Visit Mithari Mahal and Asar Mahal in Bijapur: History, Structure, Timings, Best Time To Visit & Getting There (2021)
Bijapur, located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, is a beautiful place to visit, especially for those who love to explore historical monuments. Officially known as Vijayapura, the archaeological structures in Bijapur are a treat for sore eyes. One must-visit tourist attractions in Bijapur is the Mithari and Asar Mahal. Read on to find out more about these stunning historical monuments, their history, visit timings, the best time to visit, how to reach Mithari and Asar Mahal and more.
History & Structure of Mithari Mahal
Built during the 17th century, the Mithari and Asar Mahals are testament to the brilliance and architectural wonder of the Adil Shah dynasty.
These two monuments are a wonderful depiction of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. Tourists can easily visit these monuments as they are located just 2.2 kms away from the main city of Bijapur.
The Mithari Mahal also known as Mehtar Mahal is not really a palace as the name suggests. Instead, it is a stunning gateway which leads to a mosque and thriving green garden. Visitors will definitely fall in love with the beautiful walls of the gateway which have amazing designs carved on them. It is said that Ibrahim Adil Shah I had gifted a large amount of money to a sweeper who used the money to build the stunning Mithari Mahal!
As you enter the Mithari Mahal, you will come across various structures which will leave you completely mesmerized. These include a stone elephant and a lion motif. You should also take out some time to go over the grand minarets which have intricate designs of birds and swans.
These carvings are a beautiful example of the artisans’ skill and talent. Made completely out of stone, you will be awestruck looking at the way the artisans have used stone to come up with splendid architectural designs.
The Mithari Mahal offers great insights about the various architectural styles that were prominent during the 17th century. The two major styles that you will get to see at the Mithari Mahal are Indo-Saracenic style used for carvings on the entry gate and the Italian Quattrocento style used for the carvings on the ceilings and doorway. This mixture of different architectural styles makes Mithari Mahal truly a sight to behold! This is a major reason why visitors to Bijapur should not miss out on visiting the Mithari Mahal.
History & Structure of Mithari Mahal
A 10-minutes walk from the Mithari Mahal will take you to another stunning architectural beauty – the Asar Mahal. Built by Mohammed Adil Shah in the 17th century, Asar Mahal will leave you completely stunned with its history, structure, and beauty. A fun fact about this architectural wonder is that it was originally built as a Hall of Justice to carry out various jurisdictional proceedings. After some time, it was decided to use the Asar Mahal to house Prophet Mohammed’s beard hair. Since then Asar Mahal has earned the status of becoming an important pilgrimage site for Muslims.
This sacred structure has been built using the Indo-Islamic architectural style and the craftsmanship is definitely worth admiring. As you explore the Asar Mahal, you will come across three ponds which have been artificially created. One of those ponds is 15m deep while the remaining two ponds are relatively smaller in size.
Once you have explored the exterior beauty of Asar Mahal, it’s time to move inside and explore its interior. The palace has some of the most beautiful paintings and carvings which are worth capturing. As you move to the upper storey, you will see rooms decorated in beautiful frescoes.
Structurally, on the eastern side you will notice an open portico which has four wooden pillars supporting it. This portico faces one of the artificial ponds. This open portico is also used by Muslim devotees for worshipping. The Persian architectural style is dominant here with beautiful inscriptions on the stones.
One important point to remember while visiting the Asar Mahal is that women visitors are not allowed within the premises of the Asar Mahal.
In the month of September, Asar Mahal becomes extremely important as people throng this historical monument to celebrate the festival of Urs. The devotees turn up in large numbers during this time and it becomes quite crowded. Another reason why this sightseeing attraction attracts a large crowd is because of its proximity to the Jumma Masjid. As you enter Asar Mahal, you will also see the remains of the citadel which depicts the significance of Bijapur during Mohammed Adil Shah’s reign.
Mithari Mahal and Asar Mahal are both very old structures but they are still intact and extremely strong. The maintenance of these architectural beauties is the responsibility of the Archaeological Survey of India. This tourist attraction is one of the best places to enjoy some peace and calm.
Mithari and Asar Mahals Timings
Both the Mithari and Asal Mahals are open every day from 6:00 AM to 8:30 PM. Most of the tourists visit the mahals between 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. It is best to avoid visiting this sight during this time. Also, early mornings and late evenings are the best time as you can avoid the crowd as well as the heat.
Best Time to Visit Mithari and Asar Mahals
Though Mithari and Asar Mahals can be visited anytime throughout the year, the best time to visit is between October and February. Also, if you wish to attend the Urs festival, then it is best to plan your trip to Bijapur in the month of September.
How to Reach Mithari and Asar Mahal in Bijapur?
By Air: There are two airports close to Bijapur – the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad and the Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur. You can book your tickets in any of the popular air carriers such as Indigo, Air India, etc. These airports cater to flights from all the major cities in India such as New Delhi, Chennai, Nagpur, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Indore, etc. The airport in Raipur is located 407 kms away from Bijapur whereas the airport in Hyderabad is located 388 kms away.
Once you reach Hyderabad or Raipur, you can take a bus or book a cab to reach Bijapur.
By Road: Bijapur is well connected to a number of national highways and if you enjoy road trips, then you can plan to visit Bijapur via road.
Some of the national highways that connect to Bijapur are National Highway (NH) 16, NH 63, and NH 202.
By Rail: You can also visit Bijapur by rail. The main railway station in Bijapur is Dantewada. There are only two major passenger trains which pass through this station – one which comes from Visakhapatnam and the other which goes back to Visakhapatnam from Kirandul. Since
Visakhapatnam is a major railway station which has train service to and from most of the cities, one can easily travel by rail to Bijapur.
Once you reach Bijapur, you can easily visit the Mithari and Asar Mahals by taking an auto-rickshaw as these sights are just 2.2 kms away from the main city.
Now that you have the complete information about Mithari and Asar Mahals, it is time to pack your bags and plan your Bijapur itinerary. Make sure you spend at least a couple of days in Bijapur so that you can visit some of the other popular sights as well.