Visit Upli Burj in Bijapur: History, Structure, Timings, Best Time To Visit, Getting There (2021)
Upli Burj Travel Guide:
Bijapur, an important district situated in the southern India state of Karnataka is the perfect tourist destination for architecture and history buffs. As a tourist in Bijapur, you will come across a number of historical monuments which were not only significant during their time but are also a testament to the impeccable craftsmanship of the artisans. These architectural beauties will leave you completely mesmerized by their grandeur and magnificence.
One such must-visit attraction in Bijapur is the Upli Burj which is also known as Upli Buruj and Hyder Buruj. Read on to find out all about this fantastic structure, its significance, history, timings, the best time to visit it, and how to get there.
Many of the historical monuments in Bijapur are well-protected and Upli Burj is one among them. Built in the 11th century, Bijapur was initially ruled by the Chalukya dynasty who gave way to the Adil Shah dynasty by the end of the 15th century. The Adil Shah dynasty is credited with building a number of historical landmarks in Bijapur, including the Upli Burj.
History of Upli Burj
The Upli Burj (Upli Buruj or Hyder Buruj) was essentially constructed as a watchtower having a staggering height of 80 feet. The key person responsible for building this historic monument was Hyder Khan, popular commander in the Adil Shahi army. This is the reason why Upli Burj is also called as Hyder Burj by the locals. This watchtower was primarily built to improve the security strength of Bijapur.
Once the construction of the Upli Burj was completed, it was used by the Adil Shahis to keep an eye on activities taking place outside the fort wall. It was also used to track the presence and movement of their enemies. The watchtower is closely located to the citadel’s western sides.
The construction and location of Upli Burj is considered as one of the brilliant moves by the Adil Shahis which helped in creating a secure and stable defense system for the city of Bijapur.
During the ancient times, the Upli Burj served as an important watchtower for providing protection against enemies and today it serves as the perfect view point for tourists to look over the city of Bijapur. It is one of the must-visit historical sites in Bijapur.
Structure of Upli Burj
The Upli Burj was constructed by the year AD 1584 and it is situated within Bijapur’s ancient citadel and located towards the north of Dakhani Idgah. This 24 meters high watchtower took a couple of years to complete. The Upli Burj tower is cylindrical in shape and features a winding staircase around the main building.
Visitors to Upli Burj can climb up the steep stairs and reach its top most level where they will find two ancient cannons which were an integral part of ancient Bijapur’s defense system. Once you reach the top of Upli Burj, you will be treated to a spectacular view of the Bijapur city. This view is something that will leave you completely awe-struck and you will remember it for years to come!
You will truly be mesmerized by the entire structure and architecture of the Upli Burj. Kudos to the highly skilled artisans who built this historical landmark. This tall cylindrical structure with its winding staircase is one of the best tourist spots in Bijapur and should definitely not be missed by anyone visiting Bijapur.
Timings of Upli Burj
You can visit Upli Burj any time you wish to as it is open for visitors from sunrise to sunset, on all days. You would ideally need about an hour to explore and enjoy this beautiful architectural masterpiece.
Also, visitors to Upli Burj do not have to pay any entry fees.
Best Time to Visit Upli Burj
The best time to plan your trip to Bijapur is during the months of October to February. During this time the weather is pleasant and mild, making it pleasurable for you to explore the city and visit all of its sightseeing spots. Since the summers in Bijapur can be quite hot and humid, it is highly recommended to avoid visiting Bijapur during the summers. You can visit Bijapur during the monsoon season as well and enjoy its lush greenery.
However, you will have to be prepared for changes in your sightseeing plans if there is a heavy downpour.
How to Reach Upli Burj in Bijapur?
Bijapur is a famous tourist destination, especially for history and architecture buffs. Because of its popularity, the government has ensured that it is well connected and easily accessible for tourists coming in from different parts of India. Thus, you can easily reach Bijapur through air, rail, and road.
By Rail: You can board a train from any of the major cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, New Delhi, etc., and reach your destination – Bijapur railway station. You can also get down at Badami which runs four trains daily to Bijapur. This train journey will take about two and half hours.
By Road: You can plan a road trip with your family and friends to Bijapur as it has a good road network with a number of nearby metropolitan cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, etc. If you do not wish to drive yourself, you can book a bus journey from Mumbai, Belgaum, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, etc. There are frequent buses from Belgaum bus stand and Badami bus stand to Bijapur.
A bus journey from Belgaum will take about three hours to reach Bijapur while a bus journey from Badami will take four hours. It is highly recommended that you first reach either Belgaum or Badami and then take a direct bus to Bijapur.
By Air: Because of its emergence as a popular tourist destination, Bijapur now has its own airport. You can either directly book a ticket to the Bijapur Airport or to any of the nearby airports such as Belgaum, Hubli, Pune, Hyderabad, etc.
Once you reach Bijipaur, you can easily book local transportations such as rickshaws to explore the city. You can reach Mahatma Gandhi Chowk which is located right in the center of the city. You will find a number of rickshaws ready for hire. However, remember that these rickshaws do not have any meter, so you will need to negotiate with the driver.
Another popular way to explore the city is to hire a horse buggy or tonga. Again, you will find a horse buggy stand in Mahatma Gandhi Chowk.
You can book the tonga for an entire day of sightseeing. It is highly recommended that you pay a small tip at the end of the day to the driver and ask him to buy something for the horse! This will make both the horse and the driver extremely happy.
If you do decide to visit the beautiful Upli Burj, then you need to keep couple of things in mind:
- The staircase to reach the top of Upli Burj is quite steep, and hence, it is recommended that elderly people avoid climbing it.
- Do carry sufficient bottles of water as climbing up the winding staircase is sure to leave you thirsty.
- Since the Upli Burj is an open structure without any shade, make sure that you cover yourself with hats and scarves.
- Do not forget to carry your camera as the view from the top is something that you will want to capture and frame.
So, go ahead, pack your bags and embark on a beautiful journey to Bijapur!