Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hyderabad Chronicles IV - Golconda Fort, Kutb Shahi tombs, Spanish Mosque and Secundrabad

Hyderabad Chronicles I - To Hyderabad and Salar Jung Museum
Hyderabad Chronicles II - Walking through Salar Jung Museum
Hyderabad Chronicles III - Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Chowmahalla Palace, Hussain Sagar and Birla Mandir
Hyderabad Chronicles IV - Golconda Fort, Kutb Shahi tombs, Spanish Mosque and Secundrabad

Bala Hissar Gate
On Sunday morning I woke up around 6 and went to the nearby bus stop. The question was which bus could take me there; interestingly some two-three people I approached also didn’t have any idea about the bus numbers. Finally, I met a person who was going to Mehdipatanam and boarded the vehicle along with him. AP state assembly, NMDC building etc were started running in the opposite direction. Mehdipatanam is a crowded area, in that Sunday morning too there were so many people rushing to reach their destination. 

One young man was preparing tea in a nearby restaurant. As usual the guy is moving hand in some special way while adding mixing the ingredients. After watching him for some time, I ordered on Badam tea. He took some milk from one bowls, badam powder from another one and a lot of sugar.

It was mini bus, but almost empty. I comfortably positioned myself on a side seat. After crossing defence area I saw the outer walls of fort slowly waking up from the sleep. Soon we crossed one of the fort gates - I think this gate is named as Fateh Darwaza - and reached a narrower road. Golkonda bus stand is a small one and the entrance of inner fort is in a walk able distance from here.

Fort gate was open and people were going in. Some carried big sacks filled with cook able items; for my surprise there were two black goats, with tied legs. At first I didn't understand the purpose, only after reaching inside I realised that the poor animal were seeing their last sunrise - Sacrifice.

Ramdas Jail
This 13th century Golkonda - meaning shepherd's hill - fort was originally built by Kakatiya kings. Later it fell in to the hands of Bahmani Sulthanate in 1363 AD. After the fall of Bahmani sultanate fort came in to the hands of Qutb Shahi dynasty. In 1518 AD it became the capital of Qutb Shahi's under then Sulthan Quli Qutd Shah.

Later in 1687 fort fell in to hands of Mugal emperor Aurangzeb only after withstanding the Mugal army for nine months. He appointed Asif Jhah, who later proclaimed independence as Nizam-ul-Mulk in 1713. Golkoda fort had eight gateways, and the one at south-eastern corner is known as 'Fateh Darwaza' (Victory Gate) after Aurangazeb's victorious army marched through this gate.

Golkonda Fort
I was standing in front of BalaHissar. This giant gate is decorated with Iron spikes in the front and two Lions and two peacocks in the top. I went through the gate and reached an area called Clapping Portico. It's said that if you clap here, the sound can be heard at the highest point in the fort, almost one km away. There were a group of people behind me and everyone started clapping at this point.

I walked through a path constructed by ASI and after a steep a climb at one point reached Ramdas jail. It is here the 17th century saint composer Kancharla Gopanna (then Tahasildar of Bhadrachalam and the builder of famous Bhadrachalam Sree Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple) who later became famous in the name of Bhakta Ramadas was jailed for 12 years. I spent some time inside the jail; he spent 12 years here which doesn't even have a window!!!
Kutb Shahi Tombs

After climbing some more steps I reached MahaKali Temple. Then I moved towards Baradari - a rectangular building at the highest point in the fort. From the top you can view almost all nearby areas - Fort's outer walls, gates, ruins etc.

Two police personals were sitting there with their walky-talky. As it is the highest point, it is here I am supposed to here the clapping sound from BalaHissar gate. May be because of the crumbled areas, or nobody was clapping at the gate I didn’t hear any sounds other than the one coming from walky- talky. I came down from there using another and reached the front end of the fort. Some of buildings located here still have their plastering. After sitting some time at the garden thinking about Kakatiyas, Bahmanis, Qutab Shahis, Aurangazeb, Ramdas, Diamonds of Golkonda etc I left the fort.
Kutb Shahi Tombs

The important structures of Golkonda fort are BalaHissar Gate, Clapping Portico, Mortuary Bath, Silai Khana, Nagina Bagh, Taramati Mosque, Guard Lines, Akkanna-Madanna offices, Ramdas Jail Durbar Hall, Ambar Khana, Ibrahim Mosque, Baradari and Mahakali Temple.

I went to one of the nearby stores and checked for the way to Kutb Shahi Tombs. I decided to walk, thinking it may be only 1km but turned out to be longer than that. I took the 'Bada-Darwaza' road after some time I reached 'Banjara Darwaza', and finally on the left side I saw the board of Kutub Shahi tombs.

Spanish Mosque
Here lays the sultans of Kutub Shahi dynasty. Dynasty's founder Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk migrated first to Delhi in 16th century and then to Deccan. He served under Bahmani Sulthan Mohammed Shah and conquered Golkonda. After the fall of Bahmani Sulthanete, he proclaimed independence and Golkonda became the capital. There were seven sultans from this dynasty; they ruled Golkonda for 171 years until Aurangzeb’s conquest of Deccan.

Tombs are spread over a large area. I moved from one tomb to another and in some places I went inside (one has to remove the shoes to go inside a tombs). There is a small museum here. After spending some more time thinking about the dynasty I went outside and took one bus to Mehdipatanam. It was around one 'o' clock only. As there was enough time I boarded one bus to Secandrabad, which took me to Secandrabad Railway station. One of the beautiful things I saw in Hyderabad is people, wherever you go there will be a huge crowd. You will never feel alone in this city. After spending sometime near to railway station I went to Begumpet - here stands the Spanish Mosque.
In front of one of the tombs

Paigah Nawab - Nawab Sir Iqbal Ud Daula - constructed this mosque in 1906 after his return from Spain, inspired by Cathedral–Mosque of C√≥rdoba. The speciality of this mosque is its spires, instead of minarets or domes, which gives the mosque a church like appearence. Back to Secundrabad.

After crossing the famous clock tower of Secunderabad I get down at Railway station. After walking through the city for some time I reached the bus stand near to Ganesha temple. From here towards MGBS, on the way I saw Kachiguda railway station (its small compared to Secunderabad but a beautiful one), MahatmaGandhi Medical College etc. Finally I reached MGBS, then a 10.20pm Rajahamsa took me back to Bangalore.


Sajeev.

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