Focal Point: Golkonda Fort (Dol Guldur & the Origin of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond)

Golkonda Fort sits on a 390 foot granite hill, 7 miles outside the centre of Hyderabad, India. The fort dates back to 14th century and was considered impenetrable for almost three centuries before its fall to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1687 at which point it was pillaged and looted. Many of the world’s finest diamonds and stones are said to have originated in the mines below Golkonda including the famous Koh-i-Noor (currently at the Tower of London) and Hope Diamonds (currently at the Smithsonian). 

The fort is easy to get to from the city, and a 20 minute UBER ride (200 INR or $3) from the Westin Mindspace. The fort is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm daily, except on certain national holidays.  Cost to take a camera into the ruins is 50 INR (~$1), while cost of tickets around 25 INR (~50 cents). Make sure to bring cash because they don’t accept credit card at the entrance 🙂 

Golkonda Fort from the Entrance to the Area

It took a couple of hours to walk around the fort grounds (they are absolutely massive) and views from the top of the city are quite nice when it isn’t hazy and polluted. What’s left of the fort is quite spectacular, and you can clearly see the magnificent detail of some of the Hindu and Islamic architecture along the way, They just don’t make structures like these anymore!

Before I show you some more of my compositions: I just wanted to note that since the fort isn’t open at golden or blue hours, the light was a bit harsh for photography and the colors don’t work well with a bright day.

Here’s what it looked like:

During my time there the outer reaches of the fort just spoke out to me and I imagined my compositions as a real life Dol Guldur (where Gandalf is imprisoned in the Hobbit).
Outer Walls
Here is the scene from the movie in case you missed it:



I have no idea why Golkonda isn’t a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site as of yet, but it should not be missed while you are in Hyderabad. I plan on returning next time and hopefully getting some more compositions. I truly enjoy the challenge of photography in less than ideal light sometimes because it really brings out your imagination….


Have you visited Hyderabad before? Golkonda Fort?

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Focal Point: Golconda Fort