Located 230km away from Hyderabad, Gulbarga, also known as Kalburgi (the stone city), is a great city to explore if you’re interested in Nizami history and some iconic Islamic style of architecture. It’s incredible how much there is to see and do in this rather low-key city in Karnataka. However, all the major monuments that you see today belongs to the erstwhile Bahamani rulers.
From famous religious sites such as the Sharana Basaveshwara Temple, Ghathargi Bhagayavanti Temple located on the banks of Bhima river, Buddha Vihar, Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah, and Sheikh Roza Dargah to incredible forts such as the Ferozabad Fort, Bahmani Fort and the most popular Gulbarga Fort – you will be spoilt for choice where sightseeing is concerned.
The Gulbarga Fort, especially deserves special mention because the fort has 15 towers; and even though it is in ruins, it reflects some of its past glory. The fort houses the 14th-century Jama Masjid, said to have been built by an architect from Spain on similar lines of the great Cordoba Mosque in southern Spain.
If you want to explore the natural beauty of the city, head to Chandrampalli Dam, built across the Bhima river, for a one day trip. There is an island near the dam where you can participate in activities like trekking and camping.
For intricate geometric and floral designs, a visit to the various tombs dotting the city are a must. One of the interesting ones known for its broken jails and and fine stucco on the ceilings is Chor Gumbad. It is believed to be a victory monument as it does not have a grave inside it. A flight of stairs leading to the roof top will bring you to miniature tombs with small minarets and domes on the four corners. The other notable ones are the Tomb of Bahmani Sultan Hasan and Haft Gumbad.