Sunday, April 4, 2010

Golconda Fort

While returning from Bangalore I was tinkering with the idea of visiting this ruined city in the present  day Hyderabad.A close friend of mine whom I took along to explore the ancient fortress insisted on avoiding the trip due to the soaring temperatures.Golconda fort is not an easy place to explore he said- Instead suggested to explore it sometime in the Mansoon season when the weather is more cool and ideal.But I made him to come along and be my guide since i never visited the place before.

While traveling to the fort by road,I came across many historical sites and places including Langer house - A place where all the weapons and armory was stored.

The approach road to the fort itself was cleverly built.In an eventuality of an attack from the enemy forces,the cavalry could not come with a full force but had to take many twists and turns all along the way.There were many defensive mechanisms built along the approach road itself. My friend Dinesh told me that hot oil was pored from all over the holes of the outer boundary when the enemy forces tried to climb from the entrance walls! Indeed it was such an ingenious idea! That India was a place where chess was invented made sense to me.Survival techniques!!!

At last after going along the serpentile roads by bus we did reach the main entrance of this grand old city.The ancient ruins within these walls speak about India's maharajas,the emperors who ruled it for thousands of years,who created and built our heritage.

This picture was taken from outside the fortWhen we entered the fort,its beauty was spellbinding.The grand structure stands on a very big granite hill with many gates,arches and palaces.Golconda is also a place where one of the largest religions in the world come together in the form of an architectural wonder.One can find both Hindu and Islamic designs embedded within the walls and the grand arches.

[caption id="attachment_405" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Notice the peacocks and Lions on the same archway - A fine example of Hindu-Muslim architecture"][/caption]

And thus began our exploration in the sweltering heat -It was already 12.30 in the noon.With waterbottles and Ice creams to our rescue we started the climb.The first view of the climb itself is awesome.As such i have decided to put a picture of that coz it speaks more than my words!

An Ancient Magical acoustic system

This is the reason why i visited the place.I wondered how ancient architects managed to design such an excellent way of communication.Also called as the Fateh darwaza, a hand clap at the center of this dome can be heard more than a kilometer away at the top of the hill!!Awesome!.I was told that this was the kind of communication was made between sentries who manned the fortress walls from below the hill to the uppermost point of the fort!Ancient versions.There are some strategic locations around the fortress where this magical acoustic roofing was put up

[caption id="attachment_407" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Clap at the center of this roofing below and the sound travels all the way to the top of the hill!Awesome!!"][/caption]

There is another  speciality about this acoustic roofing.When  a person comes undercover and tries to assasinate the king by opening his dagger,the sound reverberates all over the place,allowing the sentries to stop the assasination attempts.Some times when people had to pass on secret conversations,the room made a perfect place to do that without actually meeting a person!Another Wow thing!

A place for Diamond trade

India was a place and still the largest producer of precious stones.Some of the world's most famous diamonds have been mined from this ancient city like the kohinnoor and the Hope dimond to name a few.The fort played a major role in creating the adequate momemtum in Diamond trade.Many precious stones which now are in various treasuries were once sourced out of this place.

[caption id="attachment_409" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="This place was used to trade in Diamonds heaps and heaps of them!"][/caption]

So this is how the trip went by,there are more stories to share but that is for the second part of the exploration!