Discover India’s Magnificent Bijapur Gol Gumbaz: Unraveling the Largest Dome Structure

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Constructed during the 16th century, the completion of the magnificent Gol Gumbaz took nearly two decades. This spectacular mausoleum was commissioned by Adil Shah, the ruler of the Bijapur Sultanate, immediately upon ascending the throne. Boasting four minars, each with seven floors accessible by staircases, these towering structures offer a breathtaking panoramic view of Bijapur. Prepare yourself for a captivating experience as you explore the awe-inspiring state of Karnataka and bear witness to this enchanting tomb. But before embarking on your journey into the past, equip yourself with a comprehensive guide replete with all the necessary details about Gol Gumbaz. Your encounter with this mesmerizing monument is guaranteed to leave you in awe and create lasting memories.


A Glimpse of Gol Gumbaz

Situated in Bijapur, Karnataka, Gol Gumbaz is the final resting place of Adil Shah. Its circular dome is renowned as the second largest globally, surpassed only by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. What sets it apart is the absence of pillar support beneath the central dome. Mohammed Adil Shah, the seventh ruler of the Adil Shahi Dynasty, commissioned the construction of this tomb prior to his demise. Gol Gumbaz’s elegant yet simplistic design exemplifies the architectural brilliance of Bijapur.

Gol Gumbaz Timings: 10.00AM to 5.00PMGol Gumbaz Entry Fee: Indian Nationals – Rs.15/-, Others – Rs.200/-, children up to 15 years of age – no feesFamous For: Mausoleum, Tomb, and Historic SiteVisit Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Gol Gumbaz

Optimal Time to Explore Gol Gumbaz

The ideal period to visit Gol Gumbaz is between October and March, when temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. While visiting during the monsoon season is possible, it is important to note that rain might disrupt your travel plans. Summers are characterized by hot and arid conditions, making it potentially uncomfortable for tourists.


Legend and Architectural Brilliance of Gol Gumbaz

Akshay Prakash for Wikimedia Commons

Yaqut of Dabul undertook the construction of the incredible Gol Gumbaz between the years 1626 and 1648. This breathtaking structure was a testament to the architectural prowess of Mohammed Adil Shah, who desired to have his final resting place meticulously built. The mausoleum entombs Mohammed Adil Shah, Taj Jahan Begum, and Aroos Bibi. It was during Mohammed Adil Shah’s reign over Bijapur that construction on this monument began in 1626.

Gol Gumbaz showcases a perfect blend of Indo-Islamic architectural styles, attracting scores of history enthusiasts who are captivated by its splendor. This magnificent structure, constructed in the 17th century, is an epitome of architectural brilliance. With a diameter of 144 feet, Gol Gumbaz boasts one of India’s largest domes from that era. The majestic dome is supported by eight intersecting arches. Upon entering Gol Gumbaz, one is greeted by a polygonal podium interconnected by steps on either side. At the center of this podium lies the cenotaph of Mohammed Adil Shah. Ascending to the upper level leads to the renowned Gol Gumbaz whispering gallery, where visitors can explore while experiencing the awe-inspiring echo effect produced by their whispers. This feature is undoubtedly the highlight of the gallery.


Fascinating Trivia About Gol Gumbaz

Gol Gumbaz, the tomb monument of Adil Shah, boasts a unique circular shape and stands as one of the largest domes in all of India. Its preservation is entrusted to the Archaeological Survey of India. Prepare to be amazed by these intriguing facts and tidbits about Gol Gumbaz:

  • The mausoleum was constructed in 1656 to honor Sultan Adil Shahi, with its architect being Yaqut of Dabul.
  • The architectural style draws inspiration from Deccan Indo-Islamic influences and is reminiscent of the grandeur of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
  • Gol Gumbaz is often referred to as the ‘Black Taj Mahal’ or the ‘Taj Mahal of South India’.
  • Another name for this magnificent structure is Gol Gumbad, which translates to ‘circular dome’.
  • Within the tomb lies one of the world’s largest single-chamber spaces.
  • A whispering gallery stands out as one of the remarkable features of Gol Gumbaz, allowing distant conversations to be heard through faint whispers. The echoes inside the gallery reverberate an astonishing seven times.

Further Reading: Explore the Top Hill Stations in Karnataka to Rejuvenate Your Soul

Attractions Near Gol Gumbaz

The city of Bijapur, also known as Vijaypura, thrives as a cultural hub that has been shaped by the reigns of various dynasties. This place proudly claims its spot among the must-visit destinations in Karnataka. Discover the best nearby attractions to Gol Gumbaz:

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1. Bijapur Archaeological Museum

The Bijapur Archaeological Museum showcases exquisite Adil Shahi architecture and serves as a captivating venue for those seeking a deeper understanding of Bijapur’s history. The gallery exhibits a collection of stone inscriptions in Arabic, Kannada, Sanskrit, and Persian languages, ancient coins, intricate wooden carvings, carpets, miniature paintings, and various other artifacts dating back to the 11th to 17th centuries.

