Longitudinal India Trip part 2 – Golconda Fort by AB Apana

This is the fort which once held the Kohinoor diamond. Originally built and held by the Kakatiyas, the fort fell to the Qutub Shahi rulers in 1364, and then to Aurangzeb in 1687. The enduring legacy of this fort is of the love between one of the Qutub Shahi rulers and a courtesan. Eventually he married her and Hyderabad is named after her. Modern-day lovers also frequent Golconda. The graffiti on the walls bears testimony to their love.

The fort has the normal elements of defensive architecture, huge gateways with narrow walls and a winding approach (to prevent elephants from battering the gates), but the one famous feature here is the clapping portico. If you stand under this portico, at the main entrance to the fort, and clap, the sound is heard at the highest point in the fort, almost a kilometre away. Additionally, the audience chamber has interesting elements. The ruler sat in an alcove high above the supplicants, but at such an angle as to make it impossible for a weapon of that day to be hurled at the ruler. The ruler was often accompanied by his consort, but her alcove was positioned to allow her to seen the chamber, but none from the chamber could see her.

This fort is impressive. And for me, personally, the Baradari is my favorite building in all Hyderabad. It seems to be representative of the Hyderabad I have grown to love. More so than the Charminar, a building I hardly see. The Baradari, on the other hand, may be seen from several parts of Hyderabad.

The State Tourism Department has a sound and light show at Golconda in the evenings. This is quite decent and worth attending.

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