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Bidar City
Kannada transcription(s)
 • Regionalಬೀದರ
Hindi transcription(s)
 • Nationalबीदर
Entrance to the Bidar Fort
Entrance to the Bidar Fort
Etymology: Viduranagara (Mahabharata)
PowerSouthern Grid
Country India
DivisionKalaburagi Division
DistrictBidar district
TalukaBidar taluka
 • TypeMunicipality
 • BodyCouncil
 • Total43 km2 (17 sq mi)
Elevation710 m (2,330 ft)
 • Total216,020
 • Estimate 
 • Density5,000/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
 • Males
 • Males density2,592/km2 (6,710/sq mi)
 • Females
 • Females density2,432/km2 (6,300/sq mi)
Sex Ratio
 • per 1000 males937 females
 • in the age, 0-6914 f / 1000 m
Literacy Rate
 • Average87.65%
 • Male92.88%
 • Female82.08%
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
585 401/402/403
Telephone code91-(0)8482-XXXXXX
Vehicle registrationKA 38

Bidar is a hill-top city situated on the deccan plateau, in the north-eastern part of Karnataka state in India. It is the headquarters of the Bidar District which shares its border with Maharashtra and Telangana. It is a rapidly urbanizing city which comes under Bidar Metropolitan area. The city is well known for its many places of architectural, historical and religious importance.

Being located at the farthest of around 700 km (430 mi) from the state capital Bengaluru, it has been neglected by the state government for a long time. However, owing to its rich heritage, the city has a prominent place in the Archaeological Map of India. Picturesquely perched on the Deccan plateau, the Bidar fort is more than 500 years old and still standing strong.[6] According to the book "Bidar Heritage" published by the state Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, of the 61 monuments listed by the department, about 30 are tombs located in and around Bidar city.[7] This explains the nickname - The City of Whispering Monuments. The heritage sites in and around Bidar have become the major attraction for film shooting in recent years with Bollywood making visits apart from kannada film industry[8]

Bidar is home for the second biggest Indian Air Force training centre in the country. The IAF Station Bidar is used for advanced jet training of prospective fighter pilots on BAe Hawk aircraft.[9]

Bidar city is known for its Bidri handicraft products, and its rich history. Bidar is also considered one of the holiest place for Sikh pilgrimage. Unlike other places in the region, Bidar is the coldest and wettest place in north Karnataka. For the year 2009-10, Bidar was ranked 22nd among the cleanest cities in India, and 5th cleanest in Karnataka.[10] SH4 passes through Bidar and the whole city is integrated with 4 lane road.

Ancient Karez System in the city have been recently discovered. The Karez (Qanat) is an underground network of aqueducts for water supply. The Bidar Karez, built in the 15th century, is more than 3 km (1.9 mi) long with 21 air vents.[11] Underground canals, built to connect underground water streams, were meant to provide drinking water to civilian settlements and the garrison inside the Bidar fort. This was necessary in a city where the soil was rocky and drilling wells was difficult.


Bidar is believed to have got its name from ′Bidaru′, which means bamboo in Kannada although there is no bamboo or bamboo products in the town or its environs.[12]

Legend has associated Bidar with the ancient kingdom of Vidarbha, to which references are found in early Hindu literature like Malavikagnimitra, Mahabharata, the Harivamsa, Bhagavata, and a few other Puranas.[13]: 3  Its association can be seen apparently on account of the similarity in names Bidar and Vidarbha. This has been mentioned in Firishta's writings.

The traditional tales reveal that Vidura lived here; hence the place was earlier called Viduranagara and also as the place where Nala and Damayanti (Daughter of Raja Bhima, the King of Vidharba) were meeting.[14]


Main article: History of Bidar

The recorded History of the city goes back to third century B.C. when it was of the great Mauryan Empire. After the Mauryas, Satavahanas, Kadambas and Chalukyas of Badami and later Rashtrakutas reigned over Bidar territory. Chalukyas of Kalyana and Kalachuris also regained the area. For a short period after Kalyani Chalukyas the area of Bidar was under the sevunas of Devgiri and Kakatiyas of Warangal.

