Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur
Gol Gumbaz, the mausoleum of Muhammad Adil Shah (AD 1626 –56) located in Bijapur, District Bijapur, Karnataka State is an important monument of Indo-Islamic architecture aptly known for its amazing dimensions and unique acoustic features. The construction of this building was completed and the deceased king was interred in this building in 1034 AH (AD 1656) and contains the sepulcher containing the tombs of Muhammad Adil Shah (AD 1626-1656), the seventh Sultan of the Adil Shahi dynasty, his wives and daughters. Soon after his accession to the throne in AD 1626, the Sultan started constructing this edifice for burying his mortal remains. He was buried in the vast vault beneath the floor along with other family members. The exact position of the real tomb is indicated by the wooden canopy kept on the high platform at the middle of the floor of the hall.
The foundation of this mausoleum rests on the bedrock, which has prevented any unequal settlement. Above the basement this building is a huge cube with each sidewall decorated with three arches. The central arch, wider than the side ones, has doorways except on the north, where a semi-octagonal chamber buttresses the wall. At the corners of this great cube are added seven tiered towers octagonal in cross-section. After the death of its builder further decoration of the structure appears to have been given up.
This edifice ranks among the most imposing ones in India for the sheer monumentality of its massive dome and its floor area. The hemispherical masonry dome has an internal diameter of 37.92 m. The thickness of the dome varies from 3.05 m. near the base to 2.74 m. near the top. The floor area of the monument is 1703.56 sq. m.
At a height of 33.22 m from the floor of the hall, projects a 3.25 m wide gallery, all round the inner periphery of the dome. This gallery is called the ‘Whispering Gallery’, because even the finest whisper or sound made in it is heard from side to side and even a single loud clap is distinctly echoed over ten times.