If you are interested in the history of the Telugu peoples of Andhra Pradesh, India, then the Kakatiyas are likely to fall within the scope of your studies. The Kakatiya Dynasty ruled over the Telugu for nearly three centuries, and one of them, Ganapati Deva, is commonly hailed as being among the most deservedly famous of its members. During his reign, he managed to unite all of the Telugu under his rule. It was also at this time that the Golconda Fort, one of Hyderabad’s most popular tourist sites, was established.
Golconda Fort is a wonderful answer to the old, inimitable-looking fortresses on the British coast, although its architecture is quite solidly representative of the culture that built it. Something to note about many of the historic monuments at the southern end of the country is that they are rather less touched by foreign influences than those found in the north: this relates to the fact that there were more incursions from other empires and nations on the north than in the south, and this explains why Golconda is so striking in its design.
Golconda comes from “golla konda” or “shepherd’s hill”. Militarily speaking, one can see the brilliance of its design and the choice of its location immediately: perched atop a lone hill in a wide plain, this fort would have been easy to protect, as indeed was seen by the Qutb Shahi rulers when they defended themselves against foreign threats from atop the battlements of its granite walls. Even when it finally succumbed to foes, it did so by means of duplicity, and not by means of pure force. The great emperor Aurangzeb (the son of Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal for Aurangzeb’s mother, Mumtaz Mahal) himself took over nine months to besiege it before finally managing to make it fall by using infiltration and traitors.
Golconda nonetheless remains a triumphant monument for those who ordered its construction, not least because of the singular acoustic design that the Kakatiyas had incorporated into the structure. The edifices were positioned such that their walls would act as deflectors for sound waves coming from the entrance of the fort, pushing them as much as a kilometre away and directly to the Bala Hissar, which has the highest elevation of all the spots inside the fortress. In effect, a clap from the gates would be heard by those at this high pavilion as though it were being made right next to them.
There are many more things associated with Golconda Fort, from the riches of the local rulers (this was where the Koh-i-Noor used to be stored) to the ingenuity of its early plumbing and ventilation system. On the whole, it stands as a testament to the brilliance of the engineers and architects of that period, and remains, to this day, one of the most impressive monuments of India. The fort is open to the public, so you can definitely go there and test for yourself the marvellous acoustics of the place, but keep in mind that if you intend to try and catch one of the shows put on for visitors of the fort, you may need to check the schedules beforehand, as they do change. Some of the shows are also presented in only local languages, so you need to check which ones shall be delivered in English.