Discovering this Whispering Wonder of India wouldn’t be less than a majestic experience for anyone. Essentially a mausoleum of king Mohammed Adil Shah, who was the prosperous Sultan of Bijapur, this place is worth every ounce of your energy and time!
This mausoleum was constructed in Vijayapura, Karnataka and the construction of this monument started in 1626 and got completed in 1656. As one can calculate, it took almost 30 years to construct this Deccan-styled architectural marvel.
If you love history and want to know more about our Indian heritage then, a trip to Gol Gumbaz won’t disappoint you at all. It is quite a sensational travel destination, famous not just all over Karnataka, but proudly takes its place in the must-visit travel getaways of India as well.
Mechanics of the Architecture
Gol Gumbaz has a cube-like structure, approximately 47.5 m on each side. Further, it has been capped by a roof, covering its external diameter. The eight intersection arches are created as a result of two rotated squares which further create interlocking pendentives supporting the dome.
And then at each of the four corners of the cube, there is a presence of a dome-capped octagonal tower that is seven storeys high with a staircase inside. And the upper floor of each of the towers opens onto a round gallery surrounding the dome.
Going inside the mausoleum hall, you will witness a square podium having a staircase on each side. And in the middle of the podium, there is also a cenotaph slab on the ground marks. Interestingly, this is the only instance of this kind of practice, present in the architectural style of the Deccan sultanates.
Then in the middle of the north side, there is also a very large semi-octagonal bay spanning an area of about 1,700 sq. meters. The inside of the dome has the famous whispering gallery where even the softest sound can be heard on the other side of the mausoleum, all because of the acoustic mechanics of this space.
The months from October to March are the best to visit the city because the weather during this time is quite pleasant. Otherwise, this monument is open all seven days of the week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
If you are a local, you will need to shell out Rs.20. However, for tourists and foreign nationals, the ticket price is Rs.200.
History of Gol Gumbaz
Situated in Bijapur, Gol Gumbaz was constructed by the then king, Mohammed Adil Shah for the purpose of burying his own mortal remains after his demise. He had done so right after his accession to the throne. He had the vision of building something which could leave an indelible mark in history as his legacy.
It is said that he had given special instructions to ensure that the tomb was bigger in every way possible than the tomb of his own father Ibrahim Adil Shah II. Today, Gol Gumbaz is the burial place for the king along with his two wives - Taj Jahan Begum and Aroos Bibi.
Historical Prominence & Some Interesting Facts
This architectural acoustic wonder was made by an architect named Yaqut of Dabul.
Gol Gumbaz is the second largest monument after St. Basilica having the largest dome.
Another interesting fact about the mausoleum is its gigantic and heavy dome that stands in its position without any central pillar support.
Major arresting features of this monument are the seven-storied octagonal spires located at the four corners and the heavily bracketed cornice below the parapet.
The amazing Whispering Gallery distinctly echoes whispering, around 11 times.
Major Attractions in and Around Gol Gumbaz
An incredible city in the Bagalkot district, it is worth discovering due to various reasons, one being the Royal Palace of Patwardhan's. Did you know that Jamkhandi was the first princely state to merge in constituent India? Apart from that, this place is also famous for the legend of Sage Jambu? According to popular folklore, he used to meditate in a Khandi, referred to as a cave locally. And due to this, the city has been named Jamkhandi.
This is yet another amazing travel attraction for tourists to visit around Gol Gumbaz. Malik-i-Maidan meaning Lord of the Battlefield. Set up by Muhammad Adil Shah in 1549 on the top of Sherzah Burj in Bijapur, it is believed to be the largest cannon existing.
This is a 15th-century monument built by Emperor Ibrahim Adil Shah II. This tourist attraction exudes the charm of Indian history & mythology. Indeed, it is an amazing combination of monuments and architecture.
4. Visit Kumatagi
The Kumatagi village is typically known for being an ancient summer resort. This place consists of a lake, rows of tamarind trees which are just a visual delight for the eyes. Truly an incredible place for hearts that need peace.
How to Reach Gol Gumbaz
Gol Gumbaz is an interesting piece of architecture in Bengaluru. As this structure is of national significance, many people visit here annually. It is located at an approximate distance of 2,152, 1,870, 915 km from Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai respectively. Here is how you can travel to Gol Gumbaz via the following means of public transportation.
Bijapur Airport is the nearest airport which is well-established and serves the Bijapur city in Karnataka. If you are traveling from other states of India, prefer Bangalore Airport which is well-connected to major metropolitan cities of the country. After you deboard at the airport, take some public transport to reach here.
Bijapur railway station is the nearest railhead. Gol Gumbaz is just 5 minutes walking from the railway station. The station serves a number of neighboring regions of the destination.
The overall connectivity via road is also quite good. The well-linked roadways of Bijapur serve conveniently to its neighboring regions. If you are planning a trip via road then it would be a hassle-free experience for you. For traveling, you can consider booking buses online, take a cab, or self-drive.