Monday, April 21, 2014

Explore stunning Islamic architecture in historic Bidar, Karnataka

Ararb News posted Bidar News in its website..




The historic Bidar in the federal state of Karnataka in India now finds itself on the world map of heritage tourism as it figures in the 2014 World Monuments Watch list released by the World Monuments Fund (WMF), a New York-based NGO working for the protection of monuments. I was in Bidar last year especially to feel what a premier madrasa (religious seminary) would look like in the yore. It was in a Muslim country that the world’s first university was established in 859 in Fez, Morocco.
Madrasa Mahmud Gawan in Bidar, a university of repute in the 15th Century, still reverberates with sounds of teaching and reminds us that learning is at the core of the Islamic tradition. I could not hold my breath when my journalist friend Ramjan Dargah and I stood in awe in front of a massive structure, still intact with substantial damages. “This is Madrasa Mahmud Gawan,” my journalist friend proudly told me. Anyone who visits this site will seemingly get bowled over by the sheer magnitude and grace of this once great abode of learning.”
Dargah shared with me that this madrasa or college was built by Khwaja Mohammad Gilani, fondly called Khwaja Mahmud Gawan, a merchant who arrived from Persia in Bidar when it was ruled by the Bahmani kings in 1453. The splendid university, built in 1472, bears unmistakable testimony to the scholarly genius of Mahmud Gawan, who first came to Delhi as a trader from Gilan in Iran and moved to Bidar in 1453.