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Agra Fort: A Mughal Architectural Masterpiece

Agra fort or the Red Fort of Agra stands proudly close to the well-manicured gardens of the world-wonder of the Taj Mahal. This  resplendent Mughal monument of the16th –century is a dominant red sandstone fortress standing cradled in its 2.5-km-long enclosing walls.

Agra Fort is also inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Agra Fort
Agra Fort is a UNESCO inscribed World Heritage Site

This beautiful structure houses a number of palaces, including the Jahangir Palace, the Khas Mahal, the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Public Audience), the Musamman Burj, the Diwan-i-Am, among others. Besides the Taj Mahal, it is another extremely popular tourist attraction in Agra, a specimen of fine Mughal architecture.

Agra Fort has been rated as one of the 10 best forts in India.

Fast Facts about Agra Fort

Location: On the west bank of the River Yamuna, about 2km upstream from the Taj Mahal

Built by: Mughal Emperor, Akbar

Built in: 1565

Highlights: Various beautiful palaces and 2 mosques

How to Reach: From the airport, the railway station and the main city centers, taxis and other local transport is available to reach Agra Fort

Best time to visit: November to February

Entry fee: INR 10 for Indian citizens, visitors of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries

                Others: US $ 5 or INR 250 per person

                (Note: Children up to 15 years are free)

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Agra Fort, popular as a walled city, is erected on the banks of the river Yamuna river and has 2 gates, the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate.

Tourists are allowed to enter the fort only through the Amar Singh Gate. Spread in 2.5 kms of area, this expansive complex comprises of several bastions, courts, towers, gateways, ramparts that are a symbol of the strength of the erstwhile Mughal Empire.

History and anecdotes
Originally, a brick fort owned by the Chauhan Rajputs, it first came to limelight in 1080 AD when a force of Ghaznavide captured it. Sikandar Lodi (1487-1517) was Delhi’s first Sultan who shifted to Agra and made this fort his home and governed the country from here.

This made Agra gain the status of the second capital. After his death in 1517, Ibrahim Lodi his son ran his rule from the fort for the next 9 years. He had commissioned a number of wells, palaces and a mosque during his rule. However, in the Battle of Panipat in 1526, he was defeated and killed.

Post Panipat’s first battle, the Fort and its sprawling treasure were captured by the Mughals including a beautiful diamond that later became popular as the Kohinoor diamond. In a chronological order, Mughal emperors- Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb lived at this fort and ruled the country from here.

Akbar realized the significance of the strategic location of Agra and had made it his capital in 1558. Since the fort was in a dilapidated state, he re-built in red sandstone. After the foundation was laid by the architects, the inner core was built in bricks and the external surfaces were in red sandstone. After around 4000 workers worked for around 8 years, the construction came to an end in 1573.

It was during the reign of Shah Jahan, the grandson of Akbar and the builder of the Taj Mahal, that today’s Agra Fort finally took its form. Contrary to other predecessors, Shah Jahan erected structures in white marble, with a delicate inlay of semi-precious gems and gold carvings. He also demolished some older buildings within the fort, and built them as per his liking and taste.

In the concluding years of his life, Shah Jahan was locked up by Aurangzeb, his son within the fort. If rumors are to be believed Shah Jahan took his last breath in Muasamman Burj, a huge tower that consists of a marble balcony that offered an amazing view of the Taj Mahal where his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal was buried.

Agra Fort has also been the site of one of the battles that took place at the time the first Indian rebellion in the year 1857. This rebellion was the end of the rule of the British East India Company in India and starting of the direct rule of Britain in India. Today, what we see in this magnificent fort is only a fraction of what it was in its days of glory.

Some interesting facts about Agra fort
Agra fort comprises of beautiful structures in both red sandstone as well as white marble, commissioned as per their taste by 2 generations of Mughal emperors, Akbar and later Shah Jahan

Surrounded by a fetid moat, the fort in Auricular shape, was massive double walls which as 20 meters in height and are 2.5 meters in circumference

The Agra Fort, in 2004, had won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004 and to commemorate this event, a special stamp was issued India Post

The fort contains of some striking palaces and other structures such as Jahangiri Mahal, Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am, Sheesh Mahal, Shah Jahani Mahal, Macchi Bhawan, Akbari Mahal, Bengali Mahal and Musamman Burj

