Golconda Through Time: A Mirror of the Evolving Deccan
The fort of Golconda is located in the Deccan region of India, and was the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty between 1495 and 1687, when the kingdom fell to the Mughals of Delhi (1526-1858). Despite its major role in the events of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and its set of well-preserved monuments, there is no extended study of Golconda that examines the fort during the Qutb Shahi period or deals with its earlier history. In this dissertation I propose an outline of the fort's development, starting with new evidence for its foundation in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth centuries and continuing until its capture by the Mughal armies in 1687. This was accomplished by closely examining the fortifications and structures of the citadel and palace area of the fort. Then, by using securely dated monuments at Golconda and at other sites in the Deccan, I defined patterns in structure and ornament that were prevalent in each period of time, and used these patterns to analyze those buildings at Golconda without inscriptions. Having grouped the buildings into discrete phases, I tried to understand how the addition of these buildings advanced and/or affected the development of the fortified town of Golconda as a whole. I attempted to answer the questions of how the fort was used at each particular moment in time, where its main entrances and egresses were, and how its buildings were designed for visibility and access from other parts of the fort. I also strived to place the development of Golconda into a historical and regional context, for unique though the site is, analogues for its development can be found at the contemporary Deccan capitals of Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Bidar and Vijayanagara.
The Origins of Golconda
The Early Qutb Shahi Period
The Middle Qutb Shahi Period
The Late Qutb Shahi Period and Beyond
Abdullah Adil Shahi Ahmad Ahmad Nizam Shah Ahmadnagar arched niches Architecture and Art Area 12 Bahmani period Bahmani sultans Bala Hisar Barid Bhongir Bidar Bijapur Bilgrami building built capital citadel congregational mosque construction corner court courtyard Darwaza Daulatabad Deccan Sultanates decoration Delhi detail Plate dome east side Epigraphia facade Ferishta Firuzabad fortifications forts fourteenth century garden gateway Golconda and Hyderabad Gulbarga Habshi Habshi Kamans History HQSD Husain Hyderabad Ibrahim Qutb Shah India Inner Inscriptions Islamic Kakatiya Kaulas Khan king located Masjid merlons Michell and Zebrowski mihrab monuments Mughal Muhammad Quli Muhammad Qutb Shah Nayeem Nizam Shahi outer palace area gate Plate Plate Plate prayer hall Quli's Qutb Shahi dynasty Qutb Shahi period Raichur Rani Mahal rectangular reign of Ibrahim royal second enclosure Shah Bahmani Sherwani sixteenth century structure stucco Sultan Quli Telingana third enclosure tomb of Ibrahim Tughluq Vijayanagara wall Warangal west side Yazdani