Tourist Attractions of Golconda Fort, Hyderabad

Golconda Fort

Golconda fort is a majestic monument, which lies on the western outskirts of Hyderabad city. It speaks of a great cultural heritage of 400 years and is regarded as a place worth visiting. Built by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah in 1525, it stands as the epitome of Nawabi culture and grandeur. A Well Planned Architecture : The magnificent architecture of the Golconda fort is manifest in its acoustic system, the structural grandeur of the palaces and ingenious water supply system. The fort was famous for its diamond trade and the ‘Kohinoor’ diamond is said to have come from here. One is perplexed to see the meticulous details of the architecture and the fading gardens, which were once upon a time replete with sprawling lawns and playing fountains.This is where the priceless Kohinoor diamond was found. One of the famous forts of India, an added attraction here is an enchanting sound & light show in the evenings.

The acoustic design of the Golconda Fort is unbelievably brilliant. There exists a spot right at the entrance of the ‘Fateh Darwaza’ (or ‘Victory Gate’ which serves as the main entrance to the fort and is well equipped with defence features that include iron plates to decelerate enemy cavalry) from where the sound of a clap is audible at the ‘Bala Hissar’ terminal situated one km away at the top of the hill. The residents had devised their own telegraphic language to relay warning signals to and fro in case of enemy invasions or other emergency situations. You can ask your guide to point out the exact spot.
The entire fort is adorned with such acoustic marvels. The guest room for foreign diplomats were so designed that any secret meeting could be overheard by the king, making the hatching of conspiracies a difficult task (the past’s version of bugging an enemy room) . Echoes could be heard from unsuspected places. Undoubtedly the old saying ‘ even walls have ears’ (“deewaron ke bhi kaan hote hain”) rings very true in the Golconda Fort.

The whole of the Golkonda Fort complex and its surrounding spreads across 11 km of total area, and discovering its every nook is an arduous task. A visit to the fort reveals the architectural beauty in many of the pavilions, gates, entrances and domes. Divided into four district forts, the architectural valour still gleams in each of the apartments, halls, temples, mosques, and even stables. The graceful gardens of the fort may have lost their fragrance, for which they were known 400 years ago, yet a walk in these former gardens should be in your schedule when exploring the past glories of Golkonda Fort.

Bala Hissar Gate is the main entrance to the fort located on the eastern side. It has a pointed arch bordered by rows of scroll work. The spandrels have yalis and decorated roundels. The area above the door has peacocks with ornate tails flanking an ornamental arched niche. The granite block lintel below has sculpted yalis flanking a disc. The design of peacocks and lions is a blend of Hindu – Muslim architecture.
Toli Masjid, situated at Karwan, about 2 km from the Golkonda fort, was built in 1671 by Mir Musa Khan Mahaldar, royal architect of Abdullah Qutb Shah. The facade consists of five arches, each with lotus medallions in the spandrels. The central arch is slightly wider and more ornate. The mosque inside is divided into two halls, a transverse outer hall and an inner hall entered through triple arches.Much thought went into building this gate. A few feet in front of the gate is a large wall. This prevented elephants and soldiers (during enemy attacks) from having a proper ramp to run and break the gate.
The palaces, factories, water supply system and the famous “Rahban” cannon, within the fort are some of the major attractions.
It is believed that there is a secret underground tunnel that leads from the “Durbar Hall” and ends in one of the palaces at the foot of the hill. The fort also contains the tombs of the Qutub Shahi kings. These tombs have Islamic architecture and are located about 1 km north of the outer wall of Golkonda. They are encircled by beautiful gardens and numerous exquisitely carved stones. It is also believed that there was a secret tunnel to Charminar.

