It was at Bijapur, Jama Masjid, we got to see one of the rare mihrabs of world which still has rich gold inlay work intact. The inner courtyard of the mosque can accommodate 2250 worshippers during the prayer times. Spaces are neatly marked black outline in the polished floor for each worshipper. This was built by Ali Adil Shah I, the same ruler who built the Gagan Mahal.
At Malik-e-Maidan (Monarch of the Plains) we saw a huge canon with Islamic inscriptions. It was brought as a war trophy to Bijapur. Observe the canon carefully; you will see the head of the canon shaped like a tiger, whose razor sharp jaws are closing on an elephant. “The tiger represents the Islam while the elephant represents the Hindus,” our guide told us. ‘Was it necessary, this religious interpretation of something artistic?’ I wondered. Anyways we moved on.
The monuments and the major tourist attraction posts are all well maintained, but the city as such isn’t so well maintained. Chaotic and congested traffic, it looks like those typical sleeping towns which suddenly woke up to the hustle and bustle of busy in-flowing traffic of the tourists. Walk little bit in to the interiors you will find the typical Indian village life. People still stand in long queues for their weekly/monthly quota of fuel (kerosene).
We saw colorful pots, all in a row. They were left behind by their owners to indicate their position in the long wait for water. Water is available to them just on timely basis. If you notice carefully, there is no tap, only an open outlet. This is Bijapur, a historic city, wealthy with palaces, mausoleums and monuments, yet not rich.