The Gumbad Twins

The garden tomb
The garden tomb



I came to the capital almost 2 years ago in 2013, from then i have visited many places here , tombs, temples, gardens , mausoleums , memorials but there is only one place in the whole list which makes me to visit it again and again , i don’t know why and may be that’s the reason why I visit it so often . Yes, i am talking about The Gumbad Twins – Bara Gumbad and Sheesh Gumbad, Lodi Gardens. The Place to me is mysterious , the steps, the minarets , the dome, the Grave everything out there makes me think , think about Death , think about renaissance , about the Lodis and many more things. The Tomb complex is so attached with me that i am kind of bound to that particular place, i have visited the place almost 20 times and every time I find myself in between the two tombs , the rest of the 90 acres of Lodi gardens apparently doesn’t exist for me. My love for these two structures made me to choose it as my topic for Dissertation on Indian Architecture.

Okay , so here goes my textual description of the two Gumbads…

As I climbed the broad steps and see the Bara Gumbad in front of me, with a mosque on the right and Mehman Khana on the left. At the centre lies a raised platform which looks like a ‘Samadhi’ and believed by most as ‘Samadhi’ but was actually a place for ‘Vazu’ or water tank for ritual ablutions. Though , many believe its not a tomb as there are no graves under it and some believe that its a gateway to the mosque.

The most striking feature of Bara Gumbad is its Dome. It is the first example in delhi of a building with a full dome and is considered to be one of the finest of 15th century Delhi. For facts , its square base which is 19m each side and height of 27 metre. Also , the architect has played a fine illusion in the facades as it appears to be two storeyed from outside but actually there is nothing between ground floor and underside of dome.This effect actually gave the structure its aesthetics and proportions. But according to me the most beautiful part of the Bara Gumbad is its mosque. The mosque is not big enough like Jama Masjid of Shahjanabad , but the rich ornamentation and calligraphy work from phrases of Quran are unmatched. Also, the two Qutub Minar types minarets at the northern and southern part of the mosque along with the two Jharokhas placed adjacent to it adds elements to it.

After seeing the <em>’Bade'</em> it was time for meeting the ‘chotey’ i.e. the Sheesh Gumbad, an another majestic structure. It looks almost similar to the Bara Gumbad. But the thing which makes it outstand others is the Blue Tiles( which are mostly at present have fallen ), from here only it gets the name Sheesh Gumbad .One of the interesting features is the beautiful carving work in plaster between the arches niches and patterned design along the parapet wall below the dome and along the tomb’s edges . Its facades also give a double storey appearance.

if you want to access my Dissertation on Bada Gumbad and Sheesh Gumbad then you may contact me via email, my mail id is : [email protected]