Dotted with several mosques, palaces, forts and mausoleums, the ancient city of Vijayapura (erstwhile Bijapur), in Karnataka, holds the keys to some of the precious treasures of Indian history. Start with the surreal Ibrahim Rauza, a mausoleum that has been inspired by the Taj Mahal. It is said that it would have been at par with the Taj if it had been constructed in marble. Another historical wonder is the Gol Gumbaz, which is said to be the second-largest dome in the world. Vijayapura is scattered with many such architectural marvels, thanks to its legacy as the capital of Adil Shahi kings from 1489 to 1686.

Vijayapura is also a centre of worship for Shaivism and the must-attend Lingayat Siddeshwara Festival is a glorious affair that runs for eight days. The city is also the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pattadakal.