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Golconda Fort, one of the most magnificent fortress complexes in India, is located at Ibrahim Bagh, Hyderabad, Telangana. The history of the Golkonda Fort dates back to the early 13th century, when this south eastern part of the country was ruled by the Kakatiyas. It is built on a granite hill 120 metres high, surrounded by massive crenellated ramparts. The bulk of the ruins of this fort, date from the time of the Qutub Shahi kings, who had ruled this part of the land in the 16th and 17th century.
Golkonda consists of four distinct forts with a 10km long outer wall having 87 semi-circular bastions; some still mounted with cannons, eight gateways, four drawbridges and number of royal apartments & halls, temples, mosques, magazines, stables etc, inside. The lowest of these is the outermost enclosure into which we enter by the ‘Fateh Darwaza’ (Victory gate, so called after Aurangzeb’s triumphant army marched in through this gate) studded with giant iron spikes ( to prevent elephants from battering them down) near the south-eastern corner. At Fateh Darwaza can be experienced the fantastic acoustical effects, characteristic 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, the highest point almost a kilometre away. This acted as the warning note to residents in case of danger though now it is a mere amusing diversion to visitors.
There is also supposed to be secret underground tunnel leading from the ‘Durbar Hall’ to one of the palaces at the foot of the hill. The tombs of the Qutub Shahi kings, built with Islamic architecture lie about 1 km north of the outer wall of Golkonda. These graceful structures are surrounded by landscaped gardens and beautifully carved stonework. The fortress city within the walls was famous for its diamond trade and many famed diamonds including the Koh-i-noor, Hope, Regent and Beu Sancy diamonds have come from here.