On the outskirts of Hyderabad, the grandiose Golconda fort stands as the quintessence of Nawabi culture and majesty. Built in 1525 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, it speaks of a great cultural heritage of 400 years. The acoustic system of the Golconda Fort, the structural grandeur of its palaces and the ingenious water supply system are legendary examples of the architectural skills that have been put in its construction. It was once famous as a rich diamond mine in the medieval times and it is believed to be the place where the famed 'Kohinoor' diamond is said to have come from. The meticulous details of its architecture, sprawling lawns and gardens complete with fountains catches the attention of the onlookers. Built on a 120 m high granite hill, it is surrounded by crenulated masonry ramparts weighing several tonnes.
The ventilation of the place has been so designed to let the cool
breeze cool down the place in the summers and the massive gates are
studded with large pointed iron spikes to prevent elephants of the enemy
trying to force in through the gates. In more prosperous times, the
10-km long road from Golconda to outer Hyderabad was a world-renowned
market for jewellery, diamonds, pearls and other gems. The Golconda Fort
has been the seat of Deccan rulers since 13th century till Hyderabad was
founded in the 16th century. It was founded originally by the Kakatiyas
as a mud fort and was expanded later by the Qutub Shahi kings who turned
it into a massive fort of granite. The chief attractions of the fort are
its system of acoustics, which ensures that even a hand clap at below
the dome at the entrance can be heard clearly at the 'Bala Hissar', the
highest point almost a kilometre away, palaces, the famous 'Rahban'
cannon, the tombs of the Qutub Shahi kings, and the Sound and Light show
conducted by Andhra Pradesh Tourism.