Bidar is a historic district, which is located in the north-eastern part of the South Indian state of Karnataka. Towards the north and west, this district shares its borders with the state of Maharashtra, while Gulbarga district lies to the south of Bidar. The administrative centre of this district is the city of Bidar, which is known for its unique Bidri handicraft products.
There are two river basins in the district, namely Godavari and Krishna. Extending over an area of 4,411 sq. km, the Godavari basin is the confluence of the Manjra River and its tributary Karanja.
The Krishna basin sprawls over an area of 585 sq. km, which comprises the Mullamari river basin and Gandarinala river basin. Manjra River, which is the tributary of the Godavari River, is the major river of this district.
The entire Bidar district along with 31 villages of Gulbarga district forms the Bidar Forest area. Spread over an area of 43,592 hectares, the Bidar Forest area includes reserve forests, protected forests and unclassified forests.
Forming a part of the Deccan Plateau, Bidar is spread over an area of 5,448 sq. km. The southern half of the district is a high plateau, situated at an elevation of about 715 metres above mean sea level.
Historically, the Bidar district was home to the first Rashtrakuta capital, Mayurkhandi. Later, the capital was shifted to Manyakheta, which is located in Gulbarga district. During the rule of the Chalukyas, Kalyani in Bidar district was the capital of the Western Chalukyas.
Kalyani, which is today known as Basavakalyan, also served as the capital of Kalachuris. After Chalukyas, Bidar was under the administration of Devgiri and Kakatiyas of Warangal.
The entire Deccan region, including Bidar, was first conquered by Allauddin Khilji and later by Muhammad-bin-Tughluq. In the middle of the 14th century, the Deccan region disintegrated and formed the Bahmani Sultanate under the rule of Allauddin Hasan Gangu Bahman Shah. Bidar was declared as the capital of the Bahmani Sultanate and was rechristened as Muhammadabad by the Bahmanis.
The Bahmani Sultanate came to an end in 1518 and Bidar became the capital of the Barid Shahis. This sultanate was part of the Deccan Sultanate and ruled over Bidar from 1619 to 1656.
In the mid 17th century, when Aurangzeb conquered Deccan, Bidar became part of the Mughal Empire. It became part of the unified Mysore state in 1956, when all the states were reorganised on the basis of language.
Unified Mysore was later renamed as Karnataka and Bidar along with Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur and Koppal, were referred to as Bangalore Karnataka. At present, Bidar district is divided into five talukas, namely Bidar, Humnabad, Bhalki, Aurad, and Basavakalyana. The district is inhabited by 1,502,373 people and most of them belong to Dravidian and Aryan races.
Numerous tourists from around the world visit Bidar for exploring the historical monuments that date back to the Bahmani era. The most significant tourist attraction in the district is the Bidar Fort, which is one of the biggest forts in India.
The best time to visit Bidar is during the winter season, which lasts from October through March. During this period, tourists can enjoy several cultural activities and festivals as well.