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Shubhyatra >> Karnataka >> Gol Gumbaz


Location : In the Heart of Bijapur (Northen Part of Karnataka)
Famous For : Islamic Architecture and Adil Shah's Mausoleum
Distance : 530 kms from Bangalore, 205 kms from Belgaum
Best Time to Visit : October to March (During Winters) from Sunrise to Sunset
Gol Gumbaz
Signature of Bijapur - Gol Gumbaz

Gol Gumbaz – The Second Largest Dome in the World

Gol Gumbaz is the most important monument in Bijapur. Meaning 'the circular dome' the second largest dome in the world, after the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, is 124 feet in diameter. This architectural dome houses the tomb of King Adil Shah and was built in 1656 AD. Legend has it that this monument was built by the orders of Adil Shah before his death. It was the desire of the ruler to build a mausoleum comparable to the Ibrahim Rauza, the tomb of his father, Ibrahim Adil Shah II. An equally distinguished tomb well composite and ornamented worth a visit. At a distance of 530 kms from Bangalore, this monumental heritage stands in the heart of the city.

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The Magnanimous Structure – Attractions of the 'Whispering Dome'

Gol Gumbaz, the major attraction of Bijapur in Karnataka stands on a floor area of 1700 sq mts with a height of 51 m and diameter of 37 m. the walls of the tomb are 3m thick. The most noted highlight of this monumental heritage is its acoustic feature wherein a sound echoes 11 times over and can be heard at a distance 37 km. The tomb is constructed on a plain square block with towers on each corner in dark gray basalt, decorated with plasterwork. Three blind arches are displayed on the exterior of the monument. The central arch on the other hand is wider than the others and is dressed with wooden panels with small rectangular entrance and three rows of arched windows punched through. One can enter the grandeur from the south door where a stone (Bijli pathar), that claims to guard the tomb from lighting) is suspended from the cornice. This cornice is a distinguished part of the tomb that rests on a highly carved stone.

The dome of the building is carved with elegant petals and the height is 27.4 mts. The corner towers do not harmonize with the dome as they look more like a Chinese pagoda rather than a minarets. They are divided in seven floors and is crowned with a hemispheric dome. The architecture of the monument is essentially Islamic and has all the trademarks of the traditional Islamic or Persian style of architecture The mausoleum is actually just a small part of the bigger complex that contains a mosque, a dharamshala (inn) and other buildings.

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Srirangapatnum, Gol Gumbaz Mosque
Srirangapatnum, Gol Gumbaz Mosque

Reaching the Monumental Heritage – Getting There to Bijapur

This famous monument of Bijapur is located in the heart of the city. Bijapur is an important city in Karnataka and is well connected by the major parts of the state as well as the country. At a distance of 205 km is the nearest airport of Belgaum. One can get to Bijapur easily as the railway line connecting Solapur in Maharastra and Hubli passes through the center of the district, via India and Basavan Bagewadi. Bijapur is well connected to Bangalore, Mumbai (via Solapur), Hyderabad (via Solapur), Hospet (via Gadag), Vasco da Gama (via Hubli and Londa). Bijapur railwaystation comes under the administrative control of HUBLI division of South Central Railway (SCR).
Bijapur is connected by road to most places in south and west India. These are: Aihole (110 km), Badami (138 km), Pattadakal (148 km), Hampi (220 km), Belgaum (205 km), Bangalore (550 km), Bombay (486 km). The National highway 13 passes through the district in the eastern and central parts.
Once inside the town, tourists can avail taxis or autos. Another exhilarating option with be the horse carriage (Tingas).

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Top 5 Reasons To Visit Gol Gumbaz
Jumma Masjid Bijapur

Gol Gumbaz is the most imposing structure in Bijapur and is the must visit attractions listed by the Karnataka tourism. The excellent architecture and the magnanimous size has earned Gol Gumbaz the title of being 'second largest dome in the world'.

Pay attention to its Islamic architecture, that also contains a mausoleum of the ruler King Adil Shah. This structure is also one of the biggest single chamber structures in the world.

Another must visit attraction is the Bijli Paththar (meteorite) suspended by a chain from the cornice. Its is said that this stone had fallen during the reign of Adil Shah and till today it guides the monument from lighting.

Climbing down the staircase below the entrance on the west of the monument, you can see the real grave of the king, his two wives, his mistress Rambha, his daughter and his grandson.

Try your vocal chords by a loud shout inside the monument to hear a echo that can be heard 11 times even at a distance of 37 km. It is this acoustic property that has earned it the name of 'whispering dome'.

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