Activities Destinations India Karnataka Road Tripping

Road Trip Guide: Hyderabad to Bidar

In the northeastern corner of Karnataka, closer to Hyderabad than any other city in the state is Bidar.  It is a city steeped in Islamic history and if you love visiting places of historic and cultural significance and can’t get enough of architecture, Hyderabad to Bidar is the one road trip that you must take. Even the celebrated Bidri Artwork though known as a Hyderabadi Artform, originally comes from here. 

Hyderabad to Bidar Distance | 135 Kilometres

Drive Time | 3 Hours
Trip Duration | 
Full Day

 

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Places to Visit in Bidar

Bidar Fort

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Inside the expansive Bidar Fort

The most prominent landmark of this city though is the Bidar Fort. It was built by the first sultan of the Bahamani Dynasty, Ala Ud Din Bahaman Shah when he set up his capital in Bidar, this city that dates back to the third century BC. Built on the brink of the Deccan Plateau, the Bidar Fort has been damaged and renovated many a time, but it stands till date as one of the strongest and the better-preserved medieval forts of the country.

Chaubara

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Chaubara, Bidar’s most popular landmark, at the heart of town.

Once a watchtower, this cylindrical Chaubara of twenty two meters is now a popular clock tower  in the area serving as a landmark from where all the roads lead into different parts of town.

Khwaja Mahmud Gawan Madrasa

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The facade of Khwaja Mahmud Gawan Madrasa in the Old City Fort Area

This Madrasa, the Madrasa Mahmud Gawan, that housed everything from lecture halls and a library to housing for professors and students – everything that could be thought of over five centuries ago – and even a mosque was built by Mahmud Gawan. And, so the name,  Khwaja Mahmud Gawan Madrasa. He, in 1466, was the Prime Minister and an important figure in the Bidar Sultanate. Despite the ruined façade on the main road, you can still parts of all this still standing, once you go in or even just cross the road.

Bahamani Tombs

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Bahamani Tombs in Ashtur

Four kilometres from the Bidar Fort is the final resting place of the Bahamani Sultans, the little known Bahamani Tombs. Some of these are in a state of disrepair today, but even these crumbling mausoleums stand a beautiful testimony to the art of an era gone by. And, no visit to Bidar is complete without a trip to these majestic structures located in Ashtur.

READ:  The City of Whispering Tombs: Bidar

Chaukhandi Hazrat Khalil Ullah

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Chaukhandi, Dargah of Hazrat Nemat Ullah Shah Kirmani in Ashtur

En route to Ashtur just before you get to the tombs, on the left is yet another idyllic setting for the ancient, to rest in peace, the Dargah Hazrat Nemat Ullah Shah Kirmani. Known simply as the Chaukhandi, this octagonal structure beautiful in its simplicity and clean lines is set in a lush expanse of green and is the tomb of Hazrat Khalil Ullah, a popular religious preceptor of the Bahamani Period.

Gurudwara Sri Nanak Jhira Saheb 

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Entrance Gate of Gurudwara Sri Nanak Jhira Saheb

The most frequented tourist destination in Bidar, though, remains the Gurudwara Sri Nanak Jhira Saheb. People of all faiths come here – sometimes even straight from the Hyderabad airport – to get the holy water from spring in the Gurudwara, which is believed to possess powers of healing. The structure itself is a classic example for modern day religious splendour, probably the grandest gurudwara I have visited till date. But,  this for me completely shadowed the moment of quiet and tranquility usually experienced in a Gurudwara.

Sri Jharani Narasimha Swamy Cave Temple

The Jharani Narasimha Swamy Cave Temple is yet another popular destination, albeit of a different faith in the largely Islam dominated Bidar. Pilgrims have to wade through waist deep water in an underground cave to reach the inner sanctum of the temple get darshan of  Sri Narasimha Swamy. Quite an experience in itself, that.

Hyderabad to Bidar Road Trip 

Itinerary + Route

  • Leave early morning from Hyderabad and you should be in Bidar in less than two and a half hours. Just in time for when the Bidar Fort opens and is relatively less crowded.
  • Right in the heart of town are the two famous landmarks  – Chaubara and Madrasa Mahmud Gawan. Visit these next, after the Bidar Fort.
  • A few minutes from here on Chaubara Road are stores selling Bidriware. One can make a quick stop for souvenirs.
  • On the way out of town, head to the Bahamani Tombs in Ashtur and the Chaukhandi Hazrat Khalil Ullah which is enroute there.
  • While on the road back to Hyderabad, one can visit the Gurudwara Nanak Jhira Sahib or even takea short detour to the Jharani Narasimha Swamy Cave Temple.

Bidar Map

Getting There

From the ORR, take the NH65 till Zaheerabad and then head right.

Pit Stop

Famous Tea Point near Sangareddy. This little dhaba claims to serve the best tasting Chai in the area, so much so that you will see cars parked all along the highway. So if you are craving some good old Irani Chai, you could make road trip just to and back from here!

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For a more comprehensive Road Trip Guide to Hyderabad 

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