Updated | July 9, 2017 15:58 IST
Golkonda Fort has the prominent place in the Indian History. It was the place where the world famous Koh-I-Noor diamond was excavated. Golkonda Fort which was first built by Kakatiya dynasty rulers had become strong defense fort and popular in the reign of the medieval sultanate of Qutub Shahi dynasty. Golconda is situated eleven kilometers west of Hyderabad, which is a Tehsil of Hyderabad district, Telangana.
Golkonda was originally popular as Mankal, which was first constructed by Kakatiya dynasty as the part of their western defenses along the lines of Kondapalli Fort, Andhra Pradesh. The city and fortress were built on 120 meters high granite hill, which was surrounded by massive battlements. The fort was strengthened and rebuilt under the reign of Rudhramadevi and her successor, grandson, Pratap Rudra. Later on, it was changing hands from Musunuri Nayaks to Bahamani Sultanate.
Musunuri Nayaks took the control of the fort after defeating Tughlagi army who occupying Warangal. In 1364, Musunuri Kapaya Nayak was handed over the fort to Bahamani sultanate as a part of the treaty. Under the reign of Bahamani sultanate, Golkonda rose to the prominence.
After Bahamani rule became weakened, Sultan Quli Qutub-ul-Mulk who came as Governor to Telangana has started his own Qutub Shahi dynasty in 1538, which was based in Golkonda. During the reign of three Qutub Shahi’, this mud fort was turned into a massive granite fortification expanding 5km in circumference in a period of 62 years. The Qutub Shahis expanded the fort about 7kms long where the outer wall enclosed the city. Until 1590, it remained as the Capital to Qutub Shahi dynasty when the capital was shifted to Hyderabad. Finally, the fort falls into the hands of Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb in 1687 after a long seize.
Golkonda Fort was famous for the diamond trade. This fortress city was renowned for the diamonds found on southeast at kollur mine near kollur, Paritala, Guntur district and Atkur in Krishna district during Kakatiya reign. The world famous diamonds Koh-I-Noor, Daria-i-Noor or Sea of Light, which was 187carats, 37.0 grams, which was the finest and largest diamond of the crown jewels of Iran. These diamonds were zero percent Nitrogen.
The diamonds which excavated from the mines of Golconda were Daria-i-Noor, Noor-ul-Ain, Koh-i-Noor, Hope Diamond, Princie Diamond, Regent Diamond, WitteIsbach-Graff diamond etc. It was a great source of the wealth. The Golconda mines brought riches to Qutub Shahis who ruled till 1687, Mughal Empire and Nizam of Hyderabad who ruled from 1724 to 1948 after the Independence. Later Nizam of Hyderabad integrated into India.
It consists of four distinct forts with a 10 km long outer wall with 87 semi-circular bastions where some still mounted with cannons, eight gateways, and four drawbridges, with a number of royal apartments and halls, temples, mosques, magazines, stables, etc. inside. The lowest of these is the outermost enclosure into which we enter by the "Fateh Darwaza", which was called as Victory gate where Aurangzeb’s triumphant army marched in through this gate, which studded with giant iron spikes to prevent elephants from battering them down, located near the south-eastern corner.
The acoustic effect at Fateh Darwaza was lauded as one of the engineering marvels at Golkonda. A hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the 'Bala Hisar' pavilion, which is the highest point, almost a kilometer away. It was a warning note or an alarm to the Royals in the case of an attack. Bala Hissar Gate is the main entrance to the fort located on the eastern side. It has a pointed arch bordered by rows of scroll work. The palaces, factories, water supply system and the famous Rahban’ cannon, within the fort, were some of the major attractions. All the places inside the fort were embellished with great artwork of lions and peacocks designs which was the fine blend of Hindu-Muslim architecture.
This majestic structure has beautiful palaces and an ingenious water supply system. The ventilation of the fort was absolutely fabulous having exotic designs. They were so intricately designed that cool breeze could reach the interiors of the fort, providing a respite from the heat of summer. There was said to be secret underground tunnels, one leads from the Durbar Hall and ends in one of the palaces at the foot of the hill and the second tunnel to Charminar.
The other buildings found inside the fort were Habshi Kamans (Abyssian arches), Ashlah Khana, Taramati mosque, Ramadas Bandikhana, Camel stable, private chambers (kilwat), Mortuary bath, Nagina bagh, Ramasasa's kotha, Durbar hall, Ambar khana etc., It also contains Qutub Shahi tombs and beautiful gardens. From the top of the fort, you can watch out what's happening down at the foot of the hillThe fort have huge gates with pointed iron spikes which prevent elephants from damaging the fort. To fortify the fort, an eleven-kilometre outer wall was built.
Toli Masjid was built by Mir Musa Khan Mahaldar, who was the royal architect of Abdullah Qutub Shah in 1671 which was situated at Karwan, two kilometers from Golconda fort. There was a new fort build as an extension to Golconda including a War mosque and Elephant sized ancient Bamboo tree.
This wonderful architecture was losing its charm because of the rise in pollution levels followed by the government’ negligence. It was an intelligent and amazing architecture, which depicts the greatness of Indian engineering.
Keywords: Golconda Fort, Golkonda fort, Golconda mines, Golconda excavations, Kakatiya dynasty, Bahamani sultanate, Mughal Emperors, Golconda hills
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