Mehtar Mahal, built by sweeper !!, Bijapur, Karnataka

Mehtar Mahal,Main gateway, Bijapur,

Mehtar Mahal.Bijapur,

The contributions of Adil Shahis of Bijapur to architecture are  praise-worthy because it is a blend of Indo-Iranian or Indo-Ottoman style of design. The world famous Gol Gumbaz is a good example. The Adil Shahis built as many mosques and dargahs in the city of Bijapur during their reign. They respected the sentiments of Hindus and  maintained cordial relationship with them unlike many Muslim rulers of India.  

Doorway of the Mehtar Mahal Provincial Style of Architecture – Bijapur, Karnataka. (1490-1656 AD)
Mehtar Mahal, built in Indo-Saracenic style with  three-stories  in the front and  beautifully carved arches is an ornamental gateway to  the Mehtar mosque and the beautiful garden inside. 

Located in Bijapur, Karnataka, S. India,  Mehtar Mahal is also referred to as the ‘Sweeper’s Palace’ because, believe it or not, it was painstakingly built by the sweeper of the palace in 1620 from the collection of  gold coins  as 'enaam''( tips)   that were showered upon him  by  the  King  Ibrahim  Adil  Shah I  during his  numerous visits to this place. There is also another story going around that  a fakir built this  simple, unassuming monument over a period of time, using the  charity money -  most probably in gold coins that he received from King Ibrahim Adil Shah II.

The grand slender minarets in the front  are covered with beautifully carved images of birds and rows of swans . The well designed balconies and stone trellis works are supported by  brackets - a typical Hindu style of architectural work. The mosque is beautifully designed and has a stairway leading to the first floor. One may be struck by the impressive  lion and elephant stone motif. The mosque has flat roof and rounded minarets.

Mehtar Mahal may not appear grand, but its simplicity is enhanced by the, fascinating architectural style and  fine carvings that bring out the legacy and grandeur  of the past Islamic art  and culture prevailing in that region.