Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Shouting in The Gol Gumbaz

My journey moves on.....
From Badami, we go on to Aihole and Pattadkal. On the way, we sidetrack to a place called Mahakoota, a shepherd tells us its a nice place. There is a temple there and we see a wedding going on. I take out my camera to take a picture but walk away, the event looks too private and I dont want to interfere. When we are driving down and asking for direction, little children run up to the car and ask for empty water bottles. I still dont understand this strange request.

Bijapur is an old town, previously the city of the Adil Shahis. A good hotel again, good rest. My dad and our friend could see the Gumbaz from their room but all ma and I could see was some dome that looked like a cheap imitation. Our fault, we chose that room. :-(

I was never too good wit history but I remember how fascinated we all were when we had to study the history of the Adil Shahis. Gol Gumbaz is famous for its Whispering Gallery, a marvel in acoustics.

As you walk towards the Gumbaz, the tomb of Muhammed Adil Shahi II, you see this plain structure and begin to wonder what all the fuss is about. I was not prepared for the Gumbaz. It is huge! I always have a mental picture of the places I am about to visit and almost none of them turn out to be half as good as the pictures. But the Gumbaz does not disappoint. I am still gaping in wonder when we step in.

The guide rattles off history in a well practiced voice. There are these little squares in the floor which square hole cut into them that work like air conditioners. You can immediately feel the cold air when you step on the stone. The architecture is amazing. The entire structure is built with an interlocking system that is common in Afghanistan and Kazakstan with the dome not supported by any pillar.

A narrow flight of very steep steps take you to the top from where you can see the whole of Bijapur. Inside is the Whispering Gallery. The acoustics is so amazing that you just need to whisper and a person on the other side of the dome can hear you as clearly as if you were standing next to each other. The only problem was that the people there did not seem to know the meaning of a whisper. They were all hooting, clapping and shouting so loud that a deaf person could hear as well! The most amazing thing was that the sound of a mobile phone is not carried to the other side! Not a bit! I wonder why not.

There are well maintained gardens around the Gumbaz, a mosque and a museum. We hang around a bit and the guard complains of how the government does not maintain the place well. People seem to love complaining about their lot in life. Blame the government for the water, your dog's health, the pealing walls of your house...you get the picture!

Gol Gumbaz was...what shall I say...(dont want to say good, I do that a lot!). Well it was interesting. I have not been to many tombs of Muslim rulers and the change was refreshing.

We come out and get hounded by tonga drivers. That story tomorrow....


Karthik L G said...

it looks hugeee in this foto, can imagine the real structure..wonderful foto tat one

wonder y the kids took the bottles..may be for refilling ..

Dinesh said...

Had been long since visited ur blog.. Seems u are wandering 2 much.. good yar..