Golconda Fort

1143 CE

These images were contributed by Uzair Ahmed Quraishi at uzairquraishi@hotmail.com

Text by Uzair Ahmed Quraishi
Hyderabad was one of the many princely states that existed during the time that the British ruled India. The state was located in Southern India on the Deccan Plateau. The Nizam [King] was one of the richest men alive at the time, his wealth numbering in the hundreds of millions. In 1948, a year after the partition of British India into Pakistan and India, Hyderabad which had opted for its independence, was over run and occupied by Indian forces, and since has been part of India. Today, Hyderabad once again is a vibrant city and is the "silicon valley" of India.

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.
The granite crenellated wall is approximately 7 KM in circumference with a deep trench. The walls' thickness ranges from 17 to 34 feet and is broken by 87 semi circular bastions which are 50 to 60 feet high.
The fort has 8 gates or Darwazas as they are called locally, the main gate being Fateh Darwaza [Gate of Victory]. The door is 13 feet wide and 25 feet high and studded with steel spikes to protect it from charging elephants. The fort also includes a palace, a mosque, a parade ground, and an armoury besides many other buildings.

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© 2001 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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