Ibrahim Rauza a mausoleum for Taj

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.

Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur
Pic taken from the Archaeological Museum Brochure, Gol Gumbaz Complex

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.

Tombs in the Ibrahim Roza
The tombs

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.

Ibrahim Roza mausoleum and mosque
The mausoleum (left) and the mosque (right)

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.

Serai in the Ibrahim Roza
Serai/Madarasa rooms

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.

Concentric arches in Ibrahim Roza
Concentric arches

The Mosque

The mosque in Ibrahim Roza
The mosque

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.

The mosque in Ibrahim Roza
Facade of the mosque

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.

The mosque in Ibrahim Roza
Interconnected stone rings

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 mosque in Ibrahim Roza
Valuted Hall

The mihrab is simple, only a niche.

The mosque in Ibrahim Roza
The Mihrab

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 mosque in Ibrahim Roza
Bay window at one end of the mosque entrance

The bay windows on either side of the arches are beautiful, with mini-minarets and latticework.

The mausoleum

Ibrahim Roza
The mausoleum

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.

Ibrahim Roza engraved teak door
Verses from Quran

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.

Ibrahim Roza calligraphy fanlight window
Fanlight windows with Quran verses in calligraphy

Quranic verses are inscribed on the exterior walls of the mausoleum.

Ibrahim Roza calligraphy
More engravings

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.

Ibrahim Roza mausoleum corridor
External corridor

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 🙂

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