Established by the 5th Sultan of Golconda, Muhamad Quli Qutab Shah in 1591, Hyderabad
developed as one of the main centers of Islamic culture. The splendor of this city matched the
elegance of the Mughal cities be it Delhi, Agra or Fatehpur Sikri in the north. A key player in the
politics of Deccan, its many massive invincible forts are witness to its days of glory.
Megalithic culture (with big stone tombs) flourished here before the Mauryan and Satavahana rule.
There were Buddhist monasteries in the area of Hyderabad too. A rocky crag called Golconda,
used as a lookout by shepherds was gradually fortified right from the beginning of the Christian
era. The Chalukyas have left carved stone walls in Golconda. The Kakatiyas and successors
including Qutb Shahs continued to build stone walls and carved gates.
Travel writers from portugal and france of those days wrote about it in glowing terms. The qutb
shahis went in for a lot of civil engineering, works which still stand and are used by people today
like a stone bridge, causeway, lake etc. The Mughals, and then the local governor of the Mughals
took over, styling himself as "Nizam", with a state called Hyderabad and capital at Hyderabad.
The rulers of Hyderabad, fascinated with architecture as they were, built many memorable
monuments which include the world-famous Charminar. Home to one of the wealthiest royal
houses of the world, the turn of the century saw Hyderabad firmly ruled by the Asaf Jahi kings,
better known as the legendary Nizams of Hyderabad. Golconda thus came to be ruled by the
Qutabsahis; it was from the Golconda Fort that the world-famous Kohinoor diamond was