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Bijapur Fort

Bijapur Fort is situated in Bijapur city of Bijapur District, Karnataka. This Fort contains a surfeit of various historical monuments that were constructed during the period of Adil Shahi Dynasty. Adil Shahi Sultans ruled Bijapur for more than 200 years and concentrated exclusively on architecture and allied arts. Each of their Sultans superseded their predecessor in size, number and beauty of their building projects. Acknowledging their great effort, the buildings constructed in and around the Fort of Bijapur are correctly honored as Agra of South India.


The history of the Fort and its surrounding structures is embedded in Bijapur city history which dates back between 10th and 11th centuries by Kalyani Chalukyas. At that time, the city was named as city of victory (Vijayapura). By the end of 13th century, it was taken over by Khilji Sultanate. In 1347, it was then conquered by Gulbarga’s Bahmani Sultanate. It was during this time, the city was renamed as Bijapur or Vijapur. Turkey Sultan, Yusuf Adil Shah joined under Sultan Mohammed III in his court in 1481. Later, he was appointed as Governor of Bijapur who went on constructing Faroukh Mahal and Arkilla or Citadel with amazingly skilled artisans and architects who were bought from Rome, Turkey and Persia. Yusuf went on establishing Bahmani kingdom or Adil Shahi Dynasty in 1489.

After his death, his son Ibrahim Adil Shah became ruler of the Bijapur Sultanate and made further additions to Bijapur Fort. He was the one who constructed Jami Masjid inside the premises of Fort. His successor Ali Adil Shah I entered into alliance with various other Deccan Muslim rulers and constructed numerous structures inside the Fort and its surrounding city arena like Jami Masjid, Chand Bawdi, Ali Rauza and Gagan Mahal. He was followed by his cousin, Ibrahim III, the 5th king of Bahmanis Dynasty. He maintained excellent relationship with Muslims and Hindus as well as between Sunni and Shia Muslims and urged complete peace and harmony among his people. He was crowned as ‘Jagadguru Badshah’ and ruled for almost 46 years. Ibrahim III also concentrated in constructing Hindu temples inside his palace and also composed numerous verses on Ganapati and Saraswathi. He proved to be a great patron of learning and music. He constructed the 2nd biggest dome in world, Gol Gumbaz. It was during his period, Mallik-E-Maidan, the historic gun position got erected in his Fort. This gun is a huge arsenal of about 14.6 feet length that is maintained in good condition even now.
After Afzal Khan, Shivaji attacked Bijapur and he went on capturing Karnataka. After his death, Aurangzeb seized Bijapur in 1686 followed by the expiry of Sikandar Adil Shah, the end of Adil Shahi dynasty and the inauguration of Mughal Empire. Adil Shah started constructing his own mausoleum in the name of Bara Kaman but died before its completion. After 20 years, during British rule, Bijapur city got its identity as deserted and desolate state. Even the tombs and palaces in Bijapur Fort were in ruined condition. It got the look of dead city because of scarcity of food and water.


In the year 1565, Yusuf Adil Shah constructed Citadel and the Fort in the form of 2 concentric circles. Citadel located at the centre carries a circumference length of about 1,300 feet (400 metres).  West to east diameter of this Fort covers an area of 1.9 miles (3 km). The outer circumference of this Fort that surrounds the old city is approximately 6.2 miles (10 km). Bijapur Fort is supplemented with highly strong materials like 96 bastions of multiple designs. These bastions are embellished with beautiful crenellations that are interspersed with outstanding machicolations. Apart from this, there are 10 more bastions installed at 5 main entrance of the Fort. This in turn is engulfed by 50 feet moat.  The height of the Fort varies around 15 m height and width is approximately 7.6 m. Between the bastions, there lies a curtained wall of 3.0 m height. The 5 gateways that lead to Bijapur Fort are Fateh gate on south- east, Allahpur gate on east, Bahmani gate on north, Shahapur gate at north-westand Makka gate on its west.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Bijapur Fort is between the months of October and March when the climate is pleasant and enjoyable.

How to Reach

The nearest airport is at Belgaum which is about 197 km towards the southwest direction of the town. Taxis are readily available between Belgaum airport and Bijapur.

Bijapur railway station is well connected to Bengaluru and Mumbai. Bijapur Railway head is situated about 4 km towards the east of town centre.

There are state government operated buses between Bijapur and Gulbarga, Sholapur, Hubli, Bidar, Belgaum, Badami, Bengaluru, Mumbai and various other major destinations in its nearby region. Bijapur bus stand lies very near to town centre.

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