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Bidar is a district of Karnataka state in southern India. The historic city of Bidar is the administrative centre of the district. The district is located in the northeastern corner of the state, near the borders with Andhra Pradesh to the east and Maharashtra to the north and west. Gulbarga district lies to the south.

Bidar is 120 km from Andhra Pradesh's capital Hyderabad. Till 1956, bidar was part of Hyderabad State.

Bidar is a historic district, which is located in the north-eastern part of the South Indian state of Karnataka. Towards the north and west, this district shares its borders with the state of Maharashtra, while Gulbarga district lies to the south of Bidar. The administrative centre of this district is the city of Bidar, which is known for its unique Bidri handicraft products.

There are two river basins in the district, namely Godavari and Krishna. Extending over an area of 4,411 sq. km, the Godavari basin is the confluence of the Manjra River and its tributary Karanja.

The Krishna basin sprawls over an area of 585 sq. km, which comprises the Mullamari river basin and Gandarinala river basin. Manjra River, which is the tributary of the Godavari River, is the major river of this district.

The entire Bidar district along with 31 villages of Gulbarga district forms the Bidar Forest area. Spread over an area of 43,592 hectares, the Bidar Forest area includes reserve forests, protected forests and unclassified forests.

Forming a part of the Deccan Plateau, Bidar is spread over an area of 5,448 sq. km. The southern half of the district is a high plateau, situated at an elevation of about 715 metres above mean sea level.

Historically, the Bidar district was home to the first Rashtrakuta capital, Mayurkhandi. Later, the capital was shifted to Manyakheta, which is located in Gulbarga district. During the rule of the Chalukyas, Kalyani in Bidar district was the capital of the Western Chalukyas.

Kalyani, which is today known as Basavakalyan, also served as the capital of Kalachuris. After Chalukyas, Bidar was under the administration of Devgiri and Kakatiyas of Warangal.

The entire Deccan region, including Bidar, was first conquered by Allauddin Khilji and later by Muhammad-bin-Tughluq. In the middle of the 14th century, the Deccan region disintegrated and formed the Bahmani Sultanate under the rule of Allauddin Hasan Gangu Bahman Shah. Bidar was declared as the capital of the Bahmani Sultanate and was rechristened as Muhammadabad by the Bahmanis.

The Bahmani Sultanate came to an end in 1518 and Bidar became the capital of the Barid Shahis. This sultanate was part of the Deccan Sultanate and ruled over Bidar from 1619 to 1656.

In the mid 17th century, when Aurangzeb conquered Deccan, Bidar became part of the Mughal Empire. It became part of the unified Mysore state in 1956, when all the states were reorganised on the basis of language.

Unified Mysore was later renamed as Karnataka and Bidar along with Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur and Koppal, were referred to as Bangalore Karnataka. At present, Bidar district is divided into five talukas, namely Bidar, Humnabad, Bhalki, Aurad, and Basavakalyana. The district is inhabited by 1,502,373 people and most of them belong to Dravidian and Aryan races.

Numerous tourists from around the world visit Bidar for exploring the historical monuments that date back to the Bahmani era. The most significant tourist attraction in the district is the Bidar Fort, which is one of the biggest forts in India.

The best time to visit Bidar is during the winter season, which lasts from October through March. During this period, tourists can enjoy several cultural activities and festivals as well.
The first Rashtrakuta capital was Mayurkhandi in the present day Bidar district. The regal capital was later moved to Manyakheta in the present day Gulbarga district by Amoghavarsha I. Kalyani (today called Basavakalyan after Basaveshwara) in Bidar district was the capital of Western Chalukyas, who were also called Kalyani Chalukyas after their capital. The Kalachuris continued with Kalyani as their capital.

Later, Bidar was ruled in succession by the vassals to Sevuna Yadavas of Devagiri, Kakatiyas of Warangal, Allauddin Khilji and Muhammad bin Tughluq. The generals of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq who were nominated as viceroys of the newly conquered Deccan region broke up and formed the Bahmani Sultanate under Allauddin Hasan Gangu Bahman Shah.

The Bahmani capital was shifted from Kalburgi or Kalubaruge(pronounced as Gulbarga and subsequently renamed Ahsanabad by the Muslim newcomers) to Bidar (renamed Muhammadabad by the Bahmanis) in 1425. Bidar remained the capital until the Sultanate's breakup after 1518. It then became the center of the Barid Shahis, one of the five independent sultanates known as the Deccan sultanates. These were the successor states to the Bahmani kingdom. The Bidar Sultanate was absorbed by the Bijapur Sultanate to the west in 1619, which was in turn included into their Deccan province by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb during his viceroyship of Deccan in 1656. After the death of Aurangazeb, Asaf Jah I, the Mughal Subehdar of the Deccan province, became independent and assumed the title Nizam-ul-mulk, with the whole of the province under the Nizam's sovereign control. This status remained unchanged until Operation Polo, when the Nizam's territory was merged to the Republic of India.

With the reorganization of states in 1956 along linguistic lines, Bidar was deemed a Kannada speaking area, and became a part of unified Mysore state which later was renamed Karnataka. Bidar, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur and Koppal are collectively referred to as Hyderabad Karnataka. Bellary, though ceded to the British in 1796 AD, is also grouped together with these areas.