Telangana is famous for its rich culture, traditions and heritage. The state was known for being a key trading regions along the coast and throughout its history has had many foreign communities coming here to do business. The spice trade here led to many of the traders fighting against one another to take control of the region, which in turn led to the construction of forts that were symbols of power and marked the territories of the traders.
With the passage of time these forts have lost much of its past grandeur. Tourists coming to Telangana will always be fascinated by the vast cover of green and the various other attractions that it has to offer, but for those who want a taste of history, they should visit these forts. Here is a look at some of the marvellous forts of Telangana.
1. Khammam Fort
Khammam Fort was built during 950 AD when the region was under the control of Kakatiya kings. However, the fort could not be completed during their reign and the Musunuri Nayaks and the Velama Kings took it upon themselves to complete its construction. In 1531, during the rule of the Qutb Shahis the fort was further developed and many new buildings and rooms were added into the fort. It is a fine example of both Hindu and Muslim architecture since it drew influences from both styles, and rulers of both the religions were involved in its construction. Today, the fort stands proud after having completed more than 1,000 years of its existence. It is a major tourist spot and holds the place of pride in the history of the state. Tourists coming here can explore this fort and admire its marvelous architecture.
A tower at Khammam Fort.
Photo Courtesy: Pavithrans
2. Kondaveedu Fort
Kondaveedu Fort is a part of the rich historical past of Guntur city. The construction of this historical fort was commissioned by the Reddy Kings during the start of the 14th century and contains 21 structures. Though the structures are in ruin, they still offer a deep insight into the mysteries associated with the fort. Many tourists visit the fort to enjoy the scenic beauty amidst which the fort has been built. Some tourists also prefer trekking and hiking in the area because the terrain is suitable for doing so. Very close to the fort is the Gopinatha temple and the Kathulabave temple.
The artistic architecture of Kondaveedu Fort.
Photo Courtesy: Abdaal
3. Medak Fort
Medak Fort is an ancient citadel that was built by the Kakatiyan rulers to protect the city from invaders. The fort is in Medak district and about 100 km from Hyderabad. It is believed to have been built in the 12th century by Maharaja Pratap Rudra and was also referred to as Methuku Durgam. It was the command post for the rulers of Kakatiyas and also for the Qutub Shahis who came much later. The Qutub Shahi rulers had a mosque built within the fort during the 17th century along with rooms for granaries. The fort is noteworthy not only from the historical point of view, but also from archaeological point of view. It occupies a place of pride in the hearts of the local population. At present the fort houses a 3.2 mt long cannon that belongs to the 17th century. The fort offers a picturesque view to the travellers as you get a clear view of the whole town from atop here.
Stairs leading into Medak Fort.
Photo Courtesy: Varshabhargavi
4. Gandikota Fort
The fort of Gandikota got its name due to the gorge formed between the Erramala range of hills and the river Pennar that flows at its foot. Situated amidst beautiful landscape and wild forests, it is endowed with vast natural resources. Surrounded by a deep valley and impassable hills, its location provided strong natural defence to the occupants of the fort. Within the fort are two ancient temples dedicated to Madhava and Raghunatha. While both these temples are in ruins and the fort area is full of the debris of ages and many ancient structures in varying stages of decay, the large granary is now used as the traveller's bungalow. Tourists coming here can explore this region and marvel the beauty of nature that surrounds them.
Evening at Gandikota Fort.
Photo Courtesy: Tvjagan
5. Warangal Fort
Warangal Fort is one of the standout tourist attractions and is considered to be one of the most excellent examples of South Indian architecture. Ganpathideva commissioned the building of the Fort in 1199 A.D and its completion was seen to by his daughter Rani Rudrama Devi in 1261 A.D. Presently in ruins, the fort has four huge gateways at the entrance, of which the outer one boasts of being the largest of its type in the country. Those interested in architecture, history and ancient monuments can gain a lot of knowledge from in and around the fort and a steady throng of visitors the year round bears testimony to its popularity among all age groups. To this day, the delicate stone work and designs used to define animals such as lions and birds like swans can be seen clearly here.
The ruins of Warangal Fort.
Photo Courtesy: ShashiBellamkonda
6. Golconda Fort
Golconda Fort or Golla Konda Fort is a fort built 11 km from the city of Hyderabad. During the 15th century Golconda was a flourishing city, but now you can only see the ruins of its bygone splendor. The fort was built by the rulers of Qutub Shahi Dynasty who reigned over the city starting from 1512. It was built in order to defend the city from Mughal attack from the north. An interesting feature of the fort is its acoustics, if you stand in the patio of the fort and clap your hands, the voice can be heard at the top-most point of the fort that is situated at a height of 91 mt from the main gate. It is also believed that a secret tunnel connects the Golconda Fort with the Charminar in Hyderabad, but no evidence has been found of this passage.
Aerial view of Golconda Fort.
Photo Courtesy: Low Jianwei
7. Rachakonda Fort
Rachakonda Fort used to be the capital of the Velma Kings who ruled over the region during the 14th and 15th centuries. It was built to protect the Velma Kings from invasion, but they were played foul by the Muslim rulers who turned the royal family into their vassals. The Velmas were also cursed by a Brahmin that they would never again rule. Some people believe that it is the result of the curse that the Rachakonda Fort is in absolute ruins today. However, the fort does find visitors in the form of tourists and curious locals who prefer exploring it.
Entrance to Rachakonda Fort.
Photo Courtesy: Ylnr123