Top choice in Karnataka

Set in tranquil gardens, the magnificent Golgumbaz houses the tombs of emperor Mohammed Adil Shah (r 1627–56), his two wives, his mistress (Rambha), one of his daughters and a grandson. Octagonal seven-storey towers stand at each corner of the monument, which is capped by an enormous dome. Once you're inside the sheer scale of the structure becomes apparent: its cavernous interior has a powerful, austere beauty. Climb the steep, narrow steps up one of the towers to reach the ‘whispering gallery’.

The acoustics are fantastic, as excitable schoolchildren love to prove, and the vast dome echoes to their cries, claps, yelps, shouts and screams. It's certainly not the place if you have a hangover, and no doubt the shah is turning in his grave at all the present-day disturbance. A narrow exterior balcony extends around the dome, from which there are fine views of the city's ancient fortifications and a horizon studded with the domes of Islamic monuments. You descend to ground level via a separate staircase.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Karnataka attractions

1. Archaeological Museum

0.09 MILES

A well-presented archaeological museum set in the Golgumbaz lawns. Skip the ground floor and head upstairs; there you’ll find an excellent collection of…

2. Jama Masjid

0.75 MILES

Constructed by Ali Adil Shah I (r 1557–80), the finely proportioned Jama Masjid has graceful arches, a fine dome and a vast inner courtyard with room for…

3. Asar Mahal

0.93 MILES

Built by Mohammed Adil Shah in about 1646 to serve as a hall of justice, the graceful Asar Mahal once housed two hairs from Prophet Mohammed’s beard. The…

4. Mihtar Mahal

1.03 MILES

The crumbling but richly decorated Mihtar Mahal serves as an ornamental gateway to a small mosque.

5. Bara Kaman

1.18 MILES

Within the citadel are the graceful arches of Bara Kaman, the ruined mausoleum of Ali Adil Shah II (Ali Roza). The structure was never finished, and dates…

6. Gagan Mahal


The most impressive of the remaining fragments in the citadel is the colossal archway of Gagan Mahal, built by Ali Adil Shah I around 1561 as a dual…

7. Jala Manzil

1.25 MILES

Within the citadel is the delicate Jala Manzil, once a water pavilion surrounded by secluded courts and gardens.

8. Sat Manzil

1.26 MILES

The ruins of Mohammed Adil Shah’s seven-storey palace, the Sat Manzil is one of several evocative sites in the citadel.