General view from the south-east of the Gol Gumbaz or Tomb of Sultan Muhammad, Bijapur 10031810
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. The Gol Gumbaz or Round Dome, the tomb of Mohammad Adil Shah (r.1627-56), is one of the greatest buildings of the Adil Shahi dynasty which ruled parts of southern India from the late 15th to the late 17th centuries, with their capital in Bijapur. Completed in 1656 it is simple in design, with an immense hemispherical dome 44m in diameter, the second largest in the world after St. Peter's in Rome. The dome is supported internally by eight intersecting arches created by two rotated squares that create interlocking pendentives. The are four seven-storey octagonal corner towers. On each wall there are three great blind arches, the central ones with wooden panels functioning as the entrances. A centotaph slab in the floor marks the true grave of Muhammad Adil Shah in the basement, the only instance of this practice in Adil Shahi architecture.