Gol Gombaz - Second Largest Dome in the World, Bijapur

Gol Gombaz, Bijapur, Karnataka in India, en.Wikipedia. org

Gol Gombaz  meaning "rose dome", is  the mausoleum of  Mohammed  Adil Shah ((reign 1627-55), Sultan of Bijapur who was the most powerful leader in Bijapur history. The tomb, located in Bijapur, Karnataka in India, was  completed in 1656  by the architect Yaqut of Dabul; it a beautiful piece of  Deccan architecture. He ascended the throne at a pretty young age- just 18 years of age. During his regime, Bijapur enjoyed peace and prosperity and Adil Shah also expanded his territory.

The structure is composed of a cube, 47.5 meters (156 ft) on each side topped by a dome 44 meters (144 ft) in external diameter. With an area of 1,700 m2 (18,000 sq ft), the mausoleum has one of the biggest  single  chamber  spaces in the world. In fact, it is said, that it is the second largest dome in the world. Often comparison is made between this huge dome and those at St. Paul's in London - tomb chamber (18338 sq. feet) and the Pantheon in Rome (15833 sq. feet).

Gol Gombaz, Bijapur, Karnataka in India,: en.Wikipedia. org
An interesting  feature  of  this  historical  dome is the "Whispering Gallery" where even the softest sound  can be  well amplified and heard on  the other side of the mausoleum due to the acoustics of the space.

          Plan of  Gol Gumbaz."en.Wikipedia. org

 Above image: Plan of  Gol Gumbaz."Eight intersecting arches created by two rotated squares dome-capped octagonal tower......

The acoustics are even quite impressive in  the morning, when this place is calm and quiet. Not too busy or noisy  in the morning hours and later due to a continuous steady stream of visitors to this fascinating architectural wonder,  the effects of acoustics  are feebly audible. However, when it is quiet inside, one can enjoy the acoustics – sound coming as if very near a source and not actually 40 meters away from the other side.

Insie, Gol Gombaz,www.panoramio.com

The prayer room, in the west possesses  nine arched entrances. The depth is 5 spans, creating a large space that is capable of containing many religious people  as Jama Masjid. The actual grave is in the middle of the podium inside the mausoleum hall. It is believed that Adil Shah died before his tomb was accomplished. He died on 4 November 1656.

Muhammad Adil Shah II with courtiers and attendants.en.wikipedia.org

Above image: Muhammad Adil Shah II with courtiers and attendants late 18th century Muhammad Adil Shah II (r. 1627-56) Opaque watercolor and gold on paper H: 18.0 W: 18.0 cm Deccan, India Gift of Professor Alban G. Widgery of Winchester, Virginia F1968.7..........

Gol Gumbaz.,Bijapur. Dr SN Prasad, Mysore, India - blogger 
 The colossal mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah - Gol Gumbaz  after a lapse of four centuries, even today examplifies  the glory of Adil Shah. It is believed to be the greatest structural triumphs of Indo-Perso-Ottoman architecture of Adil Shahi period.


                 (minor corrections made: June 11, 2015 )