The city of Hyderabad is famous for its breathtaking monuments. The majestic and imposing monument which lies on the Western outskirts of Hyderabad city - Golconda Fort, unravels with it the 400 years of the rich cultural heritage of this city. Built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1525, the Golconda Fort epitomises the opulent nawab culture of the time.
Watch The Complete Tour Of Golkonda Fort
History Of Golkonda Fort:
It was initially called Shepherd’s Hill, meaning Golla Konda in Telugu while according to legend, on this rocky hill a shepherd boy had come across an idol and the information was conveyed to the ruling Kakatiya king at that time.
"Shepherd's Hill" or "Golla Konda", as it was popularly known in Telugu, has an interesting story behind it. One fine day, on the rocky hill called Mangalavaram, a shepherd boy came across an idol. This was conveyed to the Kakatiya king, who was ruling at that time. The king got a mud fort constructed around the holy spot. Over a period of time, this lowly construction was expanded by the Qutb Shahi kings into a massive fort of granite which has been a silent witness to many historic events. Every nook and corner of this splendid monument echo the unparalleled history of a bygone era.
The impregnable fort was cradled by many dynasties and it was of strategic importance to most of the rulers. In 1518, when the Qutb Shahi dynasty was found, Golconda was made its capital. The subsequent generations saw Golconda being fortified further with several additions and the formation of a beautiful city within.
The king constructed a mud fort around this holy spot and after 200 years, Bahamani rulers took possession of the place. Later the Qutub Shahi kings converted this into massive granite fort extending 5km in circumference. The fort is considered a mute witness to historic events.
The Qutub Shahis reign at Golconda ended in 1687 when it was run over by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who intentionally left it in ruins
By the 17th century, Golconda was famous as a Diamond Market. It gave the world some of the best known diamonds, including Koh-I-noor diamond, the Hope Diamond and the Orloff Diamond of Catherine the Great.
Golconda still boasts of mounted cannons, four drawbridges, eight gateways, and majestic halls, magazines, stables etc. The outermost enclosure is called Fateh Darwaza meaning Victory gate, after Aurangzeb’s army marched successfully through this gate.
At Fateh Darwaza one can witness fantastic acoustical effects, which is one among the many famous engineering marvels at Golconda. Clapping your hand at a certain point near the dome entrance reverberates which is heard clearly at the hill top pavilion, almost one kilometer away.
This served as a warning note to the inhabitants of the fort of any impending danger, Of course it now amuses visitors. The fort gains an impressive place among the architectural marvels and heritage structures of India and is a testimony to Hyderabad’s glorious past.
Golconda Fort is located at Ibrahim Bagh, Hyderabad, Telangana. It is also known as Golkonda Fort or Golla Konda Fort. It is located at 11 km far from Hyderabad. Golconda Fort was the capital of Golconda Sultanate and it is a ruined fort of southern India. Pratapa Rudra of Kakatiya dynasty in 16th century. At that time Golconda was the capital city of Qutb Shahi Kingdom, Near Hyderabad.
I think,You all are known about Kohinoor Diamond. But do you know where it was located in India? Kohinoor Diamond , Hope Diamonds and other diamonds were located once in this Golconda Fort. Golconda is known for Diamond Trade.
The magnificent architecture of the Golconda fort is manifest in its acoustic system, the structural grandeur of the palaces and ingenious water supply system.One visit to the fort, and you will get transported to that eventful age of the Qutb Shahi dynasty that speaks volumes of their glorious achievements. One is perplexed to see the meticulous details of the architecture and the fading gardens which were once upon a time replete with sprawling lawns and playing fountains.
Also, the design of the ventilation reveals the brilliant planning of the architects. The ventilation is designed to let in a flow of fresh cool breeze which is a respite from the heat of summer !
Through an amazing feat of acoustics, a hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the Ball Hissar, the highest point almost a kilometre away.
Outside the Golconda Fort are two separate pavilions built on a rocky eminence - the Taramathi Gana Mandir and the Premathi Nritya Mandir from where the legendary sisters "Taramathi and Premamathi" resided. They gave their performance on a circular dais atop a two-storied structure, the Kala Mandir, which was visible from the king's durbar (king's court) on top of the Golconda Fort. Although in a dilapidated condition, efforts are on to revive the glory of the Kala Mandir by organising the Deccan art festival annually. Close to the fort are the beautiful domed monuments, the Qutb Shahi Tombs built with Islamic architecture.
Most Beautiful and Stunning View Of Golkonda Fort
Golconda is all this and more. A new attraction at the fort is a sound and light show that brings the legend of Golconda to life. With a spectacular interplay of audio and visual effects, the saga of Golconda unfolds over centuries of splendour. The show livens up the glorious past and it is an experience worth watching. The show is presented in English and Telugu on alternate days of the week.
Major Attractions in Golkonda Fort
What makes the fort stand out is its system of acoustics. The sounds of the claps made at the entrance of the fort can be clearly heard at the top of the hill. You can also see two pavilions outside the fort built on rock namely, Taramathi Gana Mandir and the Premamathi Nritya Mandir, where the legendary sisters, Taramathi and Premamathi resided.
It is said that the two sisters performed on a circular shaped dais at the top of the structure, Kala Mandir. This could be visible from the king’s court from the top of the fort. The another highlight is a light and sound show which draws plenty of people. The legendary Bollywood actor, Amitabh Bachchan lent his voice for the shows held here. The show which includes audio and visual effects can be watched in English, Hindi and Telegu languages.
Golconda fort is famous for its numerous halls, royal apartments, parade grounds and mosques. The fort has eight gates with the main gate being Fateh Darwaza which marked the victorious march of King Aurangzeb. The door is 13 ft. width and 25 ft. the length and was built with steel spikes to protect it from elephants.
The Balahisar Darwaza is yet another magnificent structure. Its architecture is also the embodiment of Nawabi culture and style. The eastern gateway is the biggest gate and the only entrance open to visitors now. Constructed on a hill, this intelligently planned architectural splendour has excellent ventilation which used to be a huge respite during the summers for the royals. It is believed that is an underground tunnel which starts from Durbar Hall in the fort to the foothills.
The 10 km radius from Golconda to outer Hyderabad was once a market city known for its trade of diamonds. The diamond, Darya-e Nur, meaning 'sea of light', measuring 185 carats and now in Iran, was mined here. Other renowned diamonds namely Kohinoor diamond, Hope diamond and Regent diamond are believed to have also been mined here.
The fort was built in 1143 AD by the Kakatiya rulers and was later seized by the Bahamani kingdom in 1364 AD. This was later fortified by Quli Qutub Shahi in 1507 AD as a structure for defence, which led to the fort acquiring an important role in the political map of India.
The Fort Today
Today, even after almost 800 years, the fort still stands as one of Hyderabad’s greatest architectural wonders. One of its greatest engineering marvels is the fantastic acoustic effects: one hand clap at a certain point below the entrance dome can be heard at the highest point of the pavilion almost a kilometre away. This was said to be used for warning the royals in the case of an attack.
Golconda Fort is a must visit for any tourist visiting Hyderabad. Hope this article brings into the light its attractions and architecture.