Bidar, a hill-top city in the north-eastern part of Karnataka is well known for its architectural, historical and religious importance. The history of the city goes back to third century B.C. when it was part of the great Mauryan Empire. Located around 150 km from Hyderabad, it is like the perfect getaway for a day from the hustle of the city. Though Bidar is the coldest and wettest place in north Karnataka (unlike other places in the region) it is all the more lovely during monsoon. Lucky for us, the day we decided to visit the place, there was intermittent shower that made our whole experience more cherished.
We set off with an intention of enjoying the ride, the wonderful weather, and visiting 2 major places (at our own glacial place): The Bidar Fort & The Nanak Jhira Sahib Gurudwara. I was expecting the fort to be like any other, and since I have been to Golkonda Fort (Hyderabad) many a times, I wasn’t hoping for any drastically different experience.
But, Bidar fort really was a big surprise. It is more than 500 years old and still standing strong with its brick red walls. It spans over a vast area of land and looks powerful and intense. The King and Queens who once lived here might be no more but the aura of the place definitely feels the same; magnificent, proud and grandiose. According to the book “Bidar Heritage” published by the state Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, of the 61 monuments listed by the department, about 30 are tombs located in and around Bidar city which explains the nickname – The City of Whispering Monuments.
There are several major sections in the fort.
Rangeen Mahal, situated in the fort, near Gumbad Darwaza, is unique because of its decoration with colored tiles and other art work. Unfortunately, when we visited it was closed for repair work. But if you do manage to get in there try going to the rooftop to get a beautiful birds eye view of the whole fort. Wood carving, Stone carving, Stucco art, Floral patterns, Calligraphic texts are the major attractions of this monument, which are precious & unique.
Solah Khamba Mosque was built by Qubil Sultani between 1423 and 1424. The mosque derives its name from the 16 pillars that are lined in the front of the structure. This mosque is about 90 metres long and 24 metres wide. Characterised by columns, arches and domes, this mosque is one of the largest in India.
Other major sections of the fort include Tarkash Mahal, Gagan Mahal, Takht Mahal, The Royal Palace built by several different rulers over a period of time.
Just make sure that you have ample time in your hands when you visit as it’s humungous and if you appreciate art, history and architecture, you wouldn’t want to rush it. Official timings are 6.00AM to 6.00PM. Since we reached at around 11.00AM so not sure how serious they are about those timings.
Once we were done basking in the glory of this formidable Bidar fort (and playing around in the rain & puddles, we headed to Nanak Jhira Sahib Gurudwara.
This beautiful Gurudwara located in serene surroundings is one of the main attractions of Bidar. It is also one of the holiest places for Sikh pilgrimage. This place is a delight to the soul. The whole aura of the place was so soothing and satisfying, that you can practically spend hours there sitting by the sarovar. Not to mention that you no more feel like you are in South India, to me it was like I am back home, up north going to a gurudwara to spend some quality time and of course to relish the delicious langar.
Apart from Bidar Fort & Gurudwara there are many more places to explore in and around Bidar. Hope the pictures do justice to the place. Thank you so much for reading