Golconda Fort, one of the most wonderful fortress complexes in India, is about 11 km from Hyderabad. Dating back to the early 13th century, the fortress is built on a granite hill, which is 120 m high. Bounded by huge crenellated ramparts, the fort has 8 gates or Darwazas and the main gate is the Fateh Darwaza (Gate of Victory). The gates are set with large pointed iron spikes to prevent elephants from destroying them. The complex consists of a palace, a mosque, a parade ground and an armory. The topmost splendor is the Durbar Hall, which stands at the top a hill, facing the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. A thousand-step stairway leads to the hall. Another important feature of the fort is its system of acoustics where the sounds of clapping the hands in the portico can be heard in the Durbar Hall. It is also said that there was a secret underground tunnel leading from the 'Durbar Hall' to a palace at the foot of the hill.
About 1 km north of the outer wall of Golconda are the tombs of the Qutub Shahi kings, built with Islamic architecture. Two palaces, namely, Taramathi Gana Mandir and the Premamathi Nritya Mandir are nearby.
A recent novelty at the fort is a sound and light show that conveys the legend of Golconda. The show is presented in English,
Telugu. It is shown at 06:30 hrs in winter (November - February) and at 19:00 hrs during summer (March - October).