Delhi rulers first headed by Allauddin Khilji and later Muhammed-bin-Tughluq took control of entire Deccan including Bidar. About the middle of the 14th Century the Officers of Sultan stationed in Deccan rebelled and this resulted in the establishment of Bahamani Dynasty in 1347 A.D. at Gulbarga (present Kalaburagi). There were frequent warfare between the Bahamnis and Vijaynagar Kingdom.[15]

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 Prince Ulugh Khan in 1322, whereafter it came under the reign of the Tughlaq dynasty.[16]

With the establishment of the Bahmani dyanasty (1347), Bidar was occupied by Sultan Ala-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. Mahmud 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 Aurangzeb came to Bidar after his father and emperor Shah Jahan appointed him the Prince of Deccan. He wrested the Bidar Fort from the Adil Shahis after a 21-day war in 1656. With this, Bidar became a part of the Mughal dynasty for the second time.[17]

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.[18] Third son of Asaf jah l ( Nizam l ) Mir Sa'id Muhammad Khan, Salabat Jang ruled from Bidar fort during 1751 to 1762, till his Brother Mir Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah III Imprisoned him in this fort, and was killed in Bidar fort on 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 kingdoms of Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmadnagar, Bidar and Berar. After India's independence, in 1956 when Bidar became part of Mysore (now Karnataka) state.[18][19][20]


Bidar is located at 17°54′N 77°30′E / 17.9°N 77.5°E / 17.9; 77.5,[21] lies at a central position in Deccan, a plateau at an elevation of 2300 ft from the sea level. It has common boundaries with Maharashtra and Telangana, with the districts of Nizamabad and Medak in Telangana on the East and the districts of Nanded and Osmanabad in Maharashtra on the west. On the south lies the district Gulbarga of Karnataka.[22]


Laterite under the Top soil Layer

The upper crust of the plateau is of laterite, a soft porous rock with limonitic surface. This crust varies in depth from 100 ft (30 m) to 500 ft (150 m) and rests on a bed of trap, which is of much harder texture and less pervious to water. The volume of water filtered during the monsoons through the laterite stratum is arrested by the trappean bed, and a nursery of springs is formed whose natural level of effluence is the line of contact of the two strata along the base of the cliffs of the plateau. The water in course of time frets out for itself an orifice and macerates and loosens portions of its rocky channel till a rift is produced. The rift gradually dilates into a ravine, and the ravine expands into a vale. These physical phenomena have provided Bidar with some charming sites[13]: 1  like Narasimha Jharni, Papanasha Shiva Temple, Guru Nanak Jhira Sahib etc.

The Karez System is built along a geological fracture. Such fractures are formed at the intersection of laterite and basalt rocks and form lineaments or springs that yield water.[23]

See also: Bidar district § Laterite


Bidar soils are deep (>100 cm), well-drained gravelly red clayey soils developed on plateaus of laterites. They are slightly acid to neutral (pH 6.6) in reaction with low cation exchange capacity. They are highly gravelly soils with gravel content (60 to 10%) that decrease with depth.[24]


In-Cloud Lightning over Bidar

It is a charming city- one of its charms being a very bracing climate practically throughout the district and for the greater part of the year. April and may In Bidar are hot, but even during this hot weather, the heat is often broken by sharp and sudden thunder showers. By early June the south-west monsoon sets in with its pleasant coolness and the weather is back to its bracing glory. The cold weather is never too cold and the rainfall is never excessive though its excessive variation is often the cause, symptom and malaise of severe droughts. One other aspect of its charm is that it is full of history- every village and town being replete with monuments, legends, stories of valour, romance of beautiful princesses, long forgotten battles, feuding military adventurers and even of social reform movements that shook the very foundation and structure of medieval Hinduism.

The winter season is from November to middle of February . Bidar is one of the coldest city(by southern standards) in Karnataka as the minimum temperature during winter nights regularly hovers around 11-12 during December . December is the coldest month with mean daily maximum temperature of 27.3 C and mean daily minimum of 13.4 C. From the middle of the February, both day and night temperatures begin to rise rapidly. May is the hottest month with mean daily maximum temperature of 38.8 C and mean daily minimum of 25.9 C. With the withdrawal of southwest monsoon in the first week of October, there is slight increase in day temperature but night temperature decreases steadily. After October, both day and night temperatures decreases progressively. The highest maximum temperature recorded at Bidar was on 8-5-1931(43.3 degree C) and the lowest minimum was on 5-1-1901(2.9 degree C,the lowest temperature ever recorded in Karnataka).[25]

Present day Bidar covers an expanse of 5448 square kilometers of land and lies between 17°35′ and 18°25′ North latitudes and 76°42′ and 77°39′ east longitudes. Maharashtra on the west. On the south lies the district of Gulbarga of Karnataka. This central position in the Deccan had for long imparted to Bidar, the pre-eminent position in the history of the Deccan although today it presents a picture of centuries of neglect and ruin.[25] It was also known as Mohamad-Bidar and under the influence of Hindus it became as Bidar.

