Bidar ( Karnataka , South India)
Situated in the northernmost part of Karnataka, Bidar is steeped in history. It was once a part of the Chalukyan Empire. Later it became the capital of the Bahmani kingdom. Bidar is famous for Bidriware, a distinct and exquisite craft of silver inlay on an alloy base.
As one enters the town, the Bidar Fort welcomes the visitor with five Darwaja or gates that lead into the little town nestling with the ramparts. Within the old fort are the three palaces-Rangeen Mahal, the royal residence which has elaborately carved pillars with engraved couplets in Persian and exquisite Mother of Pearl inlay work. The remnants of Chini Mahal and Turkish Mahal were once huge structures. The oldest monument in the fort houses the Sola-Kamba Masjid, one of the largest in India. Other important monuments are the Gagan Mahal, the Diwan-E-Am where the fabulous turquoise throne was displayed at one time, the Takht Mahal, the Royal Pavilion, the Hazar Kothari, the Naubat Khana and the Bahmani Tower of Astur. In the heart of the town stands the Chaubara, a 27 metre high tower, now converted as a clock tower.
The Madarasa of Mahmood Gawan is another magnificent monument in Bidar. It was once the renowned University and centre of learning, attracting scholars from all over the Muslim world. This monument was constructed by Khan-e- Jehan in 1472.
Narasimha Zharni is a rock temple situated in a big natural cave. One has to wade through water to reach the shrine. Recently, electric lighting has been provided inside the cave to guide the pilgrims visiting this cave shrine.
Near the tombs, the Sikh community has built an imposing Gurudwara entirely constructed out of white Marble. Legend has it that Baba Guru Nanak visited this place while the land was in a grip of severe famine. The Guru performed a miracle at the request of the local people and a spring of water burst forth. Even to this day, water flows out of the laterite trap. Popularly known as Nanak Jharini, the Sikh pilgrims flock to this place all the year round. The gurudwra built here is an important place of Sikh pilgrimage.
Though Bidar district of Karnataka is replete with various historical monuments, it has several places of touristic interest around it.
Basava Kalyan: Situated 73 kms from Bidar, Basava Kalyan is a religiously and historically important place of Karnataka, in general South India. In the medieval period, it was one of the most beautiful cities of the Deccan with many large palaces, temples and buildings. It became the seat of learning and an abode of spiritual wisdom. Many famous saints like Basaveshwara, Channabasavanna, Siddharama and Akka Maha Devi lived here.
Jalasangvi: 40 kms away from Bidar, Jalasangvi is an interior village near Humnabad. It is known for having the ancient temple on the fringe of a big tank. A Hoyasala style temple, dedicated to Kalleshwara, has excellent specimen of sculptures. The bracket and panel figures are finely sculptured Madanikas in varying poses. These seductive beauties are the imaginative creations of Hoyasala sculptors.
How to reach Bidar:
Bidar is well connected by rail and road with the rest of the country. It is only 136 kms from Hyderabad. Private and state buses of Karnataka and Hyderabad operate at many places around this area. A number of good lodges and rest houses are available at all the places for the convenience of tourists.