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Gulbarga Fort

Gulbarga Fort derives its name from the ruler, under whose rule this fort was constructed, Raja Gulchand. This fort is located in the city of Gulbarga, towards the north of Karnataka and was constructed during the rule of Warangal dynasty. However, the fort reached its peak developmental stage only during 1347, under the rule of Bahmani dynasty rulers. The fort witnessed a phenomenal increase in the number of Muslim structures built within the premises of the fort – like tombs, mosques, palaces and the like. During the year 1367, the fort saw the development of one of the biggest and most elegant buildings within its premises – the Jama Masjid. Built in excellent Persian architecture pattern, replete with domes and columns, this mosque was constructed to celebrate the long rule of the Bahmani kingdom over the fort between 1327 and 1424. After 1424, this kingdom moved over to the Bidar Fort.


During the end of the 12th century, the city of Gulbarga came under the control of the Warangal rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty after a series of reins from the Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Kalachuris, Devagiri Yadavas and the Halebidu Hoysalas. During the 13th century, the Bahmani Sultanate, that was cut off from the Delhi Sultanate was founded by Hassan Gangu and Gulbarga city was the chosen capital of this sultanate.

It was during the 14th century that the Vijayanagar dynasty completely demolished the Gulbarga Fort. The fort was once again re-constructed by Yusuf Adil Shah who was the ruler of the Bijapur Sultanate. This Sultanate, led by him defeated the Vijayanagar dynasty. The rule of these Bahmani rulers continued into the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries and five states were formed during this time.

Hyderabad state was one of them and during the 18th century, when the Mughal Empire came to an end, Gulbarga and the fort came to be a part of Hyderabad.  After Independence, when Hyderabad became a part of the Indian Union, it was distributed to some of the neighbouring states. Due to this distribution, Gulbarga was attached to the erstwhile Mysore state, which later came to be known as Karnataka.


Some of the impressive and amazing structures within the Gulbarga Fort are the fort itself, Jama Masjid and the Kwaja Bande Namaz tomb. The simple structure of the fort was constructed by Raja Gulchand, but it was later developed into a brilliant European military structure during the rule of the Bahmani ruler, Alauddin Hasan Bahman Shah. Double fortification ensured that the fort was well-protected from enemy attacks. There are total 15 towers here with around 26 guns, each stretching about 8m in length. True to the Bahmani style, this fort had the emblem of crescent on its arches and the symbol of a crown of their rulers.

The most amazing and brilliant structure found inside the Gulbarga Fort is the Jama Masjid. Its architectural structure is very unique and cannot be found in any other mosque in India. The style in which this is built is quite similar to Spain’s Great Mosque of Cordoba. The measurements of this fort are 216ft X 176ft. The prayer hall is surrounded by passages on 3 sides and the arches here have very low open arcades. Towards the north and south there are 10 bays each and towards the east, there are 7 bays. The bays at the corners are in the shape of a square. Some of the bays that are found inside are fully covered by roofs. There are around 9 bays at the front yard just one dome covering it, which is a rarity. There are five massive domes and 75 small domes in this mosque with a total of 250 arches built in pure Persian style.

The tomb of the famous Sufi saint, Kwaja Bande Nawaz is yet another famous spot inside the Gulbarga fort. The architectural style followed here is Indo Saracenic. The walls of the tombs are replete with ancient paintings. While the arches are built in Bahmani style, the paintings depict Iranian and Turkish styles. This is the place where the annual fair known as Urs is celebrated every November. This attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world.

Best time to Visit

If you are planning to come to Gulbarga, you must plan your visit around the months of October and November for two important reasons. One is that the climate is very pleasant and cool during this time. The second reason is that, it is the time of the annual Urs festival, which will give you a chance to get a feel of the true Islamic culture and traditions.

Timings & Tickets

The fort is open from 6AM to 6PM and there are no entry fees applicable for kids and adults here.

How to Reach


Hyderabad airport, which is at a distance of 225 km from Gulbarga, is the nearest airport to the fort.


Gulbarga railway station, that is located on the Central Southern Railway line, is one of the busiest railway stations in the country as it is well-connected with all the important cities of India.


Gulbarga has an excellent road connectivity and it is easily accessible from both Hyderabad and Bangalore, that are at a distance of about 610 km and 225 km away respectively.

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