The Qutub Shahi Tombs at Golconda

The Qutub Shahi Tombs are located in the Ibrahim Bagh, around 2 km from the main gate of the Golconda fort. They contain the tombs and mosques built by various kings of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. The galleries of the smaller tombs are of single storey while the larger ones are two storied. In the center of each tomb is a sarcophagus which overlies the actual burial vault in the below crypt. The domes were originally overlaid with blue and green tiles, of which only a few remain today.

The tombs are domed structures built on a square base surrounded by pointed arches, a blend of Persian, Pashtun and Hindu styles. They are structures with intricately carved stonework and are surrounded by landscaped gardens. The tombs were once furnished with carpets, chandeliers and velvet canopies on silver poles. Golden spires were fitted over tombs of the Sultans to distinguish their tombs from those of other members of the royal family.

During the Qutub Shahi period these tombs were held in great veneration. But after their fall, the tombs were neglected until Salar Jung III ordered their restoration in the early 19th century. The garden was laid out and a compound wall was built.

The tomb garden of the Sultans of Golkonda was known as Lagar-e-Faiz Athar (the place for bountiful entertainment) in the days of the Qutub Shahi rulers. Occasionally there used to be some item song, dance or play staged here in the evenings, free of cost to entertain the poor.

One of the tombs in the complex
One of the tombs in the complex
The archways inside the Qutub Shahi Tomb
The archways inside the Qutub Shahi Tomb
One of the entrances to the tomb
One of the entrances to the tomb
The arch ways inside the tombs
The arch ways inside the tombs
One of the open tombs inside the complex
One of the open tombs inside the complex
One of the tombs in the complex
One of the tombs in the complex
The typical view of a tomb and the masjid adjacent to that
The typical view of a tomb and the mosque adjacent to that
Arabic calligraphy work on one of the tombs
Arabic calligraphy work on one of the tombs
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
Calligraphy work on one of the tomb stones
Calligraphy work on one of the tomb stones
Some of the original decorative tile works can still be seen on some of the buildings
Some of the original decorative tile works can still be seen on some of the buildings
Interior of one of the domes
Interior of one of the domes
Interior view of the tomb
Interior view of the tomb
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
More of the Qutub Shahi Tombs in the complex
The tomb of Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah
The tomb of Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah
An interior view of the dome
An interior view of the dome
Details on the walls
Details on the walls
From the garden
From the garden
The incomplete tomb of Mirza Nizamuddin Ahmed who died in 1674 AD
The incomplete tomb of Mirza Nizamuddin Ahmed who died in 1674 AD

Almost every tomb has a mosque adjacent to it. The biggest and the grandest mosque is the one adjacent to the mausoleum of Hayat Bakshi Begum, popularly known as the great mosque of the Golkonda tombs. It was built in 1666 AD. Fifteen cupolas decorate the roof and the prayer hall is flanked by two lofty minarets. Hayat Bakshi Begum was the daughter of Muhammed Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth sultan, the wife of Sultan Muhammed Qutub Shah, the sixth sultan and the mother of Abdullah Qutub Shah, the seventh sultan. She was affectionately known as “Ma Saheba” (Revered Mother).

Mausoleum of Hayat Bakshi Begum
Mausoleum of Hayat Bakshi Begum
Mausoleum of Hayat Bakshi Begum - closer view
Mausoleum of Hayat Bakshi Begum – closer view
The Great Mosque adjacent to the mausoleum of Hayat Bakshi Begum
The Great Mosque adjacent to the mausoleum of Hayat Bakshi Begum
The Great Mosque - details
The Great Mosque – details
The Great Mosque - Interior
The Great Mosque – Interior
The Great Mosque - Interior
The Great Mosque – Interior

There is a mortuary bath, which was built by Sultan Quli to facilitate the ritual washing of the bodies of the dead kings and others of the royal family before they were carried to their final resting place. The bath is one of the finest existing specimens of ancient Persian or Turkish baths.

The mortuary bath inside the complex
The mortuary bath inside the complex
The mortuary bath - Interior
The mortuary bath – Interior
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29 thoughts on “The Qutub Shahi Tombs at Golconda”

  1. Breathtaking. Although you took some excellent pictures, there’s no way they can do justice to the structure.

    It has been interesting to see a glimpse of a part of the world I’m not too familiar with. Thank you.

    Like

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