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History of Bidar, Karnataka, India

Brief History

Bidar is situated almost in the centre of Geographical 'Deccan' and the eastern border of historical 'Deccan'. It was the meeting place of several shades of culture from the very beginning.

The History of the city goes back to thirds century B.C. when it was of the great Mauryan Empire. After the Mauryas, Satavahanas, Kadambas and Chalukyas of Badami and later Rashtrakutas reigned over Bidar territory. Chalukyas of Kalyana and Kalachuris also regained the area. For a short period after Kalyani Chalukyas the area of Bidar was under the sevunas of Devgiri and Kakatiyas of Warangal.

Delhi rulers first headed by Allauddin Khilji and later Muhammed-bin-Tughluq took control of entire Deccan including Bidar. About the middle of the 14th Century the Officers of Sultan stationed in Deccan rebelled and this resulted in the establishment of Bahamani Dynasty in 1347 A.D. at Gulbarga. There were frequent warfare between the Bahamnis and Vijaynagar Kingdom. About 1429 A.D the Bahamanis shifted their capital from Gulbarga to Bidar.which was strategically stronger and has a better climate. In 1430 Ahmad Shah Wali Bahamani took steps to develop the city of Bidar and its fort was rebuilt. After break up of Bahamani Kingdom in 1527 A.D. Bidar became Capital of Barid Shahi's who ruled up to 1619 A.D. Up to 1656 A.D. Bidar was a part of Adil Shahi Kingdom. On the conquest of Deccan by Aurangzeb in the mid 17th century, Bidar became part of Mughal Empire.

Asaf Jah, A Mughal general, was appointed as the subedar of the Deccan in 1713 A.D. He had the title of "NIZAM-UL-MULK" and he founded the house of the Nizams of Hyderabad 1724. The Hyderabad state ruled by this dynasty included Bidar area also and its rule continued up to 1948. The history of Bidar with lots of ups and downs and stories of treachery and bloodbath, is also marked by good administration and development of art, architecture and literature.

Mohamed Gawan, who came to Bidar from Gilan in 1453, won the heart of sultan by his sincerity, honesty and scholarship. He lead a life of austerity and used to spend most of his leisure time in company of learned in his Madarasa and in reading books. He served under four Bahamani kings. He was appointed as minister, later as deputy of the kingdom. He excelled as a Prime Minister of the Kingdom. He extended the boundaries of the empire and brought about administrative reforms. Mohammad Gawan was a distinguished lover of learning and he founded the great Madarasa at Bidar in 1472 A.D. which attracted teachers and students from various parts of east. But unfortunately he met with tragic end. Some of the nobles who did not like his reforms and prestige enjoyed by him conspired to kill him. On the orders of Muhammad Shah, Gawan was executed on 5th April 1481. Soon after the Sultan learnt the truth, he was stricken with repentance, fell ill and died shortly. The administrative period of Mohamed Gawan is the Golden period of Bidar History.

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