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Indo Islamic architecture in Bijapur, a city in the state of Karnataka flourished
under the Muslim rulers in the medieval period. This city first experienced its
Islamic architecture in the end of 13th century under Allaudin Khilji and later
under the Bahamani Empire in 1347. However, Bijapur was decked and dotted
with wonderful Indo Islamic architectures during reign of the Adil Shahi dynasty
in the 15th to 17th century.
Bijapur became the capital of the Adil Shahi dynasty when the Bahmani Muslim
kingdom broke up in 1482. This was the period of greatest Islamic architectural
and artistic achievement. During the entire regime, Adil Shahi rulers
concentrated their energies almost exclusively on architecture and on the allied
They constructed their buildings in three different ways:
However, the golden period of Indo Islamic
architecture in Bijapur started during the regime
of Ali Adil Shah I which was from 1557 to 1579.
He combined and expanded his kingdom, built
Citadels, palaces, gardens, and pavilions.
He built the Jumma Masjid to celebrate the
Talikota victory. After his demise, his successor
Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1580-1626) expanded his
kingdom at a large extent and developed the
city to its political, cultural and territorial peak.

Adil Sahi dynasty started their construction to the Bijapur
city during the first half of the sixteenth century. They
constructed the citadel, a fortress containing a palace,
imperial buildings, and two small mosques. As the power
of the Adil Shahi increased, a city developed around the
citadel, and gradually they enclosed the city within
strongly fortified walls.
These walls were extended over six miles in
circumference, and from the citadel in the centre roads
had six city gates. However, they had no direct alignment
and systematic planning for the city. At the beginning of
the seventeenth century, expansion of the city became
necessary for the Adil Sahi dynasty and so the suburbs of
Shahapur on the north and Ainapur on the east arose.
architectural constructions were influenced from the regional
culture and thus became the amalgamation of Turkish culture (as
they belong from the Turkish origin) with that of Indian culture.
The main features of the building art of Bijapur were the dome,
which, in buildings of average proportions.
They were almost spherical in shape, and rises out of a band of
conventional petals at its base. These forms were repeated to the
turrets to provide an ornamental finishing, surmounted the
principal angles of the minarets. This specific Bijapur arch was
fuller in its curve and had four-centre. In the Islamic architecture of
Bijapur province, they used cornice, a characteristic architectural
ornament in most of the buildings which were famous for their
remarkable size and projection.

Apart from their separate architectural style, the Indo
Islamic architectures of Bijapur province were also
famous for their sculptural element. The patterns
which they used to decorate their buildings were from
plastic art, so individual in character.
Among these different sculptures, one important and
famous pattern was the arch spandrils, consisting of a
voluted bracket holding a medallion, and above the
arch was a foliated finial all singularly graceful.
Several other sculptures were either carved in stone or
moulded in stucco with this typical design such as
conventional hanging lamps, running borders, and
interlaced symbols.
The Jami Masjid, built by Ali Shah I (1558-80). It is
constructed in the southeast part of Bijapur city and is
the finest example of Indo Islamic architecture of that
It is a large structure, as its plan forms a rectangle 450
feet by 225 feet, and has an entrance gate to the
eastern side of the mosque. It also has two more gates
in the south and north direction respectively.
The walls of this building offer a considerable area of
plain masonry, with two rows of arcades one above
the other, the lower being merely ornamental, but the
upper row is open and discloses an arched corridor
resembling a loggia.
Prayer room facade
Elevation (south)
Gol Gombadh meaning "rose dome", (a reference to the flower/rose/lotus
petals that surround the dome at its base, making it appear as a budding
rose)-- is the mausoleum for sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah I.
The structure is composed of a cube, 47.5 metres (156 ft) on each side,
capped by a dome 44 m (144 ft) in external diameter. "Eight intersecting
arches created by two rotated squares that create
interlockingpendentives" support the dome.
At each of the four corners of the cube, is a dome-capped octagonal
tower seven stories high with a staircase inside.
The upper floor of each
opens on to a round gallery which surrounds the dome. Inside the
mausoleum hall, is a square podium with steps on each side. In the
middle of the podium.
A cenotaph slab on the ground marks the actual grave below, "the only
instance of this practice" in the architecture of the Adil Shahi Dynasty. In
the middle of the west side, "a large half-octagonal bay" protrudes
With an area of 1,700 m
(18,000 sq ft),
the mausoleum has one
of the biggest single chamber spaces in the world.
the Ibrahim Rauza, a mausoleum situated outside the city walls on the western
side. It is the tomb of the fifth king of the Adil Sahi dynasty, Ibrahim Adil Shah II
(1580-1627). The rauza consists of two main buildings, a tomb and a mosque with
certain accessories all standing within a single square enclosure. It is the most
perfect creation of its kind.
The mausoleum is only 450 feet square, while the tomb building inside is only
115 feet. The entire architecture for every part was carried out in a most
meticulous manner. Two major buildings present within the enclosure of the
mausoleum having an oblong terrace 360 feet long by 150 feet wide, at the
eastern end of which is the tomb and at the western end facing it is the mosque.
The arched verandah of the building consists of a row of pillars, forming a double
arcade around the central chamber, providing a structural magnification
preparing the spectator for the complete finesse of the interior scheme. The
outer wall surface of the tomb chamber is ornamented with carving.
Each wall is spaced into an arcade of three shallow arches. These arches are
enclosed by borders and panels with a fine wharf at each angle of the building
which provide the surface with graceful shapes which were filled in either with
arabesques, repeating diapers, or traceries inscriptions.
Mihtar Mahall, which, was constructed in 1620 during the reign of
Ibrahim Adil Shah II. This building was famous for the character of rauza.
The exterior of this building is a wonderful conception; its facade consists
of two slender buttresses rising up into elegant turrets, while the window
has a projected balcony on brackets and shaded by an expansive eave.
Among the other architectural elements present in the building are a
doorway of pointed arches, with the arrangements of flat paneling,
elaborations to the buttresses, as well as string-courses and moldings. All
these are decorated wonderfully, exceptionally well rendered, and each
contributing to the artistic appearance of the whole.
The Indo-Islamic architecture of Bijapur province is of a decidedly ambler
order, and has few significant features. It took the form of palaces and
civic buildings produced to the order of the various rulers, often in a style
of their own and also with the fusion of Islamic and Hindu culture.