Quite close to the fort of Golconda you can see the majestic tombs built for the erstwhile rulers of Hyderabad, the Qutub Shahis. Qutub Shahi tombs, as they are popularly called, hold the tomb of all but the last ruler of Qutub shahi s who ruled the Hyderabad region for well over 180 years. During his reign the majestic monuments like the Charminar were built and also the very names Bhagya Nagar and Hyderabad were christened and built. The main water body of Hussain Sagar was also built during the rule of this dynasty.
The Qutub Shahi tombs of the seven Sultans of Golconda and the rulers of Hyderabad are situated in a picturesque garden called Ibrahim Bagh. These mausoleums mark the Indo-Persian architectural style with a slight blend of the Deccan style of architecture. The beautiful domes, columns, the minarets and arches speak volumes about the then architectural style.
There are about 30 tombs in the complex, belonging to some of the members of the royal family, apart from that of Qutub Shahis. Every tomb is situated in a quadrilateral figure rising to a height of about 9 to 15 feet above the ground. Most of them are two-storied while few of the smaller ones are single storied structures. These tomb stands on a base of about 6 feet above the ground. The lower part of the tombs is adorned with arches on all sides and has striking minarets on the four corners of the terrace on the first floor. The top most part of the tomb is a massive dome with a brass spire on it. The second terrace, just below the dome is embraced with six small minarets separated by railing-like structures.
The largest of all the tombs is that of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah and the most impressive is that of his son and the founder of the city of Hyderabad, Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah. There is another incomplete tomb lying to the left side of the main gateway. This tomb is that of Mirza Nizamuddin Ahmed, the eldest son-in-law of Sultan Abdullah Qutub Shah.
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Tomb of Jamsheed Quli Qutub Shah:
One of the most impressive tombs is that of Jamsheed Quli Qutub Shah, the second of the Qutub Shahis, who died on 22nd January 1550. His tomb lies on the south western side of his father s but not as huge as that of his successors. Standing on a square platform about 5 feet from the ground, this tomb is octagonal in shape with two balconies giving it an impression of a two storied division. There are some false arches alternated by arches for the entrance.
Tomb of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah:
The tomb of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah is one of its kinds. Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah was the fourth Shahi kings who died on 5th June 1580. A quadrilateral building, this tomb has two rows of five arches one over the other, just to give it a two storey effect. There runs a balustrade with miniature arches at the four corners. The exterior walls of this tomb were once decorated with encaustic tiles of different colours. Even today you can see these tiles in two upper arches, which are well preserved.
Tomb of Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah:
The tomb of Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, the founder of Hyderabad is one of the largest and finest among the other complexes. He died on 11th January 1612 and his grave is in the middle of the lower platform at ground level. The entire structure is about 42.5 metres high and the dome itself is about 18 metres high. The tomb has a double terrace, rising about 6 metres from the ground. The lower terrace is 60 square metres supported by a facade of 28 open arches on each side while the upper terrace is 38 square metres. There are false openings with two central pillars, giving it an elegant look. Just below the dome, there are highly decorated parapets with striking minarets at the corners.
Tomb of Mohammed Qutub Shah:
The tomb of Mohammed Qutub Shah, who died on 31st January 1626, is superior to its predecessors. He was the son-in-law of Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah. The tomb has two storeys with the lower storey having many arches. On the second storey, there are five false openings in the shape of arches. On the top of it, there run balustrades separated by small beautiful minarets. The dome is flanked by petal-shaped structures at its lower end. There are some enamelled tiles that still adorn the facade. There are six other graves of Mohammed Qutub Shah s three sons and three daughters.
Tomb of Hayath Bakshi Begum:
Hayat Bakshi Begum, a prominent Qutub Shahi lady, was the daughter of Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, who died in 1617. She was the wife of Sultan Muhammad Qutub Shah and mother of Sultan Abdullah. She was adored by her people and was regarded as Ma Saheba . The tomb is beautiful in its own way with a rectangular stone cistern in front of it, with a beautiful fountain. The central structure is a quadrilateral hall with fine false arches on the four sides, topped by a low parapet and with six miniature minarets. The dome and corridor of this tomb are of dressed granite cut in huge blocks, covered in parts with plaster and stucco in ornate designs. The doorways are also ornately made.
Just beside this tomb there is a beautiful small mosque with marvellous architecture. The art work on the walls of the mosque is worth nothing. It has lovely entwining creepers and rosettes. This work resembles the ancient Buddhist times of 3rd century. This shows that the Hindu artisans did influence Qutub Shahi architecture.
Tomb of Abdullah Qutub Shah:
The tomb of Abdullah Qutub Shah is another beautiful monument and stands par with that of his ancestors. The tomb is made of black granite with five decreasing plinths on which you can see the verses from Holy Quran. The platform on which the tomb stands is about 82 Square metres with almost same way of construction as the other tombs. The quadrangular main hall is decorated with five false arches and crowned by balustrades. This tomb has two storeys with the first story having seven arch-like opening on all sides. Its terrace has beautiful miniature minarets. The second storey is flanked by false arch-like opening, five arches on each side. On its terrace, it has four minarets at four corners and a row of balustrades separated by even smaller minarets.