The foundation of this historic city was laid during the reign of the Chalukyan dynasty of Kalyani between the 10th and 11th centuries. They called it VIJAYAPURA or the City of Victory. Vijayapura experienced a great burst of architectural activity under the Adil Shahi dynasty. The Adil Shahis encouraged building activity to such an extent that Vijayapura itself has over 50 mosques, more than 20 tombs and a number of palaces. Vijayapura is mainly famous for Gol-Gumbaz, Jumma Masjid, Bara Kamaan, Gajanan Temple, Ibrahim Rauza,Taj Bawdi, Mallike-e Maidan, Methar Mahal, Gagan Mahal, Jala Manzil, Upli Buruj, Shivagiri, Siddeshwar Temple etc.
Asar MahalThe Asar Mahal was built by Mohammed Adil Shah in about 1646, which was used to serve as a Hall of Justice. The building was also used to house hairs from the Prophets beard. The rooms on the upper storey are decorated with frescoes and the front is graced with a square tank. Here women are not allowed inside. Every year there is urs (festival) held at this place. In front of the hall, one can see three tanks the bigger tank, which is at the centre is about 15 feet (4.6 m) deep however the other two are comparatively smaller in size as well as depth. Behind Asar Mahal one can still see the remain of the citadel. Just a kilometer away behind Asar Mahal, one can still find the old mosque which is on top of the citadel wall. There is a big entrance with arc below this mosque. Many stones have inscriptions. The site is under maintenance of Archeological Survey of India.
Bara KamanA mausoleum of Ali Roza built in 1672. It was previously named as Ali Roza, but Shah Nawab Khan changed its name to Bara Kaman as this was the 12thmonument during his reign. It has now seven arches and the tomb containing the graves of Ali, his queens and eleven other ladies possibly belonging to the Zenana of the queens.
Gol Gumbaz:Gol Gumbaz is the most famous monument in Vijayapura. It is the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah (ruled 1627–1657). It is the second largest dome ever built, next in size only to St Peters Basilica in Rome. A particular attraction in this monument is the central chamber, where every sound is echoed seven times. Another attraction at the Gol Gumbaz is the Whispering Gallery, where even minute sounds can be hear clearly 37 metres away. Gol Gumbaz complex includes a mosque, a Naqqar Khana (a hall for the trumpeters) (now it is used as museum) and the ruins of guest houses. Its vast dome is said to be the Second Largest Dome, unsupported by pillars, in the world, after St. Peters in the Vatican City of Rome. It is constructed in such a way that even a pin drop can be heard distinctly from across a space of 38 m, in the Whispering Gallery. The acoustics here are such that any sound made is said to be repeated 10 times over. In the surrounding ornamental gardens is an archeological museum.
Ibrahim-RauzaThe Ibrahim-Rauza, built by Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1580-1627), consists of his tomb and mosque within a square compound, both rising face to face from a common raised terrace, with a tank and fountain between them. The mosque has a rectangular prayer-chamber, with a facade of five arches, shaded by the chhajja and a slender minaret at each corner. Enclosed within a square fenestration rises the bulbous dome with a row of tall petals at its base. The square tomb with double aisles around it, the inner one pillared, has similar features but is finer in proportions. Two narrow arches, next to the ones at each end, break up its facade. On the interior, each wall has three arches, all panelled and embellished with floral, arabesque or inscriptional traceries. The tomb-chamber has a low curved ceiling made of joggled masonry, with empty space between it and the dome.
Jumma MasjidIt Built by Ali Adil Shah I (1558–80) is one of largest Mosque in the region. It has a large hall, elegant arches, and an excellent dome with thirty-three smaller domes surrounding it. It has an exquisite copy of the Quran, written in gold. Elaborate entrance gate was built by Emperor Aurangzeb. Jumma Masjid is considered one of the finest mosque in India, is a finely proportioned mosque that was constructed by Ali Adil Shah I (1557-80). It sprawls over an area of about 1,16,300sq.m and has graceful arches, a fine dome and a large inner courtyard with room for 2250 worshippers, spaces for them marked out in black squares on the polished floor. The Mosques sacred alcove has the Koran intricately painted on it with letters of gold. This is one of the biggest mosque standing tall since 450 years.
Malik-e-MaidanThe largest medieval cannon in the world. Being 4 m long, 1,5 m in diameter and weighing 55 tons, this gun was brought back from Ahmadnagar in the 17th century as a trophy of war by 400 oxen, 10 elephants and tens of men. It was placed on the Sherza Burj (Lion Gate) on a platform especially built for it. The cannons nozzle is fashioned into the shape of a lions head with open jaws & between the carved fangs is depicted an elephant being crushed to death. It is said that after igniting the cannon, the gunner would remain underwater in a tank of water on the platform to avoid the deafening explosion. The cannon remains cool even in strong sunlight and if tapped, tinkles like a bell. In 1854 the cannon was auctioned for Rs. 150 but the sale was canceled in the end.
Lord Shiva StatueThe 85-foot (26 m) tall statue of Lord Shiva installed by the T.K. Patil Banakatti Charitable Trust in Vijayapura at Shivapur on Sindagi Road is gradually developing as a pilgrimage place. 1,500 tonnes statue considered as the second biggest statue of Lord Shiva in the country was prepared by sculptors from Shimoga for more than 13 months and the civilian design was provided by Bangalore-based architects. The statue weighs around 1,500 tonnes. A small idol of Shivalinga is installed beneath the big statue. "Shiva Charite" will also be inscribed in Kannada on the inner walls of the temple to help the devotees learn the mythological stories related to Lord Shiva.