Located at a distance of 11 km from Hyderabad is the historic fort of Golconda. One of the biggest forts in the Deccan Plateau, it was the contribution of various rulers from various dynasties which made this fort an architectural marvel.
The fort was under the rule of the Kakatiyas of Warangal, then the Bahamanis and later Aurangzeb. The fort was home to all the dynasties which ruled Hyderabad. Constructed around 800 years ago it still stands tall and serves as a major tourist draw.
PC: Sanyam Bahga
The area was not only well known for the fort but also for mines which yielded many gems and stones which includes the famous Kohinoor, the Hope Diamond and the Nassak Diamond. The fort provided the initiative of a well-planned township in the Deccan Plateau. This township also happened to be one of the greatest cities during that time which was an active participant in the trading of gems and diamonds.
The fort is a year-around destination, but the months from October to March are the best time to visit the fort.
The fort was constructed by the Kakatia rulers in the 12th century. The strong fort was made stronger by one of the kings from the Qutub Shahi dynasty who added granite walls and fortifications and extended the circumference of the fort.
PC: Bernard Gagnon
According to legend, a shepherd boy who was grazing his cattle in the region found an idol. When the Kakatiyan king heard about this incident he decided to build a mud fort at the site which was known as Golla Konda which in translation means the Shepherd's Hill.
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The region was victim to the bitterness of three kingdoms and the Bahamani Sultanate emerged winners. The fort later on became the capital of one of the provinces of the sultanate. During the rule of the Bahamanis the mud fort was remodelled into a granite fort.
PC: Bernard Gagnon
Aurangzeb got the fort under his control in the year 1687 after defeating the Qutub Shahi rulers. Golconda consists of four different forts with a long outer wall for its protection, along with 87 bastions, eight gateways and four drawbridges.
The Architectural Marvel
Fateh Darwaza or the Victory gate is studded with giant iron spikes which prevented elephants from breaking them down. One can experience a marvellous acoustic effect here. If you clap your hand at a certain point below the dome at the entrance, it would be heard evidentially at the Bala Hisar pavilion, which turns out to be the highest point of the fort which is almost at a distance of a kilometre. It worked as a warming note in case of an attack.
PC: Bernard Gagnon
The entire fort complex spans across 11 km and covering the entire area is a task. A visit to the fort gives you an experience of the architectural beauty of the fort which can be seen in the halls, temples and even at the stables.
The main entrance is the Bala Hissar Gate which is on the eastern side of the fort. It has an arch which is pointed along with borders of scroll works from yalis to roundels.
Above the door one can find carvings of peacocks which exhibit the talent of the artisans. It is also an example of the blend of Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture.
PC: McKay Savage
Secret Underground Tunnel?
As per common belief, the fort has a secret underground tunnel which makes its way from the Durbar hall and leads up to one of the palaces at the foothills. There is also another common belief that there is also another secret tunnel which takes you to Charminar.
The fort also houses the tombs of the Qutub Shahi kings, which exhibit the Islamic architecture along with beautiful gardens and carved stones. The water supply systems and cannons are some of the major attractions.
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