Within the complex of the fort,  3 beautiful mosques- Moti Masjid, Nagina Masjid and Mina Masjid and the Zenana Mina Bazaar

The walls of the marble pavilions have beautiful intricate carvings

To keep the rooms cool, there were hollows in the walls and they were filled with running water so that cool breeze would flow in the room

Some of the balconies in the pavilions, offer spectacular views of the river Yamuna and the Taj Mahal

In a similar manner as the Delhi’s Red Fort, Agra Fort is also one of the most popular symbols of the Mughal grandeur under its rulers like Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan

Most of the marble structures within the fort are like the best specimens of the Indo-Muslim art with influences from the Timurid art of Persia

The Agra Fort had an important role to play in the Sherlock Holmes mystery novel, The Sign of the Four, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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Onam- Festivals in India

The South Indian state of Kerala bustles with some high-spirited activity during the late August or early September. The reason of this celebration is the state festival of Onam, a 10-day carnival including boat races, feasting, dance, songs, happiness and much more.

Rangoli to Celebrate Onam
Huge Rangoli prepared to celebrate Onam, an important festival in Kerala
If you are interested in visiting Kerala, here's a brief travel guide to Kerala.

Onam, also known as Thiruonam, begun in the form of happy yearly recollection of the reign of King Mahabali, a mythical King.  This long duration is famed as the golden period in Kerala.

It is a reminder of the true devotion of this king to the God, his sacrifices, his feeling of pride and ultimately his salvation. It is in taken-up in the form of celebration of an assurance that people of his state are happy.

The yearly festivities of Onam have a legend behind them. According to the legend, King Mahabali, who was a believer of Lord Vishnu, conquered all three worlds, after defeating the Devtas.

The Devtas went to Lord Vishnu for help, for which he denied. But later he decided to test the King and took the form of a dwarf Barhim, Vamana and went to attend the Yagna being performed by him.

On visiting Mahabali, Vamana demanded that as a priest his wishes should be fulfilled for which the king readily agreed. However, Sukracharya, King’s priest stopped him from doing so but Mahabali still went on as he was a man of one word. Vamana said that he would take away that amount of land of the king’s property which he will cover in 3 steps.

As the King said yes, Vamana grew in size and measured all of the earth in one step and all of the heaven in second, with his third step still remaining. King Mahabali realized that he was Lord Vishnu and so he said that the Lord should keep his third foot on his head.

Vamana did the same and sent Manabali down to Sutala, an underworld heaven. Today, the site where Lord had placed his foot is Thrikkakara village and also and thus, it is the center of the Onam festival.

Lord Vishnu made him the ruler of that underworld and blessed him that he would be able to visit his people on earth every year, once. This festival is a celebration in the form of that time when King Mahabali, fondly called Onathappan , visits his people. Onam is celebrated from pre-historic times in Kerala to honor the King.

A secular festival
The best thing about this festival is that this is a secular festival and is celebrated by people of all religions, communities, castes- rich or poor.  The festival brings along with feelings of brotherhood, oneness and peace.

Onam activities
Earthen pots, as symbols of Lord Vishnu and King Mahabali are placed in the dung-plastered courtyards of the houses. ‘Pookkalam’, a multi-colored flower carpet, in a circular shape with a diameter of 1.5 m, is spread in the house’s front to welcome the king. There are even competitions to pick the best one amongst all the Pookkalams.

An image of Thrikkakara Appan, the dwarf form of Mord Vishhu is also placed in the homes of Keralite Hindus during Onam.

People also lit lamps in the temples. Even a Palmyra tree is planted in front of the temples, which is surrounded with a wooden balustrade and then is sheltered with dry Palmyra leaves. Then this is burnt into ashes with the help of a torch as a significance that King Mahabali sacrificed and went to hell.

Onam Sadya

Onam Sadya
Onam Sadya, a vegetarian banquet is the center of attraction for Onam
This 10-day festival offers one a chance to soak-himself up in Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. One of the major features of Onam is the Onasadya, a grand feast prepared on Thiruonam. This is a 9-course meal that comprises of 11 to 13 necessary dishes.

This meal is served on a banana leaf while people sit on the floor to eat. Pickles and Papadam are also a must. A special dessert, known as Payasam, a sweet dish prepared from milk, sugar and other savories is also served.

