We entered from the lowest and outermost enclosure, which is called as the “Fateh Darwaza” (Victory Gate, named after Aurangzeb’s winner army marched in through this gate). Gate is studded with giant iron spikes to prevent elephants from battering them down.
After entering Fateh Darwaza our guide took us to the dome-like structure, which was octagon from inside. From this place, signals were sent to the upper part of the fort in case of emergency or enemy attack. We experienced a fantastic acoustic effect here and guide told us that he will make us hear it when we will reach the top. And when we were at the top, he asked a guy to clap at the bottom and we heard it at the top. It’s truly amazing. This is characteristic of the engineering marvels at Golkonda. A hand clap at a lower point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and we heard clearly at the ‘Bala Hisar’ pavilion, which is the highest point approx a kilometer.
From here we started our walk upwards. There are many points on the way to a citadel, Silai Khana, Aslah Khana – Armory building, which is three-storied, Nagina Bagh, guard lines, Akkanna-Madanna Offices, Ramdas Jail, Darbar Hall, ruins of Ambar Khana and finally Baradari on the summit.
Golconda fort is built on a granite hill at a height of 120 meters and huge crenelated ramparts surround the main structure. The fort complex and its surrounding are spreads across 11 km of area. It is an architectural beauty and there are many pavilions, gates, entrances and domes in the fort compound.
Another attractive thing in the fort is water supply system. The water raised by Persian wheels was stored in overhead tanks at different levels and supplier to various mehals & buildings in the fort.
Ramdas’s prison on the way is another popular spot inside the Golconda Fort Hyderabad. According to the story of our guide, Ramdas who was a revenue collector in Abdul Hasan Shah’s court and he was imprisoned here in dark dungeon for 12 years. One day God came in his dream and told him that he should make a temple of Lord Ram.
During his imprisonment, he carved Hindu deities on the wall of his cell. Ramdas used the taxes he collected for the state to built the temple but when King came to know about the embezzlement, he got furious about the loss to the treasury and imprisoned him in a dungeon. Ramdas in the jail prayed to his Lord to bail him out. One day the King came to the prison and told Ramdas to pay his debts to the Treasury in full and he will free him. Then the story gets interesting twist here and it is said that two boys came and gave the money to the king. And finally, Ramdas walked free. According to the folklore, the two boys were Lord Ram and his younger brother Lakshman who came to pay his debt. This story is an interesting combination of folklore and mythology.
From here we walked to the top most part of Fort i.e. Baradari on the summit. The view from the top is good. When guide asked the other person at bottom to clap we heard it at the top of Golconda Fort Hyderabad
It was very cloudy and our guide told us to take another route to come down, which was used by royals & palanquins. It was mainly stairs and short cut. As we started coming down, it started pouring. I started to descend faster but realized that due to rain, the stone of stairs got wet and bit slippery. Finally, I reached in shade and we stayed there till the rain stopped.
At the bottom were some mehals for queens. There was one big hall with many corners. Our guide told us that if we whisper in one corner, our voice can be heard in another far away corner. We tried it and voila, it worked. I realized it was a risky hall for gossips or for conspiracy…. Ha ha…. 😛
From here we roamed around a bit and finally came out.
P.S. There are not any interesting restaurant or place to eat. So keep this in mind while visiting. We were very hungry so we ate a very basic place before returning back to the city.
I have been to many forts in India but it is one of its own kind and Golconda Fort Hyderabad is must visit. Take a guide, so that you can experience the acoustic characters of the fort.