Golconda Fort

This was the first historical monument I visited in Hyderabad. From the city, it took us less than an hour to reach this place, by car. Though the site is partly in ruins, its historical importance, as a former capital and fortress city, was still clearly visible.

We were welcomed by a guide who offered to show us around the place. He warned us that it was easy to get lost on the way without his help.  Though we did not accept his offer (as we wanted to enjoy the pleasure of exploring the massive site ourselves), we listened to the short speech he gave a number of tourists on the history of Golconda.  Derived from the Telegu words Gollu and Konda (which translates as ‘Shepherd’s Hill), it is believed that in the 13th century, during the Kakatiya rule, a shepherd boy had found an idol on this hill, and the then ruler ordered to build a mud fort around the site. The next rulers of this kingdom, the Qutub Shahis, then converted this fort into a mighty fortress and established Golconda as their capital. The guide then continued to explain with pride, how the fortress protected the city from many attacks and finally gave in to the Mughal attack led by Aurangzeb.

I must also confess that the guide was quite right and we did indeed get lost among the numerous domes and gates. There are four distinct forts, each at a level higher than the previous one. We were told that the entrance of the lowest fort had a special acoustic effect. If a person clapped his hands from this point, it could be heard till the highest point. S wanted to climb all the way till the highest point- called ‘Bala Hissar’.  With great difficulty, thanks to my fit body, I managed to do so but the experience was worth the exercise! The view from the top was magnificent. We could see almost the whole of Hyderabad from there and that totally blew me away. (Just remember to take bottles of water for this climb). We also saw some water tanks, the Rahban cannon and the two pavilions where the legendary sisters Taramathi and Premamathi resided and performed in the King’s court. By the time we climbed down, dusk had settled in and the ‘Sound and Light Show’ had started. It was a display of the heritage and legend of Golconda, with a voice over by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. However, I did not find it very appealing and we left before it got over.

The overall experience was quite fulfilling and I came back, learning a bit about the city’s history and with a pair of tired, aching feet!

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