Bidar Knowledge Guide
The recorded History of the city goes back to the third century B.C. when it was a part of the Mauryan Empire. After the Mauryas, Satavahanas, Kadambas, and Chalukyas of Badami and later the Rashtrakutas reigned over Bidar territory. The Chalukyas of Kalyana and Kalachuris of Kalyanis also regained the area. For a short period after Kalyani Chalukyas the area of Bidar was under the sevunas of Devgiri and Kakatiyas of Warangal. The Delhi Sultanate invaded the area first by Allauddin Khilji, and later, Muhammed-bin-Tughluq took control of entire Deccan including Bidar. In the middle of the 14th century, the Sultan of Delhi's officers that were stationed in Deccan rebelled and this resulted in the establishment of Bahmanid Dynasty in 1347 A.D. at Gulbarga/Hasanabad (present Kalaburagi). There was frequent warfare between the Bahmanids and the Vijaynagar Kingdom.The history of the present fort at Bidar is attributed to the sultan Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah, the first sultan of the Bahmani dynasty to 1427, when he shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar since it had better climatic conditions and was also a fertile and fruit-bearing land. The earliest recorded history of its existence as a small and strong fort is also traced to prince Ulugh Khan in 1322, whereafter it came under the reign of the Tughlaq dynasty.With the establishment of the Bahmanid dynasty (1347), Bidar was occupied by Sultan Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah Bahmani. During the rule of Ahmad Shah I (1422–1486), Bidar was made the capital city of Bahmani Kingdom. The old fort was rebuilt and madrasas, mosques, palaces, and gardens were raised. Mahmud Gawan, who became the Prime Minister in 1466, was a notable figure in the history of Bidar. Bidar remained under the Barid Shahi dynasty until conquest by the Bijapur Sultanate in 1619. Aurangzeb came to Bidar after his father, Padshah (emperor) Shah Jahan, appointed him the Prince of Deccan. He wrested the Bidar Fort from the Adil Shahis after a 21-day war in 1656. With this, Bidar became a part of the Mughal dynasty for the second time. Bidar was made a subah (imperial top-level province) in 1656, which Telangana Subah was merged into the next year.In 1724, Bidar became a part of the Asaf Jahi Kingdom of the Nizams. Third son of Asaf jah l ( Nizam l ) Mir Sa'id Muhammad Khan, Salabat Jang ruled from Bidar fort from 1751 to 1762, till his brother Mir Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah III imprisoned him in this fort, and was killed in Bidar fort on 16 September 1763. Mohammedabad old name of Bidar is also on his name. It was connected to Hyderabad by rail in the early 20th century. After India's independence, in 1956 all Kannada speaking areas were merged to form the Mysore State and Bidar became part of the new Mysore (now Karnataka) state.
Mahmud Gawan Madrasa
This grandiose madrasa was built by the prime-minister of the Bahmani empire, Mahmud Gawan in the late 15th century. Its only the most imposing building of the Bahmani period, but in its plan and in the general style of its architecture it is a unique monument of its kind in India. The Madrasa, a multi-disciplinary university he set up, which had a library of around 3,000 valuable manuscripts, was severely damaged when gunpowder stored inside the rooms went off during a 27-day siege of the city by Mughal king Aurangazeb in 1656. The Mahmud Gawan Madrasa is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Bidar Fort is considered one of the most formidable forts of the country. Bidar city was distinctly planned and built. The main citadel complex housed the royal places. Mahals and Mosque. Adjoining to this on the southern side, the city was built for the people. Both the citadel complex and city had separate forts for protection the plan of the Bidar city fortification is pentagonal. There are five gateways for entry into the city fort. It is main citadel complex fort which is stronger. It is built on the brink of the plateau. Engineers and architecture of various countries were employed on its design and construction. A Museum is preset there having old armor, old sculptures. including many of the ancient stones, Rangeen Mahal, situated in the fort, near Gumbad Darwaza, is unique because of its decoration with coloured tiles and other art work. Wood carving done there is not only precious but also unique. The walls of Mahal are adorned with mother-of-pearl of the finest quality in laid in jet-black stone. Floral patterns and calligraphic text are also depicted here. Stone carving, stucco art are other attractions of this monument. It was rebuilt during Barid Shahi period. The design of this monument represents the blend of the both Hindu and Muslim architecture. There are rooms in the basement of the Rangin Mahal. Tarkash Mahal is said to have been built for Turkish wife of the sultan. From the remains of the decorative work found in the ornamentation of the walls, it can be said that the Mahal was built or extended by the Barid Shahi Sultans who had kept large harem with ladies from different nationalities.The rooms were decorated with stucco work. Gagan Mahal was originally built by the Bahamani kings and some alterations and additions were made by the Barid Shahi rulers. It has two courts. The outer court was used by the male staff and guards. The inner court also, there are rooms on either side of the covered passage for the accommodation of the guards. The main building of the palace was for the use of the sultan and his harem. Takht Mahal, The Royal Palace, was built by Ahemd shah. It was the royal residence. The place was fully decorated with coloured titles and stone carvings part of which can be seen even today. It had two side royal pavilions with lofty arches and a spacious hall at the back of which was the sultan's room. The building had stately dimensions and exquisite surface decoration. The coronations of several Bahamanis and Barid Shahi sultans were held there. From the royal pavilion which is situated behind throne palace one can view the valley and low land below. Solah Khamba Mosque (Solah Sutoon Ki Masjid) 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. Popularly known as the Zanana Masjid, this mosque is about 90 metres long and 24 metres wide. Behind the southern wall of this mosque, there is a large well. Characterised by columns, arches and domes, this mosque is one of the largest in India.
Chaubara is a tall tower, facing in four directions. This is an old cylindrical tower of 22 meters, height is situated in the centre of Bidar city. It was used as a watchtower, commanding a fine view of the entire plateau from the top. A winding staircase of eight steps leads to the top of the tower, a clock is being placed on top of the tower, can be viewed from all the four directions . Jama Masjid, a large mosque with no minarets, located near Chaubara. Bahmani Tombs called as "Ashtur", located near "Chaukhandi of Hazrat Khalil Ullah" around a distance of 1 km Barid Shahi Tombs Chaukhandi of Hazrat Khalil Ullah