05 October, 2011

Golkonda Fort!...and a Lizard, nbd

So, Sunday was a pretty exciting day seeing the famous Golkonda Fort, the original foundation of Hyderabad, which someone from my hostel was awesome to take me to (and snap a few photos of me as well at the site). A ruined stone fortress and city, which began construction several hundred years ago, the remains are surviving for tourists to see. The fort was apparently designed with a superb acoustic system which allowed the sound of a hand-clap to be heard at the top citadel of the fort, situated on a hill. The inside of the fort's buildings was actually quite cool as well, with a good ventilation system and beautiful interior architecture. The most impressive aspect of the fort for me was the view from top, which I think is the best view of Hyderabad, to my knowledge being the highest point in the city.

I thought it was interesting that for cost to get in, it was 5 rupees for Indians, and 100 rupees for foreigners, although 100 rupees is still only 2 USD. I was also advised not to let anyone take pictures or allow any person to be a tour guide because they will expect money for it.

Overall it was extremely beautiful and quite a spectacular monument, perfect for a good photo excursion. It's kind of funny seeing something like Golkonda juxtaposed with the modern city of Hyderabad. It seems that Hyderabad has seen a fairly rapid change in the last 10 years. Many of the larger road systems are new, the very large Inorbit shopping mall I guess was built fairly recently.

English and Telugu signs explain history of the site.

One of the fortress gates. The fort was designed to be impenetrable and protected from attacks, among other well designed features, such as an excellent water system and clapping portal. 

I enjoyed the use of the panorama feature on my camera at this site.

Lovely interior architecture.

I kid you not, I witnessed women wearing saris and heals climbing up the stone steps to the top. I understand there are cultural differences in clothing, but...I have to wonder, is it really necessary to wear heals to a place like this?

Golkonda Fort shown with the modern city of Hyderabad. It still amazes me how absolutely huge the city is, it just goes on and on like an ocean of city. 

The top Citadel, the king's palace. Golkonda was engineered so that a clap in the lower entrance hall could be heard from the this structure on the top of the hill. Sort of worked like a telephone call.
Pretty cool, huh?

View from the top was quite spectacular. I believe this may be the best view of Hyderabad.

Okay, so the part of my day Sunday that freaked me out a bit, was a crawling lizard, about 5 inches long, I witnessed climbing up my bedroom wall. I'm told they're harmless and fairly common, but seriously freaked me out. I have never seen wild lizards crawl on walls inside of homes before, and sorry, but I'm not naming them as my pets. As long as they stay away while I'm sleeping, we can coexist under the same roof...

Tried a famous dessert of Hyderabad called Gulab Jaamoon. It was very sweet, almost like a doughnut in syrup.

A few other language differences. Actors here call the main lead actors in films "heros." Bathrooms are called Washrooms or the Loo. One of the saddest parts about walking outside here is the amount of garbage on the side of the road, litter is really common in the streets, much more so than most places in the US. Also common is to see stray dogs and even chickens poking around in the trash.

I was also asking someone who has been to the US what the most surprising things were coming there. He said that it was surprising that the tap water is safe to drink in America, and the fact that water out of the faucet has the option for hot or cold. But he also mentioned that he wasn't used to doing his own laundry, because many people I believe in India pay to have their laundry done because it is so cheap. In the US, unless you're living at home and your mom is doing your laundry, you have to do it yourself, but then again when I do laundry in the states I'm using the convenience of a washing machine, I'm not doing it by hand which is more common here I think.

Also, in recent news, the Telangana Strike continues, and so power outages remain a typical part of the day. Many of my coworkers wanted me to specifically state that these regular power outages are not normal, and are occurring solely due to a shortage of power because of the strike going on at the moment. I found this pretty funny, that they're worried the rest of the world will think they work by candlelight all the time or something (candles were actually lit on Monday for a short while since the power was out for most of the afternoon). But, let me assure my readers, that this is apparently very atypical, to have two hour power outages daily.

Something I miss here is running outside. No one runs outside here, and besides that, running on the roads here would be pretty dangerous. Surprisingly, I have now seen approximately three women wearing shorts here in a mall, something I thought I would never see. Still, basically everyone wears pants or long skirts/dresses/saris.

This afternoon I went with some of my coworkers to my first India festival, called Durga Puja, a popular Bengali Hindu festival worshipping the goddess Durga, and lasts something like 10 days. I'm learning many Indian holidays last for several days. People take handfuls of fresh-cut flowers and offer them to the goddess Durga multiple times. All Hindi celebrations are very colorful affairs. Weddings and festivals always seem to have brightly colored decorations everywhere.

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for perusing my musings! Over and out.

P.S. Mom and Dad, "nbd" means "no big deal," I know you were wondering about that while you read this entire blog post. :)


  1. Lol. Thanks for the 'specific' mention about the power cuts. Considering the diversity of cultures and beliefs in more than a million Gods across the country, we have more festivals than the number of days in an year ! You must witness DIWALI in hyderabad (on 26th October this year).

    Nice insights of Golconda Fort! Well put :)

  2. Nice blog, makes me homesick;I want to go back asap! and one correction: its 'Hindu' celebration not 'Hindi' (Hindi: a language and Hindu: a religion)

  3. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your blog.Book your bus tickets to Hyderabad in Kaleswari Travels