The Adil Shahi dynasty was founded by Yusuf Adil Khan, the ruler of
Bijapur who declared his independence in 1489. He built the citadel or Arkilla and the Faroukh Mahal. He was a man of culture. The king invited poets and artisans from Central Asia and Europe to his court. He married Punji, the sister of a Maratha warrior. After his death, Ismail Adil Shah, his son, became the new king of Bijapur.
Ibrahim Adil Shah I, who succeeded Ismail Adil Shah, fortified the city of Bijapur and built the old Jami Masjid. Ali Adil Shah I who next ascended the throne joined forces with other Muslim kings of Deccan and together they brought down the Vijayanagar empire. With the loot gained, he launched many ambitious projects such as the Gagan Mahal, Ali Rauza (his own tomb), Chand Bawdi (a large well) and the Jami Masjid. Ali I had no son, so his nephew Ibrahim II was made the new king.
Ibrahim II was noted for his valor, intelligence and his interest in the Hindu music and philosophy. Under his patronage the Bijapur school of painting reached its zenith. His son Muhammad Adil Shah succeeded him. Muhammad Adil Shah is renowned for Bijapur's grandest structure, the Gol Gumbaz, which has the biggest dome in the world. Ali Adil Shah II, the next king in the dynasty, had to face the onslaught of Shivaji on one side and
Aurangzeb on the other. His mausoleum Bara Kaman, planned to dwarf all others, was left unfinished owing to his death.