Saturday, December 05, 2009

Places around Biijapur

Apart from Gol Gumbaz and Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur houses a bunch of other interesting historical places worth visiting.

Barahkaman: A series of arches built as a part of Ali Roza's mausoleum. Wikipedia says that this was rechristened to Barahkaman by Nawab Khan because it was the 12th monument of his reign. But our driver told us that this supposed to be a gigantic 12 storey building, if it were to be completed then it would have been so colossal that it would have cast shadow on Gol Gumbaz which would be humiliating and hence the construction was stopped. It's built on an elevated platform and it's got huge arches (kaman) connected to each other. The tomb is located in the center of the structure.

Gagan Mahal: Gagan Mahal, built by Ali Adil Shah I, is an open air auditorium, rather an elevated stage for witnessing the performance. There are three lofty arches, two narrow ones on both sides of a wider arch. The tall walls of the stage is painted a dull beige colour and contains few contemporary designs on it, along with few. There are stairs leading to the stage on both sides in the front. The rear wall of Gagan Mahal seems to be renovated, for the stones looks extremely new.

Juma Masjid: An immaculately white arcaded prayer hall starts off once you enter the mosque. The mosque has a gigantic dome and the sanctum sanctorum has Qoran inscriptions in golden letters. The walls of the mosque has got many shelves housing holy writings and Urdu learning books. In the front is a well maintained lawn with a place for ablution before entering the prayer hall.

Malik-i-Maidan: Is an elevated part of the Bijapur fort, which overlooks the entire town of Bijapur. Erected by Ibrahim II, Malik-i-Maidan has a titanic canon weighing 55 tonnes. The canon has a greenish tinge with a fierce lion face engraving on the top, as though it's devouring an elephant. Apart from engraving of ancient Urdu script, we see lots of heroes and lovers of the current age engraving their damned names on the the canon which is very despicable. The most surprising part for me was the presence of Ugra Narasimha, a Hindu deity, carving on the wall of the fort, which is very contradictory with Muslim rulers.

Asar Mahal: Located in front of an artificial lake, Asar Mahal used to be the Hall of Justice of Adil Shahis. The bridge once connected Asar Mahal to citadel. The frescoes on the wall are very well preserved even now. Entry for ladies into Asah Mahal is prohibited, for a 10 rupees tip I was escorted by the curator who unlocked the doors of the Hall of Justice to show me the paintings.

There are other interesting places which I didn't have time to visit. You can get more information about them from:
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