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This article is about the municipality in India. For its namesake district, see Gulbarga district.
Corporation City
Kalaburagi is located in Karnataka
Coordinates: 17°20′00″N 76°50′00″E / 17.3333°N 76.8333°E / 17.3333; 76.8333Coordinates: 17°20′00″N 76°50′00″E / 17.3333°N 76.8333°E / 17.3333; 76.8333
Country India
State Karnataka
Region Bayaluseeme
District Kalaburagi District
 • Type Mayor–Council
Elevation 454 m (1,490 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 543,000
 • Official Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 585101
Telephone code 91(8472)
Vehicle registration KA-32

Kalaburagi also known as Gulbarga is a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Gulbarga District. Kalaburagi is 623 km north of the state capital of Bengaluru and 200 km from Hyderabad. Although initially part of Hyderabad State, it was incorporated into a newly formed Mysore State (now known as Karnataka) through the States Reorganisation Act in 1956.


In the Persian language, gul means flower and barga means garden, thus Gulbarga is a "garden of flowers." The fort of Gulbarga was constructed like a "rose garden" which gave rise to its name. In ancient times, only the most lavish of houses had a flower garden, and the naming of the city was based on its history of wealth and opulence. Recent days the name is changed to "Kala" means black and "bura" means bad, thus Kalaburagi is a "Black and bad city.


The recorded history of Gulbarga dates back to the 6th century. The Rashtrakutas gained control over the area, but the Chalukyas regained their domain within a short period and reigned supreme for over two hundred years. The Kalaharis 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. Around the same period, the Kakatiya kings of Warangal came into prominence and the present Gulbarga and Raichur districts formed part of their domain. The Kakatiya power was subdued in 1321 AD and the entire Deccan, including the district of Gulbarga, passed under the control of the Emperors of Delhi.

The revolt of the officers appointed from Delhi resulted in the founding of the Bahmani Sultanate in 1347 AD by Zafar KhanHasan Gangu, who chose Gulbarga (called Ahasanabad during this period) to be the capital. When the Bahmani dynasty came to an end in 1428, the kingdom broke up into five independent Sultanates, Bijapur, Bidar, Berar, Ahmednager, and Golconda. The present Gulbarga 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 Aurangezeb in the 17th century, Gulbarga passed under the Mughal Empire. In the early part of the 18th century, with the decline of the Mughal Empire, Asaf Jha, one of Aurangzeb's generals, formed the Hyderabad State, in which a major part of the Gulbarga 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, Gulbarga district became part of new Mysore State.

Gulbarga was renamed Kalaburagi effective 1 November 2014 as part of a renaming of communities in Karnataka state.[1]


The entire district is situated on the Deccan Plateau, and the elevation ranges from 300 to 750 meters above MSL. Two main rivers, the Krishna and Bhima, flow through the district. The predominant soil type in the district is black soil. The district has a large number of tanks, which irrigate the land along with the river. The Upper Krishna Project is a major irrigation venture in the district of Jowar. The main crops are groundnuts, rice, and pulses. Gulbarga is the largest producer of toor dal, or pigeon peas, in Karnataka. Gulbarga is an industrially backward district but is showing signs of growth in the cement, textile, leather and chemical industries. Gulbarga has a university with Medical and Engineering Colleges.


The climate of the district is generally dry, with temperatures ranging from 5 °C to 45 °C and an annual rainfall of about 750mm. The year in Gulbarga is divided into three main seasons. The summer lasts from late February to mid-June. It is followed by the southwest monsoon, which lasts from late June to late September. This is then followed by dry winter weather until mid-January.

Temperatures during the different seasons are:

  • Summer : 26 °C to 39 °C
  • Monsoon : 23 °C to 32 °C
  • Winter : 4 °C to 31 °C
Climate data for Gulbarga
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F 85.6 89.6 95 100.4 101.3 93.2 86 86.9 87.8 87.8 85.3 84.2 90.26
Average low °F 60.4 63.3 72.1 76.8 77.7 75.2 73.2 72.5 72.7 70.7 64.8 59.4 69.9
Precipitation inches 0.106 0.173 0.177 0.713 1.551 4.689 4.587 5.843 7.346 4.142 1.098 0.181 30.606
Average high °C 29.8 32.0 35.0 38.0 38.5 34.0 30.0 30.5 31.0 31.0 29.6 29.0 32.37
Average low °C 15.8 17.4 22.3 24.9 25.4 24.0 22.9 22.5 22.6 21.5 18.2 15.2 21.06
Precipitation mm 2.7 4.4 4.5 18.1 39.4 119.1 116.5 148.4 186.6 105.2 27.9 4.6 777.4
Source: IMD


A street in Gulbarga

As of the 2014 Indian census,[2] Gulbarga has a population of 1,101,989. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Gulbarga 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 Gulbarga, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age. Kannada and Urdu are the main languages spoken in this city.

