A GUIDE TO KARNATAKA’S NORTH FACE: VIJAYAPURA AND KOPPAL

Northern part of Karnataka, more commonly referred to as Uttara Kannada is a monumental trip that is sure to leave your thirst for heritage sites satiated. This stretch of the state is home to unique places that date back to the stone ages, and mythical towns that have captured the imagination of generations.

Koppal and Vijaypura, are two districts that offer culturally rich yet offbeat destinations perfect for explorers looking to tread along the path less traveled.

Vijayapura

Located in the historically rich Deccan, the erstwhile capital of the Adil Shahi kings (1489-1686 AD) is dotted with mosques, mausoleums, palaces, fortifications, watchtowers, and strong gateways, with the massive Gol Gumbaz dominating the landscape.

Main Attractions

Gol Gumbaz

This magnificent mausoleum of Muhammed Adil Shah houses the world’s second-largest dome which is not supported by pillars. Built-in 1659, its most arresting features are the seven-storied octagonal spires at the four corners and the heavy bracketed cornice below the parapet. The whispering gallery, which distinctly echoes the faintest whisper eleven times, is an unforgettable experience.

Ibrahim Roza

This palatial mosque and tomb in Vijayapura are said to be the inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra. The mausoleum of Ibrahim Adil Shah II has two buildings standing on a common platform, supported by arches, enclosed by gardens on the three sides.

Bara Kaman

This incomplete mausoleum of Ali Adil Shah II with its 12 graceful arches, conceived on a magnificent scale, was destined never to be completed. In the center, on a raised platform, are the tombstones of Ali Adil Shah II and some of his family members. The graves are in the crypt below, which can be accessed using a door on the east side. The whole structure with its lofty basement, if completed, would have been the most graceful monument in Vijayapura.

Malik-E-Maidan

This is a 55-ton cannon perched on a platform. The head of the cannon is fashioned into the shape of a lion whose jaws are trying to devour an elephant. Legend has it that if you touch the gun and make a wish, it will come true.

KSTDC Property in Vijayapura

Mayura Adil Shahil, Vijayapura

Vijaypura, with its mesmerizing landscapes, palaces, mosques and watchtowers, is a perfect getaway. Once ruled by the Adil Shahi dynasty, Vijayapura has made many contributions to the historically rich Deccan region and is well known for its many awe-inspiring monuments. Located at a short distance from Gol Gumbaz, the KSTDC Hotel Mayura Adilshahi Vijayapura gives a glorious view of the monument. This cozy property has comfortable rooms and a restaurant, which serves Kannadiga delicacies.

Koppal

Koppal district is surrounded by Raichur district in the east, Gadag district in the West, Bagalkot district in the north, and Ballari district in the south. Koppal is close to the World Heritage site Hampi and also covers some parts of the ruins of the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire. It also has numerous Basadis, making it a significant destination for Jains as well.

Koppal is surrounded on the three sides by hills and was an important town in the history of Karnataka and also known as Kopana Nagara.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS

Anegundi Fort

Just across the Tungabhadra river is the town of Anegundi which is more ancient than Hampi. It lies in the mythical kingdom of Kishkinda, ruled by the monkey-king Sugriva of Ramayana. Anjanadri Hill, near Anegundi, is believed to be the birthplace of the monkey-god Hanuman. Anegundi and its tranquil environs are dotted with temples and fortifications. The dilapidated Huchappayana Matha Temple, near the river, is known for its black stone lathe-turned pillars and fine panels. The other places of interest for tourists are the sacred Pampa Sarovar, Aramane (a ruined palace), and the Ranganatha Temple.

Anjanadri Parvata Temple

According to mythology – Lord Hanuman, the monkey God was born in Anjaneya hill in Hampi, in the village of Anegundi across the Tungabhadra river.

At the top of the hill is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. According to Hindu mythology, he was born to Anjana. You can easily spot this hill from a distance because of the white trail of steps zigzagging all the way to the top. The idol of Lord Hanuman is carved on the rock. Also, there is a small shrine for Lord Rama and his consort Goddess Sita inside the temple.

Other major attractions in Koppal include Mahadeva Temple at Itagi, Mallikarjuna Temple at Kuruvatti, Koppal Fort, Gavimath (a religious shrine), and the Malle Mallappa Temple.