Golconda Fort

About 10 kms to the west of the city is the historic Golconda Fort, once the headquarters of the Qutub Shahi Sultans who ruled a state that lay between the lower courses of the Godavari and the Krishna rivers extending to the Bay of Bengal. Besieged by Aurangzeb in 1686, the fort withstood the attack for a full year before it fell owing to treachery. It is built on the summit of a granite hill, dominating, the landscape. Its perimeter is about 11 km and the granite wall encircling the fort has eight -gates and 70 bastions. Intricate stairways lead to the lofty citadel once occupied by the rulers. The most interesting feature of the fort is its system of acoustics. A sound----make a clap of hands—made below the dome of the entrance is transmitted to the 61-metre-high top of the fort, making it possible for quick dispatch of any coded message. No less impressive are the remains of the system that carried water through laminated clay-pipes and Persian wheels, to the top gardens and the citadels. Golconda was once the synonym for diamond mines. Ruling dynasties the world over, from the Czar of Russia to the monarchs of Britain, coveted the yields from these mines. The famous Kohinoor is a gift of Golconda.

The Golconda Fort was originally constructed in the mid-Twelfth Century by the Yadav kings of Deogiri. It passed through a succession of ruler until it became the capital of the Qutub Shahis from 1518 to 1687. The diamonds vault at the Golconda Fort is known to have once housed the Kohinoor and the Hope diamonds. The Fort is quite revered for its acoustics, palace, a remarkable water supply system and the Fateh Rahen gun. The added 'nostalgic' accompaniment at the Fort is the not-to-be-missed sound and light show every day.

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