Mar 21, 2015

Qutb Shahi necropolis, Golconda

Aug 23, 2014
The Qutb Shahi Heritage Park is one of the most historic medieval necropolises anywhere in the world, comprising over 70 structures; mausoleums, mosques, step-wells / water structures, a hamam, pavilions, garden structures - all built during the reign of the Qutb Shahi dynasty who ruled the Hyderabad region for 169 years in the XVI and XVII centuries. The necropolises is being restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust & Allied Trusts under the supervision of Department of Archaeology & Museums and State Government of Telangana.

The complex is located to the north of Golconda fort. These magnificent structures were erected to the memory of kings of Golconda. Architecture is a fusion of Persian, Pathan and Hindu designs. Of the 70+ structures, there are 30+ tombs of which 10 are noteworthy.

tomb of Abdullah Qutb Shah (VII King)
Abdullah Qutb Shah (VII King)
Birth: 1614 AD
Accession: 1-2-1626
Death: 21-4-1672
incomplete tomb of Mirza Nizamuddin Ahmed
This unfinished tomb is generally known as the mausoleum of Abul Hasan Tana Shah but an inscribed tablet in the sarcophagus of the tomb mentions the name of Mirza Nizamuddin Ahmed, wh died in 1674 AD. he was the eldest son of Abdullah Qutb Shah. He could not succeed to the throne after his father-in-law owing to unfavorable conditions in Golconda fort. The incomplete mausoleum contains two graves. One belongs to Mirza Nizamuddin Ahmed, over the sarcophagus verses are inscribed from Holy Quran and the description reads "Mirza Nizamuddin Ahmed, may his tomb be illuminated joined the divine mercy on 26th safar, Saturday in the year 1085 (1674AD) 4 'O' clock afternoon." The other grave next to his tomb bears no name of the deceased but contains benedictory verses.
tomb of Abdul Hasan Tana Shah
tomb of Begum Hayat Baksh
Begum Hayat Baksh was the daughter of Sultan Mohammed Qutb Shah (V King), wife of Sultan Mohammed Qutb Shah (VI King) and mother of Abdullah Qutb Shah (VII King). This tomb is similar to that of her husband in architectural composition and decoration. The tomb has a square chamber surrounded by a spacious gallery of seven arched openings in each side over a square platform (170'). The upper storey has has five arches deeply recessed on each side and octagonal buttresses at corners. They are decorated with usual parapet and small domical finials at ends as well as above the arch tiers along the parapet. This tomb rises in the form of a pyramid and represents a break from a traditional square types. The design of the interior also shows a departure by constructing the walls of the square chamber about 10 feet thick, skilfully in the form of wide massive arches by using triangular pendentive and resting the domical ceilings on them.

tomb of Sultan Mohammed Qutb Shah
This tomb of Sultan Mohammed Qutb Shah (son of Mirza Nizamuddin Amin) ranks next in splendour and grandeur to that of his father-in-law Mohammed Quli. Its architectural plan and details are so popular and became the model for the later tombs of the dynasty. It stands at the center of an extensive square terrace (176 feet). The tomb has a square chamber (63 feet) and spacious colonnade (20 feet wide), all around the exterior of the chamber in the form of a gallery. The colonnade has seven arched openings on each side and is supported by massive pillars of ashlar masonry. The shape of the dome is three fourths of a sphere and its elongated neck shows a distinct Persian style. The exterior of the tomb was once adorned with glazed tiles. Some pieces of which can be seen on the walls and also on the neck of the dome.

tombs of Taramati and Premavati
Taramati was a favourite singer of Mohammed Qutb Shah who dies in 1625 AD. Her tomb is identical in shape and size to the tomb of Premamati but is devoid of any inscription. The external walls are decorated with a triple arched single stories with motifs and surmounted by a dome.

Premmati (Premamati) tomb was built during the reign of Abdullah Qutb Shah. She was the favorite dancer of the king. The Nastaliq style of Persian inscription on the sarcophagus and sill of the door frame dated to 1073 AH (1662 AD) reads "From all eternity, Prem Mati was a flower of Paradise".
tomb of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah
Birth: 1566 AD
Accession: 5-6-1580 AD
Death: 11-1-1612 AD
The tomb of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah (son of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah) is a magnificent structure built on two terraces. The first terrace (18 feet high) is square (200 feet) on plan and the second terrace is also square (12 feet) and rises 3 to 6 feet above the first terrace. The notable features of the edifice are the colonnades built along the sides of the tomb with openings in pillar and lintel style by using two octagonal stone pillars (28 feet high) in each gallery. Two doors, facing east and south provide access to the square (33 feet) chamber of the tomb. Along the inside walls of the tomb, there are 3 projecting galleries arranged one above the other. the first is octagonal on plan , the second sixteen sided and the third circular, on which the dome rises. The sarcophagus is inscribed with benedictory verses in Arabic language both in the style of Tughra and Naskh. The name of the king is in Persian language. Rich ornamental parapets on the roof and octagonal turrets at the corners in the ashlar masonry are added to make the monument proportionate and symmetrical. The actual vault where the mortal remains of the king are buