Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Before proceeding further, we will understand how was the city of Bidar during the Bahmani rule.

The citDSC03138y of Bidar, during its initial days must have been of vast extent. A modern writer referring to the rapidity of its erection says “Soon, as if by magic, rose, some miles to the north of Gulbarga, one of the most splendid cities of India or of the world. The great mosque of Ahmedabad Bidar was for centuries unequalled for its simple grandeur and solemnity, and the most delicate beauties of the Ivory mosque, inlaid with gems and mother-o-pearl, was long of the favorite themes with which travelers delighted to illustrate tDSC03141he wealth and prodigality of the realms of the Far East.

Athanasius Nitikin, a Russian Armenian, who visited Bidar in 1470 AD gives a descriptive account. There were villages in short distances and the land was well tilled. The roads were well guarded and travelling secure. The King, with an army of 3,00,000 is well equipped. Artillery is not mentioned but there were many elephants, to the trunks of which scythes were attached in action, and they were clad in bright steel armor. When ADSC03135urangazeb invested the city in 1656, the city was described as 4500 yards in circumference, having three deep ditches 25 yards wide and 15 yards deep, cut in the stone.

Monsieur Thevenot, who visited Bidar in 1667 mentions brick walls with battlements and at certain distances, towers on which long cannons are mounted whose mouth is 3 foot wide. He met the then Governor and mentions that “he was carried, and before him marched several men on foot, carrying blew banners with flames of Gold and after them came seven elephants. The Governor’s palanquin was followed with several others full of women.”DSC03536 The walls and defenses were actually constructed during the time of Ali Barid in the years 1555-1558 and later extended and strengthened by a Bijapur Governor Sidi Marjan.

The defenses comprise a glacis, a moat and a scarp. The battlements are loopholed for the use of muskets and guns which can be fired at various angles depending on the approach of the enemy. The total number of bastions is thirty seven anDSC03538d in addition, there are eight batteries on which are placed smaller pieces of artillery. The town can be entered by six gateways, the Shah Gunj Darwaza, The Fateh Darwaza, The Mangalpet Darwaza, The Dulhan Darwaza, The Talghat Darwaza and the Sharzah Darwaza. . The Fateh Gate bears a Persian inscription to the effect that it was constructed by the Subedar of Bidar in 1671 AD. The gate was named so by Aurangazeb when his army marched through it triumphantly in 1656 AD and it was previously called the Nauras Darwaza by Ibrahim Adil Shah II of Bijapur. The Shah Gunj gate was constructed in the year previous and it was earlier called the Mecca Darwaza as it faces Mecca. The Talghat gate was constructed in the same year as Fateh. The Sharzah or Lion gate, which is decorated with effigies of Lions cut in the stone DSC03009buttresses of the gateway was erected in 1682 AD. The Dulhan Darwaza appears to have been rebuilt in recent times, but its wooden door is still missing, and there are, besides, no battlements on the roof of the gateway.

Today Bidar is a busy city all through. However, the best part is it has not lost the royal flavor. The Bidri Ware is still being practiced where there is no other art equal in the world.


1. History of the Decca by J.D.B. Gribble

2. Bidar – Its History and Monuments by Ghulan Yazdani


shooting star said...

very interesting....i have been to ahmedabad ..but did not know about this history then!!

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