To explore the plethora of history of this 400-years old city, one has to visit the Golconda Fort, which has been standing grandiosely for years. Golconda Fort is one of the most magnificent fortresses in India. It has been wrapping around history and Hyderabad's tradition from the time it was built.
Today, though it has fallen into ruins, you can still visualise the ups and downs the fort withstood. The entrance of the Golconda Fort is marked by Fateh Darwaza or the Victory Gate , so called after Aurangzeb s winning army marched in through this gate. It is studded with giant iron spikes. Amazing thing to note here is its acoustics effects, which can be heard some 200-300 meters away from the place. It gives you a real fantastic experience where you can know the communication skills of those times. If you stand at a particular place in this gateway and clap or shout, you can hear it somewhere about 300-400 metres on the top-most part of the fort. This was the means to convey any message or warm the other soldiers or the king of an enemy attack in those days. you can still hear this provided, the place is not very noisy.
If you are a keen explorer, then do not miss to see some of the most astonishing parts of the fort. To start with, you have the most impressive guns, the Azhdaha Paikar Gun. It is placed on the Musa Burj, located to the south-east of Golconda Fort. This gun was used by the army of Emperor Aurangzeb during the last siege of Golconda in 1687 A.D. A ball weighing 40 seers (equivalent to about 40 Kgs.) was used in charging this gun. It is about 14 feet 10 inches in length and the diameter of the bore is 2 feet 4 inches.
It is a replica of the Fatah Rahbar gun, which lies on the north-western side of the Golconda Fort. There is a Persian inscription on the gun, which reads: "Abul Muzaffar Mohiuddin Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahadur Alamgir Badshahe Ghazi (Victorious King) 1 8th year, of the auspicious reign, in the holy Hijra year 1085 A.H." and "The Azhdaha Paikar (Dragon-body) gun. Cast by Muhammad Arab; charge one maund according to the Shah Jahani weight; Gun powder thirteen and one eighth seer according to the Shah Jahani weight".
Don't forget to see Ramadas Bandikhana, a prison where Ramadas, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama was imprisoned. It is said that Ramadas, who was also the collector in Abul Hasan Tana Shah, the eighth Qutub Shahi ruler s court, used the taxes for construction of Lord Rama temple in Bhadrachalam. For this, Ramadas was put behind the bars until he repaid all the money. Out of grief, he prayed Lord Rama who then appeared to Tana Shah in the disguise of Ramoji and Laxmoji - as the servants of Bhakta Ramadas. These two men repaid the amount owed by Ramadas, 6 lakh Mohurs (gold coins used as money in those days), to the Nawab and asked him to free their devotee. Tana Shah gave a voucher to the men and the same voucher was found under the pillow of Ramadas in this jail. Tana shah then realized the devotion of Bhakta Ramadas and realized that the two men in disguise were none other than Lord Rama and Lord Lakshmana. The king then ordered for immediate release of Ramadas and also placed the 6 lakh Mohurs at his feet. Ramadas refused to take the entire money and just took two coins from it as a mark of divine significance. The Nawab also ordered that the money collected as tax from Bhadrachalam Tahasil shall be used for the Rama temple here. This is the story behind this legendary jail seen in Golconda Fort.
As you go on explore you can also see the granary where they used to store grains, rooms of the Queens, horse stables, Taramati Masjid where she used to pray after she was converted to Muslim. There is one Goddesses Kali temple and Nandi Temple, which shows that the place was ruled by Hindu rulers (the Bahamani Kings) as well. The water tanks here are noteworthy as they reveal the then technical styles. They were built step-by-step, meaning one tank at the next level of the other tank so that the water is transported from the first level to the next and so on from the top most part of the fort. If you carefully see the walls, you can see various holes in which the hot water, cold water and rose water were supplied to the kings and queens. Special people were employed to test the water from time to time before it reached the royal family. Then you can also see the Gun powder artillery and the place where the dead bodies of the royal family were bathed before taking them for burial.
Don t forget to see the weighing stone which was used to weigh the food, ammunition and also for recruiting the soldiers or candidates for working in the dynasty. Yes, latter part sounds strange, but it is a fact that they candidates were made to carry this huge weighing stone (actually two, each about 120 pounds) from palace gate to the top of the fort. If the candidate succeeds in carrying the weights, he was then recruited and given grains as monthly wages. It was also a kind of physical exercise for the soldiers of the Qutub Shahis.