From Hyderabad I took a small trip to explore nearby Golconda Fort and its surroundings.
The fort itself is huge but unfortunately rather ruined in most places. You do, however, get a good sense of the place and especially how large it was/is. Built in the 12th century the fort was the seat of power until the capital was moved to present day Hyderabad in the 16th century.
A hallway in one of the better preserved parts of the fort. However the state of the place is not helped by the fact that thousands of young Indians seem to have as a hobby vandalizing their historical heritage by carving their names into the hundreds of years old walls. I caught several groups of young Indian men proudly ruining this wonderful monument with their carved graffiti.
A colourful fort temple, still in active use. It has used the natural feature of two strangely shaped coloured rocks as its point of focus.
Old pipes is evidence that Golconda had a very advanced water supply system.
An old courtyard with a long since, dried up fountain, yet another testament to the advanced water system.
View of one of the outer fortifications in the surrounding landscape. Further on you see a charming area of curiously shaped lakes.
Another view from the fort walls, where the landscape changes from an arid desert-like area to greener residential area. Notice the large tombs a bit further back...
...cause these tombs are what I went to see next. The Qutb Shahi Tombs as they are called, were built as an eternal resting places for the changing rulers of Golconda
As impressive as the tombs look today taking this picture made me wonder just how amazing they must have been when they were built. As this picture clearly shows this tomb was in its heyday covered with decorative green and turquoise tiles. Today only very few tiles remain, leaving the tomb impressive still, but rather colourless.
One of the rulers resting inside his tomb.
In the area of the tombs I found also a very nice water tank. Here I found three young artists painting pictures of the tank. After witnessing the earlier episodes it was nice to see that some young Indians want to preserve their heritage by painting it, rather than destroying it through mindless vandalism.
What he was painting.
At the tombs I ran into a local Muslim family, who were having a picnic in the park. This exceptionally beautiful young girl lent herself wonderfully to a portrait.
Here she is again with her naughty brothers, fighting to be in the center of the picture.
I saw a few other beautiful and colourful creatures in this area. This beauty is a white-throated Kingfisher.
And this one is a Green Bee-Eater.