Religions in Gulbarga
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Includes Sikhs (0.2%), Buddhists (<0.2%).


There are many different attractions located in Gulbarga: Bahmani fort, Tomb of first Bahmani Sultan Hasan, Haft Gumbad-The tombs of Bahmani sultans, Shore Gumbad, Mehboob Sagar, Mehboob Gulshan Garden, Hirapur wells, Government Museum, Holkonda fort, Ferozabad fort, Sharanabasaveshwar Temple, Shri Kshetra Ganagapur (Ganagapur), a well-known pilgrimage site of the god Shri Sadguru Dattatreya Narasimha Saraswati, Sri. Hulakantheshwar Temple (Herur. B), and the Ghathargi Bhagayavanti Temple (Afzalpur Taluk), located on the bank of the Bhima River. Places of religious importance in Gulbarga include the Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah, Sharanabasaveshwar Temple, Buddha Vihar and Sheikh Roza Dargah. Devotees from all over the world visit these places of worship every year.


Jolada Rotti Jolada Rotti/Jowari Bhakri (known as sorghum in the western world) is the staple diet in the region. It is prepared from jowar flour. Jolada Rotti or Jwarichi Bhakri is served with traditional curries, especially Brinjal curry, and spiced groundnut powder and yogurt. Generally, the food in Gulbarga is considered very spicy when compared with the rest of the state.

Hoorana Holige A variant of Puran Poli of Maharashtra. This is a type of specialty sweet found only in Gulbarga and prepared during any festivals. It is a kind of stuffed pancake. Chickpeas and Jaggery are grounded and stuffed into wheat flour and then cooked. This is served with mango pulp as a side dish.

Malpuri Malpuri, also known as "mamu ki malpuri", is another famous sweet of Gulbarga and is the best sweet in north Karnataka. It is best eaten when hot.


Gulbarga Railway Station

Gulbarga is 613 km north of Bangalore and well connected by road to Bangalore, Mumbai, Bijapur, Hyderabad and other major cities. Gulbarga has a 55.5-kilometre (34.5 mi) long, four-laned ring road.[3]

Local transport[edit]

Auto rickshaws are available for getting around the city at fairly reasonable rates. NEKRTC (Nrupatunga) city buses circulate within the city and also travel to the nearby towns and villages.

Long-distance bus routes[edit]

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs a bus service to other cities and villages. There are also various private bus services. The Bidar-Srirangapatna state highway makes travel easy to Bangalore and the neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Goa. There are many private services running buses between Bangalore and Gulbarga, and between Mumbai and Gulbarga.


Gulbarga railway station is served by the Solapur-Guntakal line, which is part of the Mumbai-Chennai line. It is well connected by trains to all major parts of India, such as Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Gwalior and Agra. A project connecting Gulbarga to Bidar via rail is still in progress. Once completed, it will help to reduce travel time between Bangalore and New Delhi by 6–7 hours. Gulbarga railway station comes under the Central Railway.[4]


A minor airport is being developed in Gulbarga on a public-private-partnership basis and is expected to be operational by mid-2014.[5] It is under construction near the village of Srinivas Saradagi.


The city has two Medical Colleges: Mahadevappa Rampure Medical College (MRMC) and KBN Medical College. There are three dental colleges, one run by HKE society and another by Albadar trust, ESI hospital.

There are 6 engineering colleges in the city run by various educational groups. A next generation robotics and VLSI design training and development center has also been started close to the PDA Engineering College, under the name of Bahasa Robotics.

Gulbarga also has a university, Gulbarga University, established in 1980. Its jurisdiction extends to the six districts of Gulbarga, Yadgir, Bidar, Raichur, Bellary and Koppal. Earlier it was a post-graduate center of Karnataka University, Dharwad since 1970. The main campus is situated on 860 acres (3.5 km2) of land, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) east of Gulbarga city. It has 37 post-graduate departments and 4 post-graduate centres located at Krishnadevarayanagar, Bellary, Raichur and Bidar. Another post-graduate centre at Basavakalyan is planned. The University enrolls about 3,500 students every year for various post-graduate, M.Phil. and PhD programmes in various disciplines. Approximately 200 faculty members and about 700 technical and non-technical supporting staff are employed there. There are 230 colleges affiliated with this University offering graduate/diploma courses in arts, fine arts, music, social sciences, science and technology, commerce, education and law. The city has several nursing schools, including Vijaykumar College of Nursing, H.K.E. Societies C.O.N., Al Kareem, and Al Qamar. The city also hosts the Karnataka Central University. Gulbarga is known as the 'City of Education' for its institutions managed by the private and the government sector.

Fine Arts: It also has an Indian Royal Academy of Art and Culture an NGO famous all over India which organises National art exhibition and promotes the artists by honoring them by awards and exhibiting their talent at national and international level.


Gulbarga has been home to two ex-chief ministers of Karnataka, namely Veerendra Patil (1968–1971, 1988–1990) and Dharam Singh (2004–2006); both belonged to the Indian National Congress party. Mallikarjun Kharge is the present Member of Parliament and was also formerly the Union Minister for Railways. The Legislative Assembly members from Gulbarga are: Qamar-ul-Islam (Gulbarga North), Dattatraya Revoor (Gulbarga South) and G. Ramkrishna (Gulbarga Rural).

Shrines and domes[edit]

Famous Dargah of Khwaja Banda Nawaz

The city of Gulbarga is filled with many Islamic shrines and domes. One of the famous Dargahs is that of Khwaja Banda Nawaz, who was a famous Sufi saint from India of the Chishti Order, who advocated understanding, tolerance and harmony among various religious groups. Banda Nawaz was born as Syed Muhammad Hussaini in Delhi in 1321. When he was four, his family moved to Daulatabad in Deccan (now in Maharashtra). At the age of fifteen, he returned to Delhi for his education and training by Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlavi. He was also a very enthusiastic student of Hazrat Kethli, Hazrat Tajuddin Bahadur and Qazi Abdul Muqtadir. After teaching at various places, such as Delhi, Mewath, Gwalior, Chander, Aircha, Chatra, Chanderi, Miandhar, Baroda and Khambayat, he came to Gulbarga at the invitation of Sultan Taj ud-Din Firuz Shah in 1397 and died there in November 1422. Thousands of pilgrims visit Gulbarga during the annual festival held at the holy shrine of Khwaja Bande Nawaz Darga to commemorate his birth anniversary.

Many more big and small shrines and dargahs are also located in different parts of Gulbarga city. Sirajuddin Junaidi and many other saints have selected this city as their last home.


Sharana Basaveshwara Temple
  • Gulbarga's old moated fort is in a deteriorated state, but it has a number of interesting buildings inside, including the Jama Masjid Gulbarga, reputed to have been built by a Moorish architect during the late 14th or early 15th century in imitation of the great mosque in Cordoba, Spain. The mosque is unique in India, with a huge dome covering the whole area, four smaller ones at the corners, and 63 still smaller ones all the way around. The fort itself has 15 towers.
  • Sri Kshetra Ghangapur, a famous pilgrimage center of the god Sri Sadguru Dattatreya, is situated near Gulbarga.
  • Buddha Vihar of Siddarth trust, inaugurated by the president of India, Pratibha Patil, Mallikarjun Kharge and the Dalai Lama on 7 January, is another place of attraction in Gulbarga, visited by all ages of the community. It is located about 2 km from Gulbarga University. It has a large meditation hall.
  • Gulbarga also has a number of imposing tombs of Bahmani kings, and the Sharana Basaveshwara Temple. Gulbarga was also known as Sheriff-e-Gulbarga; however, today it is known simply as Gulbarga.



  1. ^ Variyar, Mugdha (1 November 2014). "Bangalore Wakes up to 'Bengaluru'; 11 Other Karnataka Cities Renamed". International Business Times. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ "PROJECT NAME : GULBARGA RING ROAD". Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "GULBARGA Railway Station". 
  5. ^ "Gulbarga Minor Airport". The Economic Times. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2012.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)