The Big-Show
Stunning spectacular parades consisting of fireworks, decorated elephants as well as Kathakali dancers is an important part of the festivities. Many sports events and cultural programs take place during the festival. This time of the year has been declared as the Tourism Week by the Government of Kerala.

Boat Race
Vallamkali or the boat race of Karuvatta Payippad, Aranmula and Kottayam is one of the main attractions of the festival. Around 100s team members row the traditional boats according to the rhythm of cymbals and drums. The long traditional snake boats are known as ‘Chundans’ mainly because of their long hulls and high sterns that resemble a cobra’s hood.

Snake Boat Race, Onam Celebration in Kerala
Snake Boat Race is an integral part of Onam Celebration in Kerala
Along with this, there are ‘Odis’ too which are small but swift boats with gold tasseled silk umbrellas, then ‘Veppus’ that is same as a cook-boat and lastly, ‘Churulans’ with complex prows and sterns. This is like a reminder of the naval warfare of the ancient days.

To view this traditional Boat race, there are 1000s of spectators on the banks who cheer and watch the amazing display of the muscle power, rhythm sense and rowing skills.

The festivities begin with Aathachamayam, a royal parade on the Aatham Day in Thripunithara. This colorful parade is a depiction of the elements of Keralite culture with more than 50 boaters and 100s of figures from the ancient times. Thrikakkara temple in Kochi is the center of the festival which is believed to be the ancient capital of the kingdom of Mahabali.

Onam is celebrated with great elaboration. Here is the 10- Day breakdown of the Celebration after Pookklam is made:
Post -Onam celebrations
Generally the celebrations come to an end on the tenth day. Nevertheless, on the two following days also, they are celebrated in the form of Third and Fourth Onam. The third Onam is known as Avvittom which is the preparation of King Mahabali going to the heaven.

On this day, the statue of the King is placed in the middle of Pookkalam and then immersed in the river or the sea. On this day, Pulikali is also held in Thrissur where men in the garbs of tigers and lions parade throughout the city.

On the 4th day, which is called Chatayam, the Onam festival comes to an end with an official government celebration that consists of a mega dance festival in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala.
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Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan: A Travel Guide

Jaisalmer Fort, constructed in the 12th century, is one of the lively monuments providing shelter for the population of the city.

The use of yellow sandstone in the construction of the Jaisalmer Fort of Rajasthan provides an amazing look of a ship. Visitors from far could relate the fort as a ship sailing on sea of golden sand.

Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan
Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan is renowned for its distinct golden appearance and also referred to as Sonar Qila
The fort in Jaisalmer is also popular as Ship Fort. We have previously features Jaisalmer Fort as one of the top 10 forts in India.

Jaisalmer fort amazes the visitors with its magnificent look. Apart from this, the characteristic of change in the color of the walls and pavements of the fort according to the daylight has also attracted tourists to spend quality time exploring the fort.

Jaisalmer fort is lively throughout the day as one could find women walking with pots of milk and children running down the streets.

Dussehra Chowk is the main courtyard of the Jaisalmer fort. One could find small shops, hotels, eateries, and people in colorful traditional dresses.

As you explore the architectural brilliance of the fort, it is easy to get lost in this sprawling fort complex. To ensure the best of the exploration experience, you could hire travel guides at the entrance Gopa Chowk of the Jaisalmer Fort.

Insider tip: Do not settle for more than INR 400 as guide fee.
  • Location: Jaisalmer (Rajasthan, India)
  • Area: 5.1 sq km
  • Altitude: 255 meters
  • Built By: Bhati Rajput Ruler Rao Jaisal
  • Built In: 1156 AD
  • Highlights: Raj Mahal (Royal Palace), Laxminath Temple, Jain Temples, Merchant Havelis, 4 Massive Gateways, etc.
  • How to Reach: Through a rickshaw or an auto-rickshaw or a taxi from the Jaisalmer Airport/Railway Station.
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Entry Fee: Indians - INR 30; Foreigners - INR 70.

The Jaisalmer Fort
The Jaisalmer Fort, standing 250 feet off the ground is popular amidst the travelers from all round the globe due to its architectural brilliance and historic significance.

Jaisalmer fort is different from other historic forts in Rajasthan as this fort provides shelter to the population of Jaisalmer. Along with residences, you could spot restaurants, guesthouses, shops, etc. One could also spot large, round stones around the streets. These were once hurled down narrow paths against the invaders coming from Jodhpur.

