Firstly, heartfelt congratulations and a million thanks to my dear friend Sohail for getting engaged….. at his hometown Solapur which is approx 2 hrs away from my Bucket List item – The Gol Gumbaz!!!!!
Struck it out of the list peeps!! 😀
The part train part road journey was worth every minute. More on the journey later…
The Gol Gumbaz (rose dome) is a magnificent structure built during the Adilshahi regime that ruled Bijapur.
Through popular belief, the name Gol Gumbaz refers to a round place. But according to our guide (yes, take one when you go. It helps!) the original name is Boli Gumbaz – Boli being ‘spoken words’ and Gumbaz meaning ‘echoing’ (i.e. words said / spoken here are echoed). All the entertainment programs for the Sultan were conducted at here. As there were no mike and speaker systems then, it is built in such a way that where ever you stand you can hear the sound. Cool, isn’t it?
Through generations, the name Boli Gumbaz then became Gol Gumbaz (yeah like Chinese Whispers)
The entrance to Gol Gumbaz
The performance stage
The main auditorium holds a large stage for the performance and seating area for the Sultan. There are viewing galleries, almost seven storey high, for the rest of the people surrounding the stage. A hidden maze like staircase leads upto the Whispering Gallery (the highlight and my fav part)
It is difficult to find unless someone guides you through. There is always a small passageway even after you think you have reached the dead end. The stone steps are way bigger than the regular ones so wear comfortable footwear. Climbing seven stories gets a bit exhausting!
The specialty of the Gallery is, one can hear the other person standing far away very clearly even if he/she whispers! Hence the name….. got it?
The Sultan’s Seat
Our guide was sitting in the far end of the corner as conversing with us as if he was sitting right next to us. Reviews on TripAdvisor have mentioned to visit the Whispering Gallery early in the morning because a lot of people crowd up drowning the entire point of the Gallery. (The monument opens up as early as 6 AM)
Families and kids were yelling and shouting so much that I couldn’t hear my own voice. It’s a Whispering Gallery you tards!! You are supposed to whisper!!!
TIP: Travellers! Be careful of what you talk, everyone in the gallery can hear you. And yes, even if you whisper sweet nothings in your husband’s ear! (I am not saying I did that ;D)
A narrow passageway surrounds the outside of the dome. So you can actually take a full round tour and take in all the beautiful landscape Bijapur has to offer. It is very peaceful looking at the horizon from the top of the monument
The staircase that leads to the Whispering Gallery
The Whispering Gallery
Bijapur from the roof of Gol Gumbaz
We got lost on our way back as we couldn’t find the staircase. There is one for entry and one for exit. Make sure you read the signboards carefully! 15 minutes after a frantic search and some help from the visitors, we climbed down into the great hall once again. The crowd was much more than when we had left. And making so much noise. We were thankful for that early visit and hurried out to the gardens for some quiet.
While getting out of the main entrance door, Jayesh heard peacocks’! Yes! I know!! So we started looking for them. And we trespassed into a prohibited area. But more on that adventure later.
Enjoy the Pics!
*All opinions and photographs are by me.
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The Gardens of Gol Gumbaz