I was in Hyderabad last April for a friend's wedding. Being in Hyderabad, I couldn't forgo an opportunity of visiting Golconda Fort. My curiosity was piqued when I came to know many famous gems including the Kohinoor diamond were kept in the vaults of this fort. The head quarters of the Qutb Sahi dynasty, Golkonda fort is among the biggest and most famous fortresses of Southern India.
Easily one of the strongest forts of medieval India, it had three lines of powerful fortification walls with a deep trench surrounding the outer wall. The first line enclosed the town while the second, a double wall ran around the foot of the hill on which the citadel stood. The third line further up the wall is formed by connecting walls of masonry to natural boulders. The outer fortified wall, varying in thickness from 5m to 10m, has 8 gates - Fateh, Bahmani, Mecca, Patancheru, Banjara, Jamali, Naya Qula and Moti.
The outer wall is further strengthened by 87 large bastions present at short intervals. At various places, on the fortified wall, vents can be seen pointing downwards. Soldiers manning guns used to command the foot way immediately below. Teak doors covered with iron sheets and studded with sharp spikes protected the gates. Cannons were pointed at the gate entrance to deter invading enemy soldiers in case they managed to break the gates.
One of the most interesting aspects of Golconda Fort is the signalling system incorporated in its construction. The various edifices are so placed as to transmit sound to different far away points. If one claps standing at the centre of the entrance portal the sound is deflected by the opposite building which is constructed at an angle to the entrance. Similarly, sounds of hands clapped at the entry gate can be heard clearly at the hill top.