Jaisalmer City played a very crucial role in trade with Arabia, Africa, Persia, and Egypt, during the medieval era. The fort consists of wall of three layers. The lower or say the outer layer of the fort is made up of solid stone blocks.

The middle or the second layer of the fort wall snakes all over the fort, and the third or innermost layer of the wall was were the Rajput Warriors used to throw boiling water or oil on the enemies.

The warriors also used to throw massive rocks to block their way. The fort included 99 bastions in total. Out of these, 92 bastions were built between 1633-47 A.D.

In the 13th century, the fort was attacked and captured by Ala-ud-din Khilji. He managed to hold his rule on the fort for almost 9 years. In 1541, the second battle was fought and Mughal emperor Humayun attacked the Jaisalmer fort city.

Some Interesting Facts:
  • Sonar Kila is an alternate name of Jaisalmer Fort. The fort is adorned with golden hues during the dusk and dawn.
  • The Jaisalmer fort is built on an 80 feet sandstone hillock and is 250 feet high.
  • The fort provides shelter to almost 4,000 people.
  • The Jaisalmer Fort is the 2nd oldest fort of Rajasthan.
  • There are 3-layer protective fort walls that helped in keeping the enemies at bay.
  • The 93 of the 99 bastions were constructed during 1633-47 A.D.
  • The fort has 99 bastions as of today and a 93 of them were built between 1633-47 A.D.
  • The Rajput women committed jauhar when the fort was attacked by Ala-ud-din Khilji.
  • The depiction of the fort has been made in the detective novel written by Satyajit Ray. Later, a movie was made and titled as “Sonar Kella”.
  • The fort also played a crucial role during the medieval times in the trade route. The introduction of sea trade route of the British led to the downfall of the fort as a trade route.
You may also want to check out the beginners guide to Rajasthan Tours.
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Daulatabad Fort: A Travel Guide

The fort city, Daulatabad, in Maharashtra is located at a distance of 16 km northwest of Aurangabad. Daulatabad was earlier called Devgiri. 

Daulatabad province is situated 13 kilometers away from Aurangabad. Literally meaning the city of fortune, Daulatabad is home to the resplendent 12th century fortress perched on the lush hillock. This impregnable fort complex features a 5 kilometer fortified wall and massive ramparts.

We have earlier featured Daulatabad Fort as one of the best forts in India.

In 1327, the city was the capital of Muhammad bin Tughlaq (r. 1325-1351), Tughlaq dynasty. He forcibly shifted the population of Delhi to Daulatabad and also altered the name. But, after two years, the city was abandoned due to scarcity of water.

Daulatabad Fort
Daulatabad is a 14th-century fort city in Maharashtra, India, about 16 kilometers northwest of Aurangabad

  • Location: Daulatabad, about 16 km northwest of Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
  • Built By: Raja Bhillamraj (Yadava General) on the Deogiri Hill.
  • Built In: 12th Century.
  • Highlights: Hathi Haud, Bharat Mata Temple, Chand Minar, Andheri, Baradari.
  • How to Reach: Along the Aurangabad-Ellora Road (NH 211). Aurangabad is well-connected with various railways, airways and roadways.
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.
  • Entry Fee: Indians - INR 5; Foreigners - $2 or INR 100.

Fort of Deogire
The hill-fortress of Deogire/Devagiri/Daulatabad stands on a conical hill, at an altitude of 200 m. The fort signifies exemplary strength. The fort could be accessed by a narrow bridge. The fort features a long gallery, which has been excavated in the rock and most of the regions on the gallery have a gradual upward slope.

In the mid of this gallery, there are steep stairs that lead to the place where the garrison placed the fire during the time of war.

Moving ahead, one could find the massive old cannon, facing towards the countryside. The fort also features a cave entrance that was constructed to confuse the enemies.

The fort was occupied about 100 BCE, and today is regarded as the remains of Buddhist caves like those caves of Ajanta and Ellora. The city of Daulatabad is said to be established by Bhillama V in c. 1187. Prince Bhillama V is said to be dedicated to the Chalukyas and founder of the powerful Yadava Dynasty in the west.

In the year 1294, the fortress was occupied by Ala-ud-din Khilji. Later, the fortress was again captured in 1307 and 1310 by the Muslims under Malik Kafur.

