Golconda Fort is one of the most wonderful monuments, located 11 km. from Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh. The name of Golconda originates from the telgu words “Golla” and “Konda” which means ‘shepard’s hill’. One of the most important features of this fort is that the sounds of hands clapped at the entry gate can be heard quite clearly at the top of the hill.
The 13th century Golconda Fort was built by the Kakatiya kings. The existing structure was later built by Qutub Shahi Kings into a massive fort with granite walls having eight gates and 87 bastions spread upto 7 kms, in circumference over a span of 62 years. Golconda Fort, popularly known in Telgu as “Golla Konda”, which means “Shepherd’s Hill”, has an exotic story behind it. In 1143, on the rocky hill known as ‘Mangalavaram’, a shepherd boy came across an image and conveyed to the Kakatiya king, who was ruling at that time. The 10km long road from Golconda to outer Hyderabad was a fantastic market selling jewellery, diamonds, pearls and other gems, popular in all over the world.
Being a major attraction, the Jog Falls is well connected by road and train. You can take bus or train to nearest town – Sagar and travel on local buses to Jog. If you are driving, the entire stretch of road is to be covered on a national highway which is mostly in good condition. It takes 7 to 8 hours to reach Jog Falls. A turn to the left into NH 206 in Tumkur from Tumkur road (NH 4) from Bangalore via Shimoga and Sagar towns will get you to the Jog Falls. The waterfall is just at a short 2 kms deviation from the highway.
Architecturally it is very different from Northern India where the architecture was a combination of the traditional architecture and influences that were brought in by the various empires (including mainly Central Asian and Persian influences). Unlike the north, the south was very isolated geographically and was not nfluenced to the same level and has retained its own style. Golconda Fort, originally a mud fort, was later reconstructed in stone. Since then it has had a variety of additions by the various rulers of the area. The fort, on an isolated granite hill, rises about 400 feet above the surrounding plain. The contours of the fort blend with those of the hill. Nowadays the ruins have a desolate majesty in the midst of an arid plain.
TGolconda was once the market city for its diamond trade. Darya-e Nur, meaning ‘sea of light’, measuring 185 carats and housed now in Iran, was mined here. Many other famed diamonds-including the Kohinoor Diamond, Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond, the Hope Diamond, and the Regent Diamond-are believed to belong to the mines in this region.
The two individual pavilions on the outer side of Golconda are also major attractions of fort. It is built on a point which is quite rocky. The ‘Kala Mandir’ is also located in the fort. It can be seen from the king’s durbar (king’s court) which was on top of the Golconda Fort.
The Balahisar Darwaza is one of the eight gate ways and is the most impressive gate way of all. The Golconda Fort of Hyderabad comprises of a palace, a parade ground, a mosque, an armory and other buildings. More than 380 uneven stone steps starts from the Balahisar Darwaza to Hyderabad Golconda Fort.
Highlight of the fort is a light-and-sound show. The timings of the show are different during summers and winters. During November-February, the shows begin at 6:30 pm, and during March-October, the shows begin at 7 pm. On Wednesdays and Sundays the shows are presented in English; on Tuesdays, Fridays, and on Saturdays, in Hindi; and on Thursdays, Telugu.
Hyderabad International Airport(12Kms) is well connected with all major cities of the country. Flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai etc are available for Hyderabad.
Hyderabad Railway Station(10Kms) is well connected by rail to all parts of the country.