The city of Hyderabad is famous for its breathtaking monuments. The majestic and imposing monument which lies on the Western outskirts of Hyderabad city - Golconda Fort, unravels with it the 400 years of the rich cultural heritage of this city. Built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1525, the Golconda Fort epitomises the opulent nawabi culture of the time.
"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 Qutb Shahi kings into a massive fort of granite which has been a silent witness to many historic events. Every nook and corner of this splendid monument echoes the unparalleled history of a bygone era.
The impregnable fort was cradled by many dynasties and it was of strategic importance to most of the rulers. In 1518, when the Qutb Shahi dynasty was found, Golconda was made its capital. The subsequent generations saw Golconda being fortified further with several additions and the formation of a beautiful city within.
By the 17th century, Golconda was famous as a Diamond Market. It gave the world some of the best known diamonds, including Koh-I-noor diamond, the Hope Diamond and the Orloff Diamond of Catherine the Great.
The magnificent architecture of the Golconda fort is manifest in its acoustic system, the structural grandeur of the palaces and ingenious water supply system.One visit to the fort, and you will get transported to that eventful age of the Qutb Shahi dynasty that speaks volumes of their glorious achievements. 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.
Also, the design of the ventilation reveals the brilliant planning of the architects. The ventilation is designed to let in a flow of fresh cool breeze which is a respite from the heat of summer ! !
Through an amazing feat of acoustics, a hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the Ball Hissar, the highest point almost a kilometer away.
Outside the Golconda Fort are two separate pavilions built on a rocky eminence - the Taramathi Gana Mandir and the Premathi Nritya Mandir from where the legendary sisters "Taramathi and Premamathi" resided. They gave their performance on a circular dais atop a two-storied structure, the Kala Mandir, which was visible from the king's durbar (king's court) on top of the Golconda Fort. Although in a dilapidated condition, efforts are on to revive the glory of the Kala Mandir by organizing the Deccan art festival annually. Close to the fort are the beautiful domed monuments, the Qutb Shahi Tombs built with Islamic architecture.
Golconda is all this and more. 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 saga of Golconda unfolds over centuries of splendor. The show livens up the glorious past and it is an experience worth watching. The show is presented in English and Telugu on alternate days of the week.
The Golconda still stands tall as a proud sentinel amidst the current day Golconda artillery of the Indian Army which has sprung up today. Though mute, yet it tells a story that no one else has seen. It has indeed become an immortal monument!