Gulbarga, a city seeped in history with a unique amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim cultures.
Gulbarga, a unique synthesis of two cultures is filled with beautiful places, mosques, stately building and bazaars. The place is home to Khwaja Bande Nawaz, tomb of the great Sufi saint, Khwaja Syed Mohammed Gesu Daraz, Sultan Hasan’s tomb, the mausoleum of Feroze Shah, and the shrine of Shri Sharanabasaveshwara. On a recent visit to this land of cultures, I confess the choice was made after I emphatically stated to my family, “Religious harmony among its people combined with culture should be our destination focus”. If you don’t know much about Gulbarga it is interesting to know that the city was primarily a Hindu city before the Muslim conquest. When Bahman Shah ascended the throne of Daulatabad, he choose Gulbarga a his capital. The name Gulbarga comes from the Kannada word Kaliburgi that means ‘the story land’. The city was called Kalburgi in the middle age. A mirror to the past of Karnataka, the city during the Bahmani regime, under the influence of Persian, became Gulbarga. ‘Gul’ means flower and ‘barga’ leaf in the Persian.
Our first stop was the Dargah Hazrath Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudara. We took an auto rickshaw to reach it and the rickshaw driver told us that not too long ago tongas were a common mode of communication. The daragh is a beautiful shrine with a huge dome over it. Even from a distance it was visible with its majestic white distinct architecture. It is one of South India’s holiest Muslim shrines. Saint Hazrath Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudaraz, who taught love and looked upon everyone as equal.
There are plenty of anecdotes about the dargah. We were told once when someone tried to take the silver salver that was placed in one of the mausoleums it miraculously wafted to the ceiling and is fixed here even today. The ceiling itself has been done up with colour mirrors and reminds one of the sheesh mahals with their glittering glass pieces. Gulbarga sees an extra influx of tourists during the annual Urs festival that is held in December. A mela where stalls line the road leading to the Dargah are a shopping delight. Everything from toys, accessories, rides for kids to shops selling various religious items, jewellery, handicraft items, household knick knacks, snacks and clothes are sold here. Then we proceed to the Sharanabasaveshwar, Appan hudi. Also known as SB temple, the temple is based on Indo-sarasnic style of architecture and the yearly 10-day yatra sees lakhs of pilgrims paying their obeisance to Lord Sharanabasaveshwar.
The Dalai Lama inaugurated the stupa in January 2009. The Vihara is spread over 75 acres of land and rises sixty feet above ground level. The serene sitting Buddha statue is the biggest sitting Buddha statue in South India, weighing 400 kgs and made of panchaloha with a gold coating. It is one of the few Buddha idols with two of his earliest disciples Anand and Kashyap offering their obeisance. Well known sculptors of Bangkok sculpted the idol and it was brought to India and installed on the occasion of Vijaya Dasami, also the day on which Emperor Ashoka embraced Buddhism. In the Vihara premises, the 12-feet high bronze statute of Dr Ambedkar along with 10 followers is also impressive.
Date with history
Resuming our sightseeing, our next stop was the Gulbarga Fort that used to be a magnificent structure with 13 towers and 26 guns. Today it is dilapidated through the Jamma Masjid, built on the lines of the great Mosque of Cardova of Spain is still a splendid sight to behold. The masjid built in 1367, to commemorate Gulbaraga’s status, as the capital is one of the earliest mosques in South India, and the only one without an open courtyard. Originally built by Raja Gulchand and later fortified by Ala-ud-din Bahman, the fort with its moat transports you to Gulbarga’s glorious past, when kingdoms fell and others rose from their ashes.
For shopping one can buy saris with zari work done on them, salwar kameezes with heavy embroidery and traditional jewellery studded with stones and beads at extremely reasonable prices. If you have time in your hand, you can travel 40 kms from Gulbarga in a private taxi or a bus to visit famous pilgrimage centre of Sri Sadguru Dattareya. Gangapur is one of the most famous Dattatreya Peethas and is associate with Sri Narasimha Saravati Swami, an incarnation of Lord Dattareya. Over all the city of Gulbarga has lot to offer.
The nearest airport to Gulbarga is Hyderabad, situated 220 kms away and it is also well connected to Bangalore, situated 600 kms away and Mangalore is situated at a distance of 542 kms.Thai Airways, Jet Airways, Qatar Airways, Air India and Emirates are has flights to Hyderabad and Bangalore from all metroploitan cities in India and other countries.
Heritage Inn Hotel, Aditya Hotel, Kadamba Hotel and Pariwar Hotel these are hotels which resides near to the Gulbarga railway station.Use the search window to Book your accommodation.
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