Kalaburagi, also known as Gulbarga, is a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Kalaburagi district and is the largest city in the region of North Karnataka (Kalyana-Karnataka). Kalaburagi is 623 km north of the state capital city of Bangalore. It was incorporated into the newly formed Mysore State (now known as Karnataka) through the States Reorganisation Act in 1956.
Kalaburagi city is governed by a Municipal Corporation and is in the Kalaburagi Urban Region. It is called a Sufi city. It has famous religious structures, like the Khwaja Banda Nawaz Dargah, the Sharana Basaveshwara Temple and the Buddha Vihar. It also has a fort built during Bahmani rule. Other Bahmani monuments include the Haft Gumbaz (seven domes together) and the Shor Gumbad. Kalaburagi has the world’s largest cannon. Kalaburagi has a few architectural marvels built during the Bahamani Kingdom rule, including the Jama Masjid in the Kalaburagi Fort. Kalaburagi houses the circuit bench of the High Court of Karnataka. Several buildings in the city were put by UNESCO on its “tentative list” to become a World Heritage Site in 2014, with others in the region, under the name Monuments and Forts of the Deccan Sultanate (despite there being several sultanates)
The history of Kalaburagi dates to the 6th century. The Rashtrakutas gained control over the region, but the Chalukyas regained their domain within a short period and reigned supreme for over 200 years. The Kalyani Kalachuris who succeeded them ruled until the 12th century. Around the end of the 12th century, the Yadavas of Devagiri and the Hoysalas of Dwarasamadra destroyed the supremacy of the Chalukyas and Kalachuris of Kalyani. Around the same period, the Kakatiya kings of Warangal came into prominence and the present Kalaburagi and Raichur districts formed part of their domain. The Kakatiya power was subdued in 1323 AD and the entire Deccan, including the district of Kalaburagi, passed under the control of the Delhi Sultanate.
The revolt of the officers appointed from Delhi resulted in the founding of the Bahmani Sultanate in 1347 CE by Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah, who chose Kalaburagi (Hasanabad) to be the capital. When the Bahamani dynasty came to an end in 1527, the kingdom broke up into five independent Sultanates, Bijapur, Bidar, Berar, Ahmednagar, and Golconda. The present Kalaburagi district came partly under Bidar and partly under Bijapur. The last of these sultanates, Golconda, finally fell to Aurangzeb in 1687.
With the conquest of the Deccan by Aurangzeb in the 17th century, Kalaburagi passed under the Mughal Empire. In the early part of the 18th century, with the decline of the Mughal Empire, Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I, one of Aurangzeb’s generals, formed the kingdom of Hyderabad, in which a major part of the Kalaburagi area was also included. In 1948, Hyderabad State became a part of the Indian Union, and in 1956, excluding two talukas which were annexed to Andhra Pradesh, Kalaburagi district became part of new Mysore State.
Gulbarga (Urdu) (city of flowers and gardens) was renamed Kalaburagi (Kannada) (Kal-means stone in Kannada, bur means thorns in Kannada the whole name represents “The Land of stones and thorns”) effective 1 November 2014
The entire district is on the Deccan Plateau, and the elevation ranges from 300 to 750 m above MSL. Two main rivers, the Krishna and Bhima, flow through the district. The predominant soil type is black soil. The district has many tanks, which irrigate the land along with the river. The Upper Krishna Project is a major irrigation venture in the district of Kalaburagi. The main crops are groundnuts, rice, and pulses. Kalaburagi is the largest producer of toor dal, or pigeon peas, in Karnataka. Kalaburagi is an industrially backward district but is showing signs of growth in the cement, textile, leather and chemical industries. Kalaburagi has a university with Medical and Engineering Colleges. Central University of Karnataka (CuK) is located in Kadaganchi, Åland Taluk of Kalaburagi.The geographical area of the city is 64 square kilometers.
