This country of ours is so amazing  – every state, every city and even small towns have so much to offer to a traveller! And so, when we had to visit a friend’s wedding on May15th in Gulbarga, we decided to do it via Bidar, which did account to some diversion in our route, but was well worth it!

Bidar belongs to the state of Karnataka and is about 140 kms from Hyderabad – one of the perfect weekend getaways for people here!  NH-9 takes you till Zaheerabad, which is about 104 kms from Hyderabad, and the roads are pretty well laid even after that. Blessed with natural beauty and pleasant weather, it boasts of being an amazing traveller-friendly place.

The place is clean, the roads are good, and being small in size, it carries the advantage of offering all the must-see places within a small diameter.

Bidar fort is what we visited first. Being a sucker for anything to do with history,  there could not be a better start! The fort is maintained really really well and despite being in ruins entirely, looks anything but glorious.  I only wished there were guides available to throw more light on the facts and figures 😦

Anyway, here are a few boards which can tell you quite a few things about the fort.

And now for a tour of the fort 🙂

Such amazing works of art, isn’t it? People who destroyed them must have been really heartless 🙄

Some more from the fort!

We bid good-bye to the fort and visited an interesting temple next. Known as Narsimha Jharna, this is a cave temple with a small water pathway[approx. till your waist] which guides the devotees to reach the idol of the residing deity. This is one such unique temple in the whole world.

The next on our list was a gurudwara known as the Guru Nanak Jhira, with an interesting story behind it. Legend has it that Guru Nanak visited this place when it was in the grip of famine. He stayed in the place where the Jhira is now located.  He performed a miracle by touching the hillside with his toe. To the utter surprise of all, a fountain of sweet, cool water gushed out of the hillside and the place came to be known as ‘Nanak-Jhira’. Till this day, crystal clear water flows from the hillside and the Gurudwara built on this place is famous by the name of Nanak Jhira. The water of the fountain is collected in a small ‘Amrit Kund’ built in white marble.  The water is also channeled into a sarovar close by and the devotees take dips in the sacred water which is thought to cure several ailments.

The Shrine
The Jhira

 A closer view – the white outlet below the footprint leads to the Amrit Kund. Collecting water from the outlet and drinking it was such a blessing!

And this is where I shot that dedication to the Air Force too .

Another interesting place we visited is the Paapa Nashana Shiva temple. It is believed that Lord Sri Rama, on the way to Ayodhya from Lanka after defeating Ravana, visited this place to wash off his sins after killing Ravana, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.

Our next destination was ofcourse Gulbarga. Another city, another fort.

The Gulbarga fort sadly, is hardly maintained 😦 and is totally filled with inhabitants. Nothing remains, except for the beautiful Jumma Maszid, a historic marvel in itself, and a few walls of the fort which are now part of illegal constructions 😦

We also visited the Shrine of Saint Basaveshwara, one of the most famous landmarks of the city. Read here to know more.

One place we so wanted to visit, but missed is the Khwaja Bande Nawaz Durgah – the tomb of the great Sufi saint, Khwaja Syed Mohammed Gesu. Am told the Durgah Library houses almost 10,000 books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic. Amazing isn’t it? Keeping my hands crossed I get to make another trip soon 🙂

Till then, u folks enjoy this tour 😛 and be back for more 2mrw – Err! just to warn u beforehand, I will hv to write 3 posts tomorrow to wrap up the NaBloPoMo 😉 Please to come back and I promise I will take a week long vacation from this place after that 😀