Inside Golconda Fort
The Timeless Wonder of Andhra Pradesh
Since the time it was built, Golconda Fort has been the pride of Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh. Situated around 11 Km from Hyderabad, the fort was famous for its impenetrable structure. The fort is considered as a hallmark of excellence in military architecture. Golconda Fort is one of the grandest forts in India. Build in the 13th century by Kakatiyas, it was just a Mud fort at the start. But it was later expanded and reconstructed into a fort which, with its sheer size, will become the supreme of all. The fort is built on a granite hill of height 120 m. This gave the fort the advantage of high grounds during wars.
History of Golconda Fort
An interesting legend is there behind the construction of Golconda Fort. In the year 1143, a shephard boy found an idol on a hill called 'Mangalavarm'. When the news reached the ears of the Kakatiya king who was ruling at that time, he decided to build a mud fort around the spot where the idol was found. And the hill was named 'Gola Konda' which means Shephard's hill. The construction of the fort was completed in the 13th century. Golconda Fort exchanged hands from Kakatiyas to State of Warangal to Qutb Shahi Dynasty. When Qutb Shahi Kings came into power around 1507 , they decided to change the entire structure of the fort and turn it into their strong hold. The first three Qutb Shahi kings turned the fort into a huge structure of granite and expanded the area covered by the fort to 5 Km in circumference. In 1687, it was attacked by Ruler Aurangzeb and during the war, major parts of the fort turned to ruins. The fort remained in service to Aurangzeb. Even in ruins, the fort was utterly difficult to penetrate. It was last sieged by Mughals after a traitor in the Aurangzeb army opened a side gate to the fort.
Architecture of the Fort
Golconda Fort consists of four different forts inside a 10 Km long outer wall. There are 87 bastions, eight gateways, four drawbridges and numerous temples, beautiful palaces and mosques. You enter the fort through the outermost gateway which is called 'Fateh Darwaza', The Victory Gate. It is called so as it is through this gate that Aurangzeb marched in with his army after his victory. This humongous gate is laden with huge iron spikes which proved helpful in saving it from being knocked down by elephants. Not only is the gate an attraction, the archway dome too is a marvel in itself. It is famous for the acoustics effect that is produced inside the dome. It is said that if you clap your hands inside the dome, it can be heard a kilometer away. This effect was used to send a warning of an approaching attack to 'Bala Hisar', which is the highest point of the fort. The gate at 'Bala Hisar' is decorated with many carvings and designs. The fort was said to have impressive water supply system and this is evident from the clay pipes that are spread out throughout the fort.
Tourist Information for Golconda Fort
The architecture and grandeur is not the only attraction of the fort. There is a light and sound show as well that displays the rich history of Golconda. The 55 minute show virtually brings back the glorious past to life. The show is presented in three different languages, English, Hindi and Telugu. In summers, the show timing is 7.00 PM and in winters it is showed at 6.30 PM. On Wednesday and Sunday, it is in English. On Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday it is in Hindi and on Thursday, it is in Telugu. There is no show on Mondays.
Golconda Fort possesses a unique charm which is further highlighted by the barren vast lying landscape and surrounding hills. Towering over the low lying Hyderabad, Golconda Fort has only few challengers in India when it comes to presence and grandeur. Visit Golconda Fort whose exquisiteness has to be seen to be believed.
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