Another of the must-see sights when visiting Hyderabad would have to be the Quli Qutb Tombs, which house the remains of some of the city’s most famous rulers in the past. The tombs are also near another attraction, Golconda Fort—so near in fact, that they are a mere kilometre away from its outer walls.
The Quli Qutb Tombs are well-known sights in the area, and are grouped close together, making them fairly easy to see and compare to each other in a single visit. The tombs hold the remains of all save the final ruler of the Qutb Shahi, Abdul Hasan Qutb Shah.
Time has changed the tombs. For instance, the domes of the tombs used to have beautiful green and blue tiling inlaid, but these are almost all gone now. The floors used to be covered with rich carpeting and the ceilings used to have chandeliers heavy with crystal. There were once awnings of plush velvet all over the place, and tapering cones of genuine gold used to be attached to the tombs of the sultans so that visitors could tell which tombs held the remains of their rulers as opposed to just holding the remains of other royals. As might be expected, the end of the Qutb Shahi dynasty saw these notes of grandeur gone, and time worked on the rest. Even with all that, however, the tombs remain majestic sights, and have actually received some restorative work in order to better preserve them. Nowadays, you can still see a lot of their majesty in the imposing rise of the edifices and the superb stonework characteristic of the architecture of this period. There are also some beautiful gardens in the area.
Even amidst the tombs, there are some things that stand out. For example, the 2nd sultan of the dynasty, Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah, has the only tomb not made of the glossy black basaltic rock used for the others. His is the only tomb (save that of his son’s, which is understandable since the son ruled for so brief a time) absent inscriptions. Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah held sway over the region from 1543 to 1550 and is remembered for rather unsavoury actions, since he was the murderer of the preceding sultan, Quli Qutb ul Mulk, who was the first of all the Qutb Shahi rulers. He also ascended to the throne only after blinding his brother, the heir apparent.
Easily the tomb that draws the most attention here would be that of the fifth of Qutb Shahi sultans, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. He is known for having been a staunch patron of the literary arts, as well as having been the founder of the city of Hyderabad itself. His tomb, as well as that of his successor, is immediately noticeable when you visit the Qutb Shahi Tombs, due to the sheer size and height of the edifice. There are other sights here besides the sultans’ tombs, of course, and people come here regularly to see them, including the Mortuary Bath as well as the shrine of the famed Sufi saint of the area, Hussain Shah Wali. He is said to have been the person who built the Hussain Sagar Lake.