Bidar Fort (Kannada ಬೀದರ್ ಕೋಟೆ) is situated in North Karnataka in Bidar district of the northern plateau of Karanataka, India. Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman of the Bahmanid Dynasty shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1427 and built his fort along with a number of Islamic monuments.

Bidriware is a very popular handicraft, an art form with 800 years history with linkage to the Persian art, from which it evolved during the rule of the Bahamani Sultans. During 2008, Bidriware, as one of the important exported handicrafts from India, was awarded the Geographical Indication (G.I) authorized user status which is exclusive to the artisans resident in the Karnataka region only.

History

The history of the present fort at Bidar is attributed to the Sultan Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah the first sultan of the Bahmani dynasty to 1427 when he shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar since it had better climatic conditions and was also a fertile and fruit bearing land. Earliest recorded history of its existence as a small and strong fort is also traced to the first Muslim invasion of the region is traced to Prince Ulugh Khan in 1322, whereafter it came under the reign of the Tughlaq dynasty. With the establishment of the Bahmani dyanasty (1347), Bidar was occupied by Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman Shah Bahmani. During the rule of Ahmad Shah I (1422–1486), Bidar was made the capital city of Bahmani Kingdom. The old Fort was rebuilt and beautiful madrasas, mosques, palaces and gardens were raised. Mahmmad Gawan who became the Prime Minister in 1466 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 of the Nizams. It was annexed by the Bijapur Sultanate in 1619–20 but the Mughal viceroy of Aurangzeb took it in 1657 and thus became a part the Mughal Empire in 1686. Third son of Asaf jah l ( Nizam l ) Nawab Said Mohammed Khan Asaf ud Daula ( Salabath Jung ) ruled from Bidar fort from 1751 to 1762 till his Brother Mir Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah III Imprisoned him in this fort, and was killed in Bidar fort in 16 September 1763. Mohammedabad old name of Bidar is also on his name.

Thus, Bahmanis ruled over Gulbaraga from 1347 to 1424 and from Bidar from 1424 till the extinction of the kingdom and its disintegration into five independent and warring kingdoms of Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmadnagar, Bidar and Berar. After the empire was split, Bidar came under the rule of the British in 1724. After India's independence, in 1956 when Bidar became part of Mysore (now Karnataka) state.

Structure

With the establishment of the Bahmani Kingdom in the Deccan from 1347, the architectural styles of the Persian architecture of Iran made impressive and lasting impacts, which are seen in the Bidar Fort. The mosques, arches, gardens and the palaces were built within and also outside the fort in the Bidar town. Some of the important structures built are elaborated.

The influence of Persian culture was distinct in Bidar in the Deccan, during fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The fort
The Bidar fort, constructed on the edge of the plateau, has a haphazard quadrangular layout plan of 0.75 miles (1.21 km) in length and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) breadth. The peripheral length of the fort walls measure 4,500 yards (4,100 m). The walls, bastions, gates and barbicans of Bidar, though in ruins, are well preserved and considered as some of the most stylish in India. It is surrounded by a triple moat.

There are seven gates in the fort. The dominant main gate exhibits Persian style architecture. The ‘Gumbad Darwaza’ depicts arches with stilted size, also in Persian style. The ‘Sherza Darwaza’ of Bidar Fort, the second gate of entry, depicts two images of tigers carved on its fascia; according to Shia belief, the tiger decorations are indicative of Ali who was also known as Asadullah-Al Ghalib that assured protection to the building from enemy attack.[10] The other gates are the Fateh Gate on the south (has octagonal towers and drawbridge); the Talghat Gate in the east; the Delhi Gate and the Mandu Gate. The prominent bastion at the entry is known as the ’Munda Burj’ with guns positioned on it.

It is said that the Bahmani Sultanate claimed lineage of the Sasanians and the motifs on their buildings, particularly the crowns of the arches that they built depicted a crescent and occasionally a disk that was closely reminiscent of the crowns of the Sassanian emperors.

Access

Bidar is well connected by road, rail and air links. Bidar town is situated about 740 kilometres (460 mi) north of Bangalore India on NH 7), 116 kilometres (72 mi) northeast of Gulbarga and 130 kilometres (81 mi) (NH 9 from Bangalore Via Gulbarga and Bellary Nearest airport is the BIDAR Airport and also BIAL, BANGALORE. Bidar Fort is only 115 km from Miyapur, Hyderabad.

In Popular Culture

The song Ishq Sufiyaana from the hit Bollywood film of 2011, The Dirty Picture was shot in the Bidar Fort. The song had sequences in the fort with Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi.


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Courtesy: Wikipedia

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  1. Nicely written and thanks for visiting bidar


    Kranti
    www.bidarinfo.blogspot.com

  2. reshma M says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  3. I went to Bidar this weekend, it was a mesmerizing experience.

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