01 Mar 2021

Golconda Fort

The fact that I have witnessed the light and sound show at the Golconda fort countless number of times and that I am never able to decline visiting the place, I reckon, is proof enough of my fascination with it all! That I couldn't visit there for the last couple of years is entirely another story.... I got lucky once more, however, when my friend decided an outing for us on a balmy Sunday evening, and we found ourselves headed to Golconda Fort! Once there, we climbed right up from the 'Bala Hissar Gate', to the summit of the fort, that is, to Bala Hissar ‘the baradari’ as it is called, and the darbar hall or deewan-e-khaas (where the king held his private courts). En route, we passed by the 'aslah khana' (armoury), 'akanna-madanna' (offices of the two officers of the court) the palaces, the mosques, the Mahakali temple from the times of the Kakatiyas featuring sizable frescoes of Godesses Kali and Durga, among others. 'Ram Mandir', which is a prison house of Ram Das, a revenue official jailed by Abul Hasan Tana Shah for misusing state funds is another halt en route the ‘the baradari’. Folk lore has it that Ram Das, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, employed the state funds temporarily towards construction of a temple, with all intent to duly return it. On being imprisoned he carved images of Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman on the rock surface in his cell and worshipped incessantly. His prayers are believed to have been reciprocated with the God personally repaying his debt. The journey up the 380 steps was also a journey down the memory lane! I reveled in each moment there, and relived my associations with the place! A descent down steep narrow steps brought us from the Bala Hisar to the zenana quarters 'Rani Mahal'. These palaces of the queens, which are built on massive platforms, have high ceilings, and walls covered with decorative niches, alcoves and cornices, essentially Persian in design. Our tour of the fort culminated in the main courtyard of Rani Mahal and my visit to the Fort, in the light and sound show, which is the doorway to a journey into the past glory of Golconda! This courtyard of the Rani Mahal area, adorned with an ornate metal fountain in the center, hosts the famous light and sound show, that commences with the beautiful Ghazal rendered by Jagjit Singh, and features the breathtaking baritone of Amitabh Bachchan, both of which add manifold to the beauty of the show and to the glory that was!

Himani Chaudhry
Department of English

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January 07 2021

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