Climate data for Bidar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 28.6
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 14.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 12.6
[citation needed]


Once a home to many cottage industries, such as cotton and oil-ginning mills,[26] there are now few industries that draw on local raw materials or skills. Even the well known form of local articrafts, bidri ware, is in a state of decline. Increasing prices of materials, especially silver, and declining sales have meant that many of the hereditary artisans are no longer employed in the production of such ware.[27]


Bidar is located in India
Hyderabad 140 km (87 mi)
Hyderabad 140 km (87 mi)
Bengaluru 700 km (430 mi)
Bengaluru 700 km (430 mi)
Mumbai 600 km (370 mi)
Mumbai 600 km (370 mi)
Distance from major Metropolitan cities near to Bidar.

Bidar is symbolically described as City of Whispering Monuments.[28] The mountaintop town that served as the capital of medieval Deccan, has 98 monuments of which four national monuments are protected by the Archaelogical Survey of India and 14 by the State Archaeology Department, Karnataka.

Bidar earned a place on the World Monument Watchlist 2014.[29] Of the 741 proposals received from 166 countries, 67 sites from 41 countries were finally selected which were announced by WMF president Bonnie Burnham in New York on October 8, 2013.[30] Along with "the historic city of Bidar", two other sites in India to figure in the list were the house of Sheikh Salim Chisti in Fatehpur Sikri and Juna Mahal in Rajasthan.

The WMF in its current watch site for "the historic city of Bidar" says ″challenges to the site include a lack of integrated conservation and maintenance, environmental pollution, and the construction of new developments and roadways that encroach on the historic fabric. Current land use regulations also threaten the economic livelihood of many of the city’s residents, and it is hoped that revised, context-specific planning policies would both protect Bidar’s historic assets while also supporting the future of its local population. It is hoped that Watch-listing will spur documentation and analysis of the city’s conditions, followed by policy development and applied conservation interventions that will reveal and maintain Bidar’s rich heritage, as well as support a robust and sustainable tourist industry.″[31]

Historical monuments

Mahmud Gawan Madrasa

Main article: Mahmud Gawan Madrasa

This grandiose madrasa was built by the prime-minister of the Bahmani empire, Mahmud Gawan in the late 15th century. Its only the most imposing building of the Bahmani period, but in its plan and in the general style of its architecture it is a unique monument of its kind in India. The Madrasa, a multi-disciplinary university he set up, which had a library of around 3,000 valuable manuscripts, was severely damaged when gunpowder stored inside the rooms went off during a 27-day siege of the city by Mughal king Aurangazeb in 1656. The Mahmud Gawan Madrasa is protected by the Archaelogical Survey of India.

Bidar Fort[32] is considered one of the most formidable forts of the country. Bidar city was distinctly planned and built. The main citadel complex housed the royal places. Mahals and Mosque. Adjoining to this on the southern side, the city was built for the people. Both the citadel complex and city had separate forts for protection the plan of the Bidar city fortification is pentagonal. There are five gateways for entry into the city fort. It is main citadel complex fort which is stronger. It is built on the brink of the plateau. Engineers and architecture of various countries were employed on its design and construction.[33]

The design of this monument represents the blend of the both Hindu and Muslim architecture. There are rooms in the basement of the Rangin Mahal.[34]

The building had stately dimensions and exquisite surface decoration. The coronations of several Bahamanis and Barid Shahi sultans were held there. From the royal pavilion which is situated behind throne palace one can view the valley and low land below.

Religious places

Gurudwara Nanak Jhira Sahib

Main article: Gurudwara Nanak Jhira Sahib

Gurudwara Nanak Jhira Saheb is known to be one of Holiest Place For Sikh Devotees in India and is believed that Saint Guru Nanak visited the place during famine in this region.[41]

Narasimha Jharni

Main article: Narasimha Jharni

One has to walk a few hundred meters in cave canal having stagnant water. Narasimha Jharni is ancient Hindu temple, quite unique by its location inside a natural water logged cave, with bats hanging from its roof throughout. Yet it is safe,as everyday quite a handful of devotees visits the deity,walking down the 300 meters long cave.

