Hyderabad in southern India is home to resorted monuments and palace hotels. Ahead of his new BBC documentary, William Dalrymple tells of his love affair with the city
Hyderabad has always been one of my favourite Indian cities, but until recently it was one of the most neglected.
Hyderabad’s Golconda Tombs, which have been restored by the Aga Khan Foundation (Alamy)
Meanwhile, the magnificent Golconda Tombs have been whitewashed and restored by the Aga Khan Foundation. They are wonderfully ebullient and foppish monuments dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, with domes swelling out of all proportion to the base, each like a watermelon attempting to balance on a fig. Above the domes rises the craggy citadel of Golconda, where were stored the ceaseless stream of Golconda diamonds that ensured that Hyderabad’s rulers would never ever be poor. Inside the walls you pass a succession of harems and bathing pools, pavilions and pleasure gardens. When the French jeweller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier visited Golconda 1642 he found a society every bit as decadent as this architecture might suggest and he wrote that the town possessed more than 20,000 registered courtesans, who had to take it in turns to dance for the king every Friday. Today the Fort is the magnificent venue for one of India’s leading literary festivals. (…)
Read and view more on: Telegraph co UK
Some related posts /photos on PBSJ Blog
Qutub Shahi Tombs