Bidar fort, district and the city are affixed with the name, Bidar. This fort is situated in Karnataka. It was in 1427 that the capital from Gulbarga to Bidar by Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman. This fort was built with multiple Islamic monuments.
Inside the Bidar fort there are around 30 monuments.
The Bidar fort of the present day was built with red laterite stone in 1428 around the old fort by Bahmani Ahmad Shah. This has been constructed on the edge of a plateau. The layout of Bidar fort is shaped like a rhombus haphazardly. This fort is 1.21km (0.75mi) long and 0.80km (0.5mi) in the breadth. The walls measure 1.6mi (2.5km) outside. This includes a number of buildings, pavilions, arches, gateways, mosques and also gardens. Natural protection is provided by steep cliffs in the east and the north.
From the south-east to the south-west a triple channeled moat protects the walls.
The seven gates of the fort from East to West are named as follows
- The Main gate, Mandu Darwaza
- The Kalmadgi Darwaza
- The Delhi Darwaza
- The Kalyani Darwaza
- The Carnatic Darwaza
- Gates 3 and 4 are sans any name
On the fort wall you find 37 bastions. The cannons are made of metal bars welded together and held with metal hoops. These were mounted on the bastions. The most prominent bastion of all these is the Munda Burj. For dominating the approaches the heaviest of guns were placed here.
Within the complex of the fortress, the Bidar fort has multiple monuments. Rangini Mahal, or ‘Painted Palace’ is the most prominent of all these. This is so called due to the colored tile decoration. The throne room, or the Takht Mahal , the Great Mosque or the Jami Masjid, and the ‘Sixteen-pillar Mosque’ or Sola Khamba Masjid, are also present in this fort.
The Bidar fort is impacted with the Persian architecture of Iran. The arches, gardens, mosques and also the palaces were built within and outside this fort. The important structures built are water management that are innovative.
Structures inside the Bidar Fort
The Rangeen Mahal palace was built in the fort. This was built in the early 16th century by Muhammed Shah. This made of ornate tiles of bright and vivid colors. This was constructed for the royalty’s safety. This was also used as escapades during summer concluded by the presence of baths, tanks, and also underground rooms. Later, the palace was decorated by Ali Barid with engravings in pearl on wood and black granite.
There is a museum behind this structure where you can take a walk and go back I time in history.
Solah Kambha Mosque
Quibil Sultani built a masterpiece in 1423 AD with long arches and a central dome with 16 pillars of the prayer chamber. Aurangzeb used to come here to pray when he visited the Deccan. Visitors are not permitted in the mosque. This building stands with Lal Baug and is considered a spectacular sight.
The Tarkash Mahal was for a Turkish wife of Bahmani Sultan between the 14th and 15th century. Gagan Mahal is known for its beauty and security. This was used as a residential complex by the royals. It is said that animal fights were witnessed by the women here. A visit to the archeological museum is a ‘must’ for the royal possessions. The thonr room is called the ‘Takht Mahal’. There have been many coronations of the Barid Shah rulers and Brahmani here.
Diwani-i-am and Diwani-i-khas
These names are associated with the Mughal rulers. The audience hall was high walled and constructed close to the mosque. Diwani-i-am is a court for public hearing and has trellis work. This is also called Jali Mahal.
Ahmad Shah Wali Bahman built the Bidar Fort. According to folklore, the old fort was in the western part of the present day fort.
The old fort was captured by Prince Ulugh Khan in 1321-22.He was from the dynasty of Tughlaq. He later became the Sultan Mohammed bin Tughlaq of Delhi.
Bidar was occupied with the Bahmani Sultanate in 1347, by the Sultan Ala-ud Din Bahman Shah. Bidar became the capital of the Bahmani Kingdom during Ahmad Shah’s rule between 1422 and 1486. The old fort was re-built under the rule of Ahmad Shah. Beautiful gardens, madrasas, palaces and also mosques were raised. According to the records of Finishta it was in 1429 CE that the reconstruction started. This ended in 1432 CE. Fort walls were constructed out of mortar and stone as there was no gunpowder introduced into Peninsular India. This was constructed by the Turkish and Persian architects.
Bijapur Sultanate captured the Bidar fort in 1619-20 but fell to Aurangzed, the Mughal Viceroy, in 1657. Bidar became a part of kingdom of the Nizams in 1724. SAlabath Jung, or Nawab Mir Muhammed Khan ruled from the Bidar Fort from the year 1751 to the 1762. He was imprisoned by his brother, Mir Nizam Ali Khan. He was, later, killed in the fort in 1763.
What to see in Bidar Fort
- Persian and Islamic Architecture
- 37 bastions ( a structure like balcony extending from the fort) shaped like an octagon with cannons that are metal shielded
- 7 main entrances
- Palaces and mosques
- 30 plus Islamic monuments
Timings to Visit
Bidar Fort is open from 9 am to 5pm
During the summers, the temperatures here in Bidar can reach up to 40 degrees. Make sure you travel with all protection
How to Reach Bidar
From Bengalaru, the Bidar Fort works out to be 700 kms. The Bidar Airport, recently opened, is the closest airport at a distance of only 1km. There is a daily flight once I a day from Bengalaru.
You can also travel by road or rail to Bidar from Bengalaru.
There are multiple hotels that are cost-effective here in Bidar.
Get a feel of history and Persian architecture with a planned trip to the Bidar Fort. It is advisable to travel when the climate is pleasant.