My One Day Tour Of Golconda Fort For The First Time
Travellers who love to visit cities in India steeped in history must visit Hyderabad at least once in their lifetime. Also known as ‘The City of Pearls’ and ‘The City of Nizams’, Hyderabad is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the country, renowned for its heritage places, rich history and warm hospitality.
Any trip to Hyderabad is incomplete without visiting the iconic Golconda Fort, one of the largest forts in India. The massive fort spreads over a sprawling area of about 11 kilometres. The architectural marvel of this fort has amazed every visitor, and I am no exception.
I believe that knowing the history of any heritage site before visiting it, is always essential. It makes your visit even more special as you can relate your knowledge about the place to the things you see around you. Therefore, here is a brief history of Golconda Fort before we start to explore the fort.
About Golconda Fort
The history of Golconda Fort basically sums up the history of Hyderabad for centuries. With every rise and fall of this majestic fort, the city also has witnessed the various political and cultural developments that form an integral part of its golden history.
Mankal was the former name of Golconda. The word ‘Golconda’ is derived from two Telugu words ‘Golla’ and ‘Konda’, which translate to ‘Shepherd’s Hills’.
The foundation of the fort is said to have been laid by the Kakatiya dynasty in the 12th-century. Over the centuries, the fort was under the control of several dynasties such as Musunuri Kapaya Nayaka, Bahmani Sultanate, Qutub Shahi dynasty and the Mughal Empire. Each of the ruling dynasties contributed to the architecture of this fortress to make it one of the most awe-inspiring structures that stands in the city. The fort, however, slowly rose to prominence under the Bahmani Sultanate and reached the pinnacle of glory during the Qutub Shahi reign.
Golconda was an important trade centre for the renowned Golconda Diamonds due to its proximity to Kollur Mine. Daria-i-Noor, Noor-ul-Ain, Koh-i-Noor, Hope Diamond, to name a few, are believed to have been excavated from the Golconda Mines.
The Light and Sound Show brings to life the interesting history of Golconda Fort. Thus, you must witness this magical show for a lifetime experience.
Things To See at Golconda Fort
Eight gateways, four drawbridges, four distinct forts with a long outer wall measuring about 10 kilometres in length, 87 semicircular bastions, several royal apartments, durbar halls, temples, mosques and other notable buildings within its extensive premises of Golconda Fort are some of the most attractive architectural features of this majestic fort. Although each corner of the fort will amaze you with its awe-inspiring architecture, here are some of the most fascinating architectural structures within the fort.
1. Fateh Darwaza
Fateh Darwaza is an Urdu term that translates into Victory Gate, after Aurangzeb’s army marched successfully through this gate. This massive gate is located near the south-eastern corner of the outermost enclosure of the fort. Fateh Darwaza is studded with iron spikes to protect the fort by preventing elephants from battering during any attack.
2. Bala Hissar Pavillion
It is the highest point within the premises of the fort, located almost a kilometre away from the entrance of the fort. It is said that if anyone claps at a certain point near the dome near the entrance of the fort, the echo of the clap could be heard at Bala Hisar.
This acoustical modification at the entrance of the Golconda Fort is an engineering marvel that continues to fascinate visitors till date. This acoustical modification was used as a preventive measure to alarm the royal family, who were located almost a kilometre away from the entrance, of any potential intruders.
3. Bala Hissar Gate
The acoustic system at Bala Hissar Gate is one of the most remarkable architectural features of Golconda Fort. This gate located on the eastern side of the fort is the main entrance to the splendid Golconda Fort. The intricate design of peacocks and lions adorn the area above the door.
4. The water and ventilation systems
The well-planned water system, ventilation systems and underground passages are some of the attractive features of the fort that captivates the attention of the visitors. Although the summers in Hyderabad can be quite hot, the palaces at this fort enjoyed a cool breeze even during the summers as a result of the special ventilation systems.
It is believed that there is a secret underground passage that connects the durbar hall to one of the palaces located at the lower areas of the fort.
5. Light and Sound Show at Golconda Fort
The captivating Light and Sound Show is held every day within the premises of Golconda Fort. During the show, the grand history of the fort is narrated using voice-overs and lighting effects. If you are visiting this fort for the first time, the Light and Sound Show is highly recommended.
Nearby Attractions near Golconda Fort
Qutb Shahi Tomb, Toli Masjid, Taramathi Gana Mandir, Premathi Nritya, Kala Mandir Mandir and Hyderabad Golf Club are some of the popular tourist attractions located in the vicinity of Golconda Fort.
Location: Khair Complex, Ibrahim Bagh, Hyderabad, Telangana 500008
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry fee: ₹ 15 for Indians and ₹ 200 for Foreigners
- Light and Sound Show in English, Telugu and Hindi.
- Ticket counter for Light and Sound Show opens from 5:30 PM
Cost of Tickets:
- For Executive class: ₹140 for adults and ₹110 for children
- For Normal class: ₹80 for adults and ₹60 for children
First Show Timings:
- 6:30 PM (November to February)
- 7 PM (March to October)
Second Show Timings:
- 7:45 PM(November to February)
- 8:15 PM (March to October)
Time required to visit Golconda Fort: Approximately 3 hours (excluding Light and Sound Show)
How to reach Golconda Fort from Hyderabad?
Golconda Fort is located at a distance of about 12 kilometres from the city centre. You can opt for private or public transportation to reach the fort.
Peddamma Temple Metro Station and the Jubilee Hills Check Post Metro Station are two nearest metro stations from Golconda Fort.
Bus services from different parts of the city to Golconda Fort are available at regular intervals.
Several car rental providers can also be hired for a trip to Golconda Fort.
Best time to visit Golconda Fort
October to February is the best time of the year to visit Golconda Fort as the weather remains pleasant.
Morning is the best time to explore Golconda Fort as the temperatures will remain slightly lower, but if you want to watch the Light and Sound Show, visit the fort after your lunch.
Best restaurants near Golconda Fort
The restaurants near Golconda Fort serve a wide variety of dishes from South-Indian to Middle Eastern and pure vegetarian. Here is a list of some popular restaurants located near Golconda Fort:
- Village Aaharam, Dosa Factory, Udupi’s Upahar, Dibbarotti, Pure Traditional Veg Tiffins, House of Dosas and Pachi Pulusu are some of the popular restaurants serving traditional South-Indian cuisine.
- Hotel Rumaan and Shah Ghouse Cafe and Restaurant are some of the restaurants you can visit for a plate of delicious biryani.
- Istanbul Authentic Döner Kebab and Al Wadi Yemeni Restaurant will delight you with flavourful Middle Eastern dishes.
Tips to remember during Golconda Fort tour
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes as you will spend about two to three hours exploring the fort.
- Always carry a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated.
Carry your shades, hats and sunscreen along with you so that you can use them as and when required.
- Take short breaks and rest for a while as you trek on the hilltop.
- Carry some snacks along with you as you might feel hungry after walking for hours.
- Hire a guide to give you a detailed history and description of the fort.
- There are a number of pocket-friendly places near the fort that sell a wide variety of snacks from chips to puffs and ice-cream. Also, there are several restaurants near the fort where you can enjoy a hearty meal.
On a Final Note
The grand architecture and history of the majestic Golconda Fort will leave you in awe. Spend some time to admire the intricate work and the detailed planning of the city built within the fortress. The Light and Sound Show at Golconda Fort will bring to life the grand history using the most interesting storytelling methods.
If you have visited Golconda Fort previously then please share your experience in the comment sections below.
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