Historical Gulbarga fort and juma masjid, Karnataka

The Gulbarga fort, Karnataka. www.flickr.com

Juma Masjid, Gulbarga .www.indiamonuments.org
Gulbarga Fort.Karnataka.diksoochi.blogspot.com

Juma Masjid. Gulbarga fort. www.panoramio.com
The Bahmani dynasty was a powerful one and it  ruled over the Deccan  and parts of other places for nearly 200 years. The capital was  Gulbarga city in Gulbarga district of North Karnataka, and it is a well known tourist spot. There are several Muslim monuments in and around Gulbarga and they stand as vestiges  of once  powerful  Bahmani sultanate. Among the monuments, the Gulbarga fort an interesting one which  was originally built by Raja Gulchand  during the Warangal dynastic rule and later  it was strengthened by the  Sultan Sikandar-i-Sani Ala-ud-din Hasan Bahaman Shah-al-Wali. 

Gulbarga Fort was under the occupation of  the Bahmani Sultanate and the rulers were at loggerheads with the mighty Vijayanagara Empire. This constant  turmoil and strife  with the powerful Hindu Kingdom was a threat to the very existence of Bahmani sultanate. The  historical  fort and other monuments were destroyed by Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar Kingdom. Subsequently Vijayanagara kingdom began to decline slowly. It was Adil Shah (1459–1511) who reconstructed it with the plunder captured from Vijayanagar. He established the Adil Shah dynasty or Bijapur Sultanate. Subsequently   the fort was  enlarged in 1347 by Al-ud-din Bahmani of the Bahmani Dynasty after he severed  his ties with the Delhi Sultanate.The dynasty lasted in the 15th and 16th century and had five independent states. Mogul ruler Aurangazeb (1658–1707) captured the fort in the 17th century. After the decline of Mogul rule Gulburga became part of the state of Hyderabad ruled by the Nizam.
The Gukbarga port, Gulburga, 8 meter long cannon.www.panoramio.com
Gulbarga Fort, built in the 13th century, is a self-contained fortification where safety and security governed the guiding principles. The fort has 15 watch towers at various vantage points, large buildings, temples, stables,  arms and ammunition storage godowns, carriages, 26 guns (each gun measuring 8 meters in length and is well preserved) and several beautiful courtyards. Copius suppy of water for the fort though canals. Grandeur, beauty are well writ on this historical fortification - a pride of the Bahmani dynasty. The fort is a huge one, covering
 38,000 sq. feet.

Hasan Gangu, one of the officers during the reign of Mohammed-bin-Tughlaq (14th century) gathered an army and marched to Gulbarga after defeating Nasir-ud-din in Deccan. Previously he and other officers earned the ire of the Delhi ruler for failing to collect the revenue and this resulted in a revolt against the Delhi ruler. At Gulbarga Gangu declared himself the sovereign head and took up the title of 'Sikandar-i-Sani Ala-ud-din Hasan Bahman Shah-al-Wali'. This way, an ordinary employee of the Delhi ruler,  laid the foundation of the Bahmani Kingdom in 1347. Gulburga remained the capital of the Bahmani Kingdom till 1424 and later the capital was shifted to Bidar Fort, as Bidar had better and congenial climate.

Gulbarga Fort, Jama Masjid.www.youtube.com
Presently under the management of the ASI Gulbarga Fort is a well recognized  national monument.  Within the prescints of the fort lie, damaged Vishnu temple, Jama Masjid built by Mohammed I, second ruler of Bahmani Kingdom, the 'Rana Mandala', the cannons, horse and elephant stables.  The other features that attract the people's attention are the Haft-Gumbaz, mausoleum of Feroze Shah and family, the Sultan Hasan's tomb, the tomb of Ghias-ud-din, tomb of the Sufi saint Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz (popularly known as Kwaja Bande Nawaz, built in the Indo Saracenic style; the Sufi saint came to Gulburga in 1413).   Currently this fort is underging some repair works undertaken by the  ASI.

The  historical Jama Masjid, constructed  in 1367 to commemorate the establishment of the dynastic rule of the Bahmani kingdom at Gulbarga fort between 1327 and 1424, is a unique structure in India, reflecting   Persian architectural style with impressive domes of large ones and  small ones and innumerable arched  columns. The arches have a wide span  supported by short imposts. This type of unconventional stretched arches is typical of Deccan architecture. The masjid has  dimensions of 216 feet x 176 feet built on the model of the  Great Mosque of C√≥rdoba in Spain (Moorish architecture) with typical arched doorways. It majestically stands on the ramparts of the Gulbarga fort. One unusual feature  is thMasjid  does not have minarets.

Tourists can reach Gulbarga via Bijapur, Bidar or directly from Bangalore. From these places cars are available for the journey.