Kalaburagi has a hot semi-arid climate (BSh) bordering on a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw). The climate of the district is generally dry, with temperatures ranging from 8 °C to 45 °C and an annual rainfall of about 750 mm. The year in Kalaburagi is divided into three main seasons. The summer lasts from late February to May. It is followed by the southwest monsoon, which lasts from late June to late October. This is then followed by dry winter weather from late November until February.
As of the 2011 Indian census,Kalaburagi city has a population of 533,587. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Kalaburagi has an average literacy rate of 67%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. The male literacy is 70%, while that of females is 30%. In Kalaburagi, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Kannada is the main language and is spoken by 56% of the population in the city. Deccani Urdu is the second largest language and is spoken by 36%. Other small minority languages are Marathi, Hindi, Telugu and Lambadi.
Government and politics
Kalaburagi has been home to two ex-chief ministers of Karnataka, namely Veerendra Patil (1968–1971, 1988–1992) and Dharam Singh (2004–2006); both belonged to the Indian National Congress party.
Kalaburagi comes under Kalaburagi Lok Sabha constituency. Umesh. G. Jadhav from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the Member of Parliament (MP) since 2019. Mallikarjun Kharge from Indian National Congress (INC) represented the constituency between 2009 and 2019 for two terms and was also formerly the Union Minister for Railways. He is the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha since February 2021.
Kalaburagi city has two Vidhan Sabha constituencies: Kalaburagi Uttar (North) and Kalaburagi Dakshin (South). Both are part of Kalaburagi Lok Sabha constituency. The MLA for Kalaburagi Uttar is Kaneez Fatima from Indian National Congress, while the MLA for Kalaburagi Dakshin is Dattatraya C. Patil Revoor from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Art and architecture
The largest collection of Islamic art is seen at the domed ceiling and walls are adorned with painting containing calligraphy designs and floral, flower and plants and geometric patterns inside the 14th century tomb of Sufi saint Syed Shah Qhabulullah Husayni with natural colours. By religious restrictions the artist was prohibited from depicting living beings in the interior of tomb, and his imagination was therefore employed either in inventing new designs for religious texts or in adding further delicacy and subtleness to the geometric and floral devices by making the drawings more and more intricate. A small tomb beside the said Sufi’s has an excellent work painted flower plants on ceiling. Another vacant Shore Gumbad outside the city has delicate designs on its domed ceiling is superb.
The walls and ceiling of the tomb of Sultan Firuz Shah Bahmani can be appreciated which, although in monotone, represents faithfully the creepers and floral patterns, the numerous geometric devices and calligraphic styles. The most notable building, however, of this period is Jama Masjid of Kalaburagi fort, built by a Persian architect named Rafi in 1367 during the reign of Bahmani King Mohammed Shah I.
The glory of the towns in north Karnataka waned with the decline of the Bahmani dynasty, although Barid Shahi and Adil Shahi Kings kept up its beauty during their chequered rule. It suffers from pollution through nickel and lead.
Royal patronage played an important role in the making of Islamic art, as it has in the arts of other cultures. From the 14th century onwards, especially in eastern lands, the books of art provide the best documentation of the courtly patronage.
Kalaburagi has its own airport named Kalaburagi airport which was inaugurated by Karnataka CM Yediyurappa on 22 November 2019 and started on the same day.
Kalaburagi has a railway station named Kalaburagi railway station which comes under the solapur division.
Kalaburagi will soon be a part of high-speed rail corridor running from Mumbai to Hyderabad.
Kalaburagi is a headquarter of the NEKRTC bus transport which was founded and started on 15 August 2000 and serves the North-Eastern Districts of Karnataka. It also has Nrupatunga city bus service which serves Kalaburagi urban and Sedam and is operated by NEKRTC itself.
The Central University of Karnataka is located in Kalaburagi. The Gulbarga University, Sharnbasva University, and Khaja Bandanawaz University, are the other universities in the city.