Now that it was decided that I shall be visiting this historical town, the next important part was booking of railway tickets.I think India must be the only country where everyone is on a travel plan all the time of the year, because whenever you try to book tickets most often they are not available especially on the weekends.
|View of the Gol Gumbaz as soon as we came out of the station.|
In an introduction to “Architecture at Beejapoor” published in 1866, Philip Meadows Taylor, an Anglo-Indian with a voracious appetite for Indian culture wrote: “Palaces, arches, tombs, cisterns, gateways, and minarets …all carved from the rich basalt rock of the locality, garlanded by creepers, broken and disjointed by peepul trees, each in its turn is a gem of art and the whole a treasury.”
This introduction by Philip M Taylor sums it all as to what lies awaiting at Bijapur for me.
Bijapur is a historic fort city. You will know this only once you visit this city. There is history lying in every nook and corner. Where ever you go within the city you find some mosque, some tomb. I was told that when you stand atop the Gol Gumbaz you can see many domes spread across the city along with the city wall. I always feel that the best way to know the city is to First know about the history of the place. So let me quickly take you through a small history lesson about this place.
If you want to know the summarized History please click this link and read.
Coming back to our journey
We finished our tea and reached the entry gate of Gol Gumbaz.
We purchased the entry ticket at the gate of the Gol Gumbaz for Rs 15. Being early in the morning there was not much of a crowd. As we entered the complex, we saw well laid out garden on both the sides and a Museum building which is right in front of the Gol Gumbaz.
|Well laid out garden and Gol Gumbaz behind the Museum|
|Museum in front of the Gol Gumbaz|
There are canons kept outside this Museum. On closer look I found Persian Emblem on the canon along with something written on the cannon. The canons are quite big.
|Persian emblem along with some text engraved|
Circumventing the Museum we entered the Gol GumBaz complex and were pleasantly surprised to see again beautiful garden and this Manmoth Gol Gumbaz ahead of us.
|We look so small under this Gumbaz|
I was mesmerized by the hugeness of the place. we look so small standing in front of the monument.
Next to the GolGumbaz there is a mosque . The entry to which was closed when we visited.
|Tombs of Adil Shahi and his Family|
When I was talking to the guide in the Gol Gumbaz, I came to know an interesting thing, Actually everywhere on the web I had read that Ramba was the mistress of the Sultan however the guide at the museum begged to differ, He said Ramba was never a mistress of Adil Shahi. She was a dancer who had come along with her son from Ceylon ( Sri Lanka of today) to perform on the occasion of completion of Gol Gumbaz however she fell in love with the sultan and even professed her love and it was her wish that she be buried along with the king here.Next day she jumped from the top of the Gumbaz and died, consequent to which the sultan fulfilling her wish buried her here. Later when her son died he too was buried. This history is so easy to twist God knows what is true or false.But then Hum ko kya …. Hume to kahani suna acha lagta hai...after all we are also a storyteller.
|Platform or stage behind the tombs|
Just behind the tombs One can see platform which I assumed may be used for performance. I was also told that there is basement below this Gol Gumbaz which is closed. One more interesting thing was the air been realised from the floor through the grilled duct.
|Air Ducts on the floors|
|The web of arches holding the dome|
|Lording our Bijapur city from Gol Gumbaz Top|
|Citadel Boundary wall can be seen from Gol Gumbaz Top|
|Ek din ka Sultan 😀|
Other than the city one gets good top view of the museum building and the whole complex. We clicked few pictures and then entered the dome top.
|View of the front side from Gol Gumbaz Top|
Last but not the least it was time to visit the famous “Whispering gallery”, Time to witness one of the most fabulous experience of our lives. Whispering gallery was something out of the world experience for us where I was told that the tick of a watch or the rustle of paper can be heard across a distance of 37 m in the Whispering Gallery. The acoustical phenomenon of this dome is such that a sound is echoed eleven times over. You won’t believe this, when I narrate to you my experience of Whispering gallery, it so happened when my wife standing at the other end of the dome ( distance must be around 138 feet) She could actually hear what I whispered. I was shell shocked when she replied back. I have never seen such thing in my life.
Gol Gumbaz took 29 years to complete, the Taj Mahal took 22 years to finish,Gol Gumbaz is almost double the size of Taj. Yet where more than I pondered whether Taj Mahal has a feminine fetish, while the Gol Gumbaz is geometrically masculine. At any given time more than 7 to 8 million tourists visit the Taj Mahal in a year, whereas the population of Agra is around 1,5 million. Comparatively very few tourists visit Gol Gumbaz just because it is not on the regular tourist trail and also not adequately publicised and promoted by the local Tourism people.
We moved out from the Gol Gumbaz complex but not before visiting the Museum which was not open when we had come in the morning, The Museum itself is a treasure house having a collection of Chinese porcelain, parchments, paintings, armoury, miniatures, stone sculptures and old Bijapur carpets etc.
The museum is open on all days from 10 am to 5 pm, except Fridays. Entrance is free.
|Museum done and dusted by me and my wife|
I was very thrilled by whatever I saw till now. We were now all the more eager to see what the city of Bijapur holds for us. Stay tuned for the next part of the blog to learn more about lives of sultans.
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