Golconda Fort - Quick Guide
Golconda Fort - Overview
Golconda fort is situated at a place called Golconda which is 11km away from Hyderabad. The rulers of Qutb Shahi dynasty made the city their capital. Their ruling period was from 1518 to 1687. Golconda has many mines where many diamonds like Kohinoor, Nassak Diamond, Hope Diamond and many other diamonds were produced.
Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana state in India and is spread in an area of 650km2Hyderabad was ruled by Qutb Shahi dynasty for around a century and later came under the rule of Mughals from 1724. Asif Jah I was the Mughal viceroy who started a dynasty named Nizams of Hyderabad who ruled for around 150 years.
Hyderabad is also famous for its delicious dishes especially Hyderabadi Biryani and Hyderabadi Haleem. Hyderabad is also known as city of pearls as it is a trading center of pearls and diamonds.
Golconda fort can be visited from 9:00am to 5:30pm. The fort is opened on all days except Fridays. Light shows are also conducted in the fort in English, Hindi and Telugu. Two shows are conducted daily at different times. The English shows are conducted on all days at 6:30pm from November to February and at 7:00pm from March to October.
The Telugu shows are conducted every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 7:45pm from November to February and 8:15pm from March to October. The Hindi shows are conducted every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday on the same timings as the Telugu shows.
The visitors have to pay an entry fees in order to visit the fort. For Indian, tourists, the price of the ticket is Rs. 5 whereas for foreigners, the price is Rs. 100. If the tourists want to take still camera then they have to pay Rs. 25. If the tourists want to watch light shows then they have to buy the tickets on the basis of classes in which they want to sit.
If the tourists want to watch the show in executive class, they have to pay Rs. 140 for adults and Rs. 110 for children. For normal class, the price of ticket for adults is Rs. 80 and for children it is Rs. 60. The ticket counter for sound and light show opens at 5:30pm.
Best time to visit
The period from October to February is the best time to visit Hyderabad as the weather is very pleasant. In rest of the months, the climate is either hot or is rainy. During summer months, the temperature rises up to 45 degree Celsius. During rainy days, the climate becomes very humid though mornings and evenings are pleasant.
Where to Stay?
There are more than 1000 hotels in Hyderabad which include, economy hotels, budget hotels and star hotels. The tourists can stay in the hotel of their choice and enjoy the facilities provided to them by the staff
Golconda Fort - History
Golconda fort was previously called Mankal and was built by Rajah of Warangal in 1143. The fort was built of mud on a hilltop.
Golconda Fort under Kakatiya and Musunuri Dynasties
Kakatiya dynasty built the Golconda fort to defend the western part of their kingdom. The fort was built on top of a granite hill. Rani Rudrama Devi and her successor Prataparudra strengthened the fort further. After this, Musunuri dynasty took over the fort by defeating Tughlaqi army. Later the fort was given to the rulers of Bahmani sultanate by Musunuri Kapaya Nayak.
Golconda Fort under Bahmani Sultanate and Qutb Shahi Dynasty
Bahmani Sultanate got the fort from Musunuri dynasty. Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk was sent by the Bahmani Sultanate as a governor of Hyderabad. Later Bahmani dynasty declined and Quli Qutb–ul-Mulk founded the Qutb Shahi dynasty. The kings of this dynasty strengthened the fort and expanded it. The kings of Qutb Shahi dynasty later shifted the capital to Hyderabad in 1590. The Mughal Emperor Aurungzeb besieged the fort for one year and its ruin started from 1687
Diamonds in Golconda Fort
The mines in the fort are popular for producing diamonds like Kohinoor, the Hope diamond, and many others. The diamonds were produced in Kollur, Parotala, and Atkur mines. The mines in the city made it a trading center of diamonds. These mines helped the kings of Qutb Shahi dynasty and Nizams to become rich.
Golconda Fort - Architecture
Golconda Fort is a very large fort consisting of temples, mosques, palaces, halls, apartments and other structures. The fort is spread in around 11km area and has beautiful architecture. The fort is divided into four forts each having apartments, worship places, halls, etc.
Golconda Fort has eight gates out of which the main gate is Fateh Darwaza or the Victory Gate. This gate was built to commemorate the victorious march of Mughal Emperor Aurungzeb. The gate has steel spikes to protect it from elephants. The length of the gate is 25ft and width is 13ft.
Balahisar Darwaza was built according to Nawabi style. The gate is very magnificent and was used to inform the residents of the fort about the danger. This was done through clapping which could be heard to top of the fort. There are statues of mystical beasts and lions on both sides of the gate.
Eastern gate is the only gate through which tourists can enter the fort. It is the biggest entrance of the fort.
Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah Mosque − was built by Ibrahim the son of Quli Qutb Shah. After crossing the main gate, there are staircases that lead to the mosque. The mosque has now been ruined but still two minarets can be found along with three entrances adjacent to each other.
