Golconda - Encyclopedia




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GOLCONDA, a fortress and ruined city of India, in the Nizam's Dominions, 5 m. W. of Hyderabad city. In former times Golconda was the capital of a large and powerful kingdom of the Deccan, ruled by the Kutb Shahi dynasty which was founded in 1512 by a Turkoman adventurer on the downfall of the Bahmani dynasty, but the city was subdued by Aurangzeb in 1687, and annexed to the Delhi empire. The fortress of Golconda, situated on a rocky ridge of granite, is extensive, and contains many enclosures. It is strong and in good repair, but is commanded by the summits of the enormous and massive mausolea of the ancient kings about 600 yds. distant. These buildings, which are now the chief characteristics of the place, form a vast group, situated in an arid, rocky desert. They have suffered considerably from the ravages of time, but more from the hand of man, and nothing but the great solidity of their walls has preserved them from utter ruin. These tombs were erected at a great expense, some of them being said to have cost as much as £150,000. Golconda fort is now used as the Nizam's treasury, and also as the state prison. Golconda has given its name in English literature to the diamonds which were found in other parts of the dominions of the Kutb Shahi dynasty, not near Golconda itself.

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