Bijapur, the ninth-largest city in the South Indian state of Karnataka, owes much of its importance to the Gol Gumbaz. At 144 feet in diameter, the 17th-century tomb of Sultan Mohammad Adil Shah is the world’s second-largest dome, after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
A trip to Bijapur is well worth your time, not just for the spectacular Gol Gumbaz but also for its treasure trove of historical monuments. These include the Ibrahim Rauza (also known as the Taj Mahal of the Deccan), Jumma Masjid (one of the first mosques in India) and The Citadel, a stunning fort with a moat and sprawling gardens.
And if history doesn’t pique your interest, visit Bijapur for its glorious food! Over the centuries, several dynasties and cultures have left their mark on the cuisine of this wondrous city, with delicious results. Authentic South Indian specialities, Mughlai meat-based delicacies, and spicy Hyderabadi curries – Bijapur serves them all!
And that’s not all. You’ll be delighted to discover that the food here also boasts of Arabic, Persian and even Turkish influences. There’s plenty of continental and Chinese food too, if you would rather stick to these standard flavours.
Bijapur: Top Three Treats
Biryani: This is a layered, aromatic South Asian rice dish that originated among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. Its main ingredients are rice, Indian spices, meat (chicken or mutton), vegetables, egg, dried fruit and yoghurt. Biryani can be had in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian servings.
Idli: This is a savoury steamed cake popular all throughout India. Part of traditional breakfast in South Indian households, idlis are steamed cakes of fermented black lentils and rice batter. Soft and fluffy like cotton balls, these idlis can be found at most Bijapur restaurants.
Indian milk fudge or ‘milk cake’: These mouth-watering pastries, served as a dessert or snack, are a local favourite. The milk cakes are made with milk and sugar slow-cooked in ghee (clarified butter), with pistachio nuts and raisins added for extra flavour.
Authentic Local Food In Bijapur
If you are looking to explore authentic local flavours of Bijapur, prepare to delve into some exquisite food! Here’s a handy list:
Kai Palya: A vegetable curry made with green gourd, cabbage, eggplant or string beans. Thickened with coconut or cashew nuts and mildly spiced, it is served with rice or roti.
Laku Palya: A lentil-based curry that is popular with the locals.
Rotti or Bhakri: Fresh bread made mostly from jowar or bajra is a healthy choice.
Enne gai: Brinjal bulbs stuffed with ground peanuts, sesame, ginger, garlic, garam masala and spices.
Shenga or elu chutney: A spicy chutney made from ground peanuts and sesame seeds.
Kempu khara: A red-chilli chutney that makes a fiery complement for most dishes
Mosaru bajje: A soothing salad, made with curd.
Saaru: Soup prepared with pepper, cumin, coriander seeds and tomato
Apart from this, there are a variety of unique chutneys, dosas, tamarind-based rice (bisibele baath), and rotis made with local grains.
Eateries Near the Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur
Oviya: Before or after visiting the Gol Gumbaz, you should eat at this popular local hangout, which serves both American and Indian fast food.
The Bean Brew Café: This multi-cuisine restaurant is located near the Gumbaz and offers a range of amazing delicacies. While it is pricier than other eateries, this place has good food and an ambience to match.
Hotel Shrubhashree Sager: Recommended for travellers on a budget, this hotel serves hearty Chinese fare, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. You can expect good clean food and prompt service here.
Eateries Near Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur
The Ibrahim Rauza mausoleum, built for Sultan Ibrahim Abdil Shah ll and his queen, sits on a single slab of rock and is said to have inspired the design of the Taj Mahal.
Shisha Restaurant: The extensive menu of this place offers simple but scrumptious vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare.
Kamath Restaurant: This place is a must visit for some quality food and good, quick service. The North Indian dishes are especially delicious.
Other Places To Eat At In Bijapur
Mysore Restaurant: This restaurant on Gandhi Circle is popular with the locals for its excellent food and pocket-friendly thalis.
Street Food: You can find some amazing food centres and stalls all across the city. The most popular ones are SS Green Park Dhaba, Ghar Dhaba, Choudhary Dhaba, and Vaibhav Hotel Dhaba. Don’t miss out on snacking from one of these stalls!
Travelling to Bijapur to sample its delicious food and see its historic architecture is easy:
Location: North West Karnataka, 530km from Bangaluru & 550km from Mumbai
How To Get There:
Air – The nearest airport is at Belgaum (205kms away), which connects to the rest of India
Rail – Bijapur is well connected by rail with Bangaluru and other major cities of India. The station is located just 2kms from the main town.
Road – The main bus stand is near the Bijapur city centre. Bus services are available to Badami, Belgaum, Gulbarga, Bidar, Hubli, and Sholapur.
When to visit Bijapur: Winter, from October to February, are the best time to visit because the temperatures are cooler. You could also time your visit to coincide with the annual Bijapur Music Festival (check dates online).
Population: Approx 2,30,000
Languages spoken: Kannada is the official language, but Urdu, Marathi and Hindi are spoken too. English is widely understood as well.
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