Gulbarga is about 160km northeast of Bijapur, Gulbarga to the visitors is widely known as the home of 14 century Sufi saint Mohammed Gesu Daraz Chisti (also known as Khwaja Bande Nawaz). Bordering Raichur on the south and Bijapur on the west it is drained by the mighty Krishna and the river Bhima forms the natural boundary between Gulbarga and Bijapur.
In course of time, Rashtrakutas ruled over Gulbarga followed by Yadavas of Devagiri, the Bahamanis, the Adil Shahi of Bijapur, the Hyderabad Nizam till its integration with the erstwhile Mysore State in November 1956.
Gulbarga is easily approachable on rail route from Bangalore (600 km) and Hyderabad (220km) in neighboring Andhra Pradesh. There are regular bus connections to Bidar (120km), Belgaum(360km), and Bijapur(160km).
Places of interest
The Gulbarga Fort originally built by Raja Gulchand and later fortified by Alauddin Bahamani is in ruins, with only its mosque and tombs being the notable remains worth a visit.
The Khawja Bande Nawaz Dargah is one of the chief tourist attractions and both Muslims and Hindus attend an annual Urs lasting for a fortnight during the month revered mosques in south India. The Dargah's beautiful interior blends Persian friezes, inscriptions and a canopy of mother of pearl inlaid with mirrors. The Chor Gumbad built in 1429 is known for its unusual miniature corner cenotaphs. The 19 century Sharana Baasaveshwar Temple is dedicated the saint poet Shri Sharana Basaveshwar.
Gulbarga is about 16km, the village of Martur is known for the author Vijaneshwara of Mitakshara, a treatise on law compiled 10 centuries ago and nearly a millennium old baobab tree. Gangapura is about 40km west of Gulbarga. Gangapura is the confluence of rivers Bhima and Amreza. It is site of Sri Narasimbha Saraswati Math. The annual jatra in February attracts a large number of devotees from several parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Sannathi is about 60km south. It is an important pilgrimage centre on the banks of the river Bhima known for its Chandralamba Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The inner courtyard of the temple has 12 dwadasha lingam and idols of Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Saraswathi. Another temple dedicated to Markandeya and the Samadhi of Vishwambara Dikshita are other revered sites. Recently some remains of Buddha stupas, sculptures and a few inscriptions in Prakrit and Kannada have been excavated indicating that Sanathi was once an important Buddhist centre.
Afzalpur is about 69km southwest. It is visited for the tomb of Afzal Khan a 16km from here is the 800 years old temple of Bhagyavanthi at Phattaragi.
Shorapur, 100km, draws visitors for its motley mix of temples, mosques, palaces, and old colonial bungalows.