Gumbaz is the most famous monument in Bijapur. It is the tomb of
Mohammed Adil Shah (ruled 1627-1657). It is the second largest dome ever
built, next in size only to St Peter's
Basilica in Rome. A particular attraction in
this monument is the central chamber, where every sound is echoed seven times.
Another attraction at the Gol Gumbaz is the Whispering Gallery, where
even minute sounds can be heard clearly 37 metres away. Gol Gumbaz complex
includes a mosque, a Naqqar Khana (a hall for the trumpeters) (Now it is used
as museum) and the ruins of guest houses.
Ibrahim Rauza: This is the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah
II (ruled 1580-1627), the fifth king of the dynasty and, like the Mughal
emperor Akbar, known for religious
tolerance. Built on a single rock bed, it is noted for the symmetry of its
features. It is said that the design for the Ibrahim Rauza served as an
inspiration for that of the famous Taj Mahal.
(The Monarch of the Plains)
the largest medieval cannon
in the world. Being 4 m
long, 1,5 m in diameter and
weighing 55 tons, this gun
was brought back from
Ahmadnagar in the 17th
century as a trophy of war
by 400 oxen, 10 elephants
and tens of men. It was
placed on the Sherza Burj
(Lion Gate) on a platform
especially built for it. The
cannon's nozzle is fashioned
into the shape of a lion's
head with open jaws &
between the carved fangs is
depicted an elephant being
crushed to death. It is said
that after igniting the
cannon, the gunner would
remain underwater in a tank
of water on the platform to
avoid the deafening
explosion. The cannon
remains cool even in strong
sunlight and if tapped,
tinkles like a bell. In 1854
the cannon was auctioned for
Rs. 150 but the sale was
cancelled in the end.
Upri Buruj, Built around 1584 by Hyder Khan, is an 80 ft
(24 m) high tower standing to the north of Dakhani Idgah in Bijapur. This
is a spherical structure with stone steps winding round the outside. Top of
the tower offers a commanding view of the city. This is also known
as ;Hyder Burj", "Upli Burj". On top of Upli Burj there are two guns of
huge size. The parafeet this tower which was used for monitoring purposes has
been fenced now. One needs to climb the circular stairs to reach the top.
However except for this tower there is very little evidence of the citadel
wall in this area due to rampant construction.
Chand Bawdi, Ali Adil Shah (1557-1580) built this tank near eastern
boundary of Bijapur. When there was large influx of people into Bijapur after
the fall of the Vijayanagar empire, and new settlements came up within the
walled city raising the need for better infrastructure and providing water
supply. This has a storage capacity of 20 million litres. Later it became a
model for many other tanks constructed in the city. A grandeur complex came up
around it, which was mainly used to house the maintenance staff though members
of the royal family occasionally used it for recreation. He named this after
his wife "Chand Bibi".
Asar Mahal, The Asar Mahal was built by Mohammed Adil Shah in about
1646, which was used to serve as a Hall of Justice. The building was also used
to house hairs from the Prophet's beard. The rooms on the upper storey are
decorated with frescoes and the front is graced with a square tank. Here women
are not allowed inside. Every year there is urs (festival) held at this place.
In front of the hall, one can see three tanks the bigger tank, which is at the
centre is about 15 feet (4.6 m) deep however the other two are
comparatively smaller in size as well as depth. Behind Asar Mahal one can
still see the remain of the citadel. Just a kilometer away behind Asar Mahal,
one can still find the old mosque which is on top of the citadel wall. There
is a big entrance with arc below this mosque. Many stones have inscriptions.
The site is under maintenance of Archeological Survey of India.
Gagan Mahal, Which means Sky Palace, is built with a 21- meter
façade and four wooden massive pillars, has a majestic central arch. Sikandar
Adil Shah, in silver chains, surrendered to Aurangzeb in 1681 here.
Barakaman (Ali Roza-II) A mausoleum of Ali Roza built in 1672. It
was previously named as Ali Roza, but Shah Nawab Khan changed its name to Bara
Kaman as this was the 12th monument during his reign. It has now seven arches
and the tomb containing the graves of Ali, his queens and eleven other ladies
possibly belonging to the Zenana of the queens.
Among the other historical attractions at Bijapur, some notable ones are
the Anand Mahal, Jod Gumbaz, Jumma Mosque, Sat Manzil, and Jal Manzil. Also
among old houses at Bijapur, the most famous is Elavia House ( Nauzer Elavia)
which is more than 100 years old.