The site also became an important base of the Delhi Sultanate for its conquering operations made towards the south. Muhammad bin Tughluq, in the year 1327 made Devagiri as his capital and changed its name to Daulatabad.

Some Interesting Facts
  • The circumference of the outer wall of the fort is 2.75 miles (4.43 km).
  • There are three lines of defenses between the upper fort and the base.
  • Hathi Haud is a great attracting feature in Daulatabad. It measures 47.75 m in length, 46.75 m in width and 6.61 m in depth.
  • Bharat Mata Temple has two openings, one towards the east and another to the north. The temple measures 87.14 m East-West and 72.80 m North-South.
  • Chand Minar was built in AD 1447 by Sultan Alau-ud-din-Bahmani (Sultan Ahmed Shah 2). It measures 70 m in height and 21 m in circumference at the base.
  • Andheri is a serpentine dark passage. This was constructed as a defense mechanism and was never occupied.
  • Baradari was constructed in A.D 1636 for the visit of Shah Jahan (A.D 1627-1658). This structure consisted of 13 halls.
  • Chini Mahal, or China Palace, is the remains of a building which was once recognized for great beauty. Here, the last of the Qutb Shahi kings of Golconda, Abul Hasan Tana Shah, was incarcerated in 1687 by Aurangzeb.
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5 Best Luxury Hotels In Rajasthan

Rajasthan - The princely state is a sought-after travel destination in India due to the royal influence. The monuments, holding cultural and historical significance, have attracted visitors from far flung regions. Apart from this, the luxury hotels have also played crucial role in making the stay comfortable and memorable. 

These hotels are designed with elements that reflect the erstwhile royalty of the Kings and princes of Rajasthan. The rooms are also well-appointed with facilities and services that make the stay memorable, instilling the elements of lavishness. Here is the rundown of the 5 best luxury hotels in Rajasthan:

Taj Lake Palace (Udaipur)

The Taj Lake Palace (Udaipur) is one of the finest five star hotels in Rajasthan. The hotel is praised for its excellent accommodation facility and eye-pleasing interiors. The rooms are also well-furnished and the guests enjoy the modern facilities and services provided in order to serve the most lavish accommodation.

Fast Facts:
  • Address: Post Box No. 5, Lake Pichola, Udaipur - 313 001, Rajasthan, India.
  • Distance: Railway Station - 3.6 km; Airport - 24.5 km.
  • Number of Rooms: 83
  • Dining: Jharokha (24-hour coffee shop); Neel Kamal (Multi-Cuisine Restaurant); Amrit Sagar (Well Stocked Bar).
The Oberoi Vanyavilas (Sawai Madhopur)

The Oberoi Vanyavilas (Sawai Madhopur) is praiseworthy for providing accommodation that instills the element of comfort and royalty. The hotel is also equipped with various amenities that make it a perfect stay for leisure and business travelers. The ideal location also makes this hotel one of the most preferred choices of the guests visiting Sawai Madhopur from far flung regions.

Fast Facts:
  • Address: Ranthambhore Rd, Sawai Madhopur, RJ 322001, India
  • Distance: Railway Station - 3.9 km; Airport - 152 km.
  • Number of Rooms: 25
  • Dining: In-House Multi-Cuisine Restaurant (Indian, Thai and Inter-Continental Delicacies)
The Oberoi Udaivilas (Udaipur)

The Oberoi Udaivilas (Udaipur) is one of the sought-after five star hotels in Udaipur. The modern facilities and exceptional services have helped to provide proper accommodation to the guests. The hotel ensures the element of royalty throughout the stay of the guests.

Fast Facts:
  • Address: Civil Lines, Hari Dasji Ki Magri, Udaipur 313001, Rajasthan, India
  • Distance: Railway Station - 5.8 km; Airport - 26.2 km.
  • Number of Rooms: 87
  • Dining: Udaimahal (Indian Cuisines); Suryamahal (Western and Continental Cuisines); Chandni (Open-Air Dining Space); Bar.

Umaid Bhawan Palace (Jodhpur)

The Umaid Bhawan Palace (Jodhpur) is the best accommodation in Jodhpur to enjoy a lavish stay. The rooms are well-furnished and the modern facilities and services play a major role in providing comfortable stay to the guests. The proximity to railway station and the airport has also made it the most preferred choice of the guests.

