Golconda Fort.

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
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52
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Trip End Oct 01, 2006


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Saturday, May 27, 2006

After a morning of updating this blog, the plan was to head out to Golconda fort, some 12 km away, and one of the main attractions of hyderabad. A rickshaw out there on the meter is about 75 rupees, and admission 100. The fort was built in the 10th century or so, when Hyderabad ruled the spice trade, or something. It is funny, all Indian cities seem to have been capitals at one time or another. Anyway, while the British Isles were still in diapers and playing with knives, south asian culture was already established and rich with craft, commerce, and culture.
Golconda is huge, the perimeter perhaps stretching to 1 km in diameter. The grounds are well kept up, and, unlike many of what pass for public "gardens" in many cities, it is possible to sit directly on the grass and rest without the possibility of getting a thorn or a piece of rubbish stuck to you. Maybe by raising some awareness about littering and pollution to tourists, some of it will carry over to them when they get back to their respective homes. They need one of those commercials such as we had back in the 70's, when littering in the good old usa was epidemic. You know, the one where the American Indian rides his horse to a spot overlooking the freeway, sees all the trash on the sides, and then turns to the camera, a tear running from his eye. . Except in this case it would be a regular Indian, (might have to be upper caste and as light in color as possible, otherwise no-one would be interested), a "cool" guy, westernized, picking up the rubbish, maybe doing a Bollywood-style song and dance number as he does so. . If it is "cool" and western to not litter, it might just stick, though many more of the ones who try to be so are picking up some of the bad habits, smoking, drinking, and the worst of all, New York Yankees baseball caps. If they chose to wear the more fashionable "B" of the Boston Red Sox, I just might overlook this fashion faux pas, but as it is I can't look by it.

Back to the fort. . I got a little out on a tangent, as I am wont to do from time to time, of course. One can walk up to the top of the fort, which commands perhaps the best view of the surrounding countryside around, and despite the smog, the mosque at the top is worth the climb. Narrow stairways not big enough for people going up and coming down at the same time are the way up in the final stage, otherwise, one passes many interesting ruined facilities once used to run the town and colony inside the fort walls. They once had a secret water system, but the water ran out sometime after the fort was conquered for the umpteenth time, and so the village was moved to the site of the present-day city of Hyderabad. Love that dirty water. . . . .
Hyderabad is 50% muslim, so there are many mosques and you see women in the black birkas, occasionally one will see the flash of gold under the confining garment, and the funniest thing is that these ladies are always shopping for jewelry, flashy clothing, and even lingerie, none of which will ever be shown, perhaps not even to their own husbands in the confines of the home.

The next morning we had to wake early, Linda's train was leaving at 6:40 from the station around the corner, and I planned to make quite an early start of it as well, to see if I could make Nagpur, the only sizeable city on my route, damn near 500 km away. It would be and had been long day, either way. .
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