Indo-Islamic Architecture in Bijapur

The name of Bijapur comes from the ancient Hindu name Vijayapura. It was a capital of the Adil Shahi Dynasty, established by the governor of Belgaum, Yusuf Adil Khan, first of all among the Five Deccan Kingdoms viz. Bijapur, Berar, Ahmadnagr, Bidar, and Golconda, disunited from the Bahmani Dynasty in the 15th-16th centuries. Bijapur was the longest lasting among the five kingdoms, thriving for two centuries, until its destruction by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1688.

Salient Features

As a matter of fact, Bijapur suffered little destruction in the wars and that is why, this city beautifully shows the monuments of the Medieval era, which were made in the Deccani style. The structures here match the mature Mughal architecture of north India. The special features are bulbous dome, whose lower part is wrapped in rose/ lotus-petal-like elements and numerous smaller domes instead of the Chhattris that are visible in mughal style. This is evident in the Gol Gumbaz, which is the summit of Islamic architectural achievement in Bijapur. This Gol Gumbaz is the Mausoleum of Muhammad Adil Shah II who was the successor of Ibrahim Adil Shah II.

Gol Gumbaz

Gol Gumbaz or the rose dome is the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah, built by architect Yaqut of Dabul. The structure is composed of a cube, 47.5 metres on each side, capped by a dome 44 m in external diameter.

Eight intersecting arches created by two rotated squares that create interlocking pendentives support the dome. The crossed arches in annulations based on a square plan, is the largest scale in India and the largest volume in the world.

Such a great space as high as 50m indicates that Indians perfectly mastered the technology of Islamic architecture in 17th century and surpassed Middle Eastern architecture.

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