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Bidar, Bidri & Bahmani!

4:32 AM

Dating back to 1426 – 32AD Bahamni Sultan Ahmed Shah built the magnificent Bidar Fort. Being one of the biggest forts in India it gives way the architectural brilliance of Bahmani rein. This formidable fort was the catalyst for the construction of Golkonda Fort in Hyderabad. My love for forts and palaces led to this little known historical monolith.

Unlike others, my friends and I decided to explore the exotic ruins of Ashtur first. The entrance through the Dulhan Darwaza led to the eight tombs of the kings of the Bahamani dynasty. Their grandeur spoke of their religious fanfare in the past. Diamond laced paintings on the inner walls were a treat to the eyes. Apart from the stucco work done on the arches, there is no decoration done on the walls the tombs. The relics massively built dome personified the gradual decline of the political power of the dynasty.

With few tourists around we could spend a good time on these tombs. The fading lights of the evening added life to the ruins. The site was mystifying and absolutely perfect for getting captured.

We started to be back to our hotel as it was getting dark and these ruins are about 4kms from the main city. Also, we did not wish to miss Wimbledon and FIFA World Cup semi finals.

Next morning our journey started by enjoying a sumptuous South Indian breakfast of vadas and dosa accompanied by delicious filter coffee.  On asking the locals about other places to visit apart from the fort, they said on the way to the fort lay a 400 year old University named Madarsa of Mohammed Gawan. We stopped at the Chaubara (Clock Tower) en route to Madarsa.  We clicked a few pictures there before moving to our next destination.

Madarsa of Mohammed Gawan, where we halted next is an imposing University built by a Persian fugitive Gawan during the 14th century, who later became the scholar of the Bahamani court. This Persian architecture was amongst the biggest Islamic learning centre during 1472. Remains of the paintings on the walls showcase the artistry and vibrancy of the era. Ironically, it just remains a playground for children and teens.  

Post the Madarsa was the stopover at the fort. The vestibule to the fort was breath-taking. Huge brick walls and deep moats seals the fort from all sides. This fort was built by Alla-Ud-Din when he shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar. The 7 gates leading to the fort have small parapets from where the guards used to keep a watch for any enemy movement. What emerged by passing these gates was mesmerising. The main fort opens up to a dazzling garden known as Lal Bagh which got its name on account of beautiful red flowers which were grown there.

On one side of the garden is the Solah Khambha Mosque also known as Janana Masjid as it is opposite to the Janana Mahal. Having 16 pillars and a prayer hall in the centre, it is a geometrical masterpiece. Adjacent to the mosque is Gagan Mahal which is divided into two parts - the outer was for male staff and guards and the inner part had rooms on either side of the covered passage also for guards. The main building of the palace was for the king and his queens. This mahal was originally build by the Bahamani rulers but there were certain alterations made by the Bahrid Shah rulers.

On the other side of the garden is the royal kitchen now turned into a museum for displaying artifacts and remnants of the Bahamani sovereignty.

Behind the main fort is the old fort. Visiting various isolated ruins we realized that India is among the few countries which had the fortune of witnessing such a royal past and amalgamation of different cultures, religions and dynasties.

While returning we had a chance to look at the famous Bidri art work. ‘Bidri’ is derived from ‘Bidar’ and ‘Bidar’ was derived from ‘bidru’ meaning bamboo. Bidar was famous for its bamboo clusters in the past.
Bidri metalwork has a striking inlay artwork which makes it an important export handicraft. Though we didn't have much time to buy one but surely that remains in my must to have list.

“Those who don’t travel have not even turned one page of any book” by the end of this expedition I realized the importance of this quote.

So guys pack your bags and start exploring! Who knows you might stumble upon places unfolding mysteries of the past.

Places to see
  • Bidar Fort
  • Bahmani Tombs in Ashtur
  • Khwaja Mahmud Gawan Madarsa
  • Gurudwara Nanak Jhira Sahib
  • Solah Khamba Mosque
  • Narasimha Jhira Cave Temple
  • Sapna International (recommended)
  • Hotel Mayura
  • Hotel Mayura Barid Shahie
  • Krishna Regency
How to reach
  • Rail - Bidar railway station is easily accessible by Hyderabad
  • Air - Hyderabad is the nearest airport
  • Road - 150 km drive away from Hyderabad

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  1. Great post..and awesome clicks

  2. YOur pictures are truly ultimate. You make the place even more lively and beautiful..


About me

Nothing better than this blog can describe me well. I am a passionate craft lover, an avid traveler and an amateur photographer. I love meeting people, going places and also making friends. My traveling tale started when I was just 5 and my journey continues. The color, culture and traditions that I come across inspire my creations.

Contact me

You can drop me an email at adi.agarwala@gmail.com.

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