You know you are properly into a road trip when you can't remember what day or date it is. For the first two days you are still connected to your real world. Then gradually the road starts taking over. Getting up, hitting the road, finding a place to sleep for the night - that's all there is to life. Kilometers of tarmac and open space. The main purpose of the road trip is to hit that zen state. Destinations matter to an extent, but the journey is the real reason.
As we hit the road, my mother called me and informed us that today is Solar Eclipse and not to travel or eat during the next three hours. Like a dutiful son I ignored my mother's advice and proceeded. Since we planned to reach Hyderabad by late afternoon, we didn't stop anywhere for breakfast. Kept munching biscuits through out the solar eclipse time.
Bidar was the last capital of Bahmani Sultanate. Bahmani Sultanate broke away from Delhi Sultanate of Muhammad bin Thuglaq and established a separate state in 14th century. They ruled for about 200 years before being defeated and disintegrated by Vijayanagara Empire in 16th century. The sultanate broke into 5 - Ahmednagar, Bijapur, Bidar, Berar and Golconda (Hyderabad)- collectively called as Deccan Sultanates.
Bidar is 30 km from Hyderabad - Mumbai highway. It is a motorable road except for a few stretches. We reached the fort by 11.00 AM, with the Solar Eclipse at its peak. This helped us as the temperature was down a bit. There was no one around in the parking area. No guides were available.
The first look at the fort is impressive. The massive gates and ramparts and moats transported one back in time. There are three levels of fortification in the fort. The second entrance was massive. There were a few boys clicking selfies in ramparts.
|Entrance to Bidar Fort|
|Spiked doors of the fort|
We had read up on the fort and were looking forward to visiting the Rangeen Mahal, Tarkash Mahal and the labyrinths of Hazar Kothri. But every thing is under lock and key. ASI office here was not interested in giving us any information other than saying restoration work is going on. It didn't look like any work was going on though.
|Gagan Mahal (?)|
So we walked inside the fort clicking pictures of whatever we could see. The Solah Kambh Mosque (16 pillored Mosque) looked amazing. Behind the fort is the ruins of Delhi Darwaza (Delhi Gate). We walked till there with no one in sight.
|Solah Kambh Mosque|
|View of the fort|
As we came back, crowd was starting to trickle in. Bidar is a popular destination for one day trips from Hyderabad, 3 hours drive away. There weren't many people from Karnataka, though the fort is technically in Karnataka.
We wanted to have lunch at the Gurudwara Langar in Bidar. But I was wearing shorts and had to change to trousers to go to Gurudwara. So decided to check out other restaurants in Bidar. Nothing seemed to be open even by 12.30 PM. Finally found Punjabi Tadka restaurant. It was destined that we had to eat out of a Sardar's hand today :-)
Drive to Hyderabad was fairly smooth. The road from Bidar to Zaheerabad had some potholes in the Telengana State part of it, but once we hit the Highway it was pretty easy. After missing a turn in the Outer Ring Road in Hyderabad and taking a 8km detour, finally reached hotel by 4.30 PM.
Total distance traveled till date : 1590 km