Gulbarga Fort - Gulbarga
Gulbarga - Land of Fascinations
Situated at a distance of 600 Km from capital city of Bangalore, to the north east of Karnataka, Gulbarga is a city rich in history. In fact, it is more closer to Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh. The city was once under a Hindu Ruler before Bahman Shah took over. This led to an amalgamation of two cultures that is visible even today. Bahman Shah chose Gulbarga as his capital when he took over the throne of Daulatabad. Scattered with numerous monuments, one can see the ancient and the earliest forms of Islamic architecture in Gulbarga. Most of the structures are from the 13th - 15th century.
The name Gulbarga comes from the Kannada word Kaliburgi which means 'the stony land'. And the barren lands with age old buildings, give the same picture. So it is better to visit the city after the monsoons, during October and February months which are early winters.
Attractions - Tribute To Karnataka's Past
Most of the attractions in Gulbarga are historically important. Places like Gulbarga Fort, Jumma Masjid and Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah not only attracts tourists but also the attention of historians. Buddhist sites of Sannathi have revealed a lot about the history of Gulbarga and nearby areas. For people interested in the golden history of India, Gulbarga is a must visit.
Situated on the banks of Bhima River, at a distance of 40 kilometers from Gulbarga, Sannathi is the largest Buddhist site in Karnataka. Number of pilgrims visit Sannathi to visit the famous Chandralamba Temple. It is an 11th century temple which is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Being the largest Buddhist site in Karnataka, it holds a great archaeological importance. Numerous relief slabs of Satavahanas reign, which covered domes of Buddhist Stupas have been recovered in Chandralamba Temple. One relief depicts the birth of Buddha and one has a throne, footprints and a Bodhi tree drawn on it. You will find number of slabs used as steps for a bathing ghat near the temple.
Gulbarga Fort still is the most prominent structure in the city. Built by Raja Gulchand, the fort was fortified and expanded by Alauddin Bahman. The fort has been seized by many rulers and has faced many wars. King Krishnadevaraya once completely decimated the fort. But Adil Shah soon rebuilt it the way it was with the bounty looted from Vijayanagar. Gulbarga Fort now houses many mosques, temples, huge buildings, towers and guns. Although most of the fort is in ruins and presents a sorry state, the walls still resonate its old aura and grandeur.
Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah
Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah is among the holiest Muslim shrines in South India. It is the tomb of Syed Mohammed Gesu Daraz which is situated right in the center of the town. Dargah, built in Indo-Saracenic style. However you will get to see more than one form of architecture here. The arches of the dargah are typical examples of Bahmani architecture, whereas the paintings that are found on the walls and ceilings are strikingly similar to Iranian and Turkish paintings. The main attraction of the dargah is the annual urus held here. Thousands of pilgrims from all over India visits Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah to pay their homage. What is most heartening about the event is the participation of both Hindus and Muslims, which puts light on the communal harmony that prevails here. Also visit the library of the Dargah that contains more than 10,000 books written in Urdu, Arabic and Persian.
Situated inside the premises of the fort, Jumma Masjid is among the oldest mosques to come up in South India. The structure of the mosque has huge resemblance to the famous Mosque of Cordova in Spain. Jumma Masjid was built by Muhammed Bahmani in the year 1367. The roof of the mosque is the striking difference that comes in notice. There are 68 domes on the top seem to like a collection of huge pots. The style of architecture is Persian with stilted domes and narrow doors.
Accommodation in Gulbarga
Gulbarga does not have any highly luxurious hotels but the ones that are there, are good enough for a comfortable stay. There are more lodges and tourist bungalows than full-fledged hotels. Most of them are located in and around the city center making it easy for the tourists to move around in the city. Few good hotels in Gulbarga are Vadiraj Lodge, Sanman Lodge, Hotel Santosh and Hotel Mayura Bahamani.
Hyderabad is the closest airport to Gulbarga which is connected to all the major cities of India. Hyderabad is around 220 Km from here. Reraching Gulbarga from the airport by hiring a taxi will take around 5 hrs. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate frequently between Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.
Gulbarga has its own railhead. There is regular connection between Bijapur, Bidar and Bangalore. Many trains to Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi pass through here and have a stop Gulbarga.
Gulbarga is well connected by roads to nearby areas and major cities of Karnataka. Bangalore is around 600 Km from here and there are regular KSRTC buses that run to and from Gulbarga.
You will find taxis and autos for getting around in the city. Bus services are also good enough inside Gulbarga.