|Government of Karnataka|
|Office Of the Commissioner,|
|Archealogy, Museums & Heritage,|
Mysore and Srirangapattana
or Vijapur, ‘City of Victory’, is said to have been associated with
some victory during
the 7th century. Some inscriptions reveal that the name
‘Vijayapura’ was prevalent as early
as 1036 AD. The town was also
referred to as ‘Dakshina Varanasi’, Benares of the South,
in ancient times. In
an inscription found on the wall of Ibrahim Rauza, it is called ‘Vidyapur’,
the ‘city of learning’.
Bijapur formed a part of
Gulbarga province of the Bahmani kingdom founded by
Alla- ud-in Hassan Gangu Bahmani in
1347. When the Bahmani kingdom lost its
power in the last decades of
15th century, the kingdom was broken up and Yusuf
Adil Khan of Bijapur was one of provincial governors who declared
independence. Bijapur, thus became a separate kingdom under the Adil
rulers in 1489.
The Fort walls are six miles round, with numerous buildings,
mosques, gateways and gardens, that depict the same symmetry of design
introduced into India by the Muslims.
The walls, bastions, gates and barbicans of Bidar are some of the
most sophisticated in India still intact.
The Munda Burj is the most prominent bastion, commanding the
approach with heavy guns.
The old town has five gates, namely, the Fateh Gate on the south,
with octagonal towers and drawbridge; the elevated Talghat Gate in the east; the
Sharzu Darwaza (the 2nd gate); the Delhi Gate ; and, the Mandu Gate.
Khwaza Mahmud Gawan, the Persian scholar and the General of
Mohamad Shah III, founded the Madrasa in 1472. It is a marvelous three-storied
building with monumental minarets, great arches, and brilliantly colored chevron
tilework. The domes over the main chambers were the first in India to take the
characteristic Timurid bulbous form, typical of the 16th century.
Bidar has two prominent Mosques – the spacious Jami Masjid and
the Sola Kumbha Masjid with a remarkable dome on a 16-sided drum.
The imposing black granite steps, striking amid red sand-stone
leading to Gagan Mahal, (Public Audience Hall), glazed mosaics and lovely
arabesque designs in the Rangin Mahal of Ali Barid Shah, the high art of Quranic
calligraphy, bright painted murals in the zenana, the Lal Bagh, the Takhat Mahal,
the 70 ft. Chaubara, the Watch Tower dominate the town.
The tiled tombs of the Barid Shahis, are outside the town walls,
but are well-preserved.
Bidriware, a delicate metal ware containing silver and gold inlaid
on iron is a very popular art form in Bidar.
Gulbarga city is the head quarters of the Gulbarga district, and
also of the division . This rapidly growing city is situated on the
Madras-Bombay railway. It is at a distance of 363 miles from Bangalore.
For nearly 1500 years or more the district of Gulbarga or Kalburgi
has had its influence on the historical and cultural life of the Deccan Plateau.
The antiquity of many places in the district may be traced to legendary period
of Indian history. Several of the important ruling dynasties of the Deccan had
their capital in this district. The capital of the Rashtrakutas was at Malkhed ;
the later Chalukyas and the Kalachuris had their capital at Kalyana ; and ,
Gulbarga City itself was the capital of the Bahmani kingdom from 1347 A.D.
A Muslim dynasty that ruled
over northern parts of the Deccan initially from Gulbarga and later from Bidar
were the Bahman Shahis (A.D.1347-A.D. 1527). The dynasty, founded by Alla-ud-din
Hasan, ruled over a kingdom that extended from the river Krishna in the south to
the Penganga in the north, and thus included parts of modern Karnataka,
Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The greatest among the Bahman Shahis was Firuz
Shah (1397-1422). His son Ahmed Shah(1422-1436) was a ruler with saintly
temperament . The dynasty reached
its most glorious epoch during the administration of Mahmud Gavan, the prime
minister of Sultan Alla-ud-din(1436-1458).
The most magnificent contribution of the Bahmanis was in the field
of art and architecture. The buildings that they have left at Gulbarga, Bidar
and other places have an important place in the history of Indo-Islamic art.
Under the Bahmanis the Deccani style asserted its
individual character and reached its zenith under the Adil Shahis of Bijapur.
The Gulbarga city is located on an undulating plain, presenting a
vast stretch of black cotton soil. It has been the head quarters of the district
since 1873. The Gulbarga Fort, originally built by Raja Gulchand and afterwards
strengthened by Ala-ud-din Bahmani is a fine work.
Within the ramparts is the earliest of their buildings, the Jami
Masjid (1367), which shows Hindu influence. Sultan Hasan’s tomb is typical of
the Tughlaq style.
The tomb of Ghias-ud-din(14th century) shows Hindu
influence in the carvings of the prayer niche attached to it.
The fine mausoleum of Firuz Shah and his family also bears
testimony to the growing strength of Hindu influence as well as to the new
preference for Persian.
The Shah Bazar Masjid, built by Muhammed Shah is a simple
structure in imitation of Tughlaq
Kittur, located at a distance of 457 Km north-west of Bangalore,
is a noted historical place in the Bailhongal taluk of the Belgaum district. Its
history is traced back to the 12th century A.D., when it was ruled by
the Kadamba dynasty of Goa. Under Ismail Adil Shah of Bijapur, Kittur formed on
estate of Yusuf Khan. At the close of the 17th century, it was
administered by a local Desai called Medi Mallappa, who is said to have built
the fort at Kittur.
From the very beginning of their contact, the Desais maintained a
friendly attitude with the English. During the Peshwa’s final conflict with
the English, Mallasarja(1782-1816), Desai of Kittur remained neutral. The
English, therefore, treated Kittur rather favourably and bestowed upon
Shivlingasarja(1816-1824) a superior political status after the last
Kittur’s relations with the English took a dramatic turn, after
the death of Shivalinga Sarja in september 1824. The principal collector of
Dharwar, Thackeray refused to recognise the adoption by the Desai of a boy named
Shivalingappa as legal. In league with some local malcontents like Mallappa
setty and Sardar Mallappa and others, Thackeray tried to annex Kittur.
· But Channamma, window of Mallasarja and step-mother of Shivalingasarja, assumed charge and tried to save the Kittur Desagati from Crisis. She was the daughter of the Desai of Kakti and a high-spirited lady. Her efforts to persuade the English Commissioner for southern division to let the adopted son of the Desai to succeed were futile. After a brief conflict, the English defeated the Kittur forces and took Channamma a prisoner. She breathed her last in 1829 at the Bailhongal Jail.
· The heroic resistance of Channamma against the English was continued by Sangolli Rayanna. However , he was over powered, arrested and hanged in 1830. There were further uprisings against the English which were all put down by 1837.
The chief interest of Kittur is its fort, now in ruins.
The place has a Natha Panthi Matha.
The Basavanna temple at Kittur is a later Chalukyan monument.
Other temples at Kittur are those of Maruti in the fort ,
Kalmeshwara and Dyamavva.