Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments

Tripoto
1st Feb 2019
Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap
Day 1

After a hectic and exhausting week at work, I really needed something refresh myself. To be honest, I really didn't know about Bidar until I met a British couple when I went for a trip to Aurangabad and they happened to mention Bidar as their next destination. So, I just took an early morning bus at 6 am from Mahatma Gandhi Bus Stand, Hyderabad and reached Bidar at around 9.30 am. Since I left empty stomach, I was hungry and so, I gorged myself into the food at a local udipi restaurant. And then I started walking towards the Bidar Fort. While walking itself, I could see some ruins all around me. After walking for around 15 minutes, I finally reached the fort. I started looking for the ticket counter only to find out that the entry to the fort is free. But there's the catch, since there's no ticket for the fort, one can enter the fort premises but not the individual rooms and structures.

Photo of Bidar, Karnataka, India by Kshitij Pratap

As you reach the end of the fort, you'll see a very small village in the fort's premises and that village has a small, serene temple. And that village looked so  beautiful and colorful that I went there and stayed for an hour in that temple.

After spending quite sometime at the fort, I was thinking of what to do next. So I asked the juice vendor about the places that I can visit and he mentioned Chaukhandi and Bahmani tombs in Ashtoor village. I googled the distance and these place were at just a tad bit distance (2.5 miles) from Bidar Bus stand and since I needed to return to the bus stand by evening, I decided to book an auto. Bargain a little and you can get it at a very good price. So the autowala took us first to the Bahmani tombs in Ashtoor.

Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap

We went through the Dulhan Darwaza outside the city. The Bahmani tombs is a collection of eight tombs of the king of the Bahmani Dynasty. The oldest tomb is the one of Sultan Ahmed Shah Wali, who inculcated Bidar as the capital city. And all the subsequent tombs and their architecture and style are a rendition of the way the dynasty deteriorated with each successor. The tomb of Sultan Ahmed Shah Wali is the grandest and the most preserved out of the eight tombs. One can still see the murals and the inscriptions in the walls of tombs very clearly. And also, just like the fort, we were not allowed inside the tombs but the guard there was pretty considerate for us and he opened the door of the tomb for us and the tomb just was breathtaking. It was cool, aesthetic and beautiful. I wanted to take a picture of the inside but the guard asked us not to do so. All the other tombs are going under restoration work for now but to say the least, these tombs are definitely a must visit if you're in Bidar.

Tomb of Sultan Ahmed Shah Wali

Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap
Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap

Our next stop was Chaukhandi of Hazrat Khalil Ullah which is located very close to the Bahmani tombs.  It is a tomb built in honour of the Hazrat Khalil Ullah who was the spiritual adviser of Sultan Ahmed Shah.  One can actually find people playing inside the tomb. The architecture is somewhat similar to that of the Bahmani tombs considering it was the built in the memory of the spiritual advisor to the first king of the Bahmani Dynasty.

Chaukhandi

Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap

Our next stop was Shri Narsimha Jharni Cave Temple. As the name suggests, this ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Narsimha, an incarnation if Lord Vishnu.  One can see a lot of men having mundan(shaving their head) as an offering. But the biggest wonder that I came across that I had to walk through the cave wherein the water height ranges from 4 feet to 5 feet to see Lord Narsimha's image on the wall at the end of the tunnel. What's also mysterious is that the flow of water in the temple never dries out.

Shri Narsimha Jharni Cave Temple

Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap

Next up on the list was Madrasa of Mahmud Gawan or Madrasa-e-Mahmud Gawan. Built in the 1460, the Indo- Islamic architecture of this ancient madrasa is an ode to the scholar Mahmud Gawan who came from Gilal in Iran and moved to Bidar in 1453. It is located between the Chowbara and the fort. It is said that Mahmud build the madrasa with his own money and it was a residential University. The building building contains lecture halls, labs, mosque, hostel and dining room but most of it is now a ruin. One can still see colorful tiles on the walls of the building, especially the minar.

Madrasa

Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap

Madrasa

Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap

Madrasa

Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap

Finally, the autowala dropped me off at Sri Guru Nanak Jhira Sahib. The Gurudwara is established in a nice valley, surrounded by laterite hills on three sides.

Entrance to the Gurudwara

Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap

The Gurudwara is dedicated to the first Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Nanak Sahib who visited this town while he was spreading his teachings across Southern India. The Gurudwara is majestic and is of great significance to the Sikh community from all over the country. There is quite a history to the name of this Gurudwara.

Bidar used to have acute water shortage and digging wells was not getting successful. Even when wells produced water the water was found to be unfit for drinking. Touched by the condition of the people, and while uttering Sat Khartar, he shifted a stone and removed some rubble from the place with his wooden sandal and suddenly, a spring of cool and fresh water that has flowed to this day. This is how the place soon came to be known as Nanak Jhira  (Jhira=Stream).
Since it was almost, mid afternoon, I was already quite hungry. Just like other Gurudwaras, this shrine too serves langar to all the devotees who come to worship here. After having the langar, and staying in the Gurudwara for half an hour, I felt refreshed again.
If one is planning, to stay the night in Bidar, they can also stay in the accommodation provided by the Gurudwara.

Photo of Bidar- City of Whispering Monuments by Kshitij Pratap

After this beautiful experience at the Gurudwara, I headed back to the bus stand to catch the bus back to Hyderabad, but got to know that next bus is in one and a half hour. And me being myself, I decided not to just sit idle so I asked the conductor if there is anything to do nearby and he advised me to go Papnash Mahadev Temple. So I headed to the temple and reached there after walking for some 20 minutes. The temple was quite crowded at the time but I it was worth it. On the way back to the temple, I spent some time at the Baridshahi Garden that was very close to the bus stand. Spread across an area of 55 acres, the garden has some tombs and you can find a lot of people relaxing there after a hectic day. Relaxing at the garden was the perfect way to end this sudden unplanned trip.

Bidar is truly one of the best historical cities to visit if one wants to explore and understand the Deccan dynasty and the  untouched Islamic culture that makes it even more special.

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