Gulbarga is now Kalaburagi. But its been on my agenda for a long time. So when Koni asked me if I was game for a day trip I quickly put other stuff aside and drove off with him.
|Khaja Bande Nawaz Darga|
We started early - 530 am - and drove in what promised to be a rainy day. We passed Chevella (turn left), go to Manneguda (turn left again), Parigi, Sedam (right) and somewhere on the Bijapur road where there is no sign but a petrol bunk you turn left, to Kalaburagi.
|An old structure within the darga complex|
The imposing building that looks like it has been crafted in the heavens is the new ESI Hosipital. A magnificent structure. We passed the Buddha Vihara and I made a note to stop by on the way back. Once inside the quaint old town, I quickly made my way to the famous Darga of Khaja Bande Nawaz.
|Two more domed structures|
Its a famous Darga and one could see vehicles coming to it from far and wide. There are several gumbaz like structures, huge domes, in the town. The Darga is one such and stands among many. Its a hot day and they have laid some cloth wetted with water to keep it cool.
|This is the outside of a complex of seven domes - didn't go in|
People cook all kinds of stuff outside the Darga complex. Its a busy complex. We left our footwear at a flower seller who sold me some roses for offering. We made our way inside (no entry fee here save a steep parking fee of Rs. 50). We headed straight to the main Dargah. Women are not allowed inside so they had to be content with touching the steps outside.
|Imposing masjid - inside Gulbarga fort|
The inside of the Darga is magnificent with inlaid mirror work covering the ceiling. The tomb and its environs are well maintained and it exudes a rare peace. I offered the flowers, stood in prayer for a while, and then came out. It was a spiritual experience.
|Houses inside the fort|
Out of the main Darga we walked into a smaller one. After we finished here, we were leaving, when two young priests who were inside the tomb manning it, decided to make me contribute some more. One young lad beckoned to me and asked me to sit in front of the tomb. I sat faithfully. What is it with people in positions of authority who can make me do anything? He waved something, gave me some sweet, touched my head with a peacock feather fan and asked me to lay some money out. I gently asked if I should use the money box for that. 'No' he insisted 'here under the cloth so we priests can get it.' I did. He was a man of god too.
|Fort - Curious structure|
Then another one came to me. He took me to some oil lamps and said I could make a wish. Then he asked me to think of how many kilos of oil I wanted to donate. Each kg is 80 bucks so please give me the required amount. Thank you.
|Fort with the masjid in the background|
But its a wonderful place with so many believers. Many come with strong faith from far across. I walked along the complex and came out. From the Darga we went to the fort.
|To give a scale|
Its a small one but has walls, a moat. A masjid inside the mosque is beautifully built. The actual fort inside is a curious structure, very high and with no windows or openings. Its like one solid block.
|Information about the fort|
We took some pictures and headed back. On the way back we stopped at a roadside house that serves food. Nice stuff with papad like jawar roti.
|Entrance and exit to the fort|
The hostess settled our argument whether jonna roti and jawar rot were the same. Of course, she said and swayed away. The mutton curry was spicy hot, all other stuff above average. It cost us 170 bucks.
|Moat - all's well and that ends well|
As we got closer to Hyderabad we ventured out to see some farm houses of poeple Koni knew. Fabulous stuff. Tiring, its about 200 kms each way.
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