A week day, an Innova, a good driver, and four like-minded, fun-loving friends. It is perhaps the best way to do a trip. We went to Bidar last week, and discovered that it makes a great 2-day outing from Hyderabad.
For the record, we saw the following: Chaubara clock tower, Madrassa (Mahmood Gawan), Bidar fort (Sharza gate, Gumbad gate, Rangeen Mahal, Tarkash mahal, Diwan-i-am, mosque); Barid Shah tombs; Ashtur --Bahamani Sultan tombs; Gurudwara; bidri workshop. Towards evening, we visited the Blackbuck Resort---the newest Jungle Lodges branch---and on our way back from there, we were rewarded by the sighting of a hoopoe taking a leisurely stroll and a kingfisher at work.
I was amused by the pink facades of houses on the Chaubara street; I was touched by the vastness and quiet of the fort; felt the sincerety of the people at the gurudwara as we partook of the 'langar' (the free lunch); and was amazed when I saw the making of bidriware, and at how one of the ingredients in the process was soil from the Bidar fort! The langurs of Bidar charmed us, as they jumped up and down, ran and climbed, generally going about their monkey business.
At the fort, in the Rani's mahal, there was a mixture of Kerala (carved wood), Islamic (mother of pearl on granite) and Kakatiya styles, which I thought was unusual.
At the Narasimha temple, one has to go through a cave, wading through above waist-level water to get to the sanctum sanctorum, with bats on the ceiling of the cave, and occasionally flying out at you. Exciting, huh? However, what touched me was the 'sparrow wall' I saw there (photo below). Great idea for the conservation of sparrows. Inexpensive too.
Hotel Shiva International on one of Bidar's main streets (where we stayed) was great value for money, and we were delighted to find an authentic Kamat right across the road. What more does one want on a holiday?
A few unusual glimpses of the trip are posted below. For the more cliched ones, one can always look at Google images!
My favourite photo from the Bidar collection. This was taken near the Chaubara clock tower.
One view of the fort
This banyan tree had at least five parasites growing from its hollow, including a flowering lantana and a neem tree!
A Hindu saint (Panduranga, I think) apparently visited the sultan at the fort and left his footprint here. We saw people worshipping this spot.
Signs of Independence day celebration in the fort!
A view of the new from the old...present Bidar is conspicuous by its brightly painted houses...mustards, shades of pinks, blues and violets, even.
These are nests of birds I could not identify. They fly around swiftly and keep going to the ceiling to deposit feathers and other material to add to the nest. They never stopped so I could not get a closer look at them!