From Here & There

From Here & There

Bidar’s famed citadel

Bidar is known for its many monuments, some dating back to the 1500s. Important among them is the Bidar Fort. The fort enclosing the royal complex, today protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), is a vast, irregularly shaped circle with a plethora of palaces, some armouries, living quarters, a jail, a mosque, numerous wells and sundry other buildings.

The entrance today is through the Gumbad Darwaza, from where you can see Bidar’s fabled and unique triple moat, hewn out of solid rock. The yawning gap seemed sufficient to keep most anyone out, but the fort’s builders apparently thought otherwise, for low battlemented walls line one side of the moat, providing cover for soldiers firing on anyone trying to cross the moat.

The Gumbad Darwaza recalls the architecture of Delhi’s Tughluqs and yet is subtly different in the shape and dimensions of its arches, revealing a strong Persian inspiration. This mirrors the history of the Bahmani kingdom, which rose by defying the authority of the Tughluqs and, perhaps as a consequence, developed strong religious and cultural ties with erstwhile Persia. Indeed, the Persian influence is strongly evident in all structures in the fort.

The Gumbad Darwaza’s massive, majestic and somewhat brooding appearance leaves you wondering what other formidable structures lie waiting to be revealed.

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