Shaikpet is one of the oldest areas in city along with Golconda and Karwan. The area is a historian’s fantasy as magnificent and awe-inspiring monuments are found scattered at every corner. With a treasure trove of Qutub Shahi structures, Shaikpet is arguably one of Hyderabad’s most important heritage localities.
There are seven mosques and tombs in the locality. The biggest amongst them, Shaik Masjid stands majestically tall on a sprawling 670 square yards of land amidst the bustling surroundings. It is one of the few structures with several features of the Qutub Shahi era. The odd number of arches, the polychrome tiles, the big domed minarets and the geometrical shaft columns are all present in one structure.
Golconda Fort is arguably the most popular of the historical treasures of Shaikpet. It is an outstanding example of brilliant engineering and magical architecture. Founded in the approximately 12th Century by the Kakatiya Kings, this massive Golconda Fort with eight gates and 87 bastions was later built by Qutub Shahi Kings. The fort has a perimeter of about 11 kilometers with at least 15 foot walls.
The system of acoustics in the fort is something which attracts each and every visitor. The sound of clapping at the entrance can be heard at the ‘Bala Hissar’ which is the highest point and almost a kilometre away. This system was apparently used for communication purposes, especially to alert royalty in case of any attack.
It is believed that Golconda Fort used to be a famous diamond market attracting merchants from all over the world. It was at Golconda that the famous Kohinoor and Hope diamonds along with others such as The Regent Diamond, Darya-e Nur, Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond were stored. One of Hyderabad’s most popular and supreme monuments, Golconda Fort continues to allure every visitor with its unparalleled beauty and grandeur.
For those who want to experience history in a unique way, Hyderabad has some stunning golf courses set amidst boulders, fort walls and ruins. Just off Seven Tombs Road near Golconda Fort lies Hyderabad Golf Club, the only public golf course in the city. Run by the Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation and the Hyderabad Golf Association, it offers a stunning panoramic view of the Qutb Shahi Tombs as well as the greens.
For an even more unique experience, head to Naya Qila near Golconda Golf Course to see an 800-year-old baobab tree locally known as ‘Hathiyan ka Jhaad’. The massive tree gets its name from its elephantine trunk. Parts of the tree look like different creatures from different angles – a rearing elephant, a crocodile’s snout, monkey’s eyes, tortoise, and many more. With a circumference of 25 meters, the tree originated in Madagascar and was planted here by wandering fakirs centuries ago. But the most interesting aspect of the tree is that it has a hollow large enough to accommodate 40 people.