Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

Bidar-Gulbarga Heritage Areas


  • Bidar town enjoys a picturesque situation having been built on the brink of  a plateau and thus commanding lovely views of the low lands (Talghat) towards the north and the east. The plateau is an irregular oblong 22 miles in length and 12 miles extreme breadth with an area of 190 sq miles , observed  G. Yazdani in 1944.
  • Bidar town is situated about 740 Km north of Bangalore, 116Km northeast of  Gulbarga and 130 Km northwest of Hyderabad.
  • The History of Bidar goes back to the days of the Mahabharata epic. It must have existed as a minor but powerful fort during the days of Kalyana Chalukyas (AD 1074- AD 1190). It passed on to the control of the Kakatiyas of Warrangal. In A.D.1322, Prince Ulugh Khan captured the town of Bidar. Subsequently, it was annexed by Sultan Muhammad-bin- Tughlaq of Delhi.
  • With the establishment of the  Bahmani dyanasty (AD 1347), Bidar was occupied by Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman Shah Bahmani.
  • During the rule of Ahmad Shah I(1422-1486 AD), Bidar was made the capital city of Bahmani Kingdom.
  • The old Hindu Fort was rebuilt and beautiful palaces and gardens were raised.
  • Mahmmad Gawan who became the prime minister in 1466 A.D. was a notable figure in the history of Bidar.
  • Bidar remained under the Barid Shahi dynasty  until it was captured  by the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1656 A.D.
  • In 1724 Bidar became a part of the Asaf Jahi Kingdom.

·        The Fort walls are six miles round, with numerous buildings, arches, pavilions,

      mosques, gateways and gardens, that depict the same symmetry of design

      introduced into India by the Muslims.

·        The walls, bastions, gates and barbicans of Bidar are some of the most sophisticated in India still intact.

·        The Munda Burj is the most prominent bastion, commanding the approach with heavy guns.

·        The old town has five gates, namely, the Fateh Gate on the south, with octagonal towers and drawbridge; the elevated Talghat Gate in the east; the Sharzu Darwaza (the 2nd gate); the Delhi Gate ; and, the Mandu Gate.

·        Khwaza Mahmud Gawan, the Persian scholar and the General of Mohamad Shah III, founded the Madrasa in 1472. It is a marvelous three-storied building with monumental minarets, great arches, and brilliantly colored chevron tilework. The domes over the main chambers were the first in India to take the characteristic Timurid bulbous form, typical of the 16th century.

·        Bidar has two prominent Mosques – the spacious Jami Masjid and the Sola Kumbha Masjid with a remarkable dome on a 16-sided drum.

·        The imposing black granite steps, striking amid red sand-stone leading to Gagan Mahal, (Public Audience Hall), glazed mosaics and lovely arabesque designs in the Rangin Mahal of Ali Barid Shah, the high art of Quranic calligraphy, bright painted murals in the zenana, the Lal Bagh, the Takhat Mahal, the 70 ft. Chaubara, the Watch Tower dominate the town.

·        The tiled tombs of the Barid Shahis, are outside the town walls, but are well-preserved.

·        Bidriware, a delicate metal ware containing silver and gold inlaid on iron is a very popular art form in Bidar.

·        Gulbarga city is the head quarters of the Gulbarga district, and also of the division . This rapidly growing city is situated on the Madras-Bombay railway. It is at a distance of 363 miles from Bangalore.

·        For nearly 1500 years or more the district of Gulbarga or Kalburgi has had its influence on the historical and cultural life of the Deccan Plateau. The antiquity of many places in the district may be traced to legendary period of Indian history. Several of the important ruling dynasties of the Deccan had their capital in this district. The capital of the Rashtrakutas was at Malkhed ; the later Chalukyas and the Kalachuris had their capital at Kalyana ; and , Gulbarga City itself was the capital of the Bahmani kingdom from 1347 A.D.

·        A Muslim dynasty that  ruled over northern parts of the Deccan initially from Gulbarga and later from Bidar were the Bahman Shahis (A.D.1347-A.D. 1527). The dynasty, founded by Alla-ud-din Hasan, ruled over a kingdom that extended from the river Krishna in the south to the Penganga in the north, and thus included parts of modern Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The greatest among the Bahman Shahis was Firuz Shah (1397-1422). His son Ahmed Shah(1422-1436) was a ruler with saintly temperament . The  dynasty reached its most glorious epoch during the administration of Mahmud Gavan, the prime minister of Sultan Alla-ud-din(1436-1458).

·        The most magnificent contribution of the Bahmanis was in the field of art and architecture. The buildings that they have left at Gulbarga, Bidar and other places have an important place in the history of Indo-Islamic art. Under the Bahmanis the Deccani style asserted  its individual character and reached its zenith under the Adil Shahis of Bijapur.

·        The Gulbarga city is located on an undulating plain, presenting a vast stretch of black cotton soil. It has been the head quarters of the district since 1873. The Gulbarga Fort, originally built by Raja Gulchand and afterwards strengthened by Ala-ud-din Bahmani is a fine work.

·        Within the ramparts is the earliest of their buildings, the Jami Masjid (1367), which shows Hindu influence. Sultan Hasan’s tomb is typical of  the Tughlaq style.  

·        The tomb of Ghias-ud-din(14th century) shows Hindu influence in the carvings of the prayer niche attached to it.

·        The fine mausoleum of Firuz Shah and his family also bears testimony to the growing strength of Hindu influence as well as to the new preference for Persian.

·        The Shah Bazar Masjid, built by Muhammed Shah is a simple structure in imitation  of Tughlaq architecture.


Historical Monuments in Bidar District



July 17, 2007 - Posted by | EKAVI BIDAR, RCILTS Kannada

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