Golconda Fort History: Feature, Timings, Facts & More

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Golconda Fort history

Golconda Fort is located in the city of Hyderabad, India. It was originally a mud fort named Mankal and was built in the year 1143. Spanning over several centuries, this majestic fort has witnessed the rise and fall of kingdoms, becoming a symbol of power, grandeur and cultural heritage. Let us delve into the captivating Golconda Fort history and discover its fascinating features and facts.

Commissioned byKakatiya Dynasty as Mud House
Also Known asMankal
ArchitectThe Kakatiyas
LocationHyderabad, Telangana
Timings8 am to 5:30 pm; open everyday
Entry Fee for fort₹ 25 for Indians and SAARC and BIMSTEC visitor; ₹ 300 for foreigners 
Still Camera₹ 25
StatusIncluded in the “List of Monuments” by ASI

History of Golconda Fort

The Golconda fort history can be traced back to the mud house which was built following a story of being a holy spot by the Raja of Warangal. The fort was initially named Mankal and built on the hill known as Golla Konda, which means Shepherd’s Hill. It was rebuilt by Rani Rudrama Devi and her successor Prataparudra.

Later, the fort was ruled by the Kamma Nayakas who successfully fought against the Tughlaqi army to protect Warangal. In 1364, the Kamma King Musunuri Kapaya Nayaka handed over the fort to the Bahamani Sultans. Soon the Bahmani ruler passed on the power to the Qutb Shah dynasty king. Later, it took 62 years for the first three Sultans of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty to build the fort walls. Golconda became the capital of the Qutb Shahi rulers.

  1. Medieval Origins:
    • Built during the reign of the Kakatiya dynasty in the 13th century, the Golconda Fort initially served as a simple mud fortification. After 200 years, the Bahmani kingdom took over the construction work.
    • It became a prominent stronghold under the rule of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, which laid the foundations for its expansion and transformation into a formidable fort.

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  1. Qutb Shahi Dynasty:
    • Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk (1485-1543), the founder of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, in the year 1501, established the Golconda Fort as the capital of his kingdom in the 16th century.
    • The fort reached its zenith during the reign of Sultan Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, who constructed the iconic diamond market, known as the “Bazaar-e-Kohinoor,” within its walls.
    • The Golconda Fort is a marvel of medieval military architecture, designed to withstand sieges and ensure the safety of its occupants.
    • It boasts magnificent ramparts, defensive walls and strategically positioned bastions, providing an impeccable vantage point for surveillance and defence.

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  1. Fall and Decline:
    • The fort was an impregnable fortress and had already witnessed several battles and changing rulers, including the invasion by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in the late 17th century.
    • In the year 1687, Aurangzeb sieged the fort after eight months of war, ending the rule of the Qutb shahi dynasty.
    • After a protracted siege, the fort was captured by the Mughals, although the Mughal ruler was termed a “mean-minded coward” because of his mean and deceptive tactics in capturing the fort.
Remains of Golconda fort

Features of the Golconda Fort

Some of the unique features of the fort are – 

  1. The Clapping Portico – 
  • One of the unique features of the Golconda Fort is the “clapping portico,” also known as the “Echoing Portico.”
  • This architectural marvel showcases the exquisite acoustics of the fort, where a hand clap can be heard at the grand entrance, known as the Fateh Darwaza, nearly a kilometre away at the Bala Hissar Pavilion, the highest point of the fort. It was used as a warning for the Sultan of any suspected attacks.
  • The name Fateh Darwaza is said to have come from the story – when the Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb’s army attacked the gate of the fort and achieved victory, they named the gate Fateh Darwaza or Victory Gate.
  1. Diamond Hub – 
  • Golconda is believed to be the mine of the famous diamonds existing in the world. The diamonds like the famous Koh-i-noor, Daria-e-Noor, Hope Diamond, Noor-ul-ain, Orlo, Jacob and Nizam along with exclusive jewels like the Florentine Yellow, Akbar Shah and Great Mogul were found.
  • Golconda Fort gained immense fame for its association with the flourishing diamond trade which even the traveller Marco Polo also noted.
Baradari (Darbar Hall)

  1. Architecture – 
  • The fort was intentionally ruined by the Mughal ruler, thus not much of its glory can be seen now.
  • The fort still stands today with 87 semicircular bastions armed with mounted cannons, eight gateways, majestic halls, four drawbridges, mosques, temples magazines, stables, etc 
  • Around 400 years ago, there existed a magnificent garden with wonderful scents spread over kilometres, but after the invasion, the garden lost its grandeur only leaving with the dried land and peat moss.

Also Read – Satavahana Dynasty: History, Rulers and Decline

7 Fascinating Facts about Golconda Fort

  1. Golconda Fort is spread over an 11-kilometre stretch area.
  2. The fort has four different regiments which are connected by walls that rise up to 15 meters in height, making it nearly impregnable during its heyday.
  3. The Golconda Fort is strategically situated on a granite hill, providing a natural advantage for defence and surveillance, with a panoramic view of the scenic beauty.
  4. The fort has an elaborate system of tanks and wells, which ensures a continuous supply of water to meet the needs of the inhabitants during times of siege or drought.
  5. A peacock with an elaborate tail is added to the grand frame in the entryway of the fort, marking the inspiration from Hindu architecture.
  6. The Golconda Fort had an intricate network of sound and light-based communication systems, allowing rapid transmission of messages across long distances, like the clapping portico.
  7. The rulers of the Qutb Shahi dynasty were known for their extravagant firework displays from the fort, captivating audiences and adding to its allure.
Carvings inside Golconda Fort

Timings and Entry Fee of Golconda Fort

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), took the initiative of illuminating the fort at night with lights. Another attraction is the light and sound show at the fort. The timings for visiting the Monument and watching the mesmerising light and sound shows are –

Entry8:00 am to 5:30 pm
Week EntryOpen Everyday 
Light and Sound ShowFor English Show – 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
For Hindi/Telugu Shows – 7:45 pm to 8:45 pm
Duration of the Show60 minutes

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Entry Fee

Indian CitizensINR 25 per person (changes applicable)
SAARC  and BIMSTEC country’s visitorsINR 25 per person (changes applicable)
ForeignersINR 300 per person
Entrance is free for children under 15 years.

Other Attractions near Golconda Fort

CharminarChowmahalla Palace
Birla MandirNTR Garden
Qutb Shahi TombsLumbini Park

Despite its decline, the Golconda Fort remains a cherished heritage site, attracting tourists and history enthusiasts from across the globe. Its intricate architecture, stunning gateways, royal palaces, and serene gardens reflect the architectural intelligence and opulence of bygone eras in Hyderabad.

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That’s all about Golconda Fort history! If you want to know more about topics like this, then visit our general knowledge page! Alternatively, you can also read our blog on general knowledge for competitive exams!

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