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Golkonda
About Golkonda

Golkonda is a ruined fort of Southern India and capital of medieval Golconda Sultanate (c.15181687), which is located at a distance of about 10 kms from Hyderabad. It is also a mandal of Hyderabad District. It is generally famous for the mines that have produced the world's most famous and popular gems, including the Hope Diamond, The Eye of the Idol (aka the Nassak Diamond).

 
History

Initially Golconda fort was built by Kakatiya as part of their western defenses in 945 CE-970 CE on the lines of the Kondapalli fort. Golconda city and fort are situated on a granite hill which is 120 meters high and is enclosed by huge crenelated walls.

The fort was renovated and extended by Pratapa Rudra of Kakatiya dynasty. The fort was further modernized by Musunuri Nayaks who overthrew the Tughlak army inhabiting Warangal. The fort was given by Musunuri chief, Kapaya Nayaka to the Bahmanis in 1364 AD as part of the treaty. The fort became the capital of the main region in the Sultanate and after its collapse the capital of the Qutb Shahi kings. At last the fort fell into ruins after a blockade and its fall to Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1687 AD.

After the fall of the Bahmani Sultanat, Golkonda become the seat of the Qutb Shahi empire in 1507. Over a period of 60 years the mud fort was extended by the first 3 Qutb Shahi kings into a huge fort of granite. It continue to be the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty till 1590 when the capital was moved to Hyderabad. The Qutb Shahis extended the fort, whose outer wall surrounds the city. The area became an important spot for Shia Islam in India in the 17th century.

 
Golconda Fort

Golkonda consists of four separate forts with a long outer wall with 87 semicircular fortress, 8 entrances, and 4 drawbridges, with a large number of magnificent halls & apartments, shrines, stables, mosques, magazines etc. inside. The lowest of these is the outermost area into which we enter by the "Fateh Darwaza" (Victory gate) studded with huge iron spikes adjacent to the south-eastern corner. A hand clap at a certain point below the arena at the doorway resounds and can be heard clearly at the 'Bala Hisar' pavilion, the main point about 1 km away.

Golkonda Fort compound and its adjacent areas extends over an area of  10 km and exploring its every part is a difficult task. The architectural wonder of the fort is clearly seen at each part of the fort like gates, doorways, pavilions, shrines, apartments, mosques and domes. The beautiful gardens of the fort are more than 350 years old. Golkonda Fort is popular for its magical acoustic system.   

Attractions Inside Golkonda Fort

Some of the prominent attractions within the fort are:

Bala Hissar Gate
Bala Hissar Gate is the main doorway to the fort which is situated on the eastern part.. The area over the door has peacocks with elaborate tails adjoining an attractive domed niche. Peacocks and lions are designed in Hindu and Muslim architectural design.

Toli Masjid
Toli Masjid was founded by Mir Musa Khan Mahaldar, regal architect of Abdullah Qutb Shah in the year 1671. Toli Masjid is located at Karwan at a distance of about 2 kms from Golkonda fort. The Masjid has 2 separate halls inside which are named as outer hall and inner hall.   

Kala Mandir
Kala Mandir is situated inside the fort. It is clearly seen from the king's durbar which is situated was on top of the Fort.

Tombs of Qutub Shahi kings
These tombs are built in Muslim style of architecture and are situated nearby the outer wall of Golkonda. They are surrounded by wonderful gardens and several elegantly carved stones. These tombs are opened for the visitors.

Naya Qila (New Fort)
Naya Qila is a part of Golkonda fort. The fortifications of the new fort begins after the residential part with many towers and the Haathiyaan Ka Jhaad - an ancient baobab tree with a huge girth. It also contains a war mosque.

Other prominent attractions inside the fort are: Durbar hall, Ashlah Khana,  "Rahban" cannon, water supply system, private chambers (kilwat), Ambar khana, Taramati Mosque, Camel Stable, Nagina Bagh, Mortuary Bath, two separate pavilions on the outer side of Golkonda, factories, Ramasasa's Kotha, Ramadas Bandikhana, Habshi Kamans (Abyssian Arches), fortress etc.

 

 


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