Fast Facts:
  • Address: Circuit House Road, Jodhpur, RJ 342006, India
  • Distance: Railway Station - 4.3 km; Airport - 4.8 km.
  • Number of Rooms: 64
  • Dining: Risala (The A-La-Carte Restaurant - Indian and Continental Cuisines); The Pillars (Cozy Coffee Shop); The Trophy Bar (Well Stocked Bar). 

Hotel Pleasant Haveli (Jaisalmer)

The Hotel Pleasant Haveli (Jaisalmer) is located close to the railway station and airport that makes it a convenient choice of the guests. The eye-pleasing interiors and exteriors also reflect the element of royalty. The rooms are also well-appointed with facilities and services, ensuring a pleasurable and memorable stay.

Fast Facts:
  • Address: Gandhi Chowk Rd, Sadar Bazar, Jaisalmer Rajasthan India, RJ 345001, India
  • Distance: Railway Station - 2.1 km; Airport - 7.1 km.
  • Number of Rooms: 9
  • Dining: In-House Multi-Cuisine Restaurant (Indian and Continental Cuisines)
To explore more about Rajasthan you may like to visit - http://www.tourismofrajasthan.com/

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Golkonda Fort - Travel Guide

Founded as early as in the 12th century, the Golconda Fort was constructed by the Kakatias rulers who belonged to Warangal.The mighty Golkonda fort was turned into a mightier one by the Qutub Shahi kings with addition of granite walls and fortifications extending it circumference to around 5 kms.

This region is best known for the famous diamonds which were find here including the Koh-i-Noor and Hope Diamond.

Golkonda Fort
Golkonda Fort is one of the biggest fort in Deccan Plateau
Golconda Fort was also featured in our list of top 10 forts in India.

Fact sheet 
Location: 10 kms from Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh

Built by: Kakatiya Kings of Warangal

Built in: During the 13th century

Highlights: Sound & Light Show, managed by APTDC

How to reach- From the main city, local transportation is available easily to the fort. From the airport, it takes around 30 minutes by road.

Best time to visit: To go up the peak and then come back down, it may take around 3 hours. It is better to avoid peak afternoon hours because of the heat. Winters season is the best time to visit the fort. Please take note that during the sound & light show, you are not allowed to visit the rest of the monument.

Entry Fee: 10 INR for Indian Nationals and 100 INR for Foreign Nationals (25 INR extra for video)

Timings: 09.00 AM - 5.00 PM (Closed on Monday)

Golconda or Golkonda Fort was once the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Golconda that was at its zenith between the 14th and the 16th century.

Located around 11 kilometers from Hyderabad, the walls of the fort range between 17 - 34 feet that are divided by 87 semi-circular bastions where some are even 60 feet high. Besides this, the perimeter of the fort is around 11 kilometers and consists of 8 huge gates.

One of the resplendent forts of the country, its complex is built on a 400-feet high granite hill.  The town of Golconda was basking in glory under the Qutub Shahi dynasty between 1518 and 1687.

History of Golkonda Fort
The Kakatiya rulers commissioned the construction of Golconda fort, even before the Kingdom of Golconda itself became popular.

If the legends are to be believed, a shepherd boy roaming in the region found an idol. When the Kakatiyan king came to know about it, he built a mud fort at the site, which later became popular as Golla Konda (in Telugu), translated into Shepherd’s Hill.

This region slowly became a matter of animosity between 3 kingdoms and finally, the Islamic Bahmani Sultanate emerged victorious.  The fort, later on became a capital of one of the prime provinces of the Sultanate.

In 1518, Quli Qutub Shah detached himself from the Bahmani Sultanate, and rose to the seat of power in Golconda. In the coming years, the successors of the Qutb Shahi kings transformed this mud fort into a magnificent granite fort.

In 1590, the fort was moved into Hyderabad. In 1686, Aurangzeb, the notorious Mughal ruler began his plans to lay a blockade on the fort so that he could bring Hyderabad under his rule, taking it away from the Qutub Shahi dynasty. It was only in 1687 that Aurangzeb became successful.

