Ibrahim Rauza is the mausoleum of Ibrahim Adil Shah II in Bijapur. Adil Shah started to build this mausoleum for his wife, Taj. But, sadly, he died before her, and the mausoleum became his final resting place, and then for the intended one, Taj.
That’s why the mausoleum is interchangeably called Ibrahim Rauza or Taj Rauza. The king’s mother, daughter and two sons are buried here with the king and the queen.
A large garden, an ablution tank and a mosque must exist in a mausoleum complex. The Ibrahim Rauza is no different. The vast complex has large green spaces that greet visitors entering the complex. A fountain and ablution tank lie between the mausoleum and the mosque. The sight that presents itself from the main entrance is spectacular. While the Gol Gumbaz is grand with an aura of power, the structures here are grand but very gentle on the eyes.
Small tombs lie scattered in the neatly manicured gardens hedged by a fine wall. Against these walls were serais (inns) for visitors and rooms for the madrasa.
A raised platform forms the base of the mausoleum and mosque. The platform is a floor tall with perfectly aligned concentric arches that run all around the perimeter.
Five arches make up the façade of the mosque. Relief work similar to the one seen in Gol Gumbaz also adorns the arches here; the pattern varies slightly around each arch.
Look further up above the arches to see decorative bulbs and brackets on the eave bearing the weight of the projected upper level while still managing to look very pretty.
Take note of the interlinked chain stone on the eaves above the two outer arches.
Pillars and vaults, three rows deep, make up the hall of the mosque.
The mihrab is simple, only a niche.
There is a small dome on the terrace (no access to the public) with lotus petal relief work around it which sits on top of what appears to be a small four-sided pavilion.
Four slender minarets are on the four corners of the building like an extension of the broader columns from the base. In addition, several smaller minarets adorn the balustrade and the dome’s base.
The bay windows on either side of the arches are beautiful, with mini-minarets and latticework.
Quranic verses are engraved on the four small teak entrance doors to the grave chamber and around the doors. Islamic interlacing patterns decorate the lower halves of the door frame. They looked very Celtic to me, but I don’t think the two (Celtic knots and Islamic interlacing patterns) intertwined in history.
The latticed windows are something else altogether! Verses from the Quran are sculpted on stone to become the latticed window. The tiny gaps between the lettering provide lighting for the tomb.
Quranic verses are inscribed on the exterior walls of the mausoleum.
The ceiling of the mausoleum is an engineering marvel. Unfortunately, I don’t speak geek, so it is rather difficult for me to get into the tech aspects. Suffice it to say that it is a hanging ceiling with a breadth of 39ft10in.
Minarets are ubiquitous! You will find them on the perimeter of the terrace balustrade and on the dome and around the dome.
Since visiting Belur, Halebid and Somanathpur, I tend to look at the ceiling for decorations. The eaves at the top level in Gol Gumbaz have calligraphic inscriptions. In this mausoleum’s outer corridors, you find some decorative motifs that are not intricate but still quite pretty. The pillars in these corridors look more Hindu than Islamic.
There is a small dome on the terrace (no access to the public) which seems to be held up by a small room.
This elegant historic site certainly deserves a look and I am sure you will agree that there’s more to Bijapur than just the Gol Gumbaz. I will soon write about other minor sites to visit. Watch this space 🙂