Ibrahim Rauza
Bijapur, India
The group of buildings known as the Ibrahim Rauza stands a short distance outside the Mecca Darwaza, the principle western gate to Bijapur. The complex consists of two large buildings facing each other with a reservoir in between. They sit on a raised plinth set in a square enclosure with high walls pierced by a tall gateway with corner minarets. The building to the east is the Tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II (r. 1579-1627/986-1036 AH), and to the west is his mosque. An inscription over the door gives a date of 1626/1036 AH and indicates that the tomb was built for Ibrahim's wife, Taj Sultana, but Ibrahim died before his wife and was buried there first. Taj Sultana and four other family members are buried with Ibrahim.

The graves lie north to south in a single chamber 12.13 m. square, with a doorway in each of the four sides, with a fanlight window on each side of the doorways, originally with masonry screens. The most remarkable feature of the tomb chamber is the hanging flat stone ceiling, which is made up of slabs set edge to edge with exceptionally strong mortar. The exterior walls of the sepulchral chamber are elaborately carved with shallow tracery of arabesques and excerpts from the Quran. The tomb is surrounded by a colonnaded verandah with seven pointed arches on each side and with a carved and decorated ceiling divided into compartments and inlaid with arabesques and flowers, considered one of the finest examples of Islamic ornamental decoration in India. The dome is set in lotus petals.

The mosque sits to the west within the enclosure and is built in a similar style.  The front face has five arches, and each corner has a minaret topped with an onion dome. Under the cornice of the mosque are heavy chains with pendants, each carved from a single block of stone.

An inscription near the south door of the tomb says that architect Malik Sandal used over 6,000 people who worked for more than thirty-size years before the tomb was completed. The complex is considered one of the outstanding achievements of the Adil Shahi period. The plan of having a tomb, a mosque, and a cistern set on a plinth became popular and was copied by royalty and ministers and India.


Alfieri, Bianca Maria, and F. Borromeo. Islamic architecture of the Indian subcontinent, 166. London, WC: Laurence King Pub., 2000.

Merklinger, Elizabeth Schotten. Indian Islamic architecture: the Deccan 1347-1686, 124-124. Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips, 1981.

Merklinger, Elizabeth Schotten. Sultanate architecture of pre-Mughal India, 143-145. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 2005.

Michell, George"Bijapur." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art OnlineOxford University Press, accessed June 23, 2014http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T008846.

Michell, George, and Philip Davies. The Penguin guide to the monuments of India. Vol. 2, 436-437. London, England: Viking, 1989.
Bijapur, India
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Associated Names
1626/1036 AH
Style Periods
exterior wall: 137 m. square; tomb: ~35 m. square; plinth: 120 x 50 m.
Variant Names
Ibrahim Rawza
Mosque and Tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II
Building Usages