The name Tarkash probably is given because the monument was built for the Turkish wife of the king, but a general conventionality is observed in giving names to the royal buildings. The names Tarkash Mahal and Gagan Mahal are mentioned in records of kingdoms like Bijapur and Golkonda as well. The rulers of the contemporary dynasties vied with one another in the glory of the architectural works and chose to have the same names for their palaces.

DSC03264The Tarkash Mahal at Bidar may have originally built by the Bahmanis but the upper parts are definitely built during the Baridi rule (the decorative emblem of the Baridi Kingdom is to be seen in the upper levels of the building). As on today, there is no access to the inner parts of the building owing to the pitiable conditions of the ruins but I shall talk about how it was earlier. The uppermost apartments are reached by a flight of steps which also lead to the roof of of the Solah Khamb Mosque. The roof of these apartments has fallen down but the walls are more or less intact which give a general idea of the plan of the building. In the middle is a hall with arched openings and was beautifully decorated with tiles and stucco work. The roof of the hall has fallen and originally there was another apartment above it, the remains of which in the shape DSC03265of two arches can still be see as you see in the above picture. They too also decorated with stucco work.

There are smaller rooms on either side of the middle hall which was once decorated with encaustic tiles of which, we can still find some traces. The middle level rooms were earlier occupied by the court of the local officer. There are traces of an old parapet on the second level which suggests that the third level was built at a later time. On the ground level, the rooms were once used as storage for sundry articles and sometimes of ammunition. In fact, rockets were found in the early nineteenth century. This building has numerous halls like these.

DSC03375There is another building to the east of this which is also called the Tarkash Mahal, but it is in a very ruined condition. From the present remains, it can be made out that it had two storeys and that the upper level may have been occupied by the royal ladies. The architecture is clearly of the Baridi dynasty and so it can be assumed that this building is kind of an extension of the other Tarkash Mahal we had seen earlier.

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