Bidar

Bidar

In the northern-most part of Karnataka lies Bidar-a tiny district steeped in history. The fort, the cannons, palaces in ruins, the magnificent tombs and the massive monuments, all combine to make a visit to the one-time capital of theĀ Bahamani andĀ Barid Shahi dynasties, truly memorable.

Historically, Bidar was a part of the Bahamani Kingdom, which comprised of Bijapur, Gulbarga, Bidar, Golconda, and Birar. The ruler of Bidar was Barid Shah. The Nizams of Hyderabad later ruled Bidar. Bidar witnessed the “religious revolution” under the Lingayat Reformist Basavanna. Basavakalyan from where Shaivism spread.

Bidar boasts of several religious centers: The famous Nanak Jheera – the largest sikh temple in Karnataka, carries the tale that Guru Nanak – the first guru of the Sikhs visited this place and got rid of the scarcity of drinking water in the region. A popular spot is the Guru Nanak Jheera, where fresh crystal clear spring water appears from nowhere. To visit the Narasimha Jheera, you have to tread for at least a furlong inside a cave with waist deep water (and countless bats hanging from the roof!) to seek the view of Lord Narasimha. Papanaash is a temple of Lord Shiva. They say you can see snakes guarding the idol especially during Shivaraathri.

The historical fort of Bidar was a stronghold of the Bahamani Kings in the 14th and 15th centuries. The fort is surrounded by three miles of walls with 37 bastions, most of them surmounted with cannons. This fort was a source of irritation to the Mughal rulers of Delhi, and was finally conquered by Aurangzeb. The fort now lies in ruins.

General Information

Best Seasons September - February
Clothing Cottons throughout the year

Shopping At Bidar
Bidriware, an exquisite artifact

Access

Air : The nearest airport is Hyderabad (136 Kms).In Karnataka, Bangalore is connected all major towns of India.

Rail : Bidar is connected by rail with Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Road : Bidar is connected by road to most places in South India. Some of these are:

Hyderabad (136 Kms)
Bangalore (669 Kms)
Bijapur (280 Kms)
Basavakalyan (73 Kms)

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses ply from Bidar to Bangalore, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur and Sholapur.

Accommodation

Hotel Mayura Barid Shahi Main Road
Hotel Kaveri Jabshetty Market,Gandhi Gunj Road
Hotel Kailash Near Bus Station
Basavakalyan Tourist Hotel Bus Station Road
New Venkateshwara Ambedkar Chowk, Bidar
Hotel Ratna Main Road, Bidar
Hotel Ragavendra Station Road, Bidar
Hotel Karanja Near Bus station, Bidar
Hotel Prince Bus Station, Bidar
Hotel Karaj Bidar
Hotel Bidar International Bidar
Deepa Mini Lodge Basaveshwara Chowk, Bidar
Hotel Delux Airlines Main Road, Bidar
Hotel Meera B.N.B College Road, Bidar
Hotel Santosh Shah Kunj, Bidar
Hotel Archana Bhalki, Bidar
Bheema Hotel Complex Humnabad, Bidar

Places of Interest

Bidar Fort - Built by Ahmad Shah Bahmani between 1426 and 1432 A.D, has five Darwazas (gates) with imposing bastions lead into a little town nestling within the ramparts. Enter from the Gumbaz Darwaza and steps lead you to the Rangin Mahal. The royal residence has elaborately carved wooden pillars, Persian couplets engraved in encaustic tiles and exquisite mother-of-pearl inlay work.

Near the palace are the royal kitchens and the royal baths. Further on are the Ladies Apartments with a 16 columned prayer hall built in 1423. The Solah Kamba Masjid, as it is popularly known, is the oldest Muslim building in Bidar and one of the largest in India.

Not to be missed are the Gagan Mahal,the Diwan-E-Am where the fabulous turquoise throne once rested, the Takhat Mahal, the Royal Pavilion, the Hazar Kothari and the Naubat Khana.

Move on to the Bahmani Tombs at Ashtur. The interiors of the tombs are adorned with well-preserved paintings that are excellent examples of medieval Muslim art. The outer walls are decorated in tile work.

Right in the heart of Bidar town stands the Chaubara, a 71 foot tower. You can have a splendid view from the top of the Chaubara.

The Madrasa of Mahamud Gawan is another important building in Bidar. Architecturally similar to Madrasa at Fez, this university was once a renowned center of learning, attracting scholars from all over the Muslim world.

Nearby is Nanak Jhira, famous for its Gurudwara-built in memory of Guru Nanak.

The rock temple at Narasimha Zarni is also worth a visit.

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