Visit to Gagan Mahal Bijapur

Another imposing structure of Bijapur is the Gagan Mahal, meaning the Sky Palace’. It is a combination of palace and audience hall. The walls are one of the tallest structures of Bijapur. Sadly now the monument is in ruins. But whatever is remaining is very beautifully maintained. Lots of greenery around, so much so that birds have found a home there. I heard plenty of parrots squawking away to glory, it is difficult to comprehend the fact that the ruin is amidst this beautiful surroundings.

Note that there is another Gagan Mahal in Anegundi, Hampi, so the name can be confusing.

History of Gagan Mahal

This impressive monument was built by Ali Adil Shah I around 1561. The building then was used as royal residence and also as the Durbar Hall. Today just this 21m facade remains. The ceiling is no longer there and admission to the crumbling rooms which was the private residence of the King and in the higher floors is not permitted.

Gagan in Hindi means sky, the view from arched windows may be the reason for such a name. In its present state, with the roof gone the name seems to suit it even more. The palace is believed to have belonged to queens. Several factors there indicate that it was residence of Queens. This was maintained well by the rulers like Ibraham Dil Shah, Muhammad Adil Shah, and Ali Adil Shah during their regime.

Architectural Details of Gagan Mahal

The picture below is that of the main arch. It is the tallest and broadest in the whole of Bijapur, 66ft tall and 56ft broad. The platform where performances took place too is huge.

The Durbar hall in the ground floor of the structure has been rightly compared with an Opera stage set. Four to five centuries back, this place echoed the sounds of musicians’ notes and the dancers’ anklets. Today it is the cacophony of horns of vehicles plying all around this Palace.

How to Reach Gagan Mahal Bijapur

The address is:
Gagan Mahal
DC Office Rd
Gopalpur Galli
Vijayapura, Karnataka 586101

It is an open park within the Bijapur city accessible by several roads.

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62 Responses

  1. Sylvia K says:

    Another fascinating trip into India's past and I love it, Indrani! Your photos are stunning as always and are the perfect compliment to the history you provide! Have a great week!

  2. James says:

    What a fascinating place!

  3. Janie says:

    Beautiful photos of the unique architecture. It's so interesting to contemplate what the place was like centuries ago.

  4. Carver says:

    That is maintained well. Almost hard to believe it's a ruins. So impressive and beautiful.

  5. What an impressive structure!

  6. Ruins it may be but very beautiful star attraction to the place especially for that bird. Must be looking for a safe home.

    Good morning from Down Under.

  7. Marja says:

    So old and it still looks magnificent Beautiful place

  8. Prospero says:

    Gagan Mahal or Sky Palace is such a beautiful name.

    I think I would prefer the sound of musicians and dancers to that of motorcars, though.

  9. Rush says:

    Bijapur in the ur travelogue..its fun reading history.

  10. ewok1993 says:

    Very interesting place, as is the many many others scattered all over India.

    I was wondering if there are any efforts to renovate/rebuild?

  11. Luiz Ramos says:

    Beautiful Indian trip. Thanks for.

  12. jinksy says:

    If only we could time travel, to see it in its heyday…

  13. Wren says:

    Thank you for sharing this glimpse of your lovely country. Old ruins are fascinating, aren't they? They have a mystery and other worldliness that you've captured well in your photos.

  14. koala says:

    Such a different architecture from what were here used to.

  15. India is full of gorgeous places! I learn so much from your blog Indrani – thanks!!

  16. Babooshka says:

    We do not have so much historical building here so this is really interesting for me to see.

  17. Kamini says:

    You've done it yet again, Indrani, with the great photographs and narrative. My list of must-see places is growing longer and longer!

  18. Ebie says:

    Your world has a lot of history and ruins, portrayed by each of the photos. Great angles too on the third one.

  19. George says:

    This may be a ruin, but it is still beautiful and fascinating. Thanks for the pictures and information on this structure.

  20. Rajesh says:

    This is a stunning architecture. From whatever remaining now, we can see that it would have been magnificent structure in the hey days.

  21. Pietro says:

    Very fascinating structure in a magnificent landscape! I think it would be the right place for classical music concerts. Thanks for sharing these beauties, Indrani.

  22. magiceye says:

    thank you for the interesting information and the lovely photographs! the last photo is magnificent with the bird in flight!