Papnash Temple

Papnash Shiva Temple[42] is popular, among locals as well as tourists as it is believed that the Shiva linga in this temple was installed by Lord Rama. According to legends, Lord Rama installed the Shiva linga in the temple while returning from Lanka. Owing to the significance, the temple is flocked by devotees year-round and especially during the festival of Shivratri. In front of the temple there is a natural spring, which flows into a pond called Papnash. Holy dip in this pond is believed to cleanse the soul of devotee from all the sins.

It gets very crowded during Shivaratri celebrations. In the sanctum, there is a big Shiva Linga. In the temple complex, there are three other Shiva Lingas. These Shiva Lingas can be touched by devotees, and they can directly offer pujas to them.

Papnash means destroyer of sins. It is believed that a visit to this temple and a dip in the Papnash pond will destroy all the sins committed by a person. For this reason alone, this temple attracts a large number of pilgrims.

The Papnash Shiva Temple is located near the Bidar-Udgir Road. There is a bus station about two kilometers away which is connected to Bidar city from where other transport options can be taken.

The King Visits the Teerth on the advise of the Brahmins and takes a Holy Dip here. Also he meets a Sanyasi here who narrates the Story of a Ujjaini Brahmin who was Blessed by Rishabha Muni.Shri Guru on the request of the King visits Bidar and Comes to Papa Vinashini Teerth where Sayamdeos Son Naganath comes to meet Shri Guru and also takes him to his Home for a Samaradhana.Shri Guru returns to the Teerth after the Samaradhana and the King who traveled for a Day from Gangapur meets Shri Guru here and takes him to his Kingdom.

The Papa Vinashini (Papnash) Teerth at Bidar is the Holy Place which was Sanctified by the Visit of Shri Guru Narasimha Saraswati. The Account of Shri Gurus visit to Bidar is as Follows :

We can see in the 9th Adhyay of Shri Guru Charitra that Shripad Shri Vallabha blesses a Rajaka (Washer Man) to be a King in his Next Birth and also assures him that he would meet him as Shri Narasimha Saraswati ( The 2nd Incarnation).Accordingly he (rajaka) takes birth in the Royal Kingdom of Vidarbha. Due to devotation of previous birth he was kind and pious. He treated all religions and sects equally. Thus the king was ruling impartially. Once he had a tumour on his thigh, Vaidyas and Hakims treated him but to no effect. The King then consulted the Local Brahmins who suggested him to take a bath at the Holy Papa Vinashini Teerth there. The King accordingly visited the Holy Teerth and had a Holy Dip at the Teerth. There he met a Sanyasi who explained him the Importance of Sadguru Darshan and also quoted him the following Story ;

There lived a Brahmin at Ujjaini who gave up his Brahmin Rites and lived with a Prostitute. But once they Served Rishabha Muni with Devotion. Later on in their old age, both the Brahmin and Pingla died.The Brahmin took birth as a Son of the Eldest Queen of King Vajrabahu. The Young Queen who was Jealous gave poison to the Eldest Queen Sumati when the Baby was in womb. Both the Mother and Son were affected by eruptions all over the body and the King who failed to treat them ordered that they must be left in the Forest. But to their fortune they met a Pious King who arranged for their Stay. But one day the Child died and when the Mother was weeping bitterly. Rishabha Muni recalling the Brahmins Past Service not only revived him to Life but also cured both of them.

Thus the Sanyasi asked the King to Serve a Saint and said that the King should Visit Shri Guru Narasimha Saraswati at Ganagapur. The King immediately went to Ganagapur and visited Sangam to meet Shri Guru. On seeing him Shri Guru asked " O, Rajak, where have you been so far? I am seeing you after a long period". On this the King at once recalled his Past birth and prostrated before Shri Guru and began to shed tears of love and joy. When he wanted to show the Tumour, he found it was already Cured. He then Pleaded Shri Guru to visit his Place. Shri Guru agreed and said him that he would meet him at Papavinashini in Bidar. Shri Guru disappeared Instantly and reached Papavinashini Teerth where Sayamdeos Son visits and takes Shri Guru to his home for a Samaradhana. Shri Guru then comes back to PapVinashini and the King takes him to his Kingdom. Shri Guru then Visits Goutami and returns to Ganagapur.


The Karnataka tableau depicting Bidriware Handicraft from Bidar passes through the Rajpath during the Republic Day Parade 2011.

Bidri wares

Main article: Bidriware

Bidriware, one of the rarest and most intricate art forms is now unique to the city.[43] This native art form has obtained Geographical Indications (GI) registry.[44] The various art forms created by artists from Bidar city centuries ago are now major attractions in museums such as Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the National Museum in New Delhi and Indian Museum in Kolkata.[43]

The Karnataka tableau at the 2011 Republic Day Parade at Rajpath in New Delhi featured Bidriware and Bidri artisans from Bidar.

