Jan 28, 2017

Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur

July 3, 2016
This is my fourth visit to Bijapur and my first with Pushpa. Though she'd visited this heritage city once, she'd only seen the icon of Bijapur.. Gol Gummata. I wanted her to see the other magnificent monuments of the city as well. On the list were Ibrahim Rouza, the cannon of Malik-e-Maidan, Upuli Burj, Jod Gumbaz, Asar Mahal, Jamia Masjid, Gagan Mahal and Mehtar Mahal. Also on the list was the Baobab tree planted during Adil Shahi time.

After a light breakfast. we started our tour from Ibrahim Rouza. The day was cloudy and it was drizzling, weather was on our side. Here we are, looking at the domes and minarets sticking out from the three structures of the complex. In the middle is the grand gateway; on the right is the mosque and on left is the tomb. This the tomb of the fifth Adil Shahi ruler Ibrahim 'Adil Shah II who (1580-1627 CE). Superb maintenance isn't it?

This is the passage in the gateway flanked by platforms.

The gateway's other side. The entire complex is walled and well protected. Its a royal tomb, it does need security.

This is the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II, his wife Taj Sultana and their two sons. This tomb and the entire complex is said to be designed and built by the Persian architect Malik Sandal. The years of construction is not available online but I guess it was completed in 1627 CE. Going by the looks it must have built in 8 to 12 years, so the construction must have begun around 1617 CE.

On the right hand side is the mosque with five arches in the elevation. The mosque's and the gateway's minarets are similar i.e. the front two minarets are taller than the rear two.

The mosque's interior; the white pillars rising out the floor gracefully to converge into beautiful arches and domes. Between the arches are diamond shaped niches, these niches control the acoustics.. probably to prevent echoing.

The dome- what seems circular at the first glance is actually a 16-sided polygon encompassing a lotus in full bloom. Such a perfect geometric creation! Each of the 20 domes are decorated like this.. did not observe if all were same or if each of the domes had a unique design.

Looking towards the tomb through the arches. Notice how the last arch forms a white border for its arch. Truly amazing architecture.

Rauza also known as Ali Rauza is known for its pendant hanging from a stone made completely of stone. Actually there are two such hanging pendants, both on the front side of the mosque. These stone sculptures design is a mix of Hindu temple and Islamic designs. In the top-left side of this picture, you can see a mesh created in stone. Lovely designs indeed.

Between the mosque and tomb is an ornamental water tank. On the opposite sides of the tank are pedestals which I guess were used as seats to perform the customary abulation before entering a mosque or tomb. Now lets turn our attention to the tomb. The building looks beautiful in this view.. the central bulbous dome and the corner minarets and the arches below.. well proportioned design.

This is one of the corner pillars with a lotus base. Between the four corner pillars are smaller pillars forming the outer perimeter.

Looking up at the pillar. The pillar and beam design are definitely borrowed from temples.

Another look up view.. one of the sculpted arches and the floral designs on the ceiling.. superb. Notice the lotus designs.. you can see them in Chalukyan temples of XII Century.

The richly decorated walls of the sanctum. These walls carry intricate drawings and paintings.. mostly floral. Notice the black stone door-frame.. either sides of the frame has a rectangle within which is an elaborate maze. The door frame carries an inscription of verses from the holy book.

A floral motif on the corner pillar. Floral designs embossed in stone and the complicated maze on the door-frame. During my first visit here (in 1996 I and my friend Gulveer were on a biking trip around Karnataka) our guide had traced the path of the maze with a matchstick.. the path ended at the point where it started.

The outer perimeter is an arched aisle. Lets step inside the sanctum.. one of the windows with a mesh. The mesh depicts Quranic verses.

The tomb has 4 doors eight windows. The windows are tastefully decorated with sculpted meshes and has a seat too. The doors are said to be original teak wood doors studded with brass knobs (see inset) and other fittings. The octagonal object on the floor is a lamp holder. You can see a similar one at Gol Gumbaz too.
The interior has five tombs - in the middle are Ibrahim II and Taj Sultana's tombs. The remaining tombs are children and grandchildren. Flat tops indicate woman's tomb while the pointed tops are men's tombs.
Below these structures is the basement formed by the pillars bases. Its a quite a large area. It is said that the space was used to store ammunition and food grains. I remember the guide telling this was used as barracks. However, during my visit of 2010, the basement and the garden area was flooded with rain. Whatever happened recently might have been a result of altering the ancient water ways. During Adil Shahi rule, Bijapur was a well planned city which did not have shortage of water even in summer months. However in 2010 the city was a mess. In 2016, I could see some improvement.



dhiru guri said...

Wonderful photography tour of Ibrahim rauza .

Ranbir Singh said...

I visited Bijapur in 2013 and had stayed in Karnataka Tourism Resort. It takes considerable time to understand the Adil Shahi city and despite having company of Mr Abdul Aziz Rajput on his bike, I missed a few important sites. The city's layout cannot even be fully viewed from atop Gol Gumbaz but the view it affords is fascinating and it confirmed to me that it was actually located in a bowl shaped plain surrounded by low hills. The reason was obvious: collection of runoff rainwater that kept the city green. The water either got absorbed by soil and the rock beneath or collected in various pits and step wells or shallow tanks. I was told that the major reservoir was at a distance that is still the life line of the dwellers. Through Google earth one can see the settlement pattern: old as well as the new one. Except the Chand Baoli, other sites were clean. The city was also affordably clean. When I was at Ibrahim Roza, the weather was excellent in the month of mid-April and and ambient light provided enough illumination to take photos of the interiors. The Roza and the adjoining mosque including the entrance is a well planned complex. I had lots of appreciation of the architecture decor of the Roza i.e. a tomb and admired the designer-architect who could have also envisaged embellishing it in exotic carving imbibing motifs.

siddeshwar said...

Thank you, TGS and Ranbirji.

@Ranbir - Agree with you, its easy to miss spots in Bjipur. The city itself is a monument, the ancient and modern mixed up. As of mentioned, the city is indeed located in a bowl which is said to be man made - that's one of the reasons why the city is so dusty. Its easy to miss out on important spots especially when one has time constraints. After this visit, I realized there's a large cannon on the eastern wall and I missd it after four visits! April is usually hot, you were lucky with the weather :)

Nirdesh Singh said...

Hi Siddeshwar,

Nice to see Ranbirji here and him mentioning Abdulji! Even I met Abdul ji here at Gol Gumbad and he took me around some more sites on my second visit to the city. Yes compared to Bidar, Bijapur is quite grimy and dusty. I also felt the general maintenance of the city is not upto mark.

So all in all nice to see all the friends here and Siddeshwar as always effortlessly taking us around Karnataka. I want to come back to Bidar Gulbarga and Bijapur for a more relaxed outing and this time including all the adjoining temples too!



PS Siddeshwar - if possible please include links to nearby places that you have written about here

siddeshwar said...

Hi Nirdesh, thank you for dropping by. Nice to be knowing your friends :) You've been exploring so much of Koppal! Wonderful. Add spots in Raichur district too, you some interesting spots there. Yes, I will include links to places visited.. previous posts are being updated as and when I can.. hate to say that but let me ..when my job permits me time.