Taramati Mosque − was built by Taramati in 1518 during the reign of Ibrahim Qutb Shah. The mosque includes one minaret each on the four corners. The courtyard of the mosque is very big which reaches the ramparts
Sri Jagdamba Mahakali Temple is located on top of the fort. It is believed that the temple was built around 900 years ago. The temple was built between the Ibrahim mosque and emperor’s palace. The temple is very small in size but still many devotees come to pray here. The Bonalu festival is especially celebrated here. It is believed that there was a tunnel under the temple to escape to Charminar in case of attack or invasion.
Rama Temple was built inside the jail. According to a legend, Abul Hasan jailed Ramdas because he misused the treasury so he was jailed. In the jail, he drew the pictures of Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman. Yellamma Devi Temple was built at the top where a fair is held in the month of Ashada.
The ruins of royal palaces can be found in the fort. The royal palaces were built for the emperors and their wives. There were many other palaces which have now been ruined and only few parts of those palaces can be found.
Golconda Fort - How to Reach?
Hyderabad is well-connected to all parts of India through air, road, and rail transport. People from abroad can also come here through air transport. The airport is around 20km away from the city. There are three main railway stations in Hyderabad from where many trains depart to and arrive from various destinations. Hyderabad is also connected to many cities through road transport as APSRTC provides good bus service. Distance of Hyderabad from various cities is as follows −
Hyderabad to Warangal
By air – 132km
By rail – 136km
By road – 147km
Hyderabad to Nizamabad
By air – 144km
By rail – 160km
By road – 170km
Hyderabad to Vijayawada
By air – 250km
By rail – 352km
By road – 283km
Hyderabad to Nagpur
By air – 423km
By rail – 584km
By road – 510km
Hyderabad to Mumbai
By air – 617km
By rail – 736km
By road – 706km
Hyderabad to Pune
By air – 504km
By rail – 597km
By road – 547km
Hyderabad International Airport is 20km away from Hyderabad and is well connected to Indian cities and other countries. Rajiv Gandhi terminal is the international terminal while NT Rama Rao terminal is the domestic terminal. Most of the Indian cities are connected from Hyderabad through air. Besides this, foreign cities like Jeddah, Dammam, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, etc. are also connected with Hyderabad.
There are three major railway stations of Hyderabad which are Secunderabad, Hyderabad, and Kacheguda. All these stations are well-connected to many cities all over India. Rajdhani, shatabdi, duronto, double decker, superfast, mail, express and passenger trains connect Hyderabad to various cities.
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation manages the bus services in Hyderabad. The city is connected to Mumbai, Tirupati, Bangalore, Nagpur etc. through buses. State and private companies offer sleeper, deluxe, and super deluxe buses for travelling.
People can move around Hyderabad through various modes of local transport like local trains, local buses, autos, and taxis. As the need of transport is increasing, the city suffers from traffic congestion which leads to traffic jams. New flyovers have been made and now metro rail is also under development which may reduce the congestion up to some extent.
Golconda Fort - Nearby Places
There are many places nearby Golconda Fort which the people can visit. In this chapter we will discuss about some of these places.
Birla Mandir in Hyderabad is built on Naubath Pahad which is 280 feet high. It took around ten years to complete the construction of the temple. It is made up of 2000 tons white marble and looks very beautiful. Swami Rangnathananda opened the temple in 1976 for the public. The swami belongs to Ramkrishna mission.
The construction of the temple includes the combination of Dravidian, Rajasthani, and Utkala architectures. The main deity who is worshipped here is Lord Venkateshwara. Other deities who are worshipped here are Lord Shiva, Parvati, Saibaba, Lord Ganesh, etc.
NTR is considered as one of the expensive gardens of India which is spread in an area of around 55 acres. The garden has the memorial of Late NT Rama Rao. The garden is situated near Hussain Sagar lake. It has shrubs, trees, flowers, and various other types of plants which increases its attractiveness.
Lumbini Park is located nearby Hussain Sagar lake and was built in 1994. The park is spread in an area of 5 acres and includes laser auditorium, boating facilities, gardens, and musical fountain. A show related to Hyderabad history is shown in the auditorium which can house around 2000 people. The show is held at 7:15 pm on weekdays and at 7:15pm and 8:30pm on weekends.
Chowmahalla palace was the seat of Asif Jahi dynasty and was the residence of Nizams of Hyderabad. The construction of the palace was started by Salabat Khan in 1750 and was completed by Afzalad Dawlah in between 1857 and 1869. There are two courtyards in the palace. Along with this, the palace also has darbar hall, fountains, and gardens.
Qutb Shahi Tombs
The Qutb Shahi tombs are located nearby Golconda Fort. Here many tombs and mosques were built by the rulers of Qutb Shahi dynasty. The tombs were decorated with blue and green tiles. All the tombs have galleries. The small tombs have the galleries of one storey whereas the larger ones have galleries of two storey.