Tomb Tales: Have You Been To This Deccan Mausoleum Inspired By The Taj Mahal?
History enthusiasts! Take a trip to Bijapur (now known as Vijayapura) in North Karnataka to check out the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah - the Gol Gumbaz. It's been around since 1656 and features the largest dome in India. Talk about history!
What Makes It Awesome
You may not have enough saved up to go on a trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, but here's our tip: head to Bijapur instead, to explore the grand mausoleum of the Deccan, the Gol Gumbaz. Literally translating to 'round dome,' the most prominent feature of the mausoleum is - you guessed it - its dramatic dome that rests on top of an equally massive tomb.
Legend has it that the monument was built in the 17th century on the orders of Mohammed Adil Shah. It was the Sultan's desire to have a mausoleum built for himself that's comparable to that of the Ibrahim Rouza, the tomb of his father. Though he didn't live to see it to its completion, the mausoleum is now a resting place for him, his two wives, a daughter and grandson, and a mistress.
History aside, the Gol Gumbaz, with an area of 18,222 sq. ft, is said to be the second largest space covered by a dome in the world (the first being the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome). It also has the 'Whispering Gallery' inside the mausoleum, where the faintest of sounds get echoed. Unfortunately, that means you'll bump into other tourists making all sorts of weird sounds (you have been warned!). Another interesting fact about the Gol Gumbaz is that there are no towers or pillars that provide support to the huge dome - an architectural marvel in itself! In fact, it is held by eight intersecting arches from the inside.
You'll have to pay a small entry fee (about INR 25 for Indians) to enter, and it is open from 10 AM to 5 PM. Apart from the mausoleum itself, you'll find a museum, a garden and a mosque among other smaller structures in the premises.