Aug 18, 2018

Bara Kaman, Bijapur

February 1996
My friend Gulveer and I were on a biking journey across Karnataka. We traveled on my Hero Honda Splendor. Back then NH4 was a simple 2-lane road and Chitradurga-Hospet road was single lane. Day-1 we visited one ancient temple near Hospet and TB Dam gardens. We camped at KSTDC lodge, near TB Dam, Hospet. Day-2 was spent at Hampi. Day-3 we traveled to Bijapur, reached there late afternoon. Whatever was remaining of that day, we visited Malik-e-Maidan, Upli Burj and Bara Kaman. This is Gulli posing below the arches of Bara Kaman, shot with Yashica aim-n-shoot.

August 18, 2017
Pushpa and I were traveling from Dharwad to Hyderabad, with a stopover at Bijapur. Again we reached late afternoon. This time we visited Landa Kasab Tope and Bara Kaman. This is the entrance gate of the incomplete tomb of Adil Shah II, his wife Chand Bibi and other family members. Had this tomb designed by Malik Sandal was to surpass Gol Gumbaz in size and beauty. It would be so tall that its shadow before sunset would reach Gol Gumbaz which is a good 1.8 kms from here. What a royal wish!

Gol Gumbaz was built by Muhammad Adil Shah as his own tomb. He didn't want another building to shadow the glory of his own tomb and has his son Ali Adil Shah II murdered. With that Bara Kaman's construction stopped for good. Well, that saved an immense burden on the kingdom's subjects which was mostly Hindu. It seems only Muslim kings had this craze to glorify themselves even in their death.

Whatever is the background, one cannot resist being amazed at the engineering skills of those days. The platform is 65m long, 65m wide around 20' thick. These arches are at least 35' high. The columns are approximately 8' x 8' and there are 64 arranged in a 8 x 8 square matrix. Gol Gumaz's overall dimensions are 48m x 48m x 51m.

The arches are designed to transfer the load to the pillars and into the ground below.

 This is the platform center, the resting place for the mortal remains of Ali Adil Shah II and family.

In Islamic tradition, the pointed tops mark a man's grave and flat-hollow tops  for women.

Looks like the plan was to create a central hall for the tombs. The stone used here are dark colored and hard usually found in Bijapur, Gulbarga, Bidar and neighboring districts of Maharashtra.

 Not all columns are connected by arches, there are gaps. Looks like they were never built.

 The structure's four corners have a tower each. Each of the tower has a builtin staircase. This staircase is enclosed unlike the open staircase of Gol Gumbaz

One of the towers.Just to raise this structure it must have taken 3 years.

Looking up towards a column and its arches aka Kamans.

Iron rings embedded into the walls. Such rings can be seen all around the structure.

There another incomplete tomb on the eastern side of the city, called as Jahan Begum's tomb. This and In-Ul-Mulk tomb are to be seen during my next visit to Bijapur.

In case you want to know.. what to see in Bijapur district - click this link.

Aug 15, 2018

Tiranga at Savandurga

Independence Day Greetings

Our Indian Tiranga brought back memories of Savandurga..

This picture was taken atop Savandurga. We were six of us; left to right- Dad, Kalappa, Murali, Praveen, Nagesh and me. For Murali it was a first experience in the wild, without shelter, remember him saying "I'll never ever go out with you guys again." I said to myself, one day he will boast to his kids about this trip. Dad and Praveen, it was their second overnight stay here. They had enjoyed thoroughly, together they had finished a bottle of Royal Stag :) rest of the group members were teetotalers. Nagesh and Kalappa, the enthusiastic youngsters had a good time too. Murali had brought bread, butter and jam, advance planning by our friend. This was our breakfast session warming ourselves in morning Sunlight, looking in the general direction of Bengaluru. In the background is the granite-brick-mortar structure built during Kempegowda's time.

26th January 1998
During another visit to Savandurga with Deepak and Vijay. It was rainy season, everything on the hill was wet, green and slippery. The trekking path on Savandurga touches the ancient structure seen in the picture above. The structure could withstand the forces of Nature but the meddling human hands have scarred it. Somehow the combined effects of nature and man had created something artistic.. it was like our flag- saffron, white and green.

17th August 2011
A much recent trip was last year Aug-15, we were at Anegundi. We'd met a biker from Poona who was riding back home, with the Tricolor on his Dominor. The same morning we were travelling to Dharwad. Passing through towns and villages we could see school children dressed in white, little flags in their hands, going to their schools for flag hoisting function. The Indian spirit to celebrate Independence Day!!

Jai Hind
Jai Kisaan
Jai Jawaan
Vande Maataram