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From 1490 to 1686, Bijapur was ruled by the Adil Shahi dynasty which left the most important monuments of the town.
Bijapur is also well connected with other cities by bus. There are five buses from Badami to Bijapur per day. The journey lasts four hours.
From Mumbai, there are direct bus services to Bijapur (but very few). The most convenient option is to take a bus to Belgaum (there are more than 25-30 buses). From Belgaum Central bus stand, there are regular express buses (every 15-20 minutes) to Bijapur. The journey takes 3 hours or so.
Mahatma Gandhi Square (chowk) is the main place and it is situated in the heart of the city. It is the main market place for the locals and also for the people from towns nearby. There are a lot of rickshaws in town. Their drivers knows all the major attractions of the town. Since no rickshaw has a meter, you need to negotiate their prices very hard.
A very quaint way to get around, especially for tourists, is by tonga or horse buggy as its called. There is a horse buggy stand at MG Square. Alternatively, outside Gol Gumbaz, there are many horse buggies waiting for business. Negotiate a round figure for the whole day and the tonga will take you to all the important places. A small tip at the end (in the name of the horse - tell the driver to buy something special for the horse) will get you a friend for life.
- Jumma Masjid (Jamiya Masjid). A Mosque built by Ali Adil Shah I over 300 years ago for the entire city (jumma = public gathering). The Kuran inscriptions in gold is the main attraction. It can contain 2250 devotees. The intricately carved mihrab (the niche that points the direction to Mecca) is absolutely brilliant and is in stark contrast to the generally simple and bare architecture of the mosque itself (which is quite typical for the Deccan monuments) Free entrance.
- Malik E Maidan (Near Mahatma Gandhi Road). Translated as the king of the field, this is a huge cannon made of "Panchaloha" or five metals. It weights 55 tons. This cannon helped Bijapur to defeat mighty the Vijayanagar empire in the battle of Rakkasatangadi (Talikot) in 1565.
- Gol Gumbaz, Entrance on Station Road. 06:00 - 18:00. It is The second largest dome and largest unsupported dome in the world. It is the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah and his family. It was built in 1659. At the top, the whispering gallery is a wonder where a tick of watch can be heard from opposite side of the dome over 200 feet away. Entrance Rs. 5 for Indians and Rs. 100 for foreigners.
- Ibrahim Rauza mausoleum. 06:00 - 18:00. A great architecture for this mausoleum constructed in 1626 by Ibrahim Adil Shah II. It contains the tombs of Ibrahim Adil Shah II and his wife. It also contains the tombs of member of his family. Entrance Rs. 5 for Indians and Rs. 100 for foreigners.
- Taj Bawdi(Tasabavadi). A large well with the temple of Rama on the other side. It was never possible to empty this well.
- Upali Buruj (Upli Burz) (Near Malik E Maidan). This is a large structure around 80 feets tall build in 1584. Has cannons at the top. One can get 360 degrees view of Bijapur town.
- Gagan Mahal. This was initially the court of King Adil Shah
- Asar Mahal (Entrance on Station Road). This building was constructed in 1646 by the Sultan Mohammed. It was a justice hall.
- Statue of Lord Shiva. This was recently built and at 80 feets tall, is the largest statue of Lord Shiva in the world. Entrance Rs. 3.
- Bara Kaman (Near Station Road). Ali Adil Shah II started to build a beautiful structure with 12 arches in 12 rows and 12 columns and 12 storeys tall, so that its shadow would fall on Golgumbaz in the evening. He died before it got completed. Nowadays, the uncompleted monument can be visited.
- Anand Mahal. This was private residence of the king with the queen, used for relaxing and pleasure, hence the name Anand Mahal.
- Navarasapura. It is a mystery how this great theater of music remained undiscovered until 1990, but when it was found the scientists were amazed about the acoustics used. In the memory of this find, Bijapur celebrates "Navarasapur Utsav" every 5 years where renowned musicians from across India come to perform
- Bijapur Market, Gandhi Circle. You can wander around this crowded and noisy market and see the vegetables and spices which are sold there.
- Kamat restaurant, Station Road (Same building as Kanishka International Hotel). Excellent Veg Indian food.Anyone who does this trip should infact drive straight into Kamat, park the vehicle there and then go next door.It has been 4.5 yrs and am still exploring.but Kamat's Food and travel makes me a happy person. I'm loving it!
- Mysore Restaurant, Gandhi Circle. A nice veg restaurant which is usually crowded for lunch. At the last floor, it offer a nice view of the market. Rs 32 for a Thali.
The drinking places of Bijapur are a little squalid. If you would like to have a drink it is more pleasant to do that during day time. The local bars are patronised by the rural population who like to gulp the entire contents of their quarter sized whisky bottle in go. It is an experience for those who like to observe local customs.
Most of the decent hotels on Station Road have a more 'civilised' bar with air conditioning. The range of alcohol choices may be limited i.e. mostly Indian made brands.
- Hotel Megharaj Lodge, Station Road, ☎ . Check-out: 24 hours. Simple and well located hotel in the center of the town. A/C and non A/C rooms are available. Rooms from Rs. 200 to 540.
- Hotel Pearl, Station Road (Opposite to Golgumbaz), ☎ , fax: 243606. Check-out: 24 hours. Clean a quiet hotel. At the top you could appreciate a nice view to the Golgumbaz. There are TV and hot water in every rooms. Rooms from Rs. 600 to 1100.
- Hotel Heritage, Station Road (Near Golgumbaz), ☎ . Check-out: 24 hours. Rooms from Rs. 500 to 750.
- Hotel Golden Heights, Station Road (It is on Station Road, midway between MG Square and Gol Gumbaz). A decent hotel, more suited for the business traveler. The restaurant on the ground floor is pure vegetarian while the bar-restaurant on the top floor serves non-vegetarian. They have an excellent biriyani. Rs 850 - 1500.
The telephone code of the Bijapur district is ++ 91 (0) 8352.
- Badami, a village famous for its Cave temples located 128 km southwest of Bijapur.
- Pattadakal, hindu temples which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located 60 km southwest of Bijapur.
- Aihole, another hindu temple complex near Pattadakal.
- Hampi, former capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, now in ruins, destroyed by the armies of Bijapur after the Battle of Talikota. Take a bus from Bijapur bus stand to Hospet and then take the regular 15-minute bus service to Hampi.