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Gol Gumbaz

The Gol Gumbaz Karnataka is the last resting place of Muhammad Adil Shah (AD 1626-56), the seventh ruler of the Adil Shahi dynasty. It is the most important landmark of Bijapur and one of the most important historical monuments in Karnataka. This monument is one of the last remains and the hallmark of the erstwhile Adil Shahi rulers. The Gol Gumbaz dominates the skyline of Bijapur and is one of the places you should never miss on a visit to Bijapur.


The Bahmani kingdom, which sprawled over the Deccan region in medieval India in the middle ages, was the first independent Muslim state in this part of the country. However, during the later half of the fifteenth century, the kingdom got split into five smaller sultanates (kingdoms) - Berar (in AD 1484), Bijapur (in AD 1489), Ahmadnagar (in AD 1490), Bidar (in AD 1492) and Golkonda (in AD 1512).               

Bijapur broke away from the Bahmani Kingdomn under the leadership of Yusuf Adil Khan, a descendent of the Turkish royal family and the founder of the Adil Shahi dynasty. The Adil Shahi rulers made Bijapur their capital and were great patrons of art and architecture. The Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur Karnataka is however, the best monument in Bijapur contributed by the Adil Shahi rulers.


The Gol Gumbaz In Karnataka India is an excellent example of Islamic architecture to be seen in all India in general and the Deccan region in particular. The Gol Gumbaz Karnataka is replete with the trademark elements of the traditional Islamic or Persian style of architecture.

The primary and most noticeable feature of the Gumbaz is the central dome. Apart from that, different types of well-formed arches, geometric proportions and use of Islamic motifs as frescos and panel motifs are generously used all over the monument. Local influence can be identified in the highly foliated drum below the bulbous dome, and in the use of the local dark brown stone that was used for the building of most Bijapur mansions.

The Gol Gumbaz Karnataka is structured like a massive cube; its four corners adorned with octagonal seven storied towers topped by small rounded domes, projecting at the corners. On each side of the cube are three arches-a large central arch, with two smaller arches on the sides.

An inscription on the entrance arch of Gol Gumbaz Karnataka states that here rests the mortal remains of Muhammad Adil Shah. In line with the sixth story of the corner towers is a projection on the tomb walls, which are supported by closely set brackets, above which is a band of small arched openings. The parapet has a decorative paneling, beyond which rises the bulbous dome with a foliated drum- a typical feature of Bijapur buildings; a pier replaces a pillar and a crescent finial surmounting the spires, to denote the ruler's Turkish origin.