Walls Tell Stories
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.
Reading a Map
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.