A Visit to the Golconda Fort

When I was prepping for my month long stay at Hyderabad, there were two major memories that played in my mind- the taste of the ecstatic Biriyani dished out by Paradise (Not, as in heaven. It is just the name of a restaurant.) and the architecture of the majestic Golconda fort which breathes of history and pride. A visit to the Golconda fort was unavoidable (and missing the opportunity should have been criminal, should I add.)

Going Solo at Golconda Fort

So, as it was, I set out for Golconda fort, one fine Sunday morning. After a heavy breakfast which comprised of the South Indian ethnic cuisines of Dosa, Uttapam and Vada, I set out from my uncle’s home at Tarnaka. I had to board a bus to Mehdipatnam Bus Terminus from Osmania University, from where I could board a bus to Golconda. An hour and a half of facing the inveterate Deccan heat and dust later, I found myself humbled with awe by a magnificent example of human creation. The fortress walls have been along for quite some time of the journey, but the citadel is where the fanciest of the action is. After some time at the queue, the realization dawned on me that I was perhaps the odd one out in the crowd. But let me tell you this, travelling solo brings a certain freedom which is unparalleled. Personally, I trust my feet with it’s choice of random paths without carrying the additional burden of time, company or even, destination.

Entering the citadel premises, through the main (and only) entrance, the first sight that greets you is the number of visitors clapping underneath the dome, trying to emulate the improvised warning system that the fort used. The warning clap under the dome could alert the troops garrisoned in the fortress, such is the marvel of the acoustics.

Walking paths like this, you can’t help but imagine how the scenes would have been during the glorious period of the fort. Excuse the tiles, please.

Walk the paths that once the armor clad warriors walked!
Walk the paths that once the armor clad warriors walked!

You can choose your path to climb up to the top of the Golconda fortress. Climb up the stairs as Golconda unravels history part by part. Look up, and the structure humbles you, look down and the architecture never ceases to amaze.

Scenes from Golconda
Scenes from Golconda

The granary is easily distinguishable from this inscription in Persian. The inscription is a testimony to the establishment of the granary by the Qutb Shahi, bearing the date of installment. (There is an English translation of the inscription, just in case, Persian gets you worried.)

A Persian inscription
A Persian inscription

Moving further up, I reached the Ibrahim Mosque in the fortress grounds. The minarets reached an appreciable height, even though the architecture bore simple Qutb Shahi art.

The Ibrahim mosque
The Ibrahim mosque

Walking upwards, a lawn with some refreshment stalls is in rightful existence. Since the climb upwards can be exhausting and some juices are welcome for rejuvenating.

Following some steep and narrow stairways, the view opens up to the wide terrace of the Baradari. This is the highest point of view in the fort, and as expected a panoramic view of the city is for treat. When I think about it, the skyline illustrated how I was viewing the future, while my feet were rooted in the past. The skyline of the city was in stark contrast with the Golconda area. A confluence of the past and the present which can be surprising.

 

The outer walls of the Baradari
The outer walls of the Baradari
Panoramic views.
Panoramic views.

After strolling around the ground for some appreciable amount of time, exploring ruins, stone arch, aware that I could not cover every nook of the Golconda that day. However, I had my share of adventure. Even though I felt the absence of a camera, my Microsoft Lumia 535 was being a rather decent company!

Exploring the fort.
Exploring the fort.

I did not quit feeling like Indiana Jones any time soon.

Ruins.
Ruins.

By now, it started getting dark and I had to return. I had to miss out on the light and sound show which takes place shortly after sundown, but I had little regret. (I am not recommending missing it, though!)
I had enjoyed my rendezvous with history. I paid one last glance at the majestic facade before exiting. A respect that the archaeological treasure deserves.

The facade of the Golconda fort
The facade of the Golconda fort

Who needs the Koh-i-noor, when we have such magnificent treasures like the Golconda Fort?
PS: You can read two other travelogues of my trips in Hyderabad here:

  1. A Visit to Charminar
  2. A Visit to Hussainsagar

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