North Karnataka Heritage Trail - Day 4 & 5 - Bijapur & Back

A five day car trip across North Karnataka exploring the ancient architectural wonders of Hampi, Badami, Patadkal, Aihole and Bijapur.

If you are an architecture and history buff, then this is the trip for you!!

We traveled across North Karnataka on a heritage trail end of last year in a 5 day trip including driving to and from Bangalore. Karnataka has been ruled by several powerful empires and each of these empires has left a mark on the architectural landscape of the state. From the intricate carving of 5th century temples to the giant domes of 17th century, North Karnataka has a lot to offer. So these holidays instead of visiting the tourist favorites of Bangalore-Mysore, take some time out to go see these ancient beauties.

 In our 5 day trip, we covered Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole and Bijapur.

This trip is divided across 3 posts, so keep reading. Our itinerary was as follows:

Day 1 - Travel from Bangalore to Hosapete. Visit Anegundi.
Day 2 - Visit Hampi and TB Dam. Travel to Badami.
Day 3 - Visit Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole
Day 4 - Visit Bijapur
Day 5 - Travel back to Bangalore.

This post, details the Day 4&5

Read about Days 1 and 2 in Hampi here and Day 3 in Badami, Patadkal and Aihole, here.

Day 4

We set out for Bijapur or Vijayapura, as it is known today on Day 4 of our journey. After touring Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole, we halted at Bagalkot. We set out for Bijapur early next morning after having our breakfast at the hotel. The distance between the two cities is around 84 km and can be covered in 2 hours. 

While my first two post were all about Hindu and Jain temples, this one is different. Bijapur or Vijayapura has an Islamic past. It was ruled for over a century by the Adil Shahi dynasty and then passed on to the hands of other Islamic dynasties. So the architecture here is very different from the other places mentioned in my North Karnataka Heritage Trail.

Bijapur is an important town in Karnataka, and hence has several hotels, restaurants and markets. It even has a mall now. The place can get busy in peak seasons, so book your hotel in advance. Most of the monuments are open from 6am to 6pm. In peak seasons, we suggest you start early to cover the main ones.

Gol Gumbaz

No visit to Bijapur can be complete without visiting the Gol Gumbaz. Gol Gumbaz is the mausoleum of King Mohammad Adil Shah. This mighty monument is famous for its echoes and the whispering alley. To enjoy the monument, we suggest you beat the crowd and be there early, preferably before 8am. Unfortunately, we visited the monument when there were several school children on trip and the echoing of their screaming and shouting made us feel we were in a swarming bee hive. The security guard informed us that schools usually visit by 9am, hence we suggest being here as early as possible. You will need to purchase a ticket to visit the monument. There is parking available at the monument.

Upli Burz

This is a small, but famous watchtower with two canons on the top. You don't need to buy any ticket to visit it. The steps, though few in number are very steep, so climb carefully.

Ibrahim Roza

This is a 17th century monument that houses the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II . It has 2 structures, one with the tomb and one mosque. The domes are beautiful and it rises from a lotus petal base. The complex is open from 6am to 6pm and requires you to buy a ticket to visit.

Bara Kaman

This is an unfinished mausoleum of one of the Adil Shahi Kings's. It was supposed to have 12 arches, but we counted less. The place requires no ticket to visit and has no parking available close by. Park near the road and walk inside.

Jod Gumbaz

This is a set of two mosques located close to the KSRTC bus stand. Both mosques are still being used for worship. No ticket required here. You can park on the road outside.

Other places to see in Bijapur, if you have time:

  • Gagan Mahal
  • Taj Bawdi
  • Shivgiri Temple
  • Torvi Narasimha Temple
  • Malik-i-Maidan
  • Jumma Masjid
  • Mithari Mahal
  • Asar Mahal
After we finished our history filled day, we started towards Bangalore the same night. We started from Bijapur around 6pm and halted at Hosapete for the night. We reached Hosapete around 9.30 pm. 

On Day 5 we continued our journey towards Bangalore from Hosapete.


  • You can hire autos or horse driven tangas in the city that will take you to all the monuments at a nominal price.
  • You are not allowed to carry large bags inside Gol Gumbaz complex. You can either keep them in the car or in the cloak room near the ticket counter.
  • Buy local terracotta vessels for cooking on the road between the KSRTC bus stand and Jod Gumbaz. They are very reasonably priced.
  • Eat Joladda Rotti Oota near the KSRTC bus stand if you can tolerate spicy food.
  • S Hypermart on the outskirts of the city is a huge super market that is open till 11 pm.

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