With a rich history spanning the reigns of several rulers over centuries, the Deccan city of Gulbarga in Karnataka maintains a unique harmony between various faiths even today. With its mellifluous combination of domes and spires, tombs and temples along with a vibrant cultural scene, Gulbarga is a distinctive city with an equally distinctive past
Gulbarga and the area surrounding it has been ruled by different kings dating back to the 6th century AD. Beginning from the Rashtrakutas, the region passed on to the Chalukyas, Kalaharis, Yadavas, Hoysalas, Kakatiyas, Mughals and finally the Bahmani Sultans who made it their capital. Of these, the Bahmani kings have left the most indelible marks of their reign on the city with the many tombs, mosques, gates and monuments scattered across its topography.The old Gulbarga fort is an imposing structure standing testimony to the generations of kings that have ruled from it and fortified it over the years. With 15 magnificent towers, the fort is a great place to spend a day exploring and wondering at the ingenuity of the long forgotten workers and artisans who built it. A Moorish architect, Rafi, who was commissioned to build the central mosque, modeled it on the grand mosque in Cordoba, Spain and today it remains the only mosque of its kind in India. With a huge domed central area, four additional domes and 75 smaller ones, the mosque is fully functional even today. The Bahmani kings have also left several other relics of their time as rulers, and their tombs called Haft Gumbaz are of particular importance. The tombs have been restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. The double tomb of Taj-ud-Din Firoz is worth visiting with its domed corridor linking the two chambers, and dramatic stucco inscriptions.Apart from this several important Hindu shrines such as the Shri Kshetra Gangapur, a shrine dedicated to Shri Sadguru Dattarya lie within driving distance of Gulbarga city. Situated on the banks of the Bhima River, the shrine is an important Hindu pilgrimage center particularly since the confluence of rivers Bhima and Amaraja lies close by and is considered extremely holy. The Sharana Basaveshwara Temple is another shrine dedicated to a saint that draws visitors from near and far.The shrine of a Sufi saint popularly known as Bande Nawaz, is within city limits and greatly renowned by people of all faiths. A pleasant and generally welcoming place, the shrine houses the saints’ tomb in a large domed enclosure. Every year a grand ‘Urs’ or death anniversary procession is taken out in honor of the saint and draws crowds from far and near.Auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, and government buses ply within Gulbarga city and can be used to cover short distances. For longer trips to shrines and surrounding areas it is best to hire a car from the many rentals in the city.The shrine of Gesu Daraz allows only men within the tomb chamber. A women's area is situated outside with a grille to look in.Dress conservatively while visiting the various dargahs and shrines
Gulbarga is not well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights. The nearest airport is in Hyderabad at a distance of 173kms.
Airports: Begumpet Airport
You can easily get regular trains to Gulbarga from other major cities of the country..
Railway Station(s): Gulbarga