The two individual pavilions on the outer side of Golkonda are also major attractions of the fort. It is built on a point which is quite rocky. The “Kala Mandir” is also located in the fort. It can be seen from the king’s durbar (king’s court) which was on top of the Golkonda Fort.
The other buildings found inside the fort are :
Habshi Kamans (Abyssian arches), Ashlah Khana,Taramati mosque,Ramadas Bandikhana,Camel stable, private chambers (kilwat), Mortuary bath, Nagina bagh, Ramasasa’s kotha, Durbar hall, Ambar khana etc.
This majestic structure has beautiful palaces and an ingenious water supply system. Sadly, the unique architecture of the fort is now losing its charm.
The ventilation of the fort is absolutely fabulous having exotic designs. They were so intricately designed that cool breeze could reach the interiors of the fort, providing a respite from the heat of summer.
The Huge gates of the fort are decorated with large pointed iron spikes. These spikes prevented Elephants from damaging the fort. The fort of Golkonda is encircled by a 11-km-long outer wall. This was built in order to fortify the fort.

The massive gates are studded with large pointed iron spikes to prevent elephants from battering them down. The outer wall surrounding the entire township of Golconda, is about 11-km long, and is strongly fortified. In its heyday, the 10-km long road from Golconda to outer Hyderabad was a fabulous market selling jewellery, diamonds, pearls and other gems, which were famous all over the world.

History Of Golconda :

Before the city of Hyderabad was founded the Deccan was ruled from Golconda fort. Founded originally by the Kakatiya’s in the 13th century the existing structure was expanded by the Qutub Shahi kings into a massive fort with granite walls and ramparts extending some 5-km in circumference. The first three Qutub Shahi kings rebuilt Golconda, over a span of 62 years.

Shepherd’s Hill” or “Golla Konda”, as it was popularly known in Telugu, has an interesting story behind it. One fine day, on the rocky hill called ‘Mangalavaram’, a shepherd boy came across an idol. This was conveyed to the Kakatiya king, who was ruling at that time. The king got a mud fort constructed around the holy spot. Over a period of time this lowly construction was expanded by the Qutub Shahi kings into a massive fort of granite, which has been a silent witness to many historic events.

Attractions Within The Fort :
One of the most remarkable features of Golconda is its system of acoustics- a hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the ‘Bala Hissar’, the highest point almost a kilometre away, palaces, factories, water supply system and the famous ‘Rahban’ cannon, that was used during the last seize of Golconda by Aurangazeb, to whom the fort ultimately fell.

THE SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW : A new attraction at the fort is a sound and light show that brings the legend of Golconda to life. With a spectacular interplay of audio and visual effects, the story of Golconda unfolds over centuries of splendour. The show livens up the glorious past and it is an experience worth watching. You can enjoy Golconda Fort with the sound and light, the show that brings the legend of Golconda to life. People gather to see and hear this show in the evening. Today, the imposing fort is being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site can be reached quite easily from the main city of Hyderabad. Buses and autos ply on the road. A light and Sound Show in the evening (narrated by the legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan) is an added attraction of the fort (the show is available in three different languages- English, Hindi and Telugu). To complete one complete trip atop the hill and back, average time taken is about three hours. Hence it is advisable to avoid the sun of mid afternoon. Winter is the best time to visit. An Indian national needs to pay a nominal entry fee of 10 INR while a for a foreign national the fees go up to 100 INR.

Timings: 09.00 am – 5.00 pm (Closed on Monday)
Entry Fee: Rs. 10 for Indian Nationals, Rs. 100 for Foreign Nationals
Video: Rs. 25
Contact: +91 40 23512401
Sound & Light Show (Organised by APTDC):
Timings: All days 1st Show 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm (Nov to Feb); All days 2nd Show 8:15pm to 9:15 pm (Mon, Wed, Fri – Telugu Show; Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun – Hindi Show)
All days 1st Show 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (March to October)
Entry Fee: VIP Class Rs. 100 (Adult) Rs.75 (Child) Non Executive: Rs.50 (Adult) Rs.30 (Child)

Undoubtedly, the Golconda Fort is one of the most imposing forts in India steeped in history and rich legacy. A trip to this overwhelming place will leave you with memories that last a lifetime. The panoramic view of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad that can be seen from the top of the Golconda Fort is also overwhelming.

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