Sunday, 24 July 2016

Stunning facts of Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur that needs bettter publicity

Gol Gumbaz   interior. Bijapur Karnataka. www.flickr.com
Gol Gumbaz main entrance. Bijapur Karnataka.flickr.com
Gol Gumbaz General View.,Bijapur, Karnataka.alamy.com

It is quite unfortunate Gol Gumbaz, a  strikingly beautiful monument in Bijapur, Karnataka  does not get as many tourists as the Taj gets a year. Presently managed by the ASI, Gol Gumbaz does not get enough publicity that it deserves to get the attention of tourists from other places. For a history buff, positively he will have swell time at Gol Gomaz. The Taj is a highly embellished ornate structure built by the highly visible Mogul ruler Shah Jehan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, and has  already got much publicity for a long time, as a result of which  tourists make a beeline to the Taj and other monuments near Agra and Delhi. Fatehpur Sikri, UP also draws lots of tourists. Bijapur  city and the vicinity have  more than 300 historical mosques, mausoleums and other structure of great antiquity that many tourists are not aware of.  As for Gol Gumbaz, second largest dome in the world,  is  not   well embellished with intricate decorations, etc unlike the Taj.  But its elegance, majesty and massive structure with no support beams, etc., mark it out as one of the best Muslim mausoleums in India. The visitors will never be disappointed if they make a visit to this impressive edifice that is twice the size of the Taj. This structure built in a different terrain in the Deccan region  is  the epitome of simplicity, grace and grandeur all put together into one.

Some sunning facts of Gol Gumbaz:

.. Gol Gumbaz, one of the  largest antiquated, but impressive  medieval dome in the world, is a dominating Muslim monument in this part of south India, built on a plot of 70 acres of land in  Bijapur city (early name Vijayapura in the state of Karnataka)  that has  hundreds of mosques, mausoleums and other monuments of historical value. It is roughly 100 km from  Sholapur.

.. It's  architect  was one Yaqut of Dabul who designed it using  Deccan architecture" on a terrain made of hard rock.

.. Finding its  roots from Gola gummata , the name is derived  from Gol Gombadh meaning "circular dome".

Tombs of  Sultan Muhammad Adil Shah  www.inditales.com

 Above image:  Tombs of  Sultan Muhammad Adil Shah (1627-1657)of Bijapur Sultanate, his two wives, grandson. The canopy, etc is masd of fine  quality wood.  ........................

.. The huge dome that is almost seven stories tall sits atop an equally big tomb. The Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur, houses the tomb  Sultan Muhammad Adil Shah (1627-1657), his two wives, mistress Rambha, daughter and a grandson.

.. It is believed that the Sultan wanted  the construction of his own tomb  to be completed well  before his death and oversaw the construction so that it could be a better mausoleum than his    father’s (Ibrahim  Rauza Adil Shah II) tomb. 

Whispering Gallery,Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur en.wikipedia.org
.. It has the unique distinction having a massive dome with  the whispering gallery at its base taking  a circular pathway.  A mere whisper on one side of the passage  echoes several times around the other side. Here one can experience special acoustics more clearly when the place is quiet or the din is at low level.The gallery provides a nice view of the town near-by.

.. Believed to be second in size only to the Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, unsupported by pillars, the colossal structure  is cube shaped  with a length of 156 feet on each side and has an outer diameter of  144 feet. 

 intersecting arches,inside the whispering gallery, Gol Gumbaz, en.wikipedia.org

.. The awe-inspiring feature about this huge dome is "eight intersecting arches created by two rotated squares that create interlocking pendentives", lend major support to the dome. The massive  walls around the dome are  an added advantage

.. The  octagonal cross sectional towers at each corner of the cube  with a dome atop have 7 floors each and spiral stairway to take the visitors to the dizzy height. Actually the four minarets themselves are the staircases, leading to the top dome The upper floor of each opens on to a circular gallery that surrounds the dome.
                          
 .. Comparing  with other famous Muslim monuments is not a good idea, however, upon examining  some monuments, the Taj, one of the wonders of  the world, entirely built of high quality marble using local and Persian style,  come closer and has  striking  similarity  with  Gol Gombaz  as far as time and duration of the construction of the structure are concerned.  Both were great structures built more or less  during the same period - Gol Gumbaz (work began in 1627) completed in 1656 and  the Taj Mahal ( work began in1632) completed in 1953. 

.. The rulers who happened to be Muslim, belonging to two different regions  used skillfully different designs, strategy and available construction materials in their respective areas. It took 22 years to complete the Taj, whereas 29 years in the case of Gol Gumbaz. Why this difference? Though the former is highly embellished - in many places the Taj, artistically adorned with precious stones, in-lay work, etc.,  is  remarkably ornamental and impressive, the latter is colossal in size - twice that of the Taj and has unique architecture  dominated by  complex geometry and simple ornamentation.

 .. No where  will one see big beams - ornate structure to support the domed high roof whose span is just mind boggling. The builder must have used tons of  high quality construction materials and effective mortar, besides  proper architectural plan to tackle the stress caused by the  weight of the mammoth structure and strong foundation to bear the  overall weight.  

..  Lots of men, horses and elephants would have been put in to service to complete the huge edifice. This amazing structure throws light on the imagination of the architect, talented artisans  and equally competent workers who could put  building plan  into reality.

 ..The Nakkar Khana (drum house)  is near Gol Gumbaz in the same complex and is believed to be a monument  built to offer a grand royal reception to the king’s visitors by beating drums, a tradition, followed during the  reception of royal guests. The entire complex is under the ASI (since 1962). Earlier,  the drum house was converted into a museum by the British to keep the age old artifacts. Considered as one of the oldest museums in India, it was in 1912, it came under the control of District collectorate.
Ref:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gol_Gumbaz