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Gulbarga is located in the northeastern part of the state of Karnataka, in the southern region of India. It is 663 km from Bangalore and 214 km from Hyderabad. It is a Major District and fourth biggest City of Karnataka State. It was the capital of the Bahamani Kingdom which ruled this region. The district was formerly part of Hyderabad state and most of the district became a part of Mysore state (later Karnataka) in 1956. The entire district is situated in Deccan Plateau.

Gulbarga, the district and divisional head-quarters was formerly in the Nizam's state, and was the first capital of the Bahmanis from 1347.The two main rivers are Krishna and Bhima which flows through here. Gulbarga was known as 'Kalburgi' in former days which mean stony land in Kannada. Gulbarga is a unique confluence of Hindu and Muslim cultures and contains some of the earliest examples of Islamic architecture in Karnataka. Gulbarga tourism has capitalized on these historic monuments.
History of Gulbarga
The city has historic and glorious part and also has an immense tourist attraction. History of Gulbarga dates back to the 6th century when the Rashtrakutas gained control over the area, but the Chalukyas regained their domain and reigned for over two hundred years. The Kalachuri who succeeded them ruled till the 12th century.Around the close of the 12th century the Yadavas of Devagiri and the Hoysalas of Halebidu took control of the district. About the same period the Kakatiya dynasty kings of Warangal came into prominence. The present Gulbarga District and Raichur District formed part of their domain.

The city flourished during the rule of Nizams. Modern buildings were built, Roads and Railways were laid, and the city was beautified with gardens. The District was under the rule of Nizam’s of Hyderabad before independence. The district has a rich background of knowledge and culture. The existence of university at Nagai in Chitapur, Vignaneeshwara’s Mitakshara, Nrupatunga’s Kavirajamarga and the religious and social revolution led by Shivsharanas and the Sufi saint Banda Nawaz are all evidence of it. However, due to erratic rainfall and continuous occurrence of droughts in the 19th century the life of the people was never smooth and secure. Further during the Nizam’s period, the district could not develop due to the negligence and inefficient administration. The distance was also a factor contributing to it. Thus it was one of the most backward districts when it joined the old Mysore State (Fact Finding Committee 1954).

Another legacy of Gulbarga was that, the origin of HyderAli (who shiate Muslim) was from Gulbarga (Ahsannagar, that time called), his grandfather is fakir from Gulbarga. His father worked in Kolar as a taxman (under the Bahamani kingdom). The region also has produced famous poet, philosopher and founder of Carnatik music, Purandara Dasa under Vijaynagar Empire. Gulbarga has produced another famous saint, Shri Sharanabasaveshwara, in 19th century.
Air : Hyderabad Airport is the Nearest Airport to Gulbarga City, which is 225kms from the city.

Rail : Gulbarga city has a Central Southern Railway Station. There are Daily trains from Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad to this city.

Road : Gulbarga is well connected by roads to nearby areas and major cities of Karnataka. Bangalore is around 600 Km from here and there are regular KSRTC buses that run to and from Gulbarga.
Barring the hot summer months, the salubrious weather of Gulbarga makes a visit to this historical city a pleasant one. If you are planning a trip to Gulbarga during the months of April or May, then brace for a hot and dry climate. During this period peak temperature can reach up to 45C. The onset of monsoon results in heavy rainfall and a high percentage of humidity. Gulbarga records an annual rainfall of about 750 mm. Winter months do not witness a substantial drop in temperatures. During nights you will feel the chill but still the winter months are very much bearable. The best time to visit Gulbarga is just after the monsoon, between the months of October to February.
Tourist Attractions
Gulbarga Fort
The massive Gulbarga fort is part of the earliest examples of Islamic architecture in Karnataka spawned by the Bahmani Sultanate. The fort was originally built by Raja Gulchand, a feudatory of the Orangal Kakatiyas. As Gulbarga gained prominence as the Bahmani capital, the fort was fortified by Alauddin Bahman with a deep moat and massive walls. Ensconced within the confines of the fort are a number of ancient structures including large buildings, mosques, temples, stables, ammunition dumps, carriages, towers, guns, and several beautiful courtyards. The bustling infrastructure of the Gulbarga fort helped as it stood guard against invading armies and raiding marauders. Even though Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya ravaged the structure it was subsequently rebuilt by Adil Shah. The once majestic Gulbarga fort now stands as a dilapidated structure with the structures inside having crumbled into ruins. Owing to neglect on part of the authorities, the fort now presents a desolate and forlorn picture. Several illegal constructions mar the beauty of the fort and the encircling moat is filled with garbage.
Situated on the banks of Bhima River, at a distance of 40 kilometers from Gulbarga, Sannathi is the largest Buddhist site in Karnataka. Number of pilgrims visits Sannathi to visit the famous Chandralamba Temple. It is an 11th century temple which is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Being the largest Buddhist site in Karnataka, it holds a great archaeological importance. Numerous relief slabs of Satavahanas reign, which covered domes of Buddhist Stupas have been recovered in Chandralamba Temple. One relief depicts the birth of Buddha and one has a throne, footprints and a Bodhi tree drawn on it. You will find number of slabs used as steps for a bathing ghat near the temple.
Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah
Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah is among the holiest Muslim shrines in South India. It is the tomb of Syed Mohammed Gesu Daraz which is situated right in the center of the town. Dargah, built in Indo-Saracenic style. However you will get to see more than one form of architecture here. The arches of the dargah are typical examples of Bahmani architecture, whereas the paintings that are found on the walls and ceilings are strikingly similar to Iranian and Turkish paintings. The main attraction of the dargah is the annual urus held here. Thousands of pilgrims from all over India visit Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah to pay their homage. What is most heartening about the event is the participation of both Hindus and Muslims, which puts light on the communal harmony that prevails here. Also visit the library of the Dargah that contains more than 10,000 books written in Urdu, Arabic and Persian.
Jumma Masjid
Situated inside the premises of the fort, Jumma Masjid is among the oldest mosques to come up in South India. The structure of the mosque has huge resemblance to the famous Mosque of Cordova in Spain. Jumma Masjid was built by Muhammed Bahmani in the year 1367. The roof of the mosque is the striking difference that comes in notice. There are 68 domes on the top seem to like a collection of huge pots. The style of architecture is Persian with stilted domes and narrow doors.
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