. Tirumala made Chennappa commander of the Vijayanagar army and resorted to diplomacy to buy some time for himself. Tirumala thought that his negotiations would result in Nizam Shah and Qutb Shah forming a common cause against Adil Shah. A twin Muslim army attacked the Vijayanagarans at Adoni and Penugonda. Hard pressed in Adoni the Hindu armies capitulated but Tirumala and Chennappa put up a strong resistance at Penukonda and repulsed the Muslim forces from the Telugu country. Tirumala then initiated negotiations with the Nayakas of Gingee, Tanjavur and Madurai and unified them to his cause of the defense of the South against the Turushkas. He appointed his 3 sons, Sriranga, Rama and Venkata as viceroys at Penukonda, Shrirangapattanam and Chandragiri to respectively administer the Telugu, Kannada and Tamil divisions of the kingdom. He then strengthened his army to deter any further Muslim attacks and finally ascended the throne with the title: "Reviver of the decadent Karnata empire". In 1572, he felt he was too old to rule and retired to a religious life of Vishnubhakti (Devotion to God Vishnu).
But by 1576 Adil Shah had vastly strengthened his army and fortified Adoni as a base to launch a "non-stop war" on the Vijayanagarans. A huge Mohammedan army suddenly set forth from Adoni to attack Penukonda from different directions. The capital and treasury lay in great peril, so Sriranga I retreated with the treasury to Chandragiri and from there established a supply line for Chennappa Nayaka to defend Penukonda. One of the generals in the Muslim army was a Rigvedi Maharashtrian Brahmin, Yamaji Rao. Chennappa sent a message to him appeal to his duty to the Dharma against the Mlecchas and Turushkas. Yamaji Rao accepted the message and joined the Vijayanagar side with the Hindu troops in the Shah?s army and critical intelligence. Chennappa immediately struck with great vigor. On 21 December 1576, the holy solisticial day for the Hindus, Chennappa advanced heavy guns against the Muslim flanks and opened an intense simultaneous bombardment from the Penukonda ledges and the flanks. Adil Shah's army broke up very rapidly and retreated in disarray. Sriranga I sent reinforcements to tear apart the disarrayed Muslim ranks and they retreated. In the mean time Shriranga negotiated peace with Qutb Shah who did not send any reinforcements to Adil Shah allowing the Vijayanagarans to completely evict him. However, Qutb Shah soon appointed Murari Rao, the Brahmin brigand, as his commander-in-chief, and he began strengthening the Golconda army. In 1579 Murari Rao launched a sudden plundering operation and the head of a large Muslim army. His hordes began systematically ravaging the territory south of the Krishna with great ferocity. In late 1579, he appeared near the great Narasimha temple at Ahobilam, which had been enormously endowed by several generations since the Reddis and the Vijayanagarans. Along with his Muslim troops he ransacked the temple and laid waste to it. He uprooted an ancient ruby-studded pure gold idol of Vishnu and sent it to the Sultan as gift.
Sriranga I, hurried to parry the attack and defeated Murari Rao and his Golconda raiders. Finally, by 1580, he turned the tide and started chasing the Golconda army northwards recovering the territory they had seized. In the process Murari Rao was captured but his life spared because of this brahminical origins. Ibrahim Qutb Shah was furious and decided to settle the matters himself and invaded Kondavidu with the rest of his army and took the fort. Then he launched a massive raid on Udayagiri. But Sriranga I kept the fight on and repulsed the Muslim army from Udayagiri after an initial retreat. Unfazed Qutb Shah struck at Vinukonda and seized the fort. Sriranga I along Chennappa rushed to counter the attack. After much fierce fighting the Muslim army was forced to retreat. The Hindus stormed the fort of Vinukonda after intense fighting. Then Chennappa stormed Kondavidu and died fighting even as he forced the Islamic army to retreat. But Sriranga I got into an internecine conflict with his brothers, who refused to cooperate in the national struggle. Qutb Shah took advantage of this and in late 1580 captured Kondavidu firmly and died in Golconda shortly after that. His son, Muhammad Quli became Qutb Shah thereafter.
