Gol Gumbaz


The most outstanding monument of Vijayapura is the Gol Gumbaz. A great architectural feat of world renown. About two furlongs to the west of the railway station stands the Gol Gumbaz on a wide maidan transcending all other buildings in Vijayapura in simple mass, and dominating the landscape for miles around. This monumental achievement of a very high order is believed to have been constructed by Mohammed Shah for himself. The Gol Gumbaz is the antithesis of the Ibrahim Roza in that the strong virility of conception of the one contracts with the delicated feminity of the others. For all its size, Gol Gumbaz is a simple building, just a great square hall, enclosed by four lofty walls, buttressed up by octagonal towers at the corners, and the whole surmounted by a hemispherical dome. The sides of the square which are 2.5 mtr thick are built of cut stone and rise externally to a height of over 32 mts. At each corner of the square, outside, is an octagonal tower divided into seven storeys, the outer face of each storey being pierced with lancet shaped windows. At the base of the dome outside, a platform runs round the building, protected on the outer side by a masonry parapet. The dome emerges from a row of lotus petals. Climbing a few steps from the platform one goes into the interior of the dome though a doorway at each four sides of the building. A wide cornice runs round the building between the tops of the arches of the walls and the parapet. It is the heaviest in Vijayapura and is one of the most daring feats accomplished in the country. The projection is about 11 feet 6 inches from the walls and 90 feet above the ground.

The whispering gallery that runs round inside the dome is another remarkable feature. Access is gained to it from the terraced roof round the base of the dome by eight small doorways through it. On entering the building, a person is stuck by the loud echoes which fill the place in answer to his foot fall; but these sounds are intensified and become clearer on entering the gallery. A slightest whisper from the opposite side of the circular gallery is heard as if from the back of the wall. A conversation may be easily carried on across the diameter of the dome, in the lowest undertone, by simply talking to the wall. Above the southern door, hanging from an iron chain, is a large stone, which is locally said to be a meteoric and to have been brought from Arabta. There is also a version that this meteoric fell in the vicinity during the reign of Mohammed. Upon the great raised platform, 77 feet square and 24 feet high in the centre of the mausoleum under the dome, are the counterfeit tombs of the grandson of Sultan Mahmud, Mahmud's younger wife. Real graves are in the crypt immediately below. The Gol Gumbaz is, however, only one item in an architectural scheme and comprehensive composition of considerable magnitude comprising, besides a mosques, nagarkhana or drum house and gateway, a sarai (rest house) and other structural amenities associated with the imperial mausoleum, all contained within a single walled enclosure. Recently, a beautiful park has been laid out around this monument.

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Buses

  • KSRTC, City and KSTDC buses are available
  • Contact Number : 08352-251344

Railway Stations

Airports

  • Belgavi - 200 KM
  • Hubli - 201 KM
  • Kolhapur - 175 KM