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BIDaR HISTORY & TRAVEL INFORMATION
Bidar is city and a Taluka (District) head quarter with a population of about 180,000 in the northern part of Karnataka State in southern India. It is located at an average altitude of 615 meters or 2,017 feet above sea-level. Manjeera is the main river that supplies drinking water to Bidar and Hyderabad. Kannada is the administrative and main spoken language in the city though Hindi, Dakhini Urdu, Telugu and Marathi are also widely spoken languages in the city and in the region around it.
Important rulers of Bidar:
Western Chalukya Dynasty
Qasim Barid Shah I from 1492 to 1504
Amir Shah I 1504 to 1542
Ali Shah 1 from 1542 to 1579
Ibrahim Shah from 1579 to 1589
Amir Shah II from 1589 to 1601
Mayurkhandi was the the first Rashtrakuta capital in Bidar district. Amoghavarsha I subsequently moved the royal capital to Manyakheta in the present day Gulbarga district. Modern day Basavakalyan in Bidar District that was named after Basaveshwara was originally called Kalyani, was the capital of Western Chalukya Rulers who were also called Kalyani Chalukya Dynasty. Kalyani remained the capital under the Kalachuri Dynasty Rulers. Later Sevuna Yadavas of Devagiri and Kakatiyas of Warangal ruled Bidar before Islamic invaders, Allauddin Khilji, Malik Kafur and Muhammad bin Tughlaq took the territory over. The commanders of Muhammad bin Tughlak who were his viceroys in the newly conquered Deccan areas declared themselves sovereign monarchs and established the Bahmani Sultanate under Allauddin Hasan Gangu Bahman Shah. The Bahmani rulers moved their capital from Ahsanabad, also called Kalburgi or Kalugaruge (now called Gulbarga) to Bidar and named it Muhammadabad in 1425. The name Bidar remained popular even after the Sultanate disintegrated after 1518. It was then taken over as capital of Barid Shahi Rulers who were one of the five Deccan Sultanate kingdoms. These five Deccan Sultanates were the successor kingdoms to Bahmani Dynasty. In 1619 the Sultan of Bijapur conquered Bidar who in turn was defeated by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1686. After the death of the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire dwindled. In Deccan the Nizam of Hyderabad became the predominant kingdom. The Nizam took over Bidar in 1724 and ruled the territory until the independence of India in 1947 when all princely states were merged into the Republic of India. Bidar was part of Mysore State in 1956. Mysore State was subsequently renamed Karnataka State. The regions of Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Koppal and Bellary are collectively called Hyderbad Karnataka because of their association with the Nizam of Hyderabad. The British East India Company annexed Bellary in 1796.
Bidar is famous for its intricate Silver jewelry and handicrafts.
Nearest Airport is Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Begumpet, Hyderabad at a distance of 120 kilometers or 75 miles.
Places of interest:
Jalasanghi Temple has some remnants of the fine Chalukyan period scuplture
Narasimha Zara (Lord Narasimha Temple)
Papa Nashini (Shiva Temple)
Guru Nanak Jhira Gurudwara
Bider Fort at Bidar
The main gateway of the Bidar Fort, which has a moat for defence around it, was built by the Bahmani Sultan Ahmad Shah Wali (ruler from 1422 to 35 CE) in 1429 CE. At this location there was an older fort that dated from 8th. century CE. There are 4 other gates to this fort. Though some other improvements in the fort were made during his reign, he decided to move his capital to Gulbarga for health reasons. Most of the original buildings are in ruins at present but the royal residence, Rangin Mahal, built by Ali Shah Barid in 16th. century CE is conspicuous for its sheer elegance, exquisite carvings, intricate wood carvings and other Persian architectural decorations like colored glazed tile and mother of pearl mosaic art work.
Great Friday mosque at Bidar
Famous as Solah Khamba or 16-Pillared Mosque, this is the largest mosque in Fort and one of the largest in India. It was also originally built by Ahmad Shah Wali in 1429 CE. Extensions and improvements were done to the mosque by later rulers. It is situated in a separate garden enclosure called the Lalbagh.
Nayee Kamaan Madarsa (religious university) of Mehmood Gawan
Choubara (watch tower ) at Bidar is about 70 feet tall & provides a panoramic view of Bidar city.
Several Dargahs or mausoleums of local Islamic Sufi saints
Basvesvara Temple is also from Chalukyan period and still has some fine Hindu temple sculptures. The temples are approximately 80 Kilometers or 50 Miles from Bidar Railway Station. Other interesting historical places are:
Barid Shahi garden
Tomb of Mehmood Gawan
12th Century Cave
Bidri Artifacts in Bidar Old city. Bidri silverware is a 500 year old artistic tradition. Silverware is intricately carved and engraved before it is filled with black color. Some fine wood carvings are also done in neighboring village of Backchodi. The sandal wood for this work comes from nearby regions in Karnataka State.
Hotels in Bidar are 1-star category only.
Distances from Bidar:
Gulbarga – 110 kilometer or 68 miles
Hyderabad – 136 kilometers or 85 miles
Bijapur – 246 kilometers or 153 miles
Bangalore – 669 kilometers or 416 miles
Hampi - 386 kilometers or 240 miles