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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Bijapur (Vijayapura): Photo 5

world pictures Peninsular India: Bijapur (Vijayapura)

The best description of the gate is an old one from what is still the city's best guide, Bijapur, the Capital of the Adil Shahi Kings. A Guide to its Ruins, by Henry Cousens, published privately in 1905. Cousens, who was superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of Western India, wrote (p. 33): "The most ornate feature about the gate are these windows. They are bay or oriel windows, the projecting landing, or sill, being supported, beneath, by bracketing ornamented with rows of hanging buds or drops, the brackets, or consoles, being themselves connected into a whole by decorated transverse tie-pieces in ascending tiers. The balcony parapet, with its rosette panels and neat capping, is carried across the face of the building.... From this rise three lancet-shaped lights in the front, and one each in the ends; and, from the mullions between these, project a row of most richly wrought stone brackets supporting the deep overhanging cornice. They are exceedingly thin, long, rectangular, slabs, perforated and worked over with the most beautiful arabesque. They are such as one would expect to find in woodwork, and look far too delicate to be wrought in brittle stone; but they have lasted, without breaking, for nearly three hundred years, during the most part of which time the building has not been cared for.... Along the crest of the building, between the minarets, was a most beautifully perforated parapet, but this, too, had suffered very much. Its slabs were easily removed, and were probably carried off, in days gone by, when the relics of Bijapur were a prey to the occasional visitor, and a quarry to the local builders, whose very familiarity with these unused buildings blunted their respect for them, at a time when this old deserted city was lying almost in oblivion, uncared for and desolate. This parapet has lately been removed."

Since Cousens, it's been replaced, clumsily.

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