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The Architectural Beauty and Majestic of Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur

The Architectural Beauty and Majestic of Ibrahim Rauza, Bijapur

The architectural styles developed by the Sultans of the Deccan plateau that are appreciated in Bijapur, Bidar, Gulbarga, and Hyderabad, are motivated from Persian and Turkish structures.

Ibrahim Adil Shah II ruled the kingdom of Bijapur from 1580 to 1627. He is reputed to be one of the most compassionate and multicultural rulers in history and was a generous patron of the arts.

The sultan of Bijapur was a descendant of the Ottoman dynasty of Istanbul, Turkey. The sultan of Golconda was a Turkman prince who had taken refuge in India. The sultans were adherents of the Shia sect of Islam and were close allies of the Safavid rulers of Iran. A distinctive culture thus developed in the pluralistic community of the Deccan plateau. In India, the Deccan plateau became the prominent center of Arabic literature and scholarship.

Ibrahim Rauza is another valuable and most stylish architectural example of the Adil Shahi style of architecture. Ibrahim Adil Shah II, one of the sultans of this dynasty, developed and organized his own final resting place.

Arched Verandah of row of pillars around the central chamber of of Ibrahim Rauza, BijapurIbrahim Rauza consists of two core constructions: a tomb and a mosque with several smaller structures. All these buildings are built within a square enclosure with an attractive garden in the front. Both the structures are built on a platform that is 360 feet long and 160 feet wide, around a walled enclosure.

At the eastern end is the tomb and at the western end is the mosque. In between is an open yard in which are found an decorative tank and a fountain. Though the size and purpose of these two structures are different, the architect has productively attempted to produce an equilibrium between them in volume and style. Nevertheless, the tomb seems to be a grander structure than the mosque. The tomb consists of a principal chamber within an arched verandah and both are scaled by a dome. Tall minar-shaped turrets are built at four corners of the building. However, the most beautiful and crowning part is the bulbous dome at the upper story.

Carved ceiling of the Mosque of Ibrahim Rauza in Bijapur

The interior has an arched verandah of row of pillars around the central chamber. They are all abundantly adorned with intricate patterns. The chamber room is a small square of 18 feet each side; but it is elegant because of the introduction of a charmingly carved ceiling at the correct height. Thus, the Ibrahim Rauza has a well-executed plan of a building in its entirety, harmonizing architecture with ornamentation.

Ibrahim Rauza of Bijapur: stylish architectural example of the Adil Shahi style of architectureThe mosque forming the other part of the Ibrahim Rauza relates harmoniously in the mass of its proportion and architectural treatment as well as width of frontage. Though it seems slightly smaller, the comparisons overlook in terms of minars at four directions and a slightly smaller elongated dome. This congruence is the real uniqueness of the Ibrahim Rauza. Between the two and in the center is a beautiful entrance with two minars at each corners. Thus, the whole composition is highly appealing.

Scholars have felt that if this were to be built of marble, the Ibrahim Rauza would have been a close challenger to the glory of the Taj Mahal.

Through architectural wonders such as the Ibrahim Rauza, the Adil Shahis immortalized themselves through this structure which is at once a combination of majesty and beauty.

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Rustem Pasha Mosque, A Unique Treasure in Istanbul

Rustem Pasha Mosque, A Unique Treasure in Istanbul

Istanbul is celebrated for its mosques, and rightly so. It seems there are inspiring mosques on every corner in this city, contending with each other in their magnificence, the number of minarets they have, the height of their domes, the opulence of their treasures, and their architectural brilliance.

Rustem Pasha Mosque is tucked away in a labyrinth of bustling backstreets by the Spice Bazaar near the Golden Horn that goes about its day-to-day business, quietly unconscious to its beauty. The mosque is small in comparison with the others. The exceptionality of this mosque is that it is filled with gorgeously elaborate Iznik wall tiles.

Rustem Pasha Mosque, in Hasircilar Caddesi, is smothered in brilliant blue and white lznik tiles that make those in the Blue Mosque look faded and tired. It dates back to the mid-sixteenth century, when the famous architect Sinan designed the mosque for Rustem Pasha, the son-in-law and grand vizier of the great Ottoman Emperor Suleyman I, “The Magnificent.”

Blue and White lznik Tiles, Rustem Pasha Mosque The way in to the Rustem Pasha Mosque is a small stairway concealed among shops full of activity and selling everything from household goods to cheap T-shirts. It is easy to fail to notice, as if it has been designed to intentionally dissuade visitors, and it seems to do the trick. There is no steady murmur of visiting voices here, no persistent reminder of visiting crowds, just peace and stillness. Walking up the stone staircase to the mosque’s main patio, you are greeted by a multitude of patterns—every arcade and every wall seems to be festooned with distinctive designs of tiles as if you are walking through an enormous kaleidoscope. This composition is very pleasing and has a unambiguous architectural harmony.

Daylight streams in through the many honeycomb patterned windows surrounding its dome, highlighting the colors and their effervescence. It is a dramatic example of the proverb that small is beautiful, and is the perfect place to dodge the noise and mayhem of the city, if you can find your way to the entrance, that is. In addition, if you’re looking for a break, surrender to the Turkish baths at Cagaloglu Hamam and its barbershop-quality shaves.

