On the second morning of our, Bijapur stays, we started the day with Ibrahim Rauza, which is only about 6-7 km from Gol Gumbaz but is on the other edge of the city. Now, this 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
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 the shoe counter told me that it is used during Moharram to carry Alams.
Heritage Monument Ibrahim Rauza
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 rooftops while circling around the domes. I sat in front of the mosque with the 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 monuments. You are sure to miss them in a cursory look.
Lattice Windows & Persian Calligraphy
The 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 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 the entrance does sound intriguing with nothing to match it anywhere else in the monument.
After soaking in the 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 a 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. In 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 the ruins looked handsome. Though the only signs of life around them were birds all around.
The best way to go to these places is to take a city bus – which is very comfortable and announces every stop. There are shared autos as well, but I prefer to use public transport wherever available – safe and economical.
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