MAIN COURTYARD, BIDAR FORT, KARNATAKA, INDIA. The main courtyard consists of the great Solah Khamba Mosque, The Gagan Mahal and the Tarkash Mahal and in between them the Lalbagh(Rose garden)along with a cistern of the Bidar Fort. Bidar Fort is situated in Bidar district of the northern plateau of Karanataka, India. Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman of the Bahmanid Dynasty shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1427 and built his fort along with a number of Islamic monuments. The town and the fort are located on the edge of an oblong shaped plateau, which measures 35 km in length and 19 km in width at its broadest, encompassing a total area of 31 sq km. The Bidar fort, constructed on the edge of the plateau, has a haphazard quadrangular layout plan of 1.21 km in length and 0.80 km breadth. The peripheral length of the fort walls measure 4,100 m. The walls, bastions, gates and barbicans of Bidar, though in ruins, are well preserved and considered as some of the most stylish in India. It is surrounded by a triple moat. There are seven gates in the fort. The dominant main gate exhibits Persian style architecture. The ‘Gumbad Darwaza’ depicts arches with stilted size, also in Persian style. The ‘Sherza Darwaza’ of Bidar Fort, the second gate of entry, depicts two images of tigers carved on its fascia; according to Shia belief, the tiger decorations are indicative of Ali who was also known as Asadullah-Al Ghalib that assured protection to the building from enemy attack. The other gates are the Fateh Gate on the south (has octagonal towers and drawbridge); the Talghat Gate in the east; the Delhi Gate and the Mandu Gate. The prominent bastion at the entry is known as the ’Munda Burj’ with guns positioned on it. The history of the present fort at Bidar is attributed to the Sultan Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah, the first sultan of the Bahmani dynasty, to 1427 when he shifted his capital from Gulbarga. Earliest recorded history of its existence as a small and strong fort is also traced to the first Muslim invasion of the region is traced to Prince Ulugh Khan in 1322, whereafter it came under the reign of the Tughlaq dynasty. With the establishment of the Bahmani dyanasty (1347), Bidar was occupied by Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman Shah Bahmani. During the rule of Ahmad Shah I (1422–1486), Bidar was made the capital city of Bahmani Kingdom. The old Fort was rebuilt and beautiful madrasas, mosques, palaces and gardens were raised. Bidar remained under the Barid Shahi dynasty until it was captured by the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1656 A.D. It was annexed by the Bijapur Sultanate in 1619–20 but the Mughal viceroy of Aurangzeb took it in 1657 and thus became a part the Mughal Empire in 1686. In 1724, Bidar became a part of the Asaf Jahi Kingdom of the Nizams. Third son of Asaf jah l ( Nizam l ) Nawab Said Mohammed Khan Asaf ud Daula ( Salabath Jung ) ruled from Bidar fort from 1751 to 1762 till his Brother Mir Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah III Imprisoned him in this fort, and was killed in Bidar fort in 16 September 1763. After India's independence, in 1956, Bidar became part of Mysore (now Karnataka) state.