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The Grand Sultanahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque: An iconic symbol of Istanbul

The Grand Sultanahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque, An iconic symbol of Istanbul

In the midst of the frenzied bazaars of Istanbul, and the haggling they flourish upon, there is one place where you can be guaranteed some peace and quiet. Take sanctuary from the heat of the day in Istanbul’s grandest mosque, the Blue Mosque—known to Istanbul residents as the Sultanahmet Mosque. This historic mosque has become an iconic symbol of Istanbul, immediately recognizable on the skyline of one of the grandest cities in the world.

Outside, pointed tapered minarets point to the sky and the immense dome dominates this side of the city, overlooking the Bosphorus. The mosque’s gardens attract lovers, who sit on the benches and watch the dancing fountains. A great courtyard leads visitors to the interior of the mosque, where low-hung chandeliers light up the delicate, complex blue tiles that earned the mosque its nickname. The sense of awe and admiration and veneration provoked in visitors by the cool, peaceful interior and the ambiance of tranquility is something that everyone should experience.

Sultanahmet Mosque was founded in the early seventeenth century. An untimely blunder in conversion meant that rather than having a gold minaret, as instructed, the architect built six minarets, confusing the words alti (six) and altin (gold). Opportunely, for the architect, the sultan liked the minarets so much that they—and his head—stayed put. Nowadays, it is the lone mosque in Turkey to have six minarets.

One of the most striking views of Istanbul from the Asian side of the city is still the one that was seen by those entering Istanbul by boat in days gone by. Those travelers would have seen the mosque’s impressive silhouette on the skyline long before they reached it. It is feasible to re-create the experience today on a river cruise along the Bosphorus at sunset.

History and the Architectural Structure of the Blue Mosque

Sultanahmet Mosque, Istanbul THE building complex, which is situated in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, consists of a mosque, a madrasah, and dar-ul kurra, an Ottoman primary school, a mausoleum, a market place, shops, a Turkish bath, a darulsifa and three fountains. After a celebration of the inauguration of the project in 1609 the construction started. The Architect of this complex was Sedefkar Mehmet Aga who was the head of architects after the death of Sinan the Architect.

The Dar-ul Hadith Madrasah is located at the northeast end of the mosque complex next to the tomb of Sultan Ahmed I. The structure is built around a rectangular shaped courtyard parallel to Qible (the direction of Mecca.) It contains a portico, series of cells, and a classroom, which encircle the inner garden.

At the middle of the inner garden there is a circle shaped small marble fountain. The fringe of the fountain, which is supported by six marble columns, does not exist now. The building has 24 cells (rooms), unlike the other madrasahs built in Ottoman period, where there are usually 12 or 16 cells. At most of the cells, windows are opening to the portico and outside of the madrasah. Every cell contains small niches and a fireplace. They are all covered by small domes. The classroom is situated at the north end of the madrasah. The entrance of the room is from the northeast wall of the place and it is three steps higher than the ground level.

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Byzantine Architecture & Spiritual Glory of Hagia Sophia

The vast, echoing interior of Hagia Sophia

For 900 years, this mountainous hulk of a building was a Christian cathedral, then for 500 years a Muslim mosque. It has not only felt the tread of mighty emperors and sultans, but also suffered the cruel predations of invading armies. Indeed, for a place of worship, Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) bears more than its fair share of scars. Many of its once-glorious Byzantine mosaics have been either damaged or destroyed, while its sumptuous Islamic carpets have been rolled up and removed, following the building’s conversion into a museum in 1935.

Today the two religions co-exist inside, locked in a state of suspended disharmony. Gigantic wooden discs, bearing the names of Allah and his prophet Muhammad, stare across at restored gold images of Christ Pantocrator (“All Powerful”). One faith (Islam) forbids the representation of the human or divine form, the other (Christianity) exults in it, and here the contradiction finds dramatic expression.

Hagia Sophia, Ayasofya Museum, Istanbul But while the works of art on the walls may give off conflicting messages, the building itself communicates an aura of might, with its sturdy stone columns, echoing marble floors and great slabs of stone from across the Mediterranean world (Egyptian porphyry, black stone from the Bosphorus, yellow from Syria). The great central dome soars 180 feet above the floor, pierced by 40 windows, through which stream shafts of light, giving the effect that it is floating, weightless, suspended by some heavenly force. The Hagia Sophia was rebuilt at the orders of Emperor Justinian in 537 CE. Then, for 900 years, Hagia Sophia had been the center of Orthodox Christianity until 1453 when the city was concurred by Ottomans. 500 years following the conquest of Muslims, it became a jewel for the Muslim world and as the grand mosque of the sultans.

It took 10,000 laborers to build this immense structure, and by the time it was officially consecrated in 537 CE, it was already the third Christian cathedral to have been built on this site (the first was in 360 CE). Since then Hagia Sophia has endured the very worst that humankind (wars and looting) and nature (fires and earthquakes) can visit upon it. And it is still standing.

Hagia Sophia was chosen a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1985. Hagia Sophia has became one of the most important monuments on the planet with its architecture and historical richness.

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