On December 17th 1972 I was in Bijapur in India.
The day before we had driven across a big river into Karnataka, still called Mysore State then, and so we were now officially in South India. Bijapur was just a place to stop over really, but it is one of those towns in India which is full of ancient monuments and makes a good place to look around. We drove in to a fine sunset over the old domed buildings, an auspicious start. We found a place to stay outside the Circuit House where the Christian caretaker and his daughter offered to cook us excellent food. The town had remains of a Muslim dynasty from the 16th and 17th centuries. The Gol Gumbaz was a tomb with a huge dome and remarkable sound and echo properties, especially up in the Whispering Gallery, and an interesting museum with porcelain books and a Sufi guide to the body. The Jama Mashid had an ornate prayer niche which was the only decoration that remained. It was good to walk about this town through the back streets which had ruins at every corner.
Since climbing up over the Western Ghats from Bombay to Ajanta and Ellora, we had been driving across the plateau known as the Deccan. This remains in my mind as the most characteristic Indian scenery. The country was not densely populated, but open and sometimes rugged. You would drive along and every fifty or seventy miles the road would rise or fall by a hundred feet or so. I loved driving these roads.
|Gol Gumbaz in 2007, Picture by Jasvipul Chawla, CC|
|Jama Mashid in 2007, Picture by Jasvipul Chawla, CC|
View Bijapur in a larger map