This chapter is about the Golconda Fort. The title of this chapter is Walls Tell Stories. When we look at a historical monument, we learn many things about the past. The type of bricks, architecture, engravings, houses, palaces and other structures tell a lot about the past. So, this title is appropriate.
Golconda Fort is near Hyderabad. In Telugu, it is called Golla Konda which means shepherd's hill. In Udru language, it means round hill. This fort was built by Qutub Shahi Sultans who ruled between 1518 and 1687.
This is a simple site map of Golconda Fort. Try to find the four directions, i.e. North, South, East and West on this map. Try to count the number of gates as shown in this map. Try to count the number of palaces and number of other houses in the fort.
The Golconda Fort is built atop a hill. The fort is cordoned off by thick walls. There are many bastions or burjis or watch towers in the wall. Such burjis were made so that soldiers could keep a watch on incoming invaders. The height of the burj enabled the soldiers to spot anyone from a huge distance.
There are huge iron gates in the wall. These gates are so heavy that several people were needed to open them. Iron spokes are fixed on top of gate to make it really difficult to enter the fort.
There is a peculiar system for sending messages across the fort campus. You need to keep in mind that telephones were not available in those days. So, this system of messaging was really wonderful. If you will stand at the centre below any dome and clap or shout loudly, the sound will reach other domes which may be hundreds of meters away from this dome. Next time, if you are visiting the Golconda Fort, try to do this experiment. Ask your friends to stand under different domes and try to talk to them.
The fort also had many palaces and other buildings. The palaces were meant for the royal family. Other buildings were meant for people from other occupations, like farmers, ironsmiths, soldiers, etc.
There are huge canons on display in the fort. It is said that these canons were brought by Aurangzeb when he went there to attach the fort. But due to strong defense of the fort, Aurangzeb could conquer this fort after lot of effort.
Golconda was a major trade centre. It was famous for diamond mines. Many famous diamonds came from these mines. Koh-i-Noor is one example.
While on a trip to Hyderabad, people also visit Salar Jung Museum. This museum houses many artifacts from the Golconda Fort. There are remains of pots, pans, tools, clothes, grains, etc. from the fort. These remains tell a lot about the life of people who lived inside the fort.
Historians study such remains to tell the history of a place.
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