Golconda Fort in Hyderabad is a majestic monument, which lies on the western outskirts of the city. It speaks of a great cultural heritage of 400 years and is considered as a place that is worth visiting. Golconda was famous for its diamond mines in olden days. The world-renowned ‘Kohinoor’ diamond is believed to have come from here. The Golconda fort is built on a granite hill 120m high. The fort has 8 gates or Darwazas as they are called in local language. The main gate is called Fateh Darwaza. The hills around the fort lend a very mysterious charm and colossal grandeur to the gigantic fort.
Qutub Shahi kings who reigned during the 16th century built the Golconda fort. There is an interesting story behind the Golconda Fort. The place was originally called as ‘Golla Konda’ in Telugu, which is the official state language of Hyderabad city. Roughly around 1143 in the rocky hill called ‘Mangalavaram’, a shepherd boy found an idol, which was given to the then king, Kakatiya who built a mud fort. From 1507, within a span of 62 years the Qutub Shahi rulers transformed the humble mud fort into a marvelous granite wonder. The stunning Golconda Fort lost its entire splendor and luster as the Mughals invaded and plundered this breathtaking wonder into a heap of ruins.
The Golconda Fort reaches to a height of 120 meters with a boundary wall covering a range of 10 kilometers of the outskirts of Hyderabad. The Golconda fort comprises of four small forts within itself. Some of those are heaped with cannons, drawbridges and number of royal living chambers & halls, temples, mosques, stables etc. You have to enter the fort through ‘Fateh Darwaza’, which is also called the ‘Victory gate’. The main attractions of this entrance are the acoustic effects, which is a remarkable feature of the Golconda Fort. It is said that such an articulate construction was used in those ancestral days for security purposes.
Also worth having a look at is the royal Nagina Gardens, the bodyguards’ barracks, and the three water tanks, all of 12 metres deep, which once formed part of an intricate water system in the fort. The crowning glory of the fort is the durbar hall, which stands atop a hill overlooking the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It is approached by a thousand-step stairway, and if you can summon up the energy to accomplish the climb, you will be rewarded with a great view of the cities below- including (on a clear day) the famous Charminar itself.
Outside the Golconda fort are two separate pavilions built on a rocky eminence called the Taramathi Gana Mandir and the Premathi Nritya Mandir, where the legendary sisters Taramathi and Premamathi lived. They gave their performance on a circular dais atop a two-storied structure called the Kala Mandir, which was visible from the king’s durbar. Efforts are on to revive the glory of the Kala Mandir, now in a dilapidated condition, by organizing the Deccan art festival annually. The beautiful domed Qutub Shahi tombs with Islamic architecture are situated close to the fort.
The latest feature that adds more excitement to the Golconda fort is the Light and Sound show. The amazing light and sound impacts with the narration of the hair raising story of the golconda Fort is sure to amuse all tourists visiting the Hyderabad city.