I immediately loved the Golconda Fort. In Telugu the name means ‘shepherd’s hill” for the legend goes that on this granite hill (almost 400 feet high) a shepherd boy found an idol and when this information was brought to the king, the monarch had a mud fort built around the holy area. From the early 13th to 17th century, the area was ruled by first the Kakatiyas dynasty followed by thee Qutub Shahi kings who built the fort into a massive granite stronghold with a circumference of over 16,404 feet. In the late 17th century the fort was taken over after an 8 month siege by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb who left it in ruins on purpose as a sign of the fall of the Qutub Shahi dynasty.
Despite the disrepair the fort architecture is magnificent. In its time it was considered impenetrable (until Aurangzeb came along). Golconda consists of four distinct forts with a long outer wall with 87 semicircular bastions mounted with cannons. There are eight gateways, and four drawbridges, royal apartments, halls, temples, mosques and stables, The structure is a maze of many levels, making any attempted progress of an army quite difficult. In fact the lowest gate, the “Fateh Darwaza” was studded with giant iron spikes to prevent elephants from knocking them down. Acoustically, sounds made at the entrance reverberated and were be heard almost a mile away, working as a great warning during an attack. This acoustical trick works to this day.
What I found so beautiful were the geometries of the fort. I will discuss this in a future post, but for now just enjoy the views:
One final fascinating fact: Golconda was also known as a premier diamond mining area and many of the world’s most famous diamonds were found there: