Following The Tunnel At Ibrahim Rauza In Bijapur

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Ibrahim Rauza heritage monument at Bijapur
Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur aka Vijayapura

On the second morning of our Bijapur stay, we started the day with Ibrahim Rauza, which is only about 6-7 km’s from Gol Gumbaz but is on the other edge of the city. Now Ibrahim Rauza is another tomb along with a mosque but it is very different from Gol Gumbaz. The two buildings i.e. the tomb and mosque face each other and are of the same size. In fact, at first look from a distance they even look identical but as you go closer you know they are not. A square water tank with a fountain separates both buildings.

Ibrahim Rauza – Bijapur Tourist Places

Chajja stone art work architecture at Ibrahim Rauza Bijapur
Chajja details of Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur aka Vijayapura

Walking towards the building from the gate, you cannot but notice the symmetry of the two buildings, again hidden a bit by the entry gate like structure. Two domes on either side have many small-carved minarets dancing around them. We walked through the gateway that had colorful palkis or palanquins with the number 786 written on them. I wondered what it could be when the lady at shoe counter told me that it is used during Moharram to carry Alams.

Stone carvings corridor view at Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur
Corridor of the Tomb at Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur

Heritage Monument

We went inside and the serene calm environment with only two old buildings standing on the stone platform surrounded by the jail like staff quarters. It was like a playground for many birds. Bright green parakeets had their favorite hiding place in the ornate chajja of the mosque. While pigeons it seemed were rehearsing their collective flights from lawns to rooftop while circling around the domes.  I sat in front of the mosque with intent to study the elements of architecture.

The person sweeping the monument came and showed me some stone chains hanging on both sides of the chajja. Now this person actually said these imitate the earrings of the queen of Ibrahim Adil Shah. The queen is also buried here with him. I would say that is a stretch of the imagination. But the stone chains with a carved piece at the end do look like the mosque is wearing earrings. He then pointed me to the faded paintings on the walls of both the monuments. You are sure to miss them in a cursory look.

Lattice calligraphy work on the heritage monument Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur
Latticed calligraphy at Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur

Latticed Windows & Persian Calligraphy

Tomb has lovely windows and what is worth noticing is the latticed windows with calligraphy in Persian – something that I saw for the first time. All around the corridors, there are arches that have circles carved on them. I wonder if they are just ornamental and served a purpose. The doors and windows, when looked through each other, create an impressive play of light. What was intriguing about the tomb is its low roof and high dome – indicating a space between the two – again with no answers to the purpose of the same?

The same person told me that from the tomb goes a tunnel to Sangeeta Mahal – which is four km’s away from this place. He even said that the labyrinth carved on the entrance of the tomb indicates the passage as it goes. Which of course seems too far-fetched to be true. But a sole labyrinth carved here on entrance does sound intriguing with nothing to match it anywhere else in the monument.

Heritage monument Sangeeta Mahal at Bijapur
Sangeeta Mahal, Bijapur

Sangeeta Mahal

After soaking in early morning warm winter sun at Ibrahim Rauza, we proceeded to Sangeeta Mahal. I was not expecting much here and that is what it turned out to be. Absolute ruins of a palace with few extremely dilapidated structures lying inside a wall with low arched gateways – that are now barricaded. There was no documentation and all we could see was some tall narrow arches in the walls. At some places, the carvings and arches try hard to maintain the old glory. It is a huge complex but half of it was locked and the other half is also quite dangerous as the masonry is falling apart. I must admit that ruins looked handsome. Though the only signs of life around them were birds all around.

Landscape view of the heritage monument Ibrahim Rauza at Bijapur
Landscape view of the Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur

Local Transport

Best way to go to these places is to take a city bus – which are very comfortable and announce every stop. There are shared autos as well, but I prefer to use the public transport wherever available – safe and economical.

Recommend you to read following Travel Blog.

  1. Gol Gumbaz – A Reverberating Dome.
  2. Dome Hopping in Bijapur.
  3. Badami, Aihole & Pattadakal – A Visual Treat.
  4. Ancient Chalukyan Temples of Hubli.
  5. Hidden Inside Dandeli – Syntheri Rock.
  6. Coastal Karnataka – A Rewinding Trip.

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