For those of you who want to get out of the city and experience some lesser known sites without too long of a journey, read on about Golkonda Fort
Although there is so much to discover in Hyderabad centre itself (it’s definitely one of my top recommendations), just 15 km outside of the city you can find two sites that are relatively unknown to the standard tourist visiting India. We bumped into Golkonda Fort and Qutb Shahi Tombs by accident in an old tourist guide one of our friends took along. I know, I’m contradicting myself here but imagine just opening the guide on a random page and deciding to go there. Can be a great way of exploring as well, if you’re more of an adventurous type…
The reason, why we decided to go there, is because it was only 15km outside of the city, so perfect for a day trip. I put the distance in km as a guidance because anyone who has travelled in India knows it can possibly take as long to travel 2km or 20km. 😉
How to get there?
We took a state bus from Hyderabad first to Golkonda Fort and then walked the next 2 km to the Qutb Shahi Tombs. You can also take a riskha of course, which I would recommend actually. We misjudged the distance a bit between the two, seeing you will walk and climb a lot already.
To keep my posts short and easy to read, I’ll split them in two parts. Part 1 will be about Golkonda Fort, the second part will be a separate post about Qutb Shahi Tombs.
Because the fort is a known place for Indian tourists, getting there with public transport is no problem. If your stomach can handle a ride on an Indian state bus, because let me tell you, the driver we had, must have thought he was starring in a Fast & the Furious movie. The guy quite literally raced his bus up and down the hill where the fort is situated, leaving me so carsick every Indian auntie on the bus took pity on me. But everything I experienced on my trip to Golkonda Fort (you’ll get this once you read further) was well worth it in the end!
The visit of the fort itself consists of two main parts. You can start by visiting the grounds below where the old ruins of the lower parts are situated. Although a great deal of the fort has been destroyed, you can find a map at the entrance with panels spread around the site, giving you the historical background of the fort.
The most exciting part is what I call ‘the climb’. It starts off at the bottom of a huge minaret and will take you up so high, the minaret will seem like a small toothpick!
What makes this climb (it took us about 2 hours) extra special, is the little temple on the way up. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh and the aunty ‘guarding’ it will gladly assist you in a little puja to do away with any obstacle on your way up and she was so friendly to take a picture with us! (Who can imagine a better god to do puja for when climbing a big fort btw?).
Once you’ve ventured all the way to the top (you’ll also meet some hungry monkeys and sleepy bats on your way) you will be able to enjoy an absolutely spectacular view of Hyderabad and the grounds of the fort. Reaching this top and enjoying the cool breeze after two hours of climbing in the midday heat, was such an amazing experience for me because even though I have severe asthma, I prided myself in sticking to the plan!
You’d think that after reaching the top, it’s over, but no! On the higher levels of the fort, you can find a second small shrine and some really beautiful paintings on the stones surrounding the shrine. You can easily make a little pilgrimage out of your visit to Golkonda, actually.
You can either stop here when day-tripping around Hyderabad, or you can read the next post about the second unknown site you can discover!
Read My Next Post About Exploring Hyderabad: Qutb Shahi Tombs: Day trip to unknown spots outside Hyderabad