The grandest Islamic buildings in the Deccan region are to found in Bijapur, capital of the Adil Shahis. Fuelled by its monopoly over the trade in Arabian horses through Goa, the Sultanate became a major centre of commerce, education and culture between the 15th and 17th centuries, attracting scholars, poets, painters, dancers, calligraphers and Sufi saints from across the Muslim world.

The vast wealth bagged by the defeat of the Vijayanagar empire in 1565 financed an unparalleled building boom, in which the mighty Golgumbaz mausoleum was added to the city’s skyline. It was followed by splendid Jama Masjid, widely regarded as one of India’s finest mosques, and the graceful Ibrahim Rauza tomb, the high watermark of Deccani Muslim architecture.

Dozens more amazing monuments still stand in this old walled city, whose architectural legacy has earned the epithet “Agra of the South”.


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