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Gulbarga, Bidar, Bijapur

Helen Philon (Author) Clare Arni (Photography) Jaico/Deccan Heritage Foundation Guidebook Series

The magnificent monuments of Gulbarga, Bidar and Bijapur in northern Karnataka are manifestations of a vibrant culture that flourished under the rule of the Bahmani and Adil Shahi sultans during the 14th to 17th centuries. The wealth of these rulers derived from the lucrative trade routes that traversed the Deccan plateau, while the splendour of their courts owed much to an open immigration policy by which gifted individuals from other parts of India, as well as from the Middle East and Central Asia, were encouraged to settle. Though the Bahmanis were supplanted partly by the Adil Shahis at the turn of the 16th century, and the latter were annihilated by the Mughal invasion of the Deccan in the 1680s, their capital cities preserve many splendid buildings. These include the imposing fortresses of Gulbarga and Bidar, the grand audience halls and ornate residential apartments in Bidar and Bijapur, the mosques and Sufi shrines in Gulbarga, and the beautifully decorated royal tombs on the outskirts of Bidar and Bijapur. For more adventurous travellers there are the abandoned ruins of Firuzabad and the decaying pleasure resort at Kumatgi. All these monuments and sites are described and profusely illustrated in this guidebook, the first ever to be published for this region.

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About the author

Helen Philon

Helen Philon, a freelance Islamic art historian, has founded the Department of Islamic Art at the Benaki Museum, Athens where she was curator for a number of years.  In 1981, she published Early Islamic Ceramics at the Benaki Museum.  Her PhD on the “Religious and Royal Architecture of the Early Bahmanis” (2005) analyses the monuments of this period within their multi-ethnic cultural and religious context.  She is interested in intercultural relations.

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Bibliographic information

Title Gulbarga, Bidar, Bijapur
Format Softcover
Date published: 13.09.2014
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788184956016
length 144p., Colour; Illustrations; Colour; Maps; 20cm.