Lost in the far northeast of Karnataka, Bidar, 284km northeast of Vijayapura, is a provincial backwater, known for its fighter-pilot training base, gently decaying monuments and the most important Sikh shrine in Karnataka. The town, half of whose 210,000-strong population is Muslim, has a gritty charm, with narrow red-dirt streets ending at arched gates and open vistas across the plains. Littered with tile-fronted tombs, rambling fortifications and old mosques, it merits a visit if you’re travelling between Hyderabad (150km east) and Vijayapura, although you should expect little in the way of Western comforts, and lots of curious approaches from locals. The heart of Bidar is its medieval old town, encircled by crenellated ramparts and eight imposing gateways (darwazas). This predominantly Muslim quarter holds many Bahmani-era mosques, havelis and khanqahs – “monasteries” set up by the local rulers for Muslim cleric-mystics and their disciples.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook