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In the mid-19th Century, Bijapur was already called the
"Palmyra of the Dekhan."
Foundation were laid during the Chalukyans in
10th-11th centuries – called Vijayapura, the City of Victory
Towards end of 13th century – came under the influence of
Allaudin Khilji, Sultan of Delhi
Ruled in 1347 by Bahamani Kings of Bidar – which declined and led to the establishment of the Adil Shahi
Dynasty in 1490
The city then flourished for two centuries until the Moghul
Aurangzeb conquered it in 1686. Bijapur slipped
gradually into near-oblivion.
Bijapur, 1550 – 1660 AD
Great burst of architectural activity under
the Adil Shahi dynasty
Over 50 mosques, more than 20 tombs and a number of palaces
Employment of large numbers of Indian artisans
Six Gates – in the 10km
circumference of the city walls – connected to the heart of the city by radial roads
No definite alignment of pattern in the arteries of thoroughfare
Extensive fortification – creating a ring wall of 10km in circuit
Moats, Crenallations upto 12m thk and 10 m high – built of compacted earth with stone revetment – strengthened by over 100
irregularly spaced bastions
Five main gates, clad in iron
and defended by twin bastions
Extensive waterworks – network of underground catchment tunnels and earthern pipes led to feed the Taj bauri, Chand Bauri and Kumatagi, which became grand water pavilions and palaces of royal retreat
The early mosques of the Adil Shahis are usually
three-bays with the simple, broad, lowsprung arches
The culmination of these mosques is the great JamiMasjid of Bijapur. It has an open prayer hall surrounded on three sides by arcades, which define the open court in front of the mihrab. The great dome on top of the qibla is supported by great
interlocking arches rising from the square base below.
The chajja on top of the outer arches of the court is supported by numerous brackets, and the central arch in axis with the mihrab stands out by the addition of cusps to its inner curve. The later mosques of the dynasty, like the Anda Masjid of
1608 and the Mihtari Masjid of 1620 show an
increasing elaboration of forms.
Of the rauzas (combination of mosque and tomb) the best
example is perhaps that of Ibrahim II.
The mosque and tomb are directly facing one another, with the middle space occupied by an ornamental pool, on a rectangular terrace set out along the charbagh concept.
Gol Gombuz has the second
largest dome after St Peter’s Basilica, in ROME.
It was initially built for palace and later a dancing hall, which explains the purpose of whispering gallery. Ultimately it was converted into a Tomb probably inspired by the TAJ MAHAL.
The tomb of Adil shah rests in this place who reigned between 16261657. The edifice in front of Gol Gobuz housed the artillery now it houses a museum. The façade of Gol Gombuz, however seems to be incomplete
Gol Gumbaj is one of the biggest single chamber structures in the world. It was build over a floor area of 1700 sq m with a
height of 51 m and diameter of 37 m. the walls of the tomb are 3m thick.
The work of the mausoleum was never properly accomplished as was thought since construction began towards the end of Muhammad Adil Shah's reign. As a result, the tomb is a plain square block with towers on each corner. The tomb is built of
dark gray basalt and decorated plasterwork.
The mausoleum is topped by a monumental dome. The base of the dome is carved with
elegant petals that cover the drum.
The total height of the dome from ground level up to the top from outside is 60 m. The dome rests on the system of
pendantive, which is a system of intersecting arches.