Bidar (bIdar) (ಬೀದರ್) is an important town located
in the northern tip of Karnataka. This city is well known for historical and
architectural reasons. It is one of the few places in Karnataka where the Sikh
religion has a significant presence. It is situated at a distance of about 670
Bidar has a number of impsing structures. The fort was originally built by Ahmad Shah Wali in 1429. It was rebuilt during the regime of Nizam Shah and Mahmed Shah in the interval between 1463 A.D. and 1482 A.D. The fort is surrounded by three miles of walls and is fitted with 37 bastions. Most of the bastions are surmounted by cannons. Takht Mahal is a palace within the fort and it was built by Ahmed Shah. It was an exqusite building equipped with a meeting hall and a lovely gumbaz. Jami mosque and Sola Kambha Mosque also belong to this period. Most of it is now in ruins. The Solah Kambh Masjid (16-pillared mosque) is the oldest Muslim building in Bidar and it is one of the largest in India. Gagan Mahal, Diwan-e-Am, Royal Pavilion and Takhat Mahal are other important places to be seen within the fort.
Bidar contains a number of tombs built by its monarchs for themselves and their family members. Ahmed Shah’s tomb in Ashtur which is near by and the tombs built for Allauddin Shah, Allauddin Sha-2 and Hajarath Khaliullah are quite tall and and their inner walls are inlaid with intricate drawings and paintings. These tombs are built in the Mughal style.
The Madrasa built by Mahmood Gawan is one othe unique buildings in Bidar. It resembles the madrasas in Persia and it has spacious class rooms, library and dormitories for students and teachers. Blue-glazed tiles and Q'uranic verses carved on the walls in flowing calligraphic style that have survived the ravages of time, point to the erstwhile splendor of this building.The architecture is essentially a combination of Islamic and native styles.
The Barid Shahi rule brought out certain changes, Rangeen Mahal, built by Ali Barid for his own tomb is decorated with multi colored stone tablets. It is known also for its intricate carvings in wood and the pearl work.
Nanak Jharaa is a holy place for the Sikh community. and Narasimha Jharni is a temple built within a cave and one has to wade through chest deep water to reach the temple.
All in all, Bidar is one of the repositories of Islamic architecture in Karnataka.
Further Reading and Links:
1. Bidar (An image of the Arabic University built by Mehmood Gawan of Bidar)
2. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/88431 ( An imposing photograph of Bidar Fort)
3. Bidar ( Many photographs depicting the relics of Bidar)