Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bidar fort

After my last post about Narasimha Jharni, many of my friends were asking to write about some more attractive places in Bidar. I had travelled there a few years ago. Here I am bringing back my memories about Bidar.

Bidar  is a city of domes and tombs. You will stumble upon one or the other at every 500 meters. I couldn’t visit all of them during my stay for couple of days. Most important attraction of Bidar is Bidar Fort. 

Bidar was the capital of Bhamani Kingdom. Bidar has many layers of history. It was ruled by many dynasties. Bahamanis loved it, Barid Shahi’s invaded it, Bijapur Sultanate attacked it and North India’s Mughal dynasty conquered it. All this happened in 300 years!! (1425 -1725 AD)

Who ruled it before Bahamani's ?

 As per archeological survey of India, Bidar was under the Kalayani Chalukya’s rule(977-1190 A.D), then by Yadavas of Devagiri, followed by Kakatiyas of Warangal , Tughaluqs of Delhi and finally it came in to the hands of Bahamanis. 

There are a lot of legends around it. Some say that Bidar was the ancient Vidarbha mentioned in Mahabhart and other ancient sources. Also, there is a legend that Hindu puranic character King Nala and his darling Damayanti lived here.

Bidar fort was built during the 15 century by Ahmad Shah Bahman when this 9th ruler of  Bahamanis, shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar. After that it underwent as many rounds of modification and fortification as many kings who ruled it. Similar to its layers of past, Bidar fort has layers of defence walls. No wonder it was considered as well protected strong fort then. 

The fort is located very much within the present town of Bidar. You can’t miss this place. You can take a rickshaw from  bus stand, railway station or even  walk. 

I couldn’t make out the shape of the fort. It is very irregular in shape.It had  5-6 entrances when it was in use.It is surrounded by 5.5kms of defence wall. Bidar fort is an artistic creation of many architects and engineers from different countries.We can see influence of Persian architecture in these structures. 

All the structure in Bidar including fort is built with large blocks of stone and marter. Remains of these structures are sepia toned and are very photogenic. So what did I do there in fort ? Got photographed in each and every corner. I hardly have few pictures where I am not there in the frame. ( Sigh….)

  Except  few structures inside the fort, most of the parts are just a few remains. Inside the fort there are mosques, royal baths, royal kitchens, madarasa ,well and many more structures . There is a nice garden as well. Archeology department maintains inner part of the fort. There is a museum inside the fort which is worth visiting. However, I felt Bidar fort is not been given its due importance. Lot of movie in all languages have been shot here. It’s a photographers delight.

If you don’t find time to go to Bidar, watch Ishq Sufiana song  from the movie ‘ Dirty Picture’. This song was shot in Bidar fort and camera has done a good flirting  with this beautiful fort.

While coming back from Bidar fort I wonder, a fort – which was a symbol of royal power, confederacy, conspiracy and treachery then  is now just a curious place for travelers … A place which has witnessed what not is now talked about for how many movies have been shot here.Now whether it is Bollywood or tollywood or sandalwood there is a wedlock between forts and entertainment industry. While the Kings and Queens are at peace in their respective tombs the present day film badashas and begums are engaged in hugging, kissing and sometimes even extending to bedroom scences in their palaces and even at the outer sides of the palaces! And interestingly along with star politicians and star cricketers present day celluloid herores and heroines have become are getting royal treatment from every where.

 Time flows.. In its coursealong with many things of the past  it has also changed  the images and impressions about forts.Original meaning and symbols attached to a fort fades away.

Have you already been to Bidar ? Pls share your experience...

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  1. I had been to Bidar a couple of years ago as my brother was posted there. I am very impressed with the fort but also saddened by the fact that there was no care being taken of this heritage. There was no entry fee, no staff, no care taker. It looked abandoned.
    Nevertheless, worth visiting the place.

  2. Thanks Rajaneesh for visiting. We have so many such heritage sites completely neglected by our Govt. Very sad ..