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Gol Gumbaz/Gumbad in Bijapur is an important historical monument of Karnataka.

Gol Gumbaz

Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur, KarnatakaThe 17th century monument of Bijapur, Gol Gumbaz is the mausoleum of Muhammad Adil Shah. It is said to be an astonishing feat of engineering with its enormous 'Whispering dome', which is second largest in the world, second only to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and is 124 feet in diameter. This huge dome is not supported by pillar and is so built that even the faintest whisper or ruffle of a paper echoes throughout the dome, can be heard across a distance of 37 m and returns to the listener nine times. The gallery around the dome offers some fantastic views of the city. The unique architectural style of the building includes the four minarets surrounding it. Comparable to the mausoleum of the father of Adil Shah known as Ibrahim Rauza, it is one of the biggest single chamber structures in the world.

Stretching across an area of 18,225 square feet, besides the mausoleum, the complex also houses a mosque, an inn for travelers and other such buildings. However, the tomb is plainer and is just a cube with towers on each corner. The 2.7m thick and 30.5 m high walls are built up of dark grey basalt and decorated plaster. On the main entrance, one can see the 'bijli patthar' (meteorite said to have fallen during Muhammad Adil's reign) hanging from a chain and it is believed that the stone guards the tomb from lighting. The royal cenotaphs of Muhammad Adil, his youngest wife Arus Bibi, his favorite daughter and a grandson are located centrally in the tomb chamber. The corner towers are out of place as regards with the rest of the mausoleum. However, together they resemble Chinese pagodas and are capped by a majestic hemispheric dome each with a ring of carved leaves around the base.

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