August 28, 2014

Golkonda Fort

Site Name: Golkonda Fort
Site Type: Fort
Location:  Hyderabad city, Telungana state, India
Highlights: A historical fort and one of the most popular forts in entire India
Nearest Railway Station: Hyderabad
Nearest Airport: Hyderabad
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: All sorts of options are available in Hyderabad 
Restaurants: Hyderabad city has no shortage of restaurants of all varieties

Hyderabad is an important city in South India. It is the capital city of the newly formed Telangana state as well as Andhra Pradesh state of India. Hyderabad, which is also called as 'the city of Pearls' is a historical city. In the last two decades, the city became very popular thanks to the IT companies. There are many popular and varieties of tourist spots such as forts, palaces, lakes, masjids and temples located in this city. Let us explore one of the most important tourist destinations of the city, Golkonda Fort, in this article.






Introduction:

Golkonda Fort is located in the outskirts of Hyderabad city (around 11kms from the city) in South India. It is one of the most popular forts in entire India. It derived its name from the Telugu word 'Golla Konda' which means shepherd's hill. It originally belonged to teh Kakatiyas of Warangal. The control of the fort went to Baihmanis in the 14th century CE and then to Qutb Shahi Kings in the 16th century CE. These kings extended and strengthened the fort. Auranzeb annexed it and appointed Asaf Jah as the Subedar. He declared independence in 1713 CE and his Nizam dynasty controlled the fort till 1948 CE.

Many famous diamonds such as Kohinoor diamond and the Hope diamond are believed to have been excavated from the mines of Golkonda fort. Towards the end of 19th century CE, the word 'Golkonda' was generally used by the English speaking people to refer any particularly rich mine, and later to any source of great wealth.

Layout:

Golkonda Fort was built on a 400 feet high hill. It has three lines of massive fortification walls. The outermost wall has a deep moat and it covers the entire town. The main entrance is 'Fateh Darwaza'. After the outer wall at a distance of around 1 km, there is a double wall that runs around the foot of the hill. There is a third wall that extends from this double wall which goes inside. This innermost fortress is called as Bala Hissar. The entire fort compound is spread across 11kms of area. 

Golkonda fort is one of the largest forts. Importantly most of the structures inside the fort are in good shape. So, it takes almost 4 to 5 hours to cover the entire fort.

The signalling device is a unique acoustic system that is found near the entrance. It is said if one claps from this place, the sound is reflected from the building on the other side. 

Some of the important structures found inside the fort:

  • Aslah Khana - a stunning three storied armory building
  • Akkanna-Madanna Offices - which was used as the secretariat building in those days
  • Nagina Bagh - considered as jewel among the gardens; design based on Mughal Gardens; it once had Persian style axial waterways. 
  • Ramdas Prison - originally a storage place and converted into a prison in the 17th century CE
  • Ambar Khana - Granary and the adjoining step wall
  • Ibrahim's Masjid - It was raised by Ibrahim Qutb Shah in the 16th century CE; it's architecturally beautiful
  • Jaganmata Temple - a small cave temple for Kali
  • Jami Masjid - a small mosque built in 1518 CE by Quli Qutb Shah
  • Kilwat - the private chambers
  • Rani Mahal - used to be the chambers of royal women
  • Taramati mosque 
  • Two pavilions
  • Durbar hall
  • Ramadas Bandikhana - the place where Ramadas was prisoned; the bas relief images of Hanuman are found here
  • Baradari - the topmost place of the citadel
Happy travelling.




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