Gulbarga , which was formerly known as kalburgi is an important city at a distance of about 620 kilometers from Bangalore . It is known for its historical importance and architectural/religious significance. The known history of Gulbarga dates back prior to the eleventh century. An 11th century inscription and some literary works have referred to it as ‘kalumbarage’ and ‘kalubariga’. This region was ruled by different dynasties such as Rashtrakuta, Chalukya, Kalchuri, Hoysalas, Yadavas of Devagiri and Kaakateeya Kings of Warangal in Andhrapradesh during various periods of its history up to the 11th century. Later on, it was ruled by the Bahamani kings, Aurangezeb of Mughal dynasty and the Nizams of Hyderabad.

Gulbarga was the Capital of the Bahamani kings (1350 A.D. approx.) and it continued to be so till 1424 A.D., when the capital was shifted to Bidar. Allauddin Hassan Bahaman Shah, Mohammed-1 and Tajuddin Fairoze were the important kings who ruled during this period. Legends have it, that the fort of Gulbarga was first built by rAJA gulchand of Warangal and later renovated and strengthened by Bahaman Shah. This contention is not supported by documentary evidence. The fort is very strong even though it is relatively small. It has a circumference of about three kilometers and its walls are 50 feet thick. The moat around the fort which is about 30 feet wide is an architectural feat because the foundation of the fort itself is carved to make way for the moat. The fort has fifteen watch towers and twenty cannon towers.

The fort contains an important mosque built in 1367 A.D. by Muhammed Shah-1. It is a rectangular structure, measuring 216 ft. by 176 ft. Inscriptional evidence informs us that it was built by an Iranian architect named Rafi in the style of the famous Spanish mosque at Cardova. A good number of domes structured partly in the Persian style have added to its beauty.

The Southern part of the fort contains the tombs of the first three monarchs of the Bahamani dynasty. They are contained in a 40 ft square building built on a raised platform. The inner hall contains the tombs.

Khwaja Bande Navaz Darga is the tomb of the famous Saint Hazrath Khwaja Bande Navaz Gesu Daraz. He was a great Sufi saint. (“The Sufi saint settled down in Gulbarga on the invitation of Bahamani King Fairoze Shah Bahamani. For the next 22 years, till his death at the age of 105 years, Khwaja made Gulbarga his home and spread the message of universal brotherhood from here.”) His darga continues to be a place of pilgrimage to both Hindus and Muslims. It is great symbol of religious harmony.

Hafth gumbaj, a series of seven tombs near Gulbarga , Khwaja Bande Navaz Darga in the city and the Hirapur mosque built by Chand Bibi in 1585 A.D. are other important structures. Another mosque was built by Aurangezeb near Bande Navaj Darga. The famous Sharana Basaveshvara temple is a recent structure. (19th century)



Further reading and links:

1. (Jami Mosque in the Fort of Gulbarga)

2.      Sharana Basaveshwara temple

3. (An article and photographs of Bande Navaz Darga.




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