Location: Bijapur, Karnataka
Historical Importance: It has the second largest dome in the world
Nearby Places: Bara Kaman, Chand Bawdi, Gagan Mahal, Ibrahim Rauza
Known for: Dome, Whispering gallery
Things to do/Activities: sightseeing
Add more relevant heads (if any): Also called ‘Gol Gumbad’ (literally ‘Round Dome’)
The enormous mausoleum of Gol Gumbaz was built in 1656 by Muhammad Adil Shah, the seventh ruler of Adil Shahi Dynasty. He constructed this with the intention of having a mausoleum which can be compared with Ibrahim Rauza built by his father, Ibrahim Adil Shah II. His efforts bore fruit and with 124 feet in diameter, the mausoleum is a natural treasure today. Alongside having a gallery which provides an excellent view of the town, the mausoleum also boasts of being the second largest dome in the world, the first being the dome of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome. Moreover, the dome stands unsupported by pillars and houses a whispering gallery where even the faintest whisper is echoed aplenty. Renowned as a structural triumph of Deccan architecture, the Mausoleum stands as a part of a complex which includes a mosque, dharmashala (travellers Inn) and several other buildings. It also houses the tombs of Mohammad Adil Shah, his two wives, his mistress, daughter and grandson. Read further to know more about this engineering phenomenon which must be experienced.
Things To Do
The visitors to Gol Gumbaz can take an elaborate view of its structures and architectural marvels. Apart from this, they can also visit the whispering gallery where even the minutest of whispers are echoed several times. Making a visit to the tombs of Muhammad Adil Shah and his family members can also be worth the while for some.
Gol Gumbaz has plenty of other attractions which include Bara Kaman, Chand Bawdi, Gagan Mahal and Ibrahim Rauza.
Bara Kaman is the unfinished mausoleum which was constructed during the reign of Ali Adil Shah II, the ruler of Adil Shahi Dynasty, and is just five km from Bijapur. It is said that the ruler wanted to construct a mausoleum of endless wonders. However, due to unknown reasons, the construction was not completed. As per the plan, the mausoleum is supposed to have 12 arches which are positioned horizontally as well as vertically around the grave of Ali Adil Shah. It was also planned that the shadow of Bara Kaman would touch the Gol Gumbaz. Presently, it has seven arches along with the tombs of Ali Adil Shah and his family members. It is said if it had been completed as per the plan, it would have been an architectural wonder and would have surpassed all others.
Chand Bawdi is a tank constructed by Ali Adil Shah in the 16th century on the eastern border of Bijapur; he named this after his wife, Chand Bibi. The intention was to enhance the infrastructure and storage capacity of water to serve the requirements of the large number of people who entered Bijapur due to the collapse of Vijayanagara Empire. Chandi Bawdi had the capacity to store 20 million litres of water and later became a model for other tanks which were built in Bijapur. A complex was also constructed around the tank for the maintenance staff.
Gagan Mahal, constructed by King Ali Adil Shah of Adil Shahi dynasty, is located just 2 km from Bijapur. It was built both as a royal residence and as a Durbar hall. The monument has a 21 metre facade with four wooden pillars and a middle arch. While the first floor of the Mahal served as a royal residence, the ground floor was the Durbar hall.
Ibrahim Rauza, a mausoleum constructed by Ibrahim Adil Shah II, is just 2km from Bijapur. Renowned as ‘Taj Mahal of the Deccan’, it is an amazing specimen of Muslim architecture. It is said that this was constructed as a tribute to his wife, Taj Sultana. The structure has a large garden, a mosque with a rectangular prayer hall and a tomb, along with an ornamental gateway. As in the case of other monuments built by Ibrahim Adil Shah, this is known for its elaborate and detailed sculptures.
How To Reach
Gol Gumbaz is just 2k from Bijapur town. Frequent auto-rickshaw or Tonga services are available from Bijapur and there are even bikes which can be hired from the bus stand on an hourly basis.
Gol Gumbaz, with its architectural brilliance and amazing acoustic system, is thronged by visitors every year. Ensure not to miss the beauty of this huge mausoleum when you come visiting.