Friday, 30 January 2015

Forts, Tombs, Temples, Statues

Busy first weekend.
Saturday we visited Golconda Forts along with the Quih Shab Tombs. These were tombs from the Muslim Mughal Empire so they often have mosques attached. The mosques are not in use anymore even though it would be super cool if they were. Though there are 100s of structures within the park we only saw a few at the front. Pretty typical Islamic architecture Persian influenced I believe our guide was saying. All white even though this was not always true. In one small square portion of a column you can see all that remains of what used to be the brightly mosaic-ed exterior. Time, and theft turned them white.
The 'tomb' - actual body many feet below the ground

Tomb with the small corner of colorful mosaic left

Next we went to the actual fort a drive away. It is massive and allegedly impregnable. The only way the enemy got inside was by bribing a guard. We saw a canon on one edge of the wall before heading up to the main part of the fort.

View from edge of the wall near the canon. You can see the tombs on the right.
More of the wall and the moat

It's amazing, built on top of the rocks of the Deccan Plateau with the stones of the wall fitted together without cement or other mortar. So many stairs. I would say going in late afternoon is the way to go. It'll be cooler as you walk up and then you can watch the sunset over the city. It was absolutely beautiful and you can see the whole city. High rise apartments and hi tech city alongside ancient forts, temples, rivers, and lakes.
View of the main portion of the fort

Me + top of fort + sunset

The next day was a city tour which was our first real chance to use public transportation. Otherwise we've just been calling taxis to come pick us up within campus. We got up early and took a bus to reach the train station about 10 minutes away. We then took the train for about half an hour to reach a temple on a far side of the city. I don't have any pictures from the temple but it was entirely in white. This Hindu temple was built in either the 70s or 80s fairly recent. It was upon a hill overlooking the city; you could even see where the forts we'd seen the previous day were located.

Huge Buddha

We just sat there for a while then we headed out to have lunch. Then we went to the man made lake Hussain Sagar which features a huge Buddha statue in the center. We took a boat to the little island with the statue on it, took a few pictures then left. The lake is located within like a mini adventure park so there are other activities and places to eat there. The multiple buses, an auto and a train we arrived back at the University.
View from the island in Hussain Sagar Lake

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