The Forts and Temples of Bidar
A town that takes you back in time when architecture was intriguing and culture was plentiful is Bidar, the northernmost plateau in Karnataka. The city that owes its name to large cluster of bidiru (Bamboos) is a historian’s delight while it offers traveler’s interesting legends that belong to different times and cultures of the past. The easiest, most preferred and the most beautiful way of reaching Bidar is by road via Hyderabad.
Book a cab from Hyderabad to Bidar and drive through the scenic beauty of South India with thriving greenery on both sides of the smooth tarmac covers.
When you embark on the journey take the more favored route via Zaheerabad so that you can explore some beautiful mosques, temples and nature in its full bloom. Drive to the age old Shiva temple known as Kethaki Sangameshwara Swamy temple and also visit the Green mosque, Methodist Church, as well as the Ayappa Mandir and more. Avail a cab and spend an entire day at Zaheerabad before heading to Bidar because apart from the above mentioned, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the waterfalls near Jadi Malkapur. Wherever you’ll look around, you’ll find yourself surrounded by vibrant lush greens as the river gushes along the rocky path while falling into a serene cascade of water. Spend time here to forget the buzzing of constant worries that bound our daily lives.
By the time you reach Bidar after spending an eventful day at Zaheerabad, it’ll be nearing sunset. Take some time to relax before you head for sight-seeing the next day because there is so much to see and explore that you would need your rest. For your meala, try out some Sushila – puffed rice eaten especially for breakfast and Bhakar Roti – roti made from jawar. These are two dishes that are unique to Bidar.
Finally when you begin your day of exploration, visit the most famous historic site here – The Bidar Fort. With strong walls, stunning green lawns and colossal fortress, this is a marvelous structure that has monumental beauty and cultural prominence. Wear comfortable shoes because it is quite a walk around the fort which measures 1.21 km long and is about 0.80 km wide. There are numerous buildings as well as mosques, gateways, gardens and arches that the fort encapsulates within its brawny walls.
A quick drive away from the fort lay the Bahmani Tombs. These are the tombs of Bahmani Sultans. The most famous of them all is the tomb of Ahmad Shah-Al-Wali. Verses from Quran are engraved on the walls in gold color of this tomb while the paintings display a spectacle worth watching. Interestingly, the tomb features the Swastika which is considered as a symbol of prosperity and luck.
When in Bidar, head to the Papnash Shiva temple. More than architectural glory, the spiritual eminence of this temple is widespread. It is said that Lord Ram installed the Linga here after he returned from Lanka. Along with the temples, also visit the Guru Nanak Jhira which is said to be one of the most divine places for Sikhs. The legend here states that when the town was struck by famine, locals turned to Lord Nanak for help. Since then the water has been flowing from a small laterite trap. A beautiful gurudwara stands around this water fountain and an Amrit Kund accumulates this water that is said to have healing properties. Spend a while in the serene surroundings and get in touch with your inner self here.
Drive around the town and see the beautiful structures all around; also, if you’re interested in picking up some artifacts, there are silver inlaid metal crafts that are iconic in Bidar. Wine jugs with long necks called Suraahis, hookahs and Persian design pieces of art are such that you might want to have them as keepsakes in your home.
Before leave the town, make sure that have an adventurous time. Visit the Narasimha Jharni Cave temple but before leaving the town, ensure that your driver knows the route as the roads are pretty rocky. What makes this temple unique; apart from the spiritual significance is that this cave temple has a 300m long tunnel that is filled with water. If you’re not an adrenaline junky, consider yourself warned about a few bats that might meet you on the way while you walk through waist deep water. The story behind the temple is that when Lord Narasimha destroyed the demon Jalasura, he turned into water and started flowing at the Lord’s feet. Outside the cave there are deities of Lord Narasimha and Shiva Linga that the demon Jalasura prayed to.
It’ll seem that the city is more for those who are religious and spiritual but that’s not all. Bidar has a lot to put forth when it comes to history, architecture and natural beauty as well. Best way to enjoy this whole historical explorer’s paradise is by availing a reliable and inexpensive taxi service from the Hyderabad airport itself and placing yourself in the hands of an experienced chauffeur.