The Citadel in Bijapur Travel Guide: History, Structure, Timings, Best Time To Visit, Getting There (2020)
Bijapur in Karnataka is a city which boasts of a number of architectural masterpieces which will leave the tourists completely speechless! The Citadel is one such historical monument in Bijapur which cannot be missed by any tourist. Apart from its historical significance, the sheer beauty and architecture of the Citadel is enough to leave any visitor awe-struck.
It is highly recommended that if you are in Bijapur, then you must take out time to visit the Citadel as it is considered to be an integral part of Bijapur’s history. Even if you are not a history buff, you should visit the Citadel because of its sheer magnificence. Read on to find out more about the Citadel’s history, structure, best time to visit, timings, how to reach Bijapur, etc.
History of the Citadel in Bijapur
The Citadel in Bijapur is also alternately known as Arkilla. It is another splendid monument built during the Adil Shahi dynasty. The Citadel was built in 1566 by Yusuf Adil Shah. The Citadel’s structure is a testament to the strength of its ruler and skill of the artisans responsible for its creation.
Historically, the Citadel in Bijapur was one of the most important structures of its time as it housed a number of palaces, a durbar hall, lavish gardens, etc., belonging to the Adil Shahi rulers. Apart from these halls and palaces, one can also find some ruins of Hindu temples which belonged to the previous Hindu rulers of ancient Bijapur. These ruins of Hindu temples signify the importance of Bijapur in the pre-Islamic era.
The Citadel is surrounded by walls and a 100-yards-wide moat which was the major source of water.
Structure of Citadel
Though the Citadel is almost completely in ruins today, it was one of the most magnificent structures during its time. The Citadel is surrounded by huge walls measuring a staggering height of 30 to 50 feet. These high walls were decorated with 96 huge bastions having different designs.
Another key feature of the Citadel is that it had 10 gateways. These gateways had a massive width of 25 feet each. The Citadel was an important structure which was majorly used by the rulers to protect themselves and restrict the movements of trespassers.
Places to Visit Nearby Citadel
Visitors to the Citadel can also visit a number of other monuments and ruins which have been constructed inside the walls of the citadel. Some of these monuments are:
- Gagan Mahal – This was the royal palace of the Adil Shahi ruler built in 1561.
- Sat Manzil – This was the seven-storied place of Mohammad Adil Shah which is today in ruins.
- Jala Manzil – This is the famous water pavilion.
- Bara Kaman – This translates to Twelve Arches which is another beautiful monument worth visiting.
Apart from these monuments inside the Citadel, there are few other important historical landmarks as well which are located close to the Citadel and worth visiting.
Timings of the Citadel
You can visit the Citadel any time you wish to during the day as there are no specific timings to visit this beautiful monument.
Best Time to Visit the Citadel
Ideally, it is recommended that you plan a trip to Bijapur any time between October to February. This is considered as the winter period in Bijapur and the weather and climate is perfect for sightseeing. Summers in Bijapur can be quite harsh which makes it difficult to thoroughly explore this beautiful city.
You can also plan a trip during the monsoon season so that you can enjoy some lush greenery as well.
There are three ways to reach Bijapur, Karnataka. You can book a train ticket, a flight ticket, a bus ticket, travel in your own car or hire a taxi.
By Rail: If you are planning for a train journey, then you can book a ticket with the destination as Bijapur railway station. Bijapur railway station has a good rail network and is well connected to major cities via rail such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Belgaum, Badami, etc.
By Road: There are a number of governments as well as private bus services plying from major cities such as Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Belgaum, Badami, etc. You can also hire a private taxi or travel in your own car to reach Bijapur. This will enable you to have your own transportation which will make it easier to explore the various monuments and ruins.
By Air: The soaring popularity of Bijapur as a tourist destination has resulted in the city having its own airport. If not, you can also reach any of the nearest airports such as the Belgaum Airport or the Hyderabad Airport and then take a private taxi or bus to reach Bijapur.
After you reach Bijapur, the two main modes of transportation that you can avail for exploring the city are rickshaws and horse buggy. The Mahatma Gandhi Chowk is the central area from where you can easily hire either of these transportations. Since there are no meters in the rickshaws, it is best that you negotiate a full day’s price with the driver for your sightseeing tour.
Also, if you are hiring the horse buggy, don’t forget to tip the driver at the end of the day.
As a visitor to Bijapur, the Citadel should definitely feature in your local itinerary as it is one of the most important historical landmarks of Bijapur.
You can even hire local guides who will enlighten you with the rich history of Bijapur as well as each of the monuments.