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Exploring Golkonda

by:Rachel

Photos compliments of Jayne Gilge

On Saturdays, John and I try to get out of the house and do something in the city. This often involves going out to eat or going to a coffeeshop or going to different shopping areas—nothing too exciting, but it’s usually an enjoyable time.
at golkonda fortThis Saturday we decided that it was time to really take on some exploring. So, accompanied by our friend, Jayne, we went to the outskirts of the city, making our way through a mostly Muslim area (where you can actually get beef!), and to the foot of the great ruins of Golkonda Fort. I’d seen the fort from far off before, set up on a hill and looking old, intriguing, and compact. Well, it was definitely old and intriguing; however, it was far from being compact. We parked our borrowed van in the shade along the outer wall and headed through the hot sun to the entrance of the fort. We’d heard you didn’t have to pay an entrance fee; well, that may be true if you’re Indian as many of them simply walked in, ignoring the ticket booth asking for their five rupees. However, as foreigners, that charge of five rupees was doubled many times to be one hundred rupees (just over two dollars U.S.). It didn’t seem right; but then, we do have more money than many Indians and it turned out to be well worth the cost. The fort was vast and sprawling, made of rock and stone buildings that once used to be palaces, mosques, granaries, reservoirs, and chambers of meeting. It is over seven hundred years old and it was amazing to simply be able to explore it with no closed or roped off sections.

Jayne @ golkondaOur friend, Jayne Gilge.

We explored doorways leading to corridors, chambers, and to some grassy areas behind the buildings. We kept climbing higher and higher, always thinking we were near the top, but without fail finding that we were mistaken. We took the hard way up over the terrain and through overgrown paths. It lent to a certain charm though and we happened upon doorways and arches leading to higher paths as we stumbled along.

Eating snacksJohn and Aria enjoying some cookies.

We were finally almost at the top and from what I could see it was simply a lookout at the top of the stairway backed by a Hindu temple with hideous blue gods painted on the rocks—a definite affront to the beauty of the natural surroundings. Jayne felt the same so we rested in some shade while John and Aria went to check it out. We were soon summoned and told that we HAD TO come up the rest of the way as we were ninety-seven percent of the way there. We ended up being glad we did. Right at the top of the 400 foot hill, past the disturbing temple paintings was a flat field and then a three storey fort looking out on the spectacular countryside (and nearby city) in all directions. To get to the top of the fort we had to climb a narrow stairway that didn’t wind or curve, but just went up and up and up. Not one you’d want to slip on. The closeness of the closed-in passage up smelled strangely and we hastened to get into the open air. The view from the back was breathtaking: the countryside free of modern buildings (something I haven’t experienced once in India) with some ancient tombs spread out below and green expanse spreading out to the hazy horizon. I just wanted to take a long moment and stare at the beauty in silence. In reality, I had to forget about the silent part as there were bunches of noisy people up there and crying children—such is life in a crowded place. The view from the front of the fort looked down over all the ruins we’d traversed to come up and we took note that a wide, yet steep, stairway led all the way from the bottom to the top. We took that way down!
Once at the bottom we accidentally stumbled through a movie shoot going on in one of the courtyards (that’s happened to me twice now) and then found ourselves in one of the large and cool, yet strangely smelly, palaces. We soon discovered the source of the smell. Most of the place was filled with bats, flying around and staring down with glowing eyes. This made John’s day!;-)

View of the fortA panoramic view from the top looking back out over the fort and towards Hyderabad.

2 Responses to “Exploring Golkonda”

  1. Jessica
    August 24th, 2006 07:49
    1

    wow… that is an incredible view! wish i could be there with you.

  2. Rachel
    August 30th, 2006 08:39
    2

    We’ll have to explore some castles in Scotland!

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