Golconda Fort lies 11 kilometers (7 miles) west of Hyderabad. Golconda’s recorded history dates from 1364 when it was no more than a small mud-walled fort. By 1518, when the Qutab Shahi kings rose to power, the fort had been enlarged. It was rebuilt in hard granite with huge iron spikes in its massive gates to repel battering war elephants.
A majestic monument, Golconda Fort is the epitome of the Nawab culture and grandeur. The designs of the ventilation in the fort’s walls reveal the brilliant planning of the architects; they are meant to let in a flow of fresh cool breeze to counter the heat of summer. The extraordinary acoustics for which Golconda is rightly famous also played a part in its protection. The entry gate and the summit’s citadel were designed so that the guards on the lower level could easily be heard at the top.
Within the fort is a secret underground tunnel leading from the Durbar Hall to one of the palaces at the foot of the hill. The fort was famous for its diamond trade.