Some Interesting Facts about Golkonda Fort
  • The mud fort was rebuilt in iron and granite under Qutb Shahi kings.
  • The tombs of the Qutb Shahi rulers, mosques and the palaces are still standing tall. 
  • The fort’s walls contain ventilators so that fresh air was readily available.
  • The fort consists of a secret underground path to one of the palaces that are located on the hill slope.
  • In the ancient times, the Golconda fort was a well-known trade center for diamonds that were taken out from the rocks of the neighboring hills. The world-popular Kohinoor was found here.
  • This 800- year old fort is one of the architectural wonders of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh. 
  • An interesting thing about the fort was that if anyone clapped while standing at a certain point below the dome at the entrance, its sound could be heard at the highest point of the hill-top, known as Bala Hissar. In the ancient times, it was considered to a warning for the royals if there was an attack.
  • The fort has 8 gates in the outer wall- the Fateh, Mecca, Bahmani, Patancheru, Naya Qula Banjara, Moti, and Jamali.
  • An amazing signaling device was in-built in the fort during the construction for important flow of information. The Golconda Fort is popular for its acoustic system. 
  • The palaces, water supply system as well as the known ‘Rahban’ cannon, located within the fort are the prime attractions.
About the author:
is a travel writer who has an interest in sharing her experiences with all. She provides a detailed account of any travel topic she chooses to write on. You can get detailed information and tips about choosing the right kind of holiday packages in the country from her write-ups.
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6 Best Interesting Markets in Delhi

Delhi – the capital city is very popular amongst the tourists visiting India from every nook and corner of the world. Apart from the colonial connection, Delhi has attracted visitors to explore its interesting markets. There is a lot for every shopaholic as there are numerous old markets to the plush malls. Have a look at these interesting markets in Delhi and grab some of the interesting clothes and artifacts at amazing deals:

Sadar Bazaar Market

Sadar Market, New Delhi
A Crowded Wholesale market Sadar Bazar in New Delhi
Sadar Bazaar Market is the biggest wholesale market in Delhi. This is close to Chandani Chowk. If you wish to buy interesting household stuffs, Sadar Bazaar is the market to visit. Apart from this, the market is also popular as the hub of commercial, social and political activities.

Sarojini Nagar Market

Sarojini Nagar Market, New Delhi
Sarojini Nagar Market in New Delhi
In South Delhi, Sarojini Nagar Market is the prime location for shopaholics. This market is easily accessible via road transportation and Delhi Metro Rail. You can buy garments of fine quality ranging from Rs. 50 to Rs. 500. This market is best known for clothes, fabrics, restaurants and vegetable market.

Khan Market

Khan Market, New Delhi
Khan Market in New Delhi
Khan Market is the plush market in India and ranks 21 amongst the expensive markets of the world. The market gets its name after Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, the great Pashtun freedom fighter. One could find stores and outlets of almost all popular brands of the world. Apart from this, the market is also praised as a great hangout place for youngsters as there are numerous culinary delights and café bars are available. Do not miss to savor kababas and tikka at ‘Khan Cha-cha’. These places with scrumptious local street food always manage to feature in Top 10 Things to Do in Delhi

Lajpat Nagar Market

Lajpat Nagar Market, New Delhi
Lajpat Nagar Market in New Delhi
Lajpat Nagar Market is the best market for shoppers looking for ladies suits. The market is named after Lala Lajpat Rai and today the market ranks amidst the Asia’s largest ladies suit market. Both fashionable and ethnic range of jewelry is also available at great prices. This market is open for all days except Mondays, during weekends, this market experiences huge crowd from all parts of Delhi.

Meena Bazaar

Meena Bazaar, New  Delhi
Meena Bazaar in Delhi
If you are looking for some traditional Muslim accessories and dresses, Meena Bazaar is the best market to visit. The stuff sold in this market is of premium quality and available at cheaper rates.  Along with this, the market is also best known for unique home decoration items. You will also find shops here are marked with numbers instead of names. Do not miss to buy carpets, bed sheets and Pashmina shawls.

Paharganj Market

Paharganj Market, New Delhi
Lamps and handicrafts in souvenir shop at Paharganj Market in New Delhi
Paharganj Market is located close to the New Delhi railway station. Here, the visitors could also find accommodation and food at reasonable prices. Here, you can purchase Western classical CDs, Indian classical music and books in different languages like French, Russian, Hebrew, and German. You need to use exceptional bargaining skills to purchase commodities at great prices.

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Last updated on 17th September 2014 by
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