Bidar is an important historical town. It witnessed many vicissitudes in its eventful history. This small town was once the capital of the erstwhile Bahamani Kingdom (1347-1526) in the medieval period. A number of historical monuments dating back to 15th century can be found here. These monuments reflect the glory of the Bahamani rulers. Apart from history, the cool and refreshing environment of Bidar attracts travelers.
Bidar is located in the northeastern part of the state of Karnataka, in the southern region of India. It is 669 km from Bangalore and 136 km from Hyderabad. It is located 2,200 feet above sea level on a plateau overlooking the Manjira river valley. The climate of Bidar is temperate with summers (April-June) being moderately hot and winters cool and pleasant (November-February). It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in the months of May to July.
In ancient time, Bidar formed an important part of the kingdom of Vidharba, referred to in the Mahabharata. It became the part of the Chalukyan Empire in the 10th century. The capital city of the Chalukyan rulers is located at Kalyani, which is 57 km from here. Bidar witnessed many upheavals during the early medieval period. It was taken over by the Yadavas of Devangiri and later by the Kakatiyas of Warangal in the 14th century. It then became a part of the Bahamani kingdom in the 14th century. The disintegration of the Bahamani kingdom into five small states led to the rise of the town and the Sultanate of Bidar. Sultan Ahmad Wali I shifted his capital from present-day Gulbarg to Bidar and built a fort here in 1429. The Bahamani rulers ruled here until 1487. The chequered history of Bidar did not stop here. The Barid Shahi dynasty took over Bidar, which was in turn taken over by the Adil Shahi rulers of Bijapur. It was annexed and incorporated into the Mughal Empire by Aurangzeb in 1656 while on his way to conquer the southern parts of India. The Nizam rulers of Hyderabad took over Bidar in the early part of the 18th century. After India gained independence in 1947, the rule of the Nizam was abolished and Bidar became the part of the Indian state of Karnataka.
Fairs & Festivals
Thousands of devotees throng to Humnabad during Veerabhadreshwara Jatra, which is a local fair. This annual fair is held for seven days during January-February.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Bidar is between October and March.
How to Reach
BY AIR -Bidar does not have an airport. The nearest airport is in Hyderabad city, which is 136 km east of Bidar.
BY RAIL -Bidar is connected by rail with Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
BY ROAD -The town is also well connected by road with Hyderabad and Gulbarga (110 km). There are a few buses to Bijapur (246 km) and Bangalore (669 km).
The main tourist attraction of Bidar is its fort, which welcomes the tourist to the town, located within its precincts. Ahmad Wali Shah built this fort and the well laid out gardens and other monuments within it, in 1429. This fort has five imposing entrances or Darwazas. In the center of this fort is the old city with its monuments and structures, belonging to the Bahamani era. There are important palaces within the ramparts of the fort. The Rangin Mahal, once the royal abode, has ornately carved wooden pillars and Persian artwork. The Solah Kambh Masjid (16-pillared mosque) is the oldest Muslim building in Bidar, and one of the largest in India. The Gagan Mahal, the Diwan-e-Am, the Royal Pavilion, the Takhat Mahal are other important places to be seen within the fort. Of great importance for the visitor is the Mahmud Gawan Madarsa, which is in ruins but still has a few colorful remains of Islamic mosaic work on its walls. Surviving blue-glazed tiles and Q'uranic verses carved on the walls in flowing calligraphic style point to the erstwhile splendor of this building. The surrounding areas both west and east of the town are dotted with domed tombs of Bahamani and Barid Shahi rulers. These structures, though isolated, are captivating.
Places Around Bidar
There are a few places of tourist interest around Bidar. Basvakalyan, the capital city of the latter Chalukyas in the 10th century, is 80 km from Bidar, while Humnabad, 52 km from Bidar, is a famous pilgrim center and attracts thousands of devotees annually.