All the dignitaries & guests of XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 were presented with mementos hand crafted in Bidri art. This art form is the Union government’s choice for souvenirs at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Kingfisher company owner Vijay Mallya has a bidri dining table with floral designs made of nearly 3.5 kg silver.[45]


Deva Deva Vana

The Deva Deva Vana[46] (Botanical Garden) is situated in the forest area of the shahpur so is under the shahpur reserved forest area.

Location and Access

This Garden is 7 km (4.3 mi) away from centre of the Bidar city.One can find many and simple ways to reach this garden, starting from the Bidar new bus stand you can reach here with the help of various city buses scheduled with proper timings or any private vehicles can be used. The moment you enter the Bidar-Hyderabad highway, you are at the right place near to the garden.


The history of the garden. This garden belongs to KARNATAKA FOREST DEPARTMENT. This garden is also called BOTANICAL GARDEN. The garden is more than 35 years old and present in shahpur village.As this is in forest area you can see many different types of trees and plants here. This is called BOTANICAL GARDEN because here in this garden you can see many plants and trees which have high medicinal value in ayurvedic field. As the garden is in forest area the garden depicts the scene of the forest and all the trees and plants present are found with their scientific and botanical name. Here in this garden you can find more than 50 to 70 different types of plants and trees all with their own special properties and helps in curing in one or the disease.

To visit this garden, some timing restriction is a must to be followed because there is a risk to the life, if visited at odd timings because at some part of the garden some deadly creatures such as snakes and leech reside. On the other side the garden is a fun place too. There are some entertainment means for the children to play and this is a well known picnic spot for children. Every green garden is maintained by the staffs of the garden in such a way so as to attract people and same is the case with this botanical garden. Many different and typical kinds of herbs, shrubs and flora are being grown here and every care is taken to keep the place clean and green. Studies on the plants grown here is also been done.

Map of Area of the Garden

Here in the garden, projects like plantation of various kinds of plants and trees are being done every year. As the garden is under the government authorities, they undertake the task of growing many plants, maintaining them (planting in some plastic bags allowing them to grow until some limit of growth) and then planting them on the road sides and between the dividers with a vision of "GO GREEN".


There are a variety of plants grown here.Some of the plants grown here are Panchavativana, Ashoka vana, Rashivana(zodiac),Navagraha vana etc.

Located 18 km (11 mi) from the city of Bidar in north Karnataka, the Blackbuck resort is concealed behind a barren facade. Tranquillity is the calling of this place which finds a sweet spot between the Honnikeri Reserve Forest and the Vilaspur Lake. Free roaming blackbucks abound in the surrounding grasslands, giving the resort its name. You can savour the unique experience of trailing blackbucks on foot and watch them disappear into thickets. It's not just the Blackbucks; even peacocks that make a sudden appearance can spring a surprise or two.



Bidar has connectivity with Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Sainagar Shirdi, Aurangabad, Nanded, Manmad and Mumbai (according to railway budget 2014-15) Construction of the Gulbarga-Bidar link is in progress which is expected to be operational by the end of 2015.[48][49] Bidar-Hyderabad inter-city train service became operative in September 2012.[50] A Bidar-Yeshwantpur (Daily) express train[51] and Bidar-LTT Mumbai express train[52] service has been started recently.


Bidar is very well connected with Banglore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and other cities of karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra, by public and private Transport services.

Education Institutions

Gnyana Sudha Vidyalaya, School Building
Swaminarayan Gurukul International School Bidar outer view1


As per provisional reports of Census India, a population of Bidar in 2011 is 211,944; of which male and female are 109,435 and 102,509 respectively. The average literacy rate of Bidar city is 87.65 percent of which male and female literacy was 92.88 and 82.08 percent respectively. Total children (0-6) in Bidar city are 25,077 as per figure from a Census India report on 2011. There were 13,103 boys while 11,974 are girls. The child sex ratio of girls is 914 per 1000 boys.\

People in Bidar city are a mix of foreigners and locals [citation needed] due to long due to long lasting influence of Persians Bahamanis and Barid Shah-i Dynasties ruling over the city in the past.

Kannada is the official language and along with Dakhni Urdu is the most spoken language and Hindi, Marathi, are the other languages spoken by significant numbers of the population.



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