This post has been guest blogged by Hyder from EverybodyGoTo
Hyderabad is a bustling, rapidly developing, metropolitan city almost smack in the middle of South India. At the same time its people are known for their laid back attitude and the famous Hyderabadi Biryani. The architecture and culture is one of the richest in India, today you would probably hear more about Hyderabad due to its growing presence in the IT field. Companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM and others have set up offices here.
I would like to take you away from all the noise and modern development and take a look back at the past of my city.
The city of Hyderabad got it’s name from a local girl known first as Bhagyamati whom the ruler of Golconda, Quli Qutub Shah, fell in love with. The city was then named Bhagyanagaram after her, and later on to Hyderabad after Bhagyamati converted to Islam and adopted the name Hyder Mahal.
Golconda – Diamonds in the rough
Golconda fort is the origin of some of the most spectacular diamonds the world had ever seen. It was also the birthplace of modern day Hyderabad. Trade between Persia and India grew as a result of the diamond trade mines in Golconda.
The main entrance gate to Golconda is an architectural marvel. It’s basically a loud speaker. Any announcements made while standing in the middle of the entrance chamber could be heard all the way at the top of the citadel – almost 0.63 miles away! Also, any whispers made in one corner of the entrance dome could be heard in the opposite corner with amazing clarity. I know because I tried it.
The royal family would spend the hot summers of Hyderabad all the way at the top of the fort, but I’m sure they had a cool time. A specially designed array of ducts would swoosh the wind to constantly flow providing cool and breezy air to take away the heat of the day. The breeze was cool and even quite strong at times.
Even more ingenious was the water supply system which flowed from the bottom up! The bottom level tanks would get filled up first and then supply water all the way to the chambers at the top of a steep hill. Simple but so effective.
The fort of Golconda was probably one of the highest guarded and most defensive forts of its time. The Mughal ruler Aurangzeb tried hard to sack it for almost nine long months. It was only through the treachery of a gate keeper that he was able to enter into the fort, otherwise Golconda fort would have stood longer against his army.
Today the ruins of the fort are visited by many and the stories still live on. Standing at the top of the fort, you can tell that the rulers had a good time staying there. The view was probably much different too.
Hope you enjoyed this little glance into history.