Wednesday, December 30, 2015

North Karnataka - The Rome of India - Part 2

In my previous post, I narrated how we started our trip to explore North Karnataka and visited Almatti Dam on our way towards Bijapur.

In this post, I will describe what we was at the historic city of Bijapur.

Day - 2 - Bijapur

It was fully packed eventful day ahead of us.  We started at about 1030 hrs and reached Gol Gumbaz.  There we got into conversation with local "horse cart - cab drivers".  They seemed to offer us a good deal,

  • They would take us to all the famous places in Bijapur in their horse cart 
  • Tell us a bit of history about these places.  
  • All this for some 800-1000 Rs.  
  • That sounded great because, I would not have to drive the big car in city traffic and look for parking all the time!
We almost instantly decided to take the deal and start off.  The first place we visited was the Bijapur Jama Masjid.  It was an humongous mosque where nearly 20000 people could offer prayers!  The building was beautiful and well maintained.

Jama Masjid - Bijapur
Next they took us to Jod Gumbaz, Ibrahim Roza, Malik-e-Maidan and Bara Kaman.  Ibrahim Roza was the crown jewel of all these places.  Its a beautiful monument built on a single rock bed, it is noted for the symmetry of its features. It is said that the design for the Ibrahim Roza served as an inspiration for that of the famous Taj Mahal.

Ibrahim Roza - Bijapur
Finally, they dropped us to Gol Gumbaz and we could hardly wait to see the biggest dome ever built in India, next in size only to St Peter's Basilica in Rome.

We hired a professional guide (highly recommended) to see this monument in detail.  He showed us the central chamber, where every sound is echoed seven times!  

Then he took us to the top of the monument to see the Whispering Gallery.  There are around 7 stories in this monument.  The cross ventilation (or whatever you want to call it) is so well designed that even at 45 C summer heat, the constant flow of cool breeze through the windows keeps you cool!

Once at top, we obviously wanted to witness and experience the Whispering Gallery.  Its said that even minute sounds can be heard clearly 37 meters away!  

The guide made us stand at one spot and he went and stood diagonally opposite (some 37 meters away) to where we were standing.  Amazingly, we could hear even the most minute sounds he was making at the other end - like lighting of a match stick!

Gol Gumbaz - Bijapur
All the monuments we saw at Bijapur where very well maintained.  By the time we finished visiting the Gol Gumbaz it was already 1500 hrs.  We decided to grab some quick lunch and then started our journey towards Badami.  We reached our hotel, had some nice dinner and crashed into bed.  Next morning we had to see the beautiful cave temples of Badami and much more!

In the next post, will describe what we saw at Badami. 
Have some Fun!