Friday, December 14, 2012

Gulbarga Fortress

During the Vijaynagar times plenty of gems and jewellery were traded in Hampi bazaar.  The exploitation of gold mines of Hutti and Kolar and the world's best diamond mining in the Raichur Doab area were source of prosperity for the Vijaynagar empire, it invited not only jealousy but wrath of the surrounding Bahamani sultanate.  A conspiracy was hatched to destroy the Vijaynagar empire and it was realised in the famous battle of Talikota in 1565.  According to historians the wealth of  Vijaynagar empire was plundered for more than 6 months day in and day out.  Before the downfall of the great empire in the battle of Talikota due to treachery of a regiment, Tirumala fled with majority of the treasure to different directions.  It is speculated that the major treasure was diverted to Padmanabhaswamy temple at Trivandrum, and to other destinations such as Penkonda, Chandragiri, Gingee and Vellore.

Gulbarga was originally known as Kalburgi.  It was in existence from the time of  Emperor Ashoka ( 304 - 232 BC ) The Sannati edicts and stupa point out to the influence of Buddhism in this region.  Later Chalukyas and Hoysalas ruled over this territory.  In 1347 Hassan Gangu revolted against the sultanate and formed the Bahmani kingdom with hq at Gulbarga.  In 1520 Krishnadevaraya invaded Raichur and Gulbarga and razed the fortress to ground.  This shattered the Bahamani sultans who decided to re group to defeat the Vijaynagar empire.  The fortresses were rebuilt around 1550.

 The wealth plundered from the battle of  Talikota was used to spruce up the fortress with Jama Masjid which is rumoured to have been built by Moorish Architect, which has a huge dome.  This mosque is inspired by the Spainish Mosque Corbdoba.  This mosque has huge pillars and prayer area which is directed towards Mecca.  The mullahs guarding the mosque are quite possessive and they refrain tourist from wearing slippers and taking photographs inside the mosque.

This massive fortress needs to be spruced up by ASI since it is in a state of crumbling.   There are residential homes inside the fortress.  One can find traces of  temple pillars probably from the destruction of the Hampi temples and ruins of ancient temples in and around Northern Karnataka.

In the precints of Gulbarga fortress we find graveyards and tombs of sufis and royalty who lost their lives during the ancient times.  The fortress itself is surrounded by a huge moat running around the boundary walls.  In ancient times the fortress must have been a strategic place for the kings and their soldiers to take shelter.  

Ack : Wiki photo


sunil deepak said...

Lovely pictures .. I had been once near Gulberga but missed going there ..

Debosmita Roy said...

Beautiful pictures of Gulbarga Fortress, Gulbarga. I have been to Gulbarga, city in karnataka, famous for toordal Pigeon pea and the limestone deposits. It has the largest collection of Islamic art and there are various places to visit in Gulbarga which are adorned with painting containing various designs.Artists love to explore the place.


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