- Destination: Bidar, Karnataka, India
- Time to Visit: Anytime
- Visited during: Christmas 2014
- How To Reach:
- By Train – Number of trains from Hyderabad. From Bangalore, Yeswantpur – Bidar Express at 19.15PM
- By Bus – KSRTC operates daily bus to Bidar from Bangalore and Hyderabad.
- By Car – A one day family trip can easily be done with a car from Hyderabad
About: Bidar is the northernmost city of Karnataka and hence is known as the Crown Of Karnataka. It became historically significant when Bahamani sultan Ahmad Shah relocated the capital of his kingdom to Bidar in 1422, and used the prevailing Persian style to construct the palace and design the urban morphology of Bidar. Bidar is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Journey Starts:
My first ever solo trip. Booked train ticket for 25th December’14 in Yeswantpur – Bidar express which departs Bangalore at 19.15PM. Got food for dinner from the station. The train departed the station on time. But, the train was moving quite sluggishly as the entire route has a single railway track only. So, our train was waiting for another train coming from the opposite side to reach the current station. Once it reaches, our train used to start traveling that same railway track to reach the next station. This same procedure followed throughout the way.
Reached Bidar next day 15 minutes late at 9.45am. Bidar is a small place and people around are really helpful without any motive to cheat. Took an auto to reach the first location called Chaubara (Watch tower). It took only 5 minutes to reach there and the auto driver charged only Rs. 30. Chaubara is a tall tower, facing in four directions. The clock of the watch tower was not showing correct time. All four clocks in four directions displaying four different times. But the monument was beautiful.
From there, took a walk for 3 minutes to reach my next destination “Madrasa of Mahmud Gawan”. The
Madarasa was founded by Khwaja Mahmud Gawan, functioned like a residential University. Now only the remains of university is standing tall. Birds flight patrolling the Madrasa from top. Bright green parrots can also be seen there. The gate was locked from inside. On asking the security guard, he opened the gate and acted as a guide for me and explained all the historical importance of that place. Tipped him at the end. The best part of Bidar is, people are not as greedy as city people. A small amount can make them happy.
From there, need to walk straight for another 10 minutes to reach the next destination “Bidar Fort”. On the way, had breakfast from a roadside stall. “Puri-sabji” was nicely prepared. Bidar fort is one of the special attraction of Bidar and takes approximately an hour to see around within the fort. The gate of the fort is huge with spikes in it. The view of the fort is majestic. After crossing 3 gates within the fort, reached near the museum. Museum is now closed for tourists. Other places in the fort were also locked. Asked the people around to show the places which all are under lock and key. They happily escorted me to all the corners of the fort and acted as a guide. While facing towards the fort lawn, “Solah khamba” mosque lies on the right with 16 pillars. Just next to it is the Tarkish Mahal.
Entered inside the Tarkish mahal. The view was nice from the roof top. Seen few underground passage there. “Diwan-e-aam” and “Diwan-e-khaas” are just adjacent to this mahal. Later moved to “Rangeen mahal”. Sculptures are splendid all around. Few marbles are highly colorful. The guide said, there are few glasses which can emit 22 colours if seen from different angles. One can get the view of the entire fort from the roof of Rangeen mahal. One can take tea/coffee from the canteen located just outside the Rangeen mahal.
Then moved out of the fort and took an auto to reach “Paap-naash temple”. The auto driver asked Rs. 80 at first and then agreed to Rs. 40
after a slight bargain. This is the only place in Bidar where I was required to bargain. No matter wherever you go, the auto charge should range from Rs. 30 – Rs. 40. It took 5 minutes to reach the temple. There is a small lake adjacent to the temple. On spending not much of a time there, again booked an auto paying Rs.30 to reach Barid Shahi tomb.
On reaching Barid Shahi tomb, got to know that the gate opens for tourists at 4pm. Though couldn’t enter, but didn’t miss the opportunity to take photographs from outside. The security guards also cooperated and allowed me to enter a small distance to get a better capture of those gorgeous tombs through my lens. It has also a park inside where children can spend quality time with their family.
Then moved to “Nanak Jhira Sahib Gurudwara” which is quite near to Barid Shahi tomb. Do
remember to carry shawls/dupatta for women and handkerchief/cap for men to cover the hair which is mandatory to enter the Gurudwara. In case you forget you can always get them at the entrance of Gurudwara. Kept my bag and shoes in specific counters. Paid Rs. 20 to get nice Halwas which was loaded with ghee. Then went inside the gurdwara for a short prayer. There are provisions of accommodation starting from Rs. 100 to Rs. 500 with all basic and luxury amenities. For bookings, you need to visit there and book manually. There are more than 500 rooms, still hard to get as most of the rooms remain full because of low price and excellent service.
After a short prayer, reached a place where they were offering free lunch. Had lunch there only. Chappati, rice, daal (pulses), sabji (vegetables) and kheer (dessert) were really awesome. And finally sat under a shady tree with a glass of tea. There is also a pool for a holy dip. One opting to have food outside can visit Rohit restaurant near the bus stand. There are many other restaurants also around the place.
Then visited “Baridi Tomb” situated near the bus stand. It has two tombs in an open field . Finally booked an auto again for Rs. 40 to reach Chaubara (watch tower). Bidar is famous for Bidri art and Chaubara is the place to buy these goods. All items were made in this area only. So if you want to buy some nice and cheap Bidri art, get it from Chaubara only. Other place might charge you more.
Thr Bidri pieces starts from Rs. 100 and the prices goes up as the size and the design density
increases. I got a souvenir from there. Don’t forget to bargain a bit while buying Bidri art. Later, took an auto from the main road for Rs. 15 to reach the railway station as it was a single day outing for me in Bidar. One day is enough for tourists to excavate Bidar. Reached station by 3.30 PM. Freshened-up at the station. Packed food for dinner from a Punjabi restaurant located on the first floor at the main road crossing near the station. Food was really nice and less expensive. Forgot the name of the restaurant, but one can easily find out as it is in a prominent location.
The train Bidar-Yeswantpur express started the journey at 6.10pm from Bidar and reached Bangalore next morning at 8.45am.
This was a short, memorable, first-ever solo trip for me. Never got bored at any given time. Bidar’s beautiful sculpture and passion to travel gave explicit entertainment, pleasure and satisfaction.
Things To Remember:
- Places to visit – (1) Chaubara [Watch tower], (2) Madrasa of Mahmud Gawan, (3) Bidar Fort, (4) Tarkish Mahal, Solah Khamba mosque and Rangeen Mahal [Inside Bidar fort], (4) Paapnash temple, (5) Barid Shahi Tomb, (6) Nanak Jhira Sahib Gurudwara, (7) Baridi Tomb, and (8) Chaubara [Again to buy Bidri art].
- Ask to shown around the locked areas in Bidar fort & Madrasa of Mahmud Gawan and tip them at the end
- Carry cloth/handkerchief/cap to cover head while entering Gurudawara
- May take free lunch at Gurudwara
- Barid Shahi tomb opens at 4PM
- Do buy some famous Bidriware (starting from Rs. 100) from Chaubara only.
- Auto fare will never exceed Rs. 40 no matter wherever you go in Bidar