  23. Gaelyn says:

    I sure like the architecture in India, ruin or not. The lines are so clean and inviting, plus the little details. Too bad it's not in a little better shape so you could visit more of it. Great tour and captures.

  24. J says:

    Beautiful and dramatic as ever!

  25. It seems Bijapur has lots of beautiful monuments.

  26. Hazel says:

    Beautiful places usually retain some of their beauty and lots of charm even when they've become ruins. Beautiful shots, Indrani. As always.

  27. Arija says:

    It must have beena showcase palace in its hayday. It still retains this beauty even in ruin. Such a pity that something so beautiful fell into ruin.

  28. Wolynski says:

    More striking photos. Boy, India is steeped in history, forts, temples, ruins – what a fascinating place.

  29. Jenn Jilks says:

    Thanks for visiting m and my turtle!

  30. mkreider says:

    Beautiful architecture. Your photography does it justice. You lead a very nice tour, thank you!

  31. bindu says:

    Great photos. If only those walls could talk … the stories they'd tell!

  32. Anya says:

    Beautiful ruins,
    they are very special !!
    Great shots as always 😉
    I love old history (monuments)
    Lovely written.

  33. Marites says:

    Very interesting post and beautiful photos you got here. I love the first picture.

    My world is here

  34. Swarna says:

    I'm so glad it's maintained well. Like this Bijapur series!

  35. JO says:


    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  36. irina says:

    Beautiful place and nice photos!!



  37. nadia says:

    You take amazing pictures! I keep coming back to your blog to check on what all places I should be visiting in India. I get instant tour to amazing places and monuments on your blog, so thank you for sharing 🙂

    And thank you for visiting my blog.

  38. mkreider says:

    I would want to stand there in peace and quiet and imagine the sounds of the past, not car horns.

  39. Lovely pictures, but so sad to see the ruins.

  40. Thanks for the tour. Your area of the world looks really fascinating.

  41. Kcalpesh says:

    This one's still a beautiul place despite being in ruins. Makes me wonder about the beauty of it when it was fresh n new. I wish to travel in time really after looking at these beautiful structures! Thanks for sharing all the information! 🙂

  42. Good one, I wish to go trips like this…(-:

  43. radha says:

    Nice to see atleast one site that is being well maintained unlike most other places. The photographs – especially the one taken through an arch is lovely.

  44. One can see the remnants of a once magnificent monumant. Sad to see it in ruins but nevertheless well preserved.
    Thanks for sharing.

  45. Hilary says:

    Always a fascinating series of photos to be found here. I love that last one with the bird in flight.

  46. Onkar says:

    Lovely pictures and narration.

  47. Valerie says:

    I know this is a ruin but it still reveals the ornateness of the structure. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy looking at your pictures.

  48. Ash says:

    Fantastic! I particularly loved the third one…nice framing.

  49. GMG says:

    Hi Indrani!
    Sorry for the long absence! But don’t you think it was a great vacation; some very busy weeks and just a few days off… 😉

    Another place to put on my list. FGreat shots!!

    Meanwhile Blogtrotter is still turning around Iceland. Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend!

  50. Marju says:

    Beautiful photos indeed!

  51. sujata says:

    lovely post and beautifully captured pictures once again, good to be back to a post like this.

  52. a beautiful monument!!!!!

  53. Is wonderful and is really unfair
    that a place so beautiful go to ruin.
    Thanks for the photos and the information.

  54. Jeevan says:

    I could realize how significant and amused might this place been then. Nice snaps and describe.

  55. I guess it is a great place for photography 🙂

  56. The Vintage holds beauty like the Gagan Mahal truely ! What an amazing piece of architecture and the Pics look stunning depicting the details.

  57. Nice, eye-catching structure

  58. Yogi Saraswat says:

    The palace is believed to have belonged to queens. Several factors there indicate that it was residence of Queens. This was maintained well by the rulers like Ibraham Dil Shah, Muhammad Adil Shah, and Ali Adil Shah during their regime. Very informative indeed but I am confused , these mughal emperors used Hindi name for their fort ? or there is some another meaning of Gagan in Persian ?

  59. people only talk about Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur. This place should get more visibility

  60. more than 450 years old….i love to visit such historical places.

  61. Quite a fascinating place 🙂

  62. Sapna says:

    Amazing historical place. I would like to take my kids there.

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