Location: Bijapur, Karnataka

2. Almatti Dam


Almatti Dam, located in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, stands as a prominent attraction known for its towering height and stunning surroundings. Visitors can enjoy a blissful boating experience at the dam. The best time to visit is during the enchanting monsoons and pleasant winters when the dam’s view becomes even more captivating.

Location: Almatti, Nidgundi, Bijapur district, Karnataka

Recommended Reading: Discover the Wonders of Monsoon in Karnataka!

3. Torvi Narasimha Temple

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The Torvi Narasimha Temple resides in Torvi, a mere 5 kilometers away from Bijapur. This renowned temple is also known as the Narashoba Temple. Legend has it that Kumara Valmiki composed the famous Thoravi Ramayana in Kannada at this very spot. Do not miss the opportunity to explore this iconic temple during your visit to Bijapur.

Location: Toravi, Karnataka

4. Uppali Buruz

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For an unforgettable sunrise experience, plan a visit to the Uppali Buruz monument in Bijapur. This 80-foot high tower boasts a spherical shape and is encircled by stone steps. Additionally, it houses various artillery, powder chambers, war materials, and water reservoirs. The tower’s pinnacle offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city.

Location: Vijayapura, Karnataka

Recommended Reading: 12 Must-Visit Destinations in Karnataka During the Month of March

5. Malik-E-Maidan

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A highly recommended attraction is the Malik-e-Maidan, also known as the “Lord of the Battlefield.” This immense cannon, mounted atop Sherzah Burj in Bijapur, was erected by Muhammad Adil Shah. Regarded as the largest warhead of the medieval era, it is said that the gunner had to immerse himself in a water tank to protect his ears from the thunderous blast when the cannon was fired.

Location: Vijayapura, Karnataka

Traveler Suggestions


The immense Gol Gumbaz mausoleum easily rivals India’s more renowned tombs. Below are several guidelines you should bear in mind if you intend to visit this monument:

  • Arrive at the tomb early in the morning when it opens to avoid large crowds. This will provide you with ample time and space to appreciate the beauty and architecture of this legendary memorial.
  • Ensure you bring your camera as photography is permitted inside the monument.
  • You need not worry about your personal vehicles as parking facilities are available.
  • Allot a generous 1 to 2 hours of your time when visiting the tomb so that you can fully enjoy every aspect of the site.

How to Reach Gol Gumbaz

Bijapur enjoys excellent transportation connectivity. It has well-established links with many cities, particularly in South and West India. The town boasts its own bus stops and railway station. Once you have arrived in Bijapur, you can opt for an auto rickshaw, book a cab, or seek out local buses to reach Gol Gumbaz. Another fascinating way to access the tomb is by tonga. Although the airport is presently under construction, it is set to open soon. In the meantime, the closest airport is Sambre airport in Belgaum, located approximately 164km from the city.

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If you have an affinity for historical sites, Gol Gumbaz is a must-visit destination to satiate your thirst for historical knowledge. The tomb’s architecture and beauty will transport you back to the 16th century. The comprehensive guide is readily available, all you need to do is book your Karnataka holiday and immerse yourself in the ancient world of this historic monument.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Gol Gumbaz

What sets Gol Gumbaz apart?

Constructed during the Deccan era, Gol Gumbaz consists of a cube on each side, topped with a dome. What distinguishes Gol Gumbaz is the fact that the central dome stands without any pillar support. 

Why is Gol Gumbaz renowned?

Gol Gumbaz is internationally famous. It is the second-largest dome in the world, second only to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Additionally, this monument’s colossal crowning is another reason for its fame.

What is the height of Gol Gumbaz?

The height of Gol Gumbaz measures 51 meters. Although it falls short by 22 meters compared to the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of India, the dome’s diameter reaches an impressive 144 feet.

Which Bahmani ruler constructed the famous Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur?

The famous Gol Gumbaz was built by Mohammad Adil Shah, who also founded Bijapur. His rule ended in 1686 when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb captured Bijapur. Due to its beauty and grandeur, it remains one of the top attractions in Karnataka. Yaqut of Dabul constructed it in the 1600s.

Which structure in India boasts the largest dome in the country?

Gol Gumbaz, located in Bijapur, Karnataka, stands proudly as one of India’s grandest domes.

Is Gol Gumbaz classified as a mosque?

Certainly, Gol Gumbaz serves as a mosque. It embodies the remarkable architectural marvels of the Adil Shahi dynasty, specifically the tomb of Adil Shah. This magnificent mosque serves as an enduring testament to the ruler’s authority in Southern India, during his reign from 1626 to 1656.

How many towers grace Gol Gumbaz?

Gol Gumbaz features four impressive octagonal towers positioned at each corner.

What is the intriguing designation given to Gol Gumbaz in India?

Referred to as the whispering gallery, Gol Gumbaz brings about a captivating phenomenon. This circular, elliptical, or hemispherical enclosure allows whispers to travel and be heard across different sections of the monument. This enchanting characteristic is commonly observed in dome structures and caves.


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