Sunday, April 29, 2012

The road near the north eastern corner of the Shahi Matbakh enters through an arch in the enclosure of the Royal Bathing place. The building was used as the Civil Court till early nineteenth century, but again with the efforts  by Ghulam Yazdani was handed over to the ASI. DSC03503The round pillars that you see are added during the occupation by the Civil Court.

Behind the corridor is a double hall with 5 bays in each half. The divisions are arranged by arches, which again is a typical feature of the Bahmani constructions. The middle part of the building was apparently used as a waiting hall. The intermediate hall is the dressing place which consists of three apartments. The original roof fell down in late eighteenth century and was reconstructed. Beyond this was a single domed chamber. The dadoes of this chamber is said to have once adorned with tiles, but now only the stone margins indicating the outlines of the tiles are to be seen.

It is said that the plan of the innermost hall consists of a middle apartment which is broad enough to for accommodations of the bathing assistants, who filled the cold and hot tanks continuously. There are other retiring rooms which were also used for other social purposes. The ceiling of these rooms was vaulted, being divided into compartments. The exterior of the building is conspicuous, perhaps owing to the alterations done. On the roof was originally a parapet representing overlapping arches. As this design is generally of the Baridi style, it can be assumed that the Hammam was constructed either in the later Bahmani or the Baridi time. Portions of this parapet still exist in some places.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

This building adjoins the Rangin Mahal and is a few steps away from the banyan tree we talked about in one of the prDSC03359evious posts. The building at one time may have been used for the royal kitchen, but it is too large for having built for that purpose, and from its plan it would appear to have been the residence of a prince or of some dignitary. There is an inscription to this effect in the inner entrance which says that a Bijapur general stayed here. There is another inscription which records the conquest of Ibrahim Adil Shah in 1619 AD. During the early 19th century, it was used as the District Jail but with the efforts of Ghulam Yazdani, it was handed over to the Archeological Survey of India. DSC03360

The building is entered by an arched gateway which leads to an open court. A modern colonnade with semi circular arches runs on three sides of this court. The south wing has an inner gateway and seven rooms with double apartments. On passing through the inner gateway a court is reached which has a spacious platform at the southern end. There is a small cistern in the middle of the platform, indicating the preseDSC03366nce of fountains and water channels once. The main building of the palace faces north and comprises a series of rooms and chambers which now have been replaced with some modern constructions probably done during the time it was used as a jail.

The domical halls are spacious and star shaped on the inside. There are squinches in the corners which make the plan of the hall look octagonal above the arches. It is probable that this palace was originally builDSC03365t by the Bahmani rulers. It is said that there are traces of some other rooms and in the upper stories but its out of reach now. Behind the western enclosure wall of the palace, is a large well which is approached by a ramp on the left side of the road. The masonry work of the well has been raised to a great height, so the water when drawn to that level might flow into the cistern and water fountains in the upper storey of the palace.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Continued from the previous post…

DSC03516The royal pavilion is also of small dimensions, the main room square and plain. It has windows on the east and west and a pentagonal projection towards the south. There are also projections in the corners which give a look of a star shaped mDSC03519edieval Deccan temple. The beauty of the room lies in its rich decorations and mother-of-pearl work and tile mosaics. The former is fairly intact in the entrance arch, which is built of basalt of a very dark variety. The floral patterns and calligraphic texts have been depicted by inlaying mother-of-pearl of the finest quality. The effect is lovely and is further enhanced by the architect’s choice of the verses which he has inserted in the decorative scheme. 

The pavilion once had a fountain in the middle, the basin on which is now lying in the outer court of the palace between the two flights of steps referred to in the previous post. Like the Mughal kings, the Baridis were also fond of fountains and it can be noticed in laying of waterworks in many of their buildings.

The RDSC03508angin Mahal, however beautiful its wood carving and fascinating are its tiles and mother-of-peal work, suffers by the smallness of its dimensions and shows a lack of vision on the part of the builders. But the plan of the structure is so much altered at various periods, that it is difficult to visualize in its original form or to appraise correctly its beauty or defects.

In the basement of the Rangin Mahal there is a series of rooms, which were apparently occupied by guards and the menial servants of the palace. The ceilings of these rooms are vaulted, being massively built with a view to supporting the weight of the royal apartments above.