Golkonda

గోల్కొండ

گولکوندا

 

Golconda, also known as Golkonda or Golla konda (“shepherd’s hill”), a ruined fort of Southern India and capital of medieval Golconda Sultanate (c.1518–1687), is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad. It is also a mandal of Hyderabad District. The region is known for the mines that have produced some of the world’s most famous gems, including the Hope Diamond and the Nassak Diamond.

History

The Golconda fort was first built by Kakatiya as part of their western defenses. It was built in 945 CE-970 CE on the lines of the Kondapalli fort. The city and fortress are built on a granite hill that is 120 meters (400 ft) high and is surrounded by massive crenelated ramparts. The fort was rebuilt and strengthened by Pratapa Rudra of Kakatiya dynasty. The fort was further strengthened by Musunuri Nayaks who overthrew the Tughlak army occupying Warangal. The fort was ceded by the Musunuri chief, Kapaya Nayaka to the Bahmanis as part of the treaty in 1364 AD. The fort became the capital of a major province in the Sultanate and after its collapse the capital of the Qutb Shahi kings. The fort finally fell into ruins after a siege and its fall to Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1687 AD.

After the collapse of the Bahmani Sultanat, Golkonda rose to prominence as the seat of the Qutb Shahi dynasty around 1507. Over a period of 62 years the mud fort was expanded by the first three Qutb Shahi kings into a massive fort of granite, extending around 5 km in circumference. It remained the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty until 1590 when the capital was shifted to Hyderabad. The Qutb Shahis expanded the fort, whose 7 km outer wall enclosed the city. The state became a focal point for Shia Islam in India, for instance, in the 17th century, Bahraini clerics, Sheikh Ja`far bin Kamal al-Din and Sheikh Salih Al-Karzakani both emigrated to Golkonda.

In 1686, the Mughal prince Aurangzeb started to lay siege on the fort of Golconda, with the intent of claiming Hydebarad, the wealthy capital of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. The fortress proved to be as impregnable as its reputation claimed. It wasn’t until the year after, in 1687, when Aurangzeb finally managed to breach the fort after a nine-month long siege. It was said that the fort only fell down because of a traitor who sabotaged the gate

The Fort

Golkonda consists of four distinct forts with a 10 km long outer wall with 87 semicircular bastions (some still mounted with cannons), eight gateways, and four drawbridges, with a number of royal apartments & halls, temples, mosques, magazines, stables, etc. inside. The lowest of these is the outermost enclosure into which we enter by the “Fateh Darwaza” (Victory gate, so called after Aurangzeb’s triumphant army marched in through this gate) studded with giant iron spikes (to prevent elephants from battering them down) near the south-eastern corner. At Fateh Darwaza can be experienced a fantastic acoustic effect, characteristic of the engineering marvels at Golkonda. A hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the ‘Bala Hisar’ pavilion, the highest point almost a kilometre away. This worked as a warning note to the royals in case of an attack.

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 fort of Golkonda is known for its magical acoustic system. The highest point of the fort is the “Bala Hissar”, which is located a kilometer away. 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 an 11-km-long outer wall. This was built in order to fortify the fort.

HELIGHTS OF GOLCONDA FORTS

Nagina Bagh

There was a faithful who fought continuously for 10 days and succumbed to injuries. The king ordered for counting of his wound but no one was able to count hence he named this bagh- Na – Gina, Cannot be counted in his memory.

Nagina Bagh

Nagina Bagh

Akkanna-Madanna Office

Madanna and Akkanna were two brothers who rose to prominence in the sultanate of Golkonda between 1674 and 1685. Towards the end of their lives in October 1685 they came to dominate state affairs in Golkonda. This is remarkable because they were administrators and ruled it and a large part of the elite of the sultanate were Muslims.

Akkanna_and_Madanna_Ministers_of_the_Golconda_Sultans_1

Ramdas jail

Ramdas worked as a revenue collector for the ruler at the time. He was jailed here for defiance and in the years he spent inside, he carved Hindu deities on the wall so he could pray.

Ramdas Bandhi Khana (Jail)

Ramdas Bandhi Khana (Jail)

Mosque of Ibraheem

A half Charminar.. If you see Charminar from Golconda you can see only 2 Minaret, so just to complete the view the other 2 were created for the King.

Mosque of Ibrahim

Mosque of Ibrahim

Taramati Mosque

This mosque, just outside the palace area, was used by Qutb Shahi rulers and their nobles. Its facade has three arches, the central arch is higher and slightly projected. Qibla niches in the west wall are surrounded by rows of small arches. Directly below the entrance arches is a basement platform consisting of a series of arched cells.

taramatimosque

Darbar Hall

Darbar Hall

There was a faithful who fought continuously for 10 days and succumbed to injuries. The king ordered for counting of his wound but no one was able to count hence he named this bagh- Na – Gina, Cannot be counted in his memory.

Darbar Hall

Silah Khana

This is a three storeyed building with vaulted cellars used for storing arms and ammunition. It is one of the most impressive buildings in the fort.

Silah Khana

Silah Khana

Place Complex

The royal place complex consists of buildings constructed by the qutb shahi kings during different periods. they comprise Hugh halls, vaulted cellars, mosque, audience haal etc. these buildings are decorated with floral designs, glazed tile work on wall, cut-plaster decorations which are indicative of architectural excellence of the qutb shahi style.

royalplaces1

Golconda Fort Video Gallery

Golconda Fort, Hyderabad - INDIA

Golkonda Fort Image Gallery





Google Map – Golconda Fort, Hyderabad – INDIA

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