Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sightseeing in Hyderabad--19 January 2016

Gonconda Fort, Hyderabad--14th to 16th Century--the Kakatiya Dynasty

We entered through the "Clapping Gate". One hand clap at a certain point below the entrance dome can be heard at the highest point of the fort, almost one kilometer away. This was used to warn the royals in case of an attack--which occurred rather regularly.

The region is known for the mines that produced some of the world's most famous gems...including the Hope Diamond.

It was 375 steps to the top. There was a special trail for the King that no one else was allowed to use. Usually the King was carried up to the top in a carry chair.

They had a sophisticated water system that brought the precious liquid to the top of the fort.

They virtually had no tools to erect this fort. Every stone was hand cut and carried to its place. It stands today as a monument to early 14th Century architecture and war planning.

Later in the day we went to the "Seven Tombs" garden. Our guide was very informative and entertaining. It is the Royal Cemetery of Seven Qutub Shahi Kings, who ruled Golconda for nearly 170 years.

The complex has approximately 30 tombs. To distinguish the tombs of the seven Kings from the other tombs, a golden spire was fixed over the tomb of the Kings. The tombs were built before the King died so it would be ready when needed. The tomb at the lower left above was never finished because the King was overthrown and killed before his tomb was finished.

Even the King's personal physicians received a large tomb. The two twin tombs above were for the doctors of the King. 

The architecture of the tombs was ornate, customized for the person and highly influenced by Persian culture. We were joined by Elder and Sister Henrie, water specialists from Orem, Utah.

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