Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Gol Gumbaz

Place : Bijapur, Karnataka state
Significance : Gol Gumbaz counts amongst the major tourist attractions of Bijapur.
Best Season : September to March
Timings : 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
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The town Bijapur in Karnataka state, known with ancient name Vijayapuri meaning city of victory is popular with foreign and domestic travellers. It has historical legacies of Muslims, Jain and Hindu Faiths. A visit to this town, is greeted by sights of fort walls, domes, arches and minarets and, Gol Gumbaz counts amongst the major tourist attractions of Bijapur.

Gol Gumbaz or Gol Gumbadh is the mausoleum of Muhammad Adil Shah (AD 1626 56) of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur. Standing at a height of 51 meters, the mausoleum is a touch of brilliant architect Yaqut of Dabul. The tomb was completed in 1656. The tomb is an example of architectural glory with its magnificent large 'whispering gallery'.

Eventhough, Gol Gumbaz is a fine piece of Islamic architectural style, the building was never fully completed according to plan, since construction began towards the end of Muhammad Adil Shah's reign. As a result, the tomb is surmounting a plain cube with towers in each corner. Adil Shah was buried in the vast vault, beneath the floor along with other family members such as his two wives, his mistress Ramba, his daughter and grandson. The main cenotaph of the tomb is indicated by the wooden canopy kept on the high platform at the middle of the floor of the hall.

The Gol Gumbaz complex includes a mosque, a dharmshala and other buildings related to the sovereign's mausoleum. The mausoleum has a floor chamber of 1,764 sq mt and rises about 55 mt to the dome which stands without the support of pillars. The dome is often compared to Roman Pantheon and the St. Sophia at Istanbul in size and magnificience. The dome is considered as the second largest dome in the world after the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

There are stairs at the four corners of the seven storeyed builing. Built of dark grey basalt and decorated plaster, the walls are nine feet and 3 mt thick with four towers of 7.5 mt diameter reaching the giant dome at the top. The dome at the top could hold about a thousand people. The base of the dome is carved with petals like design that cover the drum.

At a height of 33.22 m from the floor of the hall, projects the 3.25 m wide whispering gallery of intersecting arches. It is accessed through the winding staircase in the four towers.

It was a leisure place for Sultan and his Queen. The gallery echoes any sound at this place for over eleven times. One can hear the tick of a watch across a distance of 37 meter in the vast dome.

There is a mosque qith an oblation tank in front of the Naybat Khana or a drum house, which now houses the architectural museum.

One enjoy the picturesque landscape of the region near Gol Gumbaz from its terrace which can be reached through the steps across the narrow passages.

Apart from the burial chambers of the complex of Gol Gumbaz also houses a mosque, a Naqqar Khana, a gateway and a dharamshala. Naqquar Khana (Trumpet House) of the Gol Gumbaz has been turned into a museum. It was originally established as a district museum in 1892 which contains all the history about the royal past related to Adilshah dynasty who constructed Gol Gumbaz. Opening Hours : 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, Closed on Fridays, Entrance Fee :
Rs. 2/- per head (Children up to 15 years free).