Why visit the Golconda Fort?
- The Golconda Fort in Hyderabad is a must-visit for history lovers.
- The fort was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Golconda, which was once one of the most powerful kingdoms in India.
- The fort is a fascinating example of Indian architecture, and though the fort is now in ruins, its grandeur can still be seen in its massive walls and imposing gates.
- The fort is also home to the famous Hyderabad Diamond Mines, which were once the world’s largest diamond mines, and it was here that the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond and the Hope diamond was found.
- Today, the fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is well worth a visit to learn more about the history of this region.
- The Golconda Fort is also a great place to enjoy stunning views of the city of Hyderabad and the surrounding suburbs.
History of Golconda:
The Golconda fort is located 10 km from the center of Hyderabad and is considered one of the best architectural structures in the city. This fort was earlier called Mankal and was initially a mud fort built more than 850 years ago by the Kakatiyas who had their capital at Warangal, 150 km from Hyderabad.
This place then came under the Brahmani rulers and then, subsequently, under Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk who then made Golconda as the capital of his dynasty.
This mud fort was fortified by the Qutb Shahi rulers, and Golconda remained the capital under their rule until the capital was shifted to Hyderabad in the year 1590.
This fort has 8 gates, 4 drawbridges, 87 bastions, and 42 escape tunnels. There are several mosques, halls, and temples inside the fort.
What you should not miss:
- Fateh Darwaza, or the Victory Gate – So called because Aurengazeb came in through this gate and defeated the Qutb Shahi rulers, albeit thanks to a traitor in the fort. Notice the massive iron spikes on the gate. These spikes were installed to prevent elephants from destroying the fort
- The acoustics at the fort: If you clap your hands at the right spot under the dome of the entrance, you can distinctly hear it at the Bala Hissar Pavilion, the highest point of the fort which is 1 km away. A clap made at a particular point under the dome of the entrance can be heard distinctively at Bala Hisar Pavilion, This was to warn the royals in case they were attacked.
- The Bala Hissar Pavilion: This is 130 mts higher than its surroundings. See its gate, which is a pointed arch with a lot of intricate scroll work and “Yalis”. Yalis are mythical creatures in Hindu mythology. Above the door, you will find peacocks with beautiful ornate tails. The Yalis and the peacocks symbolize the fusion of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles prevalent at that time
- The Mosque of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah – 4th Sultan of the Dynasty – Check out the details of the architecture on the walls and the minarets of the mosque.
- Durbari Hall: One of the best places in the fort to get a panoramic view of the city.
- Taramati Mosque: Observe the intricate details and the carving on the roof of the mosque.
- Naya Qila or the New Fort, 1 km from Golconda fort is the extension of the Golconda. Before annexing the Golconda fort in 1687, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb tried to capture it in 1656 and fired his cannons from an elevated point near the fort. But the fort stood its ground. Then the erstwhile ruler decided to extend the fort further to that elevated point, making it even more impenetrable. This elevated area is now known as the Naya Qila – New Fort.
- Check out the 400-year-old Baobab Tree known as the Hatiyan Jhad Baobab Tree at the Naya Qila. This tree’s girth is roughly 27.40 meters (89 feet) and there is a hollow formed within the trunk and the branches of the tree. The hollow is so wide that supposedly 40 thieves hid in that hollow once.
- Look out for the 2 mosques next to the tree. The Mustafa Khan Mosque and Mullah Khiyali Masjid.
- The grander of the 2 mosques is the Mustafa Khan Masjid made of Granite and was built to honour the Royal Architect, Mustafa Khan of the Qutb Shahi court, and the stone and limestone mortar mosque, the Mullah Khiyali Masjid was built to honour the first Deccan royal poet of the Qutb Shahi court.
- Naya Talab and Hatim Talab – These 2 water tank systems were an important part of the water supply system and connected the water bodies inside and outside the Naya Qila.
- Don’t miss the light and sound show. But you need to carry adequate protection against mosquitoes.. Click here to reach the official website of the Telangana Government to book the tickets.
- You need to walk a lot here at the fort and there are quite a number of uneven steps. So wear comfortable footwear and light, loose breezy clothes.
- Remember to carry a water bottle as it can get very warm when you walk around.
- Take a guide if possible. You will be able to get the nuances of the fort and the additional cost would be worth it. It should cost you around Rs. 1000 for a 2-hour tour.
- The fort’s name is derived from the Telugu words for “Shepherd – Golla” and ” and “Hill – Konda”.
- The famous Kohinoor Diamond has been mined in this region.
- It’s believed that there exists a secret underground tunnel that begins from the Darbar hall and ends at the base of the hill. There is supposedly another secret tunnel that goes all the way to Charminar.
1. Rs 25 per person for Indians
2. Rs 300 per person for foreigners
3. Rs 25 to carry a camera
9 am to 5.30 pm on all days
What to do next?
Check out my article on 41 amazing places to visit in Hyderabad