Gol Gumbaz is the crypt of Mohammed Adil Shah, who was the Sultan of Bijapur. He was the seventh ruler of Adil Shah Dynasty. This magnificent monument was constructed by the architect Yaqut of Dabul, in the year 1656. The monument derives its name from "Gola Gummata" or "Gol Gombadh", which mean a "circular dome". Constructed as per the Deccan architecture, Gol Gumbaz is one of the most significant monuments of India located in the state of Karnataka.
Constructed by Yaqut of Dabul, Gol Gumbaz exhibits the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The dome of Gol Gumbaz is one of the largest domes ever built in the history, with a diameter measuring up to 144 feet. The humongous dome is supported by eight intersecting arches. It is the second largest dome in the world after St Peter's Basilica in Rome. The main cube-like structure has octagonal cross-sectioned towers with a dome on top of each, at each of its corners. These towers have staircases inside along with floors, which enable people to reach the terrace of the monument.
The interior of Gol Gumbaz has a square shaped podium, which has steps on every side. The center of this rostrum has the cenotaph of Mohammed Adil Shah. This podium also has a wooden canopy, which symbolises the exact position of the grave of Mohammed Adil Shah. The fantastic whispering gallery of Gol Gumbaz is situated at the height of 33.22 meters from the floor of the monument. This area is an alluring point of its architecture as they reflect the echoing sounds for more than ten times. The inscriptions towards the south and the central archway mention the date of the Sultan's demise as 4th November 1656. The main entrance is adorned by a 'bijlipathar', that is considered to be a meteorite that has fallen during the Sultan's rule.
Situated in the small town of Bijapur in the state of Karnataka, Gol Gumbaz was constructed by Mohammed Adil Shah as his tomb to bury the mortal remains, right after his accession to the throne in 1626. The ruler intended to build a mausoleum for himself, which would be grander than the tomb of his father, Ibrahim Adil Shah II. The construction of this monument continued throughout Mohammed Adil Shah's regime and was not completely executed due to his sudden demise in 1656. Gol Gumbaz is the burial place for the Sultan along with his two wives- Taj Jahan Begum, Aroos Bibi, his mistress Rambha, his daughter and grandson. The Gol Gumbaz was planned as a single mammoth structure, and till date remains one of the biggest domes in the world. The foundation of the tomb is rested on the bedrock.
One can visit a plethora of places nearby this much-renowned dome in the small city of Bijapur. Nagar Khana is a well-kept museum located near the monument Of Gol Gumbaz. It showcases Chinese porcelain, carpets, painting, parchments and armoury. There is a gateway as well as a Dharamshala located nearby.
The months from October to February are probably the best months to visit Gol Gumbaz due to pleasant weather.
Reaching Gol Gumbaz is not only easy but also fun if you opt to travel on traditional vehicles like tongas and carts. It is very easy to travel in Bijapur as there are cycle stands located near the station which rent the bicycles to the visitors to explore the city. Also, there is a good network of local buses within the city. You can travel to Gol Gumbaz by buses that ply from all parts of the city, at a maximum interval of 15 minutes. This is the most convenient mode of transportation. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi to reach Gol Gumbaz.
Gol Gumbaz has mind-boggling beauty and hence serves as an excellent photography spot. So, make sure to carry your camera to capture the serenity of this monument.
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