Bidar Fort, (also officially known as Bidar Kote) is a majestic ancient fort situated in the town of Bidar, in the south Indian state of Karnataka .
It is a manifestation of Bidar’s heritage and historical significance and a reminder of the strong Southern dynasty that used to rule over the region centuries ago.
Bidar Fort was originally built in the 8th century but was later re-constructed in 1428 AD, before which it was much smaller. Following this, the fort was captured multiple times and was under the control of various different rulers and dynasties.
It was captured and renewed and renovated by a ruler of Delhi Sultanate, who added various amazing fortifications, bastions, gates, chambers (buildings), baths, kitchens, gardens, pavilions, and mosques within the complex.
Later it was captured by Nizams of Asaf Jahi Kingdom. In the mid-17th century, this fort was captured again and came under the control of the last Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. However, it went back to the Nizam for a short period in the early18th century.
In the 19th century, when the British colonized and ruled over India, the fort too went under their control, and remained so until India’s independence, in 1947.
Post-independence, it came under the control of the state of Karnataka, and remains so to this day. It is now a popular tourist destination in the state.
The Bidar Fort is built in architectural styles that have a mix of Islamic and Persian architecture The walls of the monument are made of thick red laterite stone.
The fort has about thirty-seven large octagonal bastions with metal-welded cannons, which were earlier used to fire at enemies and attackers, and seven huge arched gateways. The main ones of them include Mandu Darwaza, Sharza Darwaza and Gumbad Darwaza (leading into the main complex).
Bidar Fort is open to visitors between 9 AM and 5 PM every day, on all days of the week. Entry is free for visitors to this fort, and photography is also allowed.
Bidar can be reached by air, rail or road.