Golgumbaz

Top choice monument in Vijapura (Bijapur)

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.


Advertisement