Golkonda Fort is an ancient fort lying to the west of Hyderabad city in the south Indian state of Telangana at a distance of 11 km. It is one of the untouched grandeurs of India and the region’s best-preserved monuments. The fort derives its name from a Telugu word ‘Golla Konda’ which translated to “Shepherd’s Hill”, the primary language of the state of Telangana. It is said to be the place where the mighty Koh-I-Noor diamond was once stored.
One fascinating thing about Golkonda fort is that it is said if you clap your hands standing at the bottom, the echoes of it can be heard at the top as well. The region once had diamond mines which have been known to produce some of the most spectacular and well-known diamonds such as Idol’s Eye, the Hope Diamond, Darya-i-Noor, and the well renowned Koh-i-Noor. The fort was constructed in the 1600s which is displayed magnificently in the light and sound show in the evening along with its regal history. The architecture, grandeur, mystery, and the rise and fall of Golkonda fort add charm to its allure and make it one of the must-visit places of Hyderabad.
This fort was built on a hilltop in the year 1143 AD under the Kakatiya dynasty, and initially known as Mankal. It was then just a mud fort until 14th century, after which it was fortified (between 14th and 16th centuries) by the Bahmani dynasty. However, the fort came into prominence under the Qutub Shahi dynasty during the 16th when Quli Qutub Shah declared his freedom from the Bahmani sultanate in 1518 and expanded the fort to its present glory.
After attempting a failed attack in 1686, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb finally seized the fort in 1687 after a long eight-month siege.
The Golkonda Fort is built on a 400 ft. high hill. It has massive fortification walls which are within one another and of a maximum height of over 12 m. The walls have 8 gateways and 87 bastions rising (of heights between 15 and 18 meters each), which provide strength to the fort, and meant to protect it in case of attacks or destruction.
The inner fort contains ruins of palaces and mosques and a hilltop pavilion, which is of a height of about 130 meters and provides a stunning bird’s eye view of other surrounding buildings and the city.
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Some of the best places to visit Golkonda Fort are:
Nestled atop a hill in the city of Hyderabad, Golkonda Fort is one of the best-preserved heritage of historic India constructed in the 1600s and is the place where the mighty Kohinoor diamond was once kept. The origin of many coveted and spectacular gems such as Idol’s Eye, Hope Diamond, Kohinoor, and Darya-I-Noor, the architecture, the legends, and the mysterious history of the fort makes it a must-visit place in Hyderabad.
Mughal emperor Aurangzeb led his forces to besiege the Qutb Shahi dynasty at Golkonda Fort which lasted for 8 months.
Golkonda diamonds were once known for their size and clarity, but the diamond mines of the region are now depleted and inactive.
The Golkonda Fort is located on a hill at a height of 120 meters.
Golkonda fort was built by the Kakatiyas and was once home to the Qutub Shahis and Nizams.
Golkonda fort is open to visitors from 8 am to 5:30 pm.