Government of Karnataka
Office Of the Commissioner,
Archealogy, Museums & Heritage,


Heritage Areas

Mysore and Srirangapattana  

  • “Aesthetics which invested the architecture and city planning of Mysore city with such glory, will come back to our contemporary urban scene after their much lamented and long absence’’, opined  T.P.Issar.
  • The unique historical and cultural heritage of Mysore and Srirangapattana are in urgent need of preservation and conservation.
  • The Mysore Rulers had their Principal Residence in Mysore till 1610 A.D. when  Raja Wodeyar took Srirangapattana as the capital.
  • The Government of Mysore Kingdom was based in Srirangapattana till the fall of Tipu on May 4, 1799,  after which shifted to Mysore in 1801 with the construction of the Palace.
  • The Mysore Palace is a magnificent visual bounty of a glorious monument, originally built of wood, was burnt in an accidental fire in 1897, and was completely restored by a granite structure in 1912.
  • Subsequently, this structure, designed by Henry Irwin, in typical  Indo-Saracenic style, was improved with many additions and alterations. 
  • Similarly, the Jagan Mohan Palace, once a venue of Representatives Assembly, Chamundi Vihar, Vasantha Mahal, Lokaranjan Mahal (the Summer Palace), Lalitha Mahal Palace (the New Guests’ Mansion), Cheluvamba mansion (the CFTRI), Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion Chittaranjan Mahal, Yelwal Bungalow, Hill-view, Bloom-Field, Kismat, Ramble, Rana’s Terrace, Modikhana Building (the Telegraph office), Maharaja’s Sanskrit College, Sri Chamarajendra Ursu Boarding School, the Race Course, the Rama Mandiram, Sitha vilas Dharmashala, the New Palace office (Irrigation office) and many other Royal Mansions and buildings form the historical heritage of Mysore.  
  • Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, (9th century A.D.), the fort, the dungeons, the Jumma Masjid, the Gumbaz (the mausoleum of Haider  Tipu and his mother) and the Dariya Daulat (the Summer Palace) are important remains of Srirangapattana`s historical heritage


       ·        Bijapur  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 Shahi 

     rulers in 1489.

  • Bijapur, 579 kms. away from Bangalore, is one of the most important centres of Indo-Saracenic art. It was the capital of the Adil shahis of Bijapur (1489-1686)
  • The architectural splendours of Bijapur are an enduring legacy that attract tourists from far and near.
  • Biijapur, with 50 Mosques, 20 Dargas and 20 palaces occupies a prominent place on the Islamic Architectural Map of India.
  • The Adil Shahi rulers of Bijapur were tolerant of other religions and this is reflected in their architecture prominently.
  • Yusuf Adil Shah, who was the Governer of Bijapur (1490-1510 A.D.), was an accomplished musician and scholar. He built the gigantic city walls of Bijapur, 6 km. in circumference with 100 bastions, and six imposing doorways.
  • Ibrahim Rauza, (early 17th centuary), the mausoleum of Ibrahim II, the Taj Sultana and other family members, is considered to be the finest example of Islamic Architecture in the Deccan. The ceiling is carved with lines from Quran, the windows consist of a Jali-work of Arabic sentences.
  • Henry Cousens, an authority on Art and Architecture called Ibrahim Rauza as "the Taj Mahal of the South".
  • Gol Gumbaz (Round dome), unquestionably one of the most impressive structures in India with the biggest dome 126ft. in diameter at its base and covering an area of 15,000 sq.ft is the Mausoleum of Mohammad Adil-Shah (1626-56) with four seven-storeyed corner towers, each opening on to a remarkable whispering gallery.
  • Jami Masjid (late 16th century), is an imposing spacoius creation of bays and domes, arches and piers, built by Ali-Adil-Ahah, in a built up area of 3 acres, accommodates 3000 people for Namaz.
  • The tomb of Ali-Adil-Shah, built in the citadel, the Gagan Mahal, or sky palace, that served as a Durbar hall are magnificent structures.
  • Some of the notable mosques within the citadel are the old mosque, the miniature Mecca Masjid, a beautiful building used by court ladies, the Bukhara Masjid and the delicate Mosque Mirza Sandal.
  • Mihtari Mahal (17th century), with its decorated gate way and intricate workmanship, and the Mihtari Masjid, are among the finest gems of the builder’s art.
  • Situated on an open plain, Bijapur had no natural defense. Therefore its fort and the gateways were built with extremely hard and strong materials.
  • The Dattatreya Temple, situated to the west of the citadel, consists of a pair of paduka of Narasimha Saraswati, the shrine raised by Ibrahim II.
  • The Parswanatha Basadi (1927) and several  modern temples of which Eppattu Shivalinga(1954) are notable.


  • Bidar town enjoys a picturesque situation having been built on the brink of  a plateau and thus commanding lovely views of the low lands (Talghat) towards the north and the east. The plateau is an irregular oblong 22 miles in length and 12 miles extreme breadth with an area of 190 sq miles , observed  G. Yazdani in 1944.
  • Bidar town is situated about 740 Km north of Bangalore, 116Km northeast of  Gulbarga and 130 Km northwest of Hyderabad.
  • The History of Bidar goes back to the days of the Mahabharata epic. It must have existed as a minor but powerful fort during the days of Kalyana Chalukyas (AD 1074- AD 1190). It passed on to the control of the Kakatiyas of Warrangal. In A.D.1322, Prince Ulugh Khan captured the town of Bidar. Subsequently, it was annexed by Sultan Muhammad-bin- Tughlaq of Delhi.
  • With the establishment of the  Bahmani dyanasty (AD 1347), Bidar was occupied by Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman Shah Bahmani.
  • During the rule of Ahmad Shah I(1422-1486 AD), Bidar was made the capital city of Bahmani Kingdom.
  • The old Hindu Fort was rebuilt and beautiful palaces and gardens were raised.
  • Mahmmad Gawan who became the prime minister in 1466 A.D. was a notable figure in the history of Bidar.
  • Bidar remained under the Barid Shahi dynasty  until it was captured  by the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1656 A.D.
  • In 1724 Bidar became a part of the Asaf Jahi Kingdom.

·        The Fort walls are six miles round, with numerous buildings, arches, pavilions,

      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 architecture.


·        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 Anglo-Maratha war(1818).

·        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.