Historical Gulburga fort, Karnataka - seat of power of Bahamani Sultanate


Gulbarga city of North Karnataka has many  monuments with  iconic Islamic style of architecture. Also called   Kalburgi (the stone city),  Gulburga, about 230 km away from Hyderabad, is a great destination for those interested in Islamic monuments that are plenty here, mostly built by the erstwhile Bahamani rulers. The city offers some  interesting places to explore  the  Nizami history as well. There are other tourist sites such as   the Sharana Basaveshwara Temple, Ghathargi Bhagayavanti Temple built  on the banks of Bhima river, Buddha Vihar,  Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah, and Sheikh Roza Dargah. Among the forts here  such as  the Ferozabad Fort, Bahmani Fort,  the most popular one being  Gulbarga Fort. This post is about the lat one.    

Gulburga fort entrance, Karnataka, www.youtube.com

The Gulburga fort was enlarged in 1347  during the reign of   Al-ud-din Hasan Bahmani of the Bahmani Dynasty after he  became an independent ruler  and severed his alliance with the Delhi Sultanate.  Alauddin Hassan, chose Gulbarga  his capital of Bahmini  kingdom (1347–1527).  After 1424, the capital was shifted to Bidar for administrative reasons. The Bahmani Sultanate, the first independent Islamic state of the Deccan in South India and one of the great medieval Indian kingdoms,  ruled the land  for 191 long  years (1347-1538 A.D.) with Gulbarga (Ahasnabad) and Bidar as their capital.

The Gulburga fort and the various impressive monuments inside it reflect a blend  of Indo-Persian  style of architecture.  Covering a vast area of about  57 acres (23 ha) of land with the periphery stretching  3 kilometres (1.9 mi), it is  well fortified with double fortification surrounded by a wide  (30 feet )  moat all around the fort.  The fort structure  is  ingeniously  fortified with 15 towers mounted with 26 powerful guns; each gun located inside the fort is 8 metres (26 ft) long and is still well preserved. Some guns were believed to be the most powerful. A unique  feature noticed in the fort and on the buildings - arches, arcades, etc is the presence of  motifs (emblem of the crescent and disc) implying their lineage with  the Sasanians  - Neo-Persian empire. 

Jami Masjid mosque:
 the Jama Mosque, Gulburga Fort, Karnataka, Getty images.com
 
Inside the Jama Mosque, Gulburga Fort, Karnataka. en.wikipedia.org
Jama Masjid, Gulburga, Karnataka.  deccanherald.com
Jami Masjid mosque, one of the first in South India, was built  by the ruler to commemorate Gulbarga as the capital of the Bahmani Sultanate.   Only one of a kind in India built on the model of  the Great Mosque of C√≥rdoba in Spain, the  well designed masjid with  a symmetrical plan has a simple appearance.  It  dimensions  are:  216 feet (66 m) x 176 feet (54 m). The masjidi was   in ruins. and the state Archaeology dept carried out some major repairs and did some restoration work to increase the life of this heritage site.   
With  no open courtyard, characterized by  the outer passageways surrounding  the prayer hall on three sides and having  low open arcades with arches, the roofed interior bays are covered with low domes, faceted by pendentives.  The front yard across  the mihrab (niche in the wall) has nine bays with a single large dome. This masjid with strong Persian influence has  five large domes (One large and four small at the corners) and 75 small domes with 250 arches

The tomb of Khwaja Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz:

Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz,budgetindianvacations.wordpress.com

Above image:  Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah:  It is a shrine that  has  the tomb of Khwaja Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz, a famous Sufi saint. People who visited this place said,  ''it is a serene place of worship. ...........................   

There  is a tomb of the Sufi saint Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz, popularly known as Khwaja Bande Nawaz, who came to Gulburga in 1413 and engaged in spiritual pursuits and taught the people the essence of life.  The tomb is built in  the Indo-Saracenic style. The structure is  a large complex.

World's largest canon, Gulburga fort:


Yet another interesting fact is the world's  longest canon is located in Gulbarga fort.  Erected  during the reign of Bahmani Empire in the 14th century, it is made of an alloy of five metals (Panch dhatu).  Popularly called the Bara Gazi toph (canon)  it  measures about 29 feet in length. The circumference is 7.6 feet, diameter 2 feet and thickness is 7 inch. The  23 foot long canon which claims to be the largest one in the world is in the  Koulas fort in Nizamabad district, Telangana, South India.