Here’s my first entry for Jo’s Monday Walk. It was one of the longest walks that I have ever taken. And ironically it was on Monday December 17, 2016 and I wore wedge heels but still managed to walk all the way to the top of Golconda Fort. I logged 37 flights of stairs on my fitbit during the tour, almost all of them were in the sun and we all were sweating. Here’s a link to Jo’s blog https://restlessjo.me/jos-monday-walk/

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Golkonda Fort was first built by the Kakatiyas as part of their western defenses along the lines of the Kondapalli Fort. The Kakatiyas ruled from the years 1163–1323.

Golkonda, also known as Golconda, Gol konda(“Round shaped hill”), or Golla konda, (meaning Shepherd’s Hill in the regional language Telugu) is a citadel and fort in Southern India and was the capital of the medieval sultanate of the Qutb Shahi dynasty(c.1512–1687), is situated 11 km (6.8 mi) west of Hyderabad. The region is known for the diamond trade that has produced some of the world’s most famous gems, including the Koh-i-Noor, the Hope Diamond, Nassak Diamond and the Noor-ul-Ain.

Under the Bahmani Sultanate, Golkonda slowly rose to prominence. Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk (r. 1487–1543), sent as a governor of Telangana, established it as the seat of his government around 1501. Bahmani rule gradually weakened during this period, and Sultan Quli formally became independent in 1538, establishing the Qutb Shahi dynasty based in Golkonda. Over a period of 62 years, the mud fort was expanded by the first three Qutb Shahi sultans into the present structure, a massive fortification of granite extending around 5 km (3.1 mi) 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 (4.3 mi) outer wall enclosed the city.

The fort finally fell into ruin in 1687, after an eight-month-long siege led to its fall at the hands of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

The Golkonda fort is listed as an archaeological treasure on the official “List of Monuments” prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India under The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. Golkonda actually consists of four distinct forts with a 10 km (6.2 mi) long outer wall with 87 semicircular bastions (some still mounted with cannons), eight gateways, and four drawbridges, with a number of royal apartments and 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. An acoustic effect can be experienced at Fateh Darwazaan, 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 kilometer away. This worked as a warning note to the Royals in case of an attack.