|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|
.. 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.