Indo Islamic architecture in Bijapur, a city in the state of Karnatakaflourished 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.
The city’s greatest architectural remains are minarets, domes and echoing burial chambers like Gol Gumbaz, Ibrahim Rauza, Malik-e-Maidan, Upri Buruj, Chand Bawdi, Asar Mahal, Gagan Mahal, Barakaman, Jumna Mosque, Jal Manzil, Sat Manzil, Jod Gumbaz and Anand Mahal.
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 arts.
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 incircumference, 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 ofthe 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 avoluted bracket holding a medallion, and above the arch was a foliated finial all singularly graceful.
Several other sculptures were either carved in stone ormoulded 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 province.
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.
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 buddingrose)- 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 inter secting arches created by two rotated squares that create interlocking pendentives” support the dome.
At each of the four corners of the cube, is a dome-capped octagonaltower seven stories high with a stair case 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 out. With an area of 1,700 m2 (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 westernside. 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 Mahal, 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.