Gol Gumbaz is the star of Bijapur in Karnataka. This great mausoleum houses the tombs of Muhammad Adil Shah, his wife, daughter and favourite court dancer. It is an excellent example of Islamic architecture as seen in India in general and the Deccan region in particular. It is a massive cube, with octagonal seven-storeyed towers topped by small rounded domes, projecting at the corners.
The key to its structure lies in the eight-painted, intersecting arches that support a circular platform. Inside lies the famous ‘Whispering Gallery’. The interior surface of the dome is about 10 feet from the inner edge of the platform, while the internal diameter of the dome is 125 feet. This 10 feet thick wall dome is considered the largest dome in the world.
This great mausoleum of Ibrahim’s successor, Muhammad Adil Shah III (1626-56), was left unfinished in 1660 when the Adil Shah dynasty was already in serious decline. It displays some exceptional Chinese, Porcelain, Deccani miniatures and Bijapur carpets.