In 1586 Sriranga I died without issue and his younger brother Venkata II became the king. Venkata was faced with the new Qutb Shah. The Qutb invaded Kurnool in Andra and seized the territory shortly after Venkata II came to power. Then he ravaged Cuddapah and having completely laid waste to it, marched on Anantapur burning and plundering the district. Next a large Muslim army of the under the Qutb?s personal command besieged Penukonda. Another Muslim division under the fierce Turk Rustam Khan ravaged Gandikota and Gutti and annexed them. Venkata II realized the deep crisis that had dawned on the Hindus and decided to resort to stratagem. He sent a delegation to the Shah stating that he was suing peace and accepting him as the overlord of the conquered territory. The Shah thought the Hindu was brought to his knees and pleased with his conquests decided to consolidate them rather than stand a long siege before Penukonda. Venkata II, moved very rapidly to strengthen Penukonda to withstand a long siege and declared war on the Muslims. The Sultan hurried back to renew the siege. The Venkata II waited till just before monsoon and launched a strong artillery barrage on the Muslim army. The Muslims began to retreat and the monsoons began swelling the Krishna river and cut off their escape route. The Hindus fell upon the Muslim army and soundly trashed it. Qutb somehow escaped the attack and retreated to Kondavidu. Then Venkata II attacked the Muslim garrison at Gutti and destroyed it to re-conquer the fort. Then from Kondavidu a large Muslim force advanced to provide relief to the garrison at Gandikota. But the Venkata II intercepted the army, destroyed it and stormed Gandikota to liberate the territory that was earlier taken by Qutb Shah. Qutb Shah decided to put an end to the Hindu resistance and sent his ace general Rustam Khan with Muslim army of around 100000 men to smash Venkata. Venkata II quickly prepared for their charge and prepared an ambush for them between Gandikota and the Penner River. Rustam Khan believed that the Hindus were not reacting and fell into the Vijayanagaran ambush in mid-1588. The Hindus opened artillery fire and after having softened the Muslim ranks fell upon them with their infantry and cavalry divisions. A carnage followed, Rustam Khan?s head was cut off, and over 50,000 Muslim troops were exterminated in the battle of Penner. It was great win for the Hindus and the Sultans men were on the retreat everywhere. Venkata II followed this up with a strike on Udayagiri and liberated it from the stranglehold of the Muslim troops. After this the Vijayanagar recovered the territory lost to the Qutb Shahs and repulsed them beyond the Krishna. Thus, till the end of Venkata's rule the Muslim advance was pushed beyond the Krishna. For another 28 years, Venkata II ruled and did much to restore the rest of South India that was under his control to great prosperity.
However, the Hindu chiefs remained much disunited and after his death there was a long period of internal instability. But the measure of Venkata II had kept out Muslims till Adil Shah recovered and sent Abdul Wahabi to attack Kurnool. But the Vijayanagar general Gopalaraja defeated and repulsed this attack in 1620. Then another Adil Shahi general Randhula Khan finally overcame the Hindu resistance, and with help from some Hindu traitors took Bangalore in 1641. In 1645 the Mughal Emperor of Delhi instructed the Sultans of the Deccan to eliminate Vijayanagara, in fact a Mughal commander Mustafa Khan led an expedition. The last Hindu ruler of Vijayanagara Sriranga III was too weak to do much and was driven into exile. The Brahmins met at Tirupati to use to wealth from temple donations for organizing a national defense against the Muslims. The women too donated their jewels for this national movement. They called upon the Nayaks to fight for the Dharma and inflicted a defeat on Mustafa Khan. But Muslim powers combined their forces and pressed on again with the expedition with Sardar Mir Jumla strengthening Mustafa Khan's assault. The Hindus put up their last fight in very fiercely fought battle at Virincipuram. While they suffered heavy losses in the engagement, Muslims too suffered heavy losses and could not pursue their conquests immediately. However, even as Sriranga III was vanishing into oblivion in 1649 another Hindu power was slowly growing up in the form of Marathas. They started their victory march in 1659 and by 1761 brought almost entire Indian subcontinent under their control crushing the domination of Deccan Sultans & Mughals forever. Thus Hinduism survived in India.