All About The Golconda Fort In Hyderabad, Telangana

Initially a mud fort under the rule of the Rajah of Warangal, the Golconda Fort was later fortified by the Bahmani Sultans and the Qutub Shahi dynasty between the 14th and 17th centuries
The ruins of the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad
The ruins of the Golconda Fort in HyderabadShutterstock

Located in the western part of Hyderabad, the Golconda Fort was originally known as Mankal and was built in 1143. It started as a mud fort under the rule of the Rajah of Warangal and was later fortified by the Bahmani Sultans and the Qutub Shahi dynasty between the 14th and 17th centuries. The inner fort contains the remains of palaces, mosques, and a hilltop pavilion that offers a view of other buildings.

The Ruins

Ruins of the fort
Ruins of the fortWikipedia

The fort dates back to the early 13th century when the Kakatiya ruled it and later the Qutub Shahi kings in the 16th and 17th centuries. The fort is situated on a granite hill 120 meters high, surrounded by massive ramparts. It was originally named Shepherd's Hill or Golla Konda in Telugu. According to legend, a shepherd boy discovered an idol on this rocky hill, which led to the construction of a mud fort around the holy spot. Bahamani rulers later took control, and the Qutub Shahi kings expanded it into a massive granite fort. The fort has witnessed various historical events and was left in ruins when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb conquered it in 1687.

What Does It Look Like Now?

Golconda Fort
Golconda FortWikipedia

Golconda still has mounted cannons, four drawbridges, eight gateways, and various halls, magazines, and stables. The outermost enclosure is Fateh Darwaza, or Victory Gate, because Aurangzeb's army successfully entered through it. At Fateh Darwaza, there are remarkable acoustical effects. Clapping your hands near the dome entrance creates a reverberation that can be heard clearly at the hilltop pavilion, about one kilometre away. This was once a warning system for the fort's inhabitants but now entertains visitors.

The fort is known for its impressive architecture and is a testament to Hyderabad's rich history. Beyond the outer wall, there's a double wall around the base of the hill. Inside this double wall, there's a third wall that winds up the mountain. In 1724 AD, an extension of the outer wall enclosed a small area on the northeast, now called Naya Qila.

Golconda was a well-planned town within the fort, famous in the medieval world for its extensive trade in gems and diamonds, as foreign travellers like Marco Polo noted. The fort features armouries, mosques, granaries, reservoirs, and audience chambers in its higher areas. At the foot of the citadel are the residences of the queens, princesses, and their retainers.

Entry Fee

According to the Archaeological Survey of India, Indian citizens and visitors from SAARC and BIMSTEC countries are required to pay INR 25 per person, while foreigners will have to pay INR 300 per person. There is no entry fee for children under 15 years.

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