The name of the district is derived from the word “bidiru” which means bamboo. In the past the place is famous for its bamboo clusters so it came to be known as 'Bidaroor' and then 'Bidare', 'Bidar'. Earlier the district was under Hyderabad state. It was liberated on 17th September, 1948 during Operation Polo by Indian Armed Forces under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. In 1956 when the reorganization of states was made on linguistic lines, Bidar was recognised as a Kannada speaking area, and became a part of unified Mysore state which later was renamed as Karnataka. Bidar as a district came into existence in 1962.
Vaijanath Biradar, a veteran actor in the Kannada film industry was born in the village of Bhalki taluk (taluk means tehsil), Bidar district. In 2011 he was awarded as one of the top best actor in the India Imagine film festival for his performance in the Kannada film Kanasemba Kudureyaneri. Syed Mahmood Khundmiri, another eminent person was born on 14th February, 1938 in Donegal Bidar. He was an Indian Urdu language poet, humorist, architect, artist and orator. He was one of the senior most members of Zinda Dalaan-E Hyderabad (a grass-roots arts and humour group) and served to this executive board from 1963 to 2011.
Geographically, the district lies at 17°91'N latitude, 77°53'E longitude and 700 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 1.79% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 5,448 sq km. and it is surrounded by Nizamabad and Medak districts of Telangana state on the eastern side, Latur and Osmanabad districts of Maharashtra state on the western side, Nanded district of Maharashtra state on the northern side and Gulbarga district on southern side. The important rivers in the district are Manjra, Karanja, Chulki Nala, Mullamari and Gandrinala. The climate of the district is hot in the months of April and May. The highest maximum temperature recorded at Bidar was 43.3°C on 8-5-1931 and the lowest minimum was 2.9°C on 5-1-1901. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1026.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into five talukas (tehsils)-Bidar, Humnabad, Bhalki, Aurad and Basavakalyana. To administer in a better way the taluks are grouped into 2 sub-divisions. Moreover, the district comprises 7 towns and 595 villages. The administrative language in the district is Kannada.
According to 2011 census, the district has a population of 17,03,300 out of which 8,70,665 are males and 8,32,635 are females. During the years 2001-2011 population growth rate of the district was 13.37% including 12.92% were males and 13.85% were females. The district has a sex ratio of 956 (females for every 1000 males). As per 2011 census the major religion in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 75.72% and 19.68% of the total population. The population density in the district is 313 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Kannada, Marathi and Urdu with 52.97%, 18.41% and 17.16%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 36,911 including 19,239 were males and 17,672 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 12,789 including 8,160 were males and 4,629 were females.
The economy of the rural areas of Bidar district is based on agriculture. The chief agricultural crops of the district are jowar, greengram, bengalgram, blackgram, paddy, groundnut, wheat, redgram, sugarcane, sunflower and chillies. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj announced Bidar as a backward region. It is one of the five districts in Karnataka currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product of the district was Rs. 23,46,165 lakhs at current price and Rs. 16,42,866 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. In the year 2019-20 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 20,59,494 lakhs at current price and Rs. 14,10,362 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 1,11,750 at current price and Rs. 76,528 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
Bidar has many colleges which provide a great platform for higher education in the state. Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Sciences University of the district is a renowned university. As per 2011 census the literacy rate of the district is 70.51% out of which 79.09 % Males and 61.55% Females. The total number literates in the district is 10,42,673 including 5,97,198 are males and 4,45,475 are females.
Mapanna Mallikarjun Kharge, a distinguished politician was born on 21st July, 1942 at Bidar. Kharge is a member of the Indian National Congress. Since 2009 he has been a member of parliament for Gulbarga, Karnataka. He is the leader of the Indian National Congress party in the 16th Lok Sabha.
There are many tourists place in the district which attracts a huge number of travellers from far distance region. Bidar is also recognised as City of Whispering Monuments. Some prime historical monuments of the district are Bidar Fort is the identity of the Bidar city. Bidar Fort was built by Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman of the Bahmani Dynasty. Among these monuments, the Gagan Mahal, Rangin Mahal and Takhat Mahal are foremost. Jami Masjid and Solah Khamba Masjid are the two mosques constructed within the fort. Gurudwara Nanak Jhira Sahib was built in the year 1948 and it is dedicated to the first Sikh Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Bahmani Tombs are situated in Ashtoor, which is 4 km. from East of Bidar. It is a group of 12 tombs and among these the tomb of Ahmad Shah-al-Wali is most admired. Chaubara is an old cylindrical tower of 22 metres height, situated in the heart of the town. It serves as a watch tower from where one can enjoy the beautiful sceneries of the district. Papnash Shiva Temple is also a centre of attraction of the district. It has a mythological history. Dev Dev Vana (Botanical Garden) is an eco tourisim centre which is located 6 km. away from Bidar town. Natives believe that the Vana is full of exceptional temple of plants. Narshimha Jhira Water Cave Temple is an astonishing temple of the district. Pilgrims from different places come to offer their prayer to the powerful deity. During the year 2016, there were 957 tourists from foreign and 3,86,122 domestic tourists who visited the district.