Bidar : Bidar Fort II

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Some parts of the Bidar fort are locked, to prevent bird/bats as well as to prevent stray miscreants engraving their names. On request, the guards allow visitors to view these palaces and their precincts. Due to time constraints we managed to see the Rangin Mahal and the Solah Kambh Masjid. The Rangin Mahal is probably the most well preservedĀ  and colourful with mosaic work as well as inlaid mother of pearl in its innermost chambers which was a delightful change to the earthen hues of the bricks of the fort walls.

The interiors of the Solah Kambh Masjid seem to lend a sense of peace and calm even if prayers do not take place now, the Prayer Halls are towards the centre. The Takht Mahal and the Diwan-e-aam are all beyond and can be seen only by walking/cycling while the rest of the Fort is motorable. There is a museum where many artefacts by these kings are present. Photography in the museum is prohibited but its worth checking out to view the kitchen ware as well as armory that was used by the kings who ruled this fort over the years.

More about this vast Fort can be read below. Text courtesy: kaladarshana.com

Rangin Mahal

This palace, immediately within the Gumbad Gate is one of the best preserved. It dates mainly from the rule of Ali Barid Shah in the mid-16th century. A six-bay hall of carved wood columns forms a rectangular foyer. The columns have elaborate capitals and intricately carved brackets. Entrances to the inner rooms have a frame of multicoloured tilework with Koranic verses above the entrance arch. The inner chambers have more tilework and mother-of-pearl inlay work, mainly around the entrances, and on a panel along the base of the walls.

Solah Khamba

This mosque served as the principal place of worship within the fort. It was founded in the early 14th century during the Tughlak occupation of Bidar but was extended later. Its facade consists of a long row of arched openings above which the parapet of interlocking battlements is a Bahmani addition. Its flattish central dome is raised on a drum with trefoil crenellations. The masjid stands in a separate walled garden, Lalbagh. Waterways in the garden led from the Tarkash Mahal at the south to a royal bath at the north.

Prayer Hall

This is one of the five bays into which the long prayer hall is divided. The outer square columns and inner circular columns have petalled elements at the top of the shafts. They carry flattish domes on faceted pendentives, forming an arcade of receding arches.

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