Gol Gumbaz Travel Guide: The Second Largest Dome in the World Located in Vijayapura (Bijapur), Karnataka (2021)
Monuments are a symbol of rich history and tell the tale of struggle, victory and sacrifice of the country. Gol Gumbaz is one such significant monument located in the Indian state of Karnataka. Once a crypt of Mohammed Adil Shah, who was the Sultan of Bijapur and the seventh ruler of Adil Shah Dynasty, this monument today has become one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Karnataka. It was constructed in the year 1656 by the architect Yaqut of Dabul and derives its name from ‘Gol Gombadh’ or ‘Gola Gummata’ which literally means a circular dome. It is believed that the construction of Gol Gumbaz took a span of about 30 whole years to get fully completed. Made from Dark grey basalt, the monument is one of the pristine examples of the Deccan Islamic architectural style. People from far and wide come to admire the exceptional dimensions and unique acoustic features of the memorial. In this article, we have tried to collect all of the important things that you should know before visiting Gol Gumbaz. Image Source
Structure & History of Gol Gumbaz in Vijayapura (Bijapur)
Located in Bijapur or Vijayapura, a small town in Northern Karnataka, Gol Gumbaz is an imposing mausoleum. Displaying a work of true architectural brilliance of the bygone eras, this monument boasts of having one of the biggest domes in the world. Other than its splendid structure, Gol Gumbaz claims to have an ancient history of over 350 years. If you are still searching for a reason as to why you should visit Gol Gumbaz during your trip to Karnataka, then in this article we have already made a list for you!
- Exceptional Dome: You may not be aware but with a diameter measuring up to 144 feet, Gol Gumbaz has one of the largest domes ever built in history. This huge dome is further supported by eight intersecting arches. It is the second largest dome in the whole world. The foundation of the tomb is believed to be rested on the bedrock.
- Whispering Gallery: Other than a stunning interior, another noteworthy thing about the architectural brilliance of the Gol Gumbaz monument is the fantastic whispering gallery. Situated at a height of about 33.22 m from the floor of the monument, this is one of the most alluring areas of the monument. The area claims to reflect the echoing sound ten more times.
- Inscriptions and Stones: You can see that towards the south and central archway there are inscriptions mentioning the date of Sultan’s demise, i.e. November 4, 1656. Moreover, another exceptional fact is that the main entrance is adorned by ‘bijli pathar’. These stones are believed to be a meteorite that had fallen during the Sultan’s rule.
- History Behind Its Existence: Gol Gumbaz acts as the burial place of not just the sultan but also of his two wives – Taj Jahan Begum, Aroos Bibi, his mistress Rambha, his daughter and grandson. Originally planned as a single mammoth structure, Gol Gumbaz till date remains one of the biggest domes in the world.
Gol Gumbaz Timings
You will be pleased to know that this popular tourist place in Karnataka is open on all days throughout the week. So, you can squeeze it on any day in your itinerary. The timings of Gol Gumbaz are:
- Monday 10 AM to 5 PM
- Tuesday 10 AM to 5 PM
- Wednesday 10 AM to 5 PM
- Thursday 10 AM to 5 PM
- Friday 10 AM to 5 PM
- Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM
- Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
What Is The Best Way To Reach The Gol Gumbaz in Vijayapura (Bijapur), Karnataka?
As far as reaching Gol Gumbaz is concerned you don’t have to worry at all. It is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Karnataka. It is pretty easily accessible by multiple modes of transport. You can reach it by:
- By Air: The nearest airport to reach the monument is the Belgaum airport. The airport offers flights connecting to a lot of major cities. Once you are at the airport, to reach the Gol Gumbaz monument, you can easily hire a taxi or a cab. It takes approximately 4 hour to drive to reach.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station to the monument is the Bijapur Railway Station. It is located so close to Gol Gumbaz that it will take you just 4 to 5 minutes to reach the monument from the railway station. The station offers many trains that connect well to many major cities.
- By Road: Situated in Bijapur, Karnataka, the monument is easily accessible by roads too. The nearest bus stand is the Bijapur Bus stand. There are many buses that travel to Bijapur from many cities including Bangalore. If you are travelling from Bangalore to Bijapur by bus, then the average journey time would be around 10 hours.
Best Time To Visit Gol Gumbaz In Vijayapura (Bijapur), Karnataka
For the best experience it is recommended that you visit this popular tourist place in Karnataka in between the months of October and February. During this period the weather is quite pleasant too.
Stay Options Near Gol Gumbaz in Vijayapura (Bijapur), Karnataka
There are many decent hotels available near the Gol Gumbaz monument, so you don’t have to worry about finding a good accommodation. Some of the options that you can consider are- Kyriad Hotel Vijayapura (about 0.42 km away), The Fern Residency Vijayapura (about 3.36 km away) and Hotel Le Grande (about 7.04 km away).
Places To See Near The Gol Gumbaz In Vijayapura (Bijapur), Karnataka
If you are done exploring the huge Gol Gumbaz monument, then you don’t have to get bored. There are many exciting top tourist places in Karnataka that lie closely. Some of the attractions that you can visit are:
- Gagan Mahal: Situated about 2.1 km away from Gol Gumbaz, this mahal was built by Adil Shah I in 1561. Owing to its architectural brilliance and exceptional design the place is also referred to as the heavenly mahal or sky mahal.
- Bijapur Fort: Located at a distance of around 2.8 km away from Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur fort is believed to be another monument with significant historical importance situated in Bijapur. Built during the rule of the Adil Shah dynasty, the fort is known by names like the Agra of South India and Bijapur Fort.
Now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), this place is definitely worth a visit for all the history as well as architecture.