Telangana is home to some of the impressive forts and palaces. Golconda Fort, situated near Hyderabad, is amongst the finest forts in the country. Warangal Fort takes us back to the Kakatiya period. Chowmahalla and Falaknuma palaces are magnificent edifices situated in Hyderabad. Along with these there are several other forts that present us with the dynamic history of this state. All of these forts have something to inform us about the dynasties that have lived here. Here is the list of forts and palaces of Telangana:
5 Important Forts of Telangana
Golconda is one of the most impressive forts of India. Situated near Hyderabad in Telangana, this fort enclose an area of 3 sq km. Qutb Shahi rulers established this fort in 1518, and were based here till 1687. In its heyday, Golconda was a grand township with palaces, mosques, and gardens. This fort was made impregnable with three lines of fortifications. But, after a few failed attempts, Aurangzeb’s army pierced it in 1687.
This 25-min video will tell you in detail about Golconda:
You can enter the fort through Fateh Darwaza (Victory Gate) and walk towards Bala Hisar Gate, which is the main entrance to the fort. Behind this gate is a large-domed Grand Portico. Clap here and you’ll hear the echoes. They say that the fort’s acoustics were such that the sound made here would be heard in the king’s chamber at the summit of the hill. Bala Hisar Complex has royal palaces, assembly halls, workshops, and an armoury.
The next palace to visit in the fort is Qutb Shahi Palace. It has an arcade leading to the private areas. Rani Mahal, in this complex, is very impressive. It has a vaulted hall with raised terrace. The carvings on its walls were inlaid with diamonds and other precious stones. From here you can take a steep climb to the summit of the hill to visit the Durbar Hall. This three-storeyed building offers commanding views of the fort and its surroundings.
Location: Golconda is 12 km west of Hyderabad.
Warangal was the capital of the Kakatiyas in the 13th and 14th centuries. Kakatiyas were the most powerful rulers of their times. King Ganapatideva had laid out the plan for the fort but died before completing it. So, his daughter Rudramadevi directed the construction of the fort.
All the monuments within the fort are in ruins. But even the remains are astonishing. Through intricate stonework on granite, these remains give a peek into the glorious era of Kakatiyas. Warangal fort is ringed with triple fortifications. The first ring of walls, 1.2 km long, has 6m high granite walls. The second ring of walls, made of mud, is 2.4 km long, and the third is 12.5 km. The inner ring has four massive gateways at the cardinal points. Exactly in the centre of the precincts are four ornate gateways of a non-existing Shiva Temple. An audience hall, called ‘Khush Mahal’, is very impressive and resembles the ‘Hindola Mahal’ of Mandu. It has thick walls, lofty arches, and windows.
Location: Warangal is 146 km north-east of Hyderabad.
Medak town is overlooked by the historical Medak Fort. Now in ruins, it was founded by the Kakatiyan ruler Pratapa Rudra in the 12th century. Bahmanis of Gulbarga took it from them and eventually lost it to Qutb Shahis.
There are three protective gates to enter the fort. The last one is called ‘Gaja Dwaram’ (elephant entrance) and has elephants carved on both sides of the entrance. There is a ruined court near that gate. Climb up from here to reach the crest of the hill. There you will be greeted with a 3.2 m long cannon. Nearby is a renovated mosque. This fort now shares its space with a heritage hotel.
Location: Medak is 96 km north of Hyderabad.
This is a ruined fort straddling a granite hill in the town of Khammam in Telangana. Its ramparts have been restored and a heritage walk has been developed. Starting from the base, the path reaches to the summit. While the views of the town are good from the top, none of the structures have survived. The walls of the fort were studded with 15 bastions. The entry gates, ten in number, were made so strong that they could withstand the impact of cannon balls.
Three army men of Kakatiya Kingdom established this fort in 950 AD. Reddys continued to command this fort for 300 years after its construction. Many dynasties ruled here after them, but the significant ones were Qutb Shahi and Asaf Jahi.
Location: Khammam is 198 km east of Hyderabad.
Rachakonda, a village in Nalgonda District, is home to a historical fort called Rachakonda Fort. It was founded by Recherla Padmanayaka, a king of Velama Clan, in the 14th century. The fort is surrounded by forests and enclose remains of temples, pavilions, and gateways.
Location: Rachakonda is 57 km southeast of Hyderabad.
2 Palaces You Can’t Miss in Telangana
Falaknuma is a splendid palace situated on a 32-acre land, 5 km from Charminar in Hyderabad. Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, the prime minister of Hyderabad during the rule of Nizams, resided here till the end of the 19th century. He then gifted it to Mehboob Ali Pasha who was 6th Nizam. Mehboob Ali transformed this palace into a royal guesthouse.
Today it is a luxurious hotel maintained by the Taj Group. It has about 60 lavishly decorated rooms and 22 spacious halls. Its huge dining hall is an example of elegance and grandeur. The palace also has a collection of paintings, manuscripts, antiques, and books.
You can explore the palace even if you aren’t opting to stay in it. Telangana Tourism offers day tour of the palaces of Nizams. To know more about it click here>>.
Location: Falaknuma is 5 km south of Charminar in Hyderabad.
Of all the palaces in Telangana and its neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh, Chowmahalla is the most outstanding. This neo-classical palace boasts of exemplary architecture. It was the seat of the Nizams of Hyderabad. Salabat Khan commissioned this palace in 1750, and the later rulers kept adding to it for over a century.
The palace has a linear sequence of garden courts which are surrounded by pavilions, rooms, halls, and chambers. The most elegant part is ‘Khilawat Mubarak’ which was used as a reception hall. It has an arcaded facade and ornate corner towers surrounded by turrets and finials. The double-height interior is made more impressive with marble flooring and crystal chandeliers. Also worth checking out are Mahtab Mahal, Aftab Mahal, and Afzal Mahal.
Location: Chowmahalla Palace is just about 850 meters from Charminar in Hyderabad.