Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Proceeding a little further from the Chaubara,  a visitor will notice on the left side of the road a timeworn but magnificent structure. As i mentioned in the previous post, Mahmud Gawan was not only a great waDSC03129rrior but also a great administrator. His contribution to Deccan History was the great Madrasa he established in 1472 AD. It is not only the most imposing building of the Bahmani period, but in its plan and in the general style of its architecture, it is one of its kind in India. Mahmud Gawan, being from Persia and as he was continually was in correspondence with eminent personages of his home country, it is not unlikely that he bought engineers and craftsmen from that country to design this building. He, under the aegis of the Bahmani Kings, who were enthusiastic patrons of learning and literature, was thus able to have this DSC03098college at Bidar on the same magnificent lines as its prototypes in Khurassan and other Islamic countries, and he not only staffed it with eminent divines, philosophers and scientists, but also equipped it with a library of 3000 valuable manuscripts.

The first view of this unique monument is itself enough to understand the importance it had during that time. The ASI took over this monument in 1914 and has put in a great deal of effort in conserving it. Lets get inside the complex and talk about each part of it.

The bDSC03113uilding has a high basement, but to make the approach convenient, two terraces have been built in front it. The main entrance has vanished, but its floor has been exposed by excavations carried in recent times and the plan shows that the whole comprised of an outer arch 21 feet in span and an inner 10 feet in span. The height of the arch was around 45 feet from the floor level. Beyond the entrance was a portico, square at the base. The roof of the portico probably had a dome structure similar to those above the roofs of the semi octagonal projections that DSC03128you see one three sides. The other three projections rise to a height of 90 feet There were passages from the portico to the inner building, but today only the pavements and remains of walls are seen.

The minaret at the northern end of the façade and the wall adjoining it towards the south are comparatively the best preserved portions of the Madrasa, although their tile decorations have survived only in fragments. The minaret has an octagonal base, 67 feet from ground level and has three storeys where the first and second have balconies, which project from the main body of the tower, but has no brackets to support them. The absence of brackets signify a typical Persian construction. The lower part of the tower was decorated with tiles arranged in a chevron pattern, the colors being green, yellow and white. Owing to rain water, most of the tiles have fallen down but the remaining ones convey a clear idea of the decorative schema of the tower. For the purpose of variety, each storey at the neck point had calligraphic devices on mosaic tiles with white letters fixed over a deep blue background. The total height of the tower is 131 feet from ground level. The top of the tower looks somewhat dumpy and does not possess any grace.

DSC03093The wall adjoining the tower towards the South forms the façade of a mosque built in the north-eastern part of the building. This wall extends at present to a length of 59 feet and has an elevation of 65 feet from floor to the upper terrace. The architect in order to produce an effect of light and shade in the building has divided the façade into several compartments, two of which have deeply recessed arches with screens of trellis-work at their back. Details of DSC03096the façade include a band of tile-work containing a parapet design with white, yellow and blue tiles arranged in artistic manner. Below this band, comes another broader one containing an extract from the Quran. Below the calligraphic band, which is of a rather intricate pattern, there is another comprising little squares arranged in the form of stars. Below the three bands of tile-work, there is a broad compartment, containing five arches, the side walls of which are again decorated with beautiful tiles.

The second or middle compartment also contains arches which are also decorated with tiles. The third compartment, which adjoins the plinth of the building, comprises five rectangular panels where the middle one has a doorway and a window on top of it. The other panels also have windows with jalis of delicate patterns.

We will see more of this amazing monument in the coming post..


Team G Square said...

Wow ,thanks for sharing .

tasneem fathima said...

these pictures are amazing.......... and thanks a lot for sharing this cause this information helped me a lot in my project....thank you:):)

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