This region is best known for the famous diamonds which were find here including the Koh-i-Noor and Hope Diamond.
|Golkonda Fort is one of the biggest fort in Deccan Plateau|
Location: 10 kms from Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh
Built by: Kakatiya Kings of Warangal
Built in: During the 13th century
Highlights: Sound & Light Show, managed by APTDC
How to reach- From the main city, local transportation is available easily to the fort. From the airport, it takes around 30 minutes by road.
Best time to visit: To go up the peak and then come back down, it may take around 3 hours. It is better to avoid peak afternoon hours because of the heat. Winters season is the best time to visit the fort. Please take note that during the sound & light show, you are not allowed to visit the rest of the monument.
Entry Fee: 10 INR for Indian Nationals and 100 INR for Foreign Nationals (25 INR extra for video)
Timings: 09.00 AM - 5.00 PM (Closed on Monday)
Golconda or Golkonda Fort was once the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Golconda that was at its zenith between the 14th and the 16th century.
Located around 11 kilometers from Hyderabad, the walls of the fort range between 17 - 34 feet that are divided by 87 semi-circular bastions where some are even 60 feet high. Besides this, the perimeter of the fort is around 11 kilometers and consists of 8 huge gates.
One of the resplendent forts of the country, its complex is built on a 400-feet high granite hill. The town of Golconda was basking in glory under the Qutub Shahi dynasty between 1518 and 1687.
History of Golkonda Fort
The Kakatiya rulers commissioned the construction of Golconda fort, even before the Kingdom of Golconda itself became popular.
If the legends are to be believed, a shepherd boy roaming in the region found an idol. When the Kakatiyan king came to know about it, he built a mud fort at the site, which later became popular as Golla Konda (in Telugu), translated into Shepherd’s Hill.
This region slowly became a matter of animosity between 3 kingdoms and finally, the Islamic Bahmani Sultanate emerged victorious. The fort, later on became a capital of one of the prime provinces of the Sultanate.
In 1518, Quli Qutub Shah detached himself from the Bahmani Sultanate, and rose to the seat of power in Golconda. In the coming years, the successors of the Qutb Shahi kings transformed this mud fort into a magnificent granite fort.
In 1590, the fort was moved into Hyderabad. In 1686, Aurangzeb, the notorious Mughal ruler began his plans to lay a blockade on the fort so that he could bring Hyderabad under his rule, taking it away from the Qutub Shahi dynasty. It was only in 1687 that Aurangzeb became successful.
Some Interesting Facts about Golkonda Fort
- The mud fort was rebuilt in iron and granite under Qutb Shahi kings.
- The tombs of the Qutb Shahi rulers, mosques and the palaces are still standing tall.
- The fort’s walls contain ventilators so that fresh air was readily available.
- The fort consists of a secret underground path to one of the palaces that are located on the hill slope.
- In the ancient times, the Golconda fort was a well-known trade center for diamonds that were taken out from the rocks of the neighboring hills. The world-popular Kohinoor was found here.
- This 800- year old fort is one of the architectural wonders of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
- An interesting thing about the fort was that if anyone clapped while standing at a certain point below the dome at the entrance, its sound could be heard at the highest point of the hill-top, known as Bala Hissar. In the ancient times, it was considered to a warning for the royals if there was an attack.
- The fort has 8 gates in the outer wall- the Fateh, Mecca, Bahmani, Patancheru, Naya Qula Banjara, Moti, and Jamali.
- An amazing signaling device was in-built in the fort during the construction for important flow of information. The Golconda Fort is popular for its acoustic system.
- The palaces, water supply system as well as the known ‘Rahban’ cannon, located within the fort are the prime attractions.
Geetika Handa is a travel writer who has an interest in sharing her experiences with all. She provides a detailed account of any travel topic she chooses to write on. You can get detailed information and tips about choosing the right kind of holiday packages in the country from her write-ups.