Golkonda Fort a ruined city of south-central India and capital of ancient Kingdom of Golkonda (c.1518–1687), is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad.
The most important builder of Golkonda was Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah Wali, the fourth Qutub king of the Qutub Shahi Dynasty. Ibrahim was following in the spirit of his ancestors, the Qutub Shahi kings, a great family of builders who had ruled the kingdom of Golkonda from 1512. Their first capital, the fortress citadel of Golkonda, was rebuilt for defense from invading Mughals from the north. They laid out Golkonda's splendid monuments, now in ruins, and designed a perfect acoustical system by which a hand clap sounded at the fort's main gates, the grand portico, was heard at the top of the citadel, situated on a 300-foot (91 m)-high granite hill. This is one of the fascinating features of the fort.
In the 16th century, Golkonda was the capital and fortress city of the Qutb Shahi kingdom, near Hyderabad. The city was home to one of the most powerful Muslim sultanates in the region and was the center of a flourishing diamond trade.
Golkonda was located 11 km west of the city of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh state, India (location 17°23′00″N 78°24′15″E). According to a legend, the fort derives its name from Golla conda, which is a Persian term meaning Gol Ghandeh or rose jam. This terminology is being used today in India, and the Jam is called Golghand.
The city and fortress are built on a granite hill that is 120 meters (400 ft) high and is surrounded by massive crenelated ramparts. The fort became the capital of a major province in the Sultanate and after its collapse the capital of the Qutb Shahi kings. The fort finally fell into ruins after a siege and its fall to Mughal emperor Aurangazeb.
The Golconda fort used to have a vault where once the famous Kohinoor and Hope diamonds were stored along with other diamonds.
Golkonda's mines yielded few diamonds. Actually, Golkonda was the market city of the diamond trade, and gems sold there came from a number of mines. The fortress city within the walls was famous for diamond trade. However, Europeans believed that diamonds were found only in the fabled Golconda mines.
Magnificent diamonds were taken from the mines in the region surrounding Golkonda, including Darya-e Nur, meaning sea of light, at 185 carats (37 g), the largest and finest diamond of the crown jewels of Iran.
Its name has taken a generic meaning and has come to be associated with great wealth. Gemologists use this classification to denote a diamond with a complete (or almost-complete) lack of nitrogen; "Golkonda" material is also referred to as "2A".
Many famed diamonds are believed to have been excavated from the mines of Golkonda, such as:
- The Koh-i-noor
- Darya-e Nur
- Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond
- The Hope Diamond
- The Regent Diamond
- Wittelsbach Diamond
By the 1880s, Golkonda was being used generically by English speakers to refer to any particularly rich mine, and later to any source of great wealth.
During the Renaissance and the early modern eras, the name "Golkonda" acquired a legendary aura and became synonymous for vast wealth. The mines brought riches to the ruling Qutb Shahis of Hyderabad State, who ruled Golkonda up to 1687, then to ruling Asaf Jah of Hyderabad State, who ruled after the independence from the Mughals in 1724, until 1948,, when Hyderabad was annexed, to become an Indian state.
Timings: 09.00 am - 5.00 pm (Closed on Monday)
Entry Fee: Rs. 10 for Indian Nationals, Rs. 100 for Foreign Nationals
Video: Rs. 25
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Timings: All days 1st Show 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm (Nov to Feb); All days 2nd Show 8:15pm to 9:15 pm (Mon, Wed, Fri - Telugu Show; Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun - Hindi Show)
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Entry Fee: VIP Class Rs. 100 (Adult) Rs.75 (Child) Non Executive: Rs.50 (Adult) Rs.30 (Child) Child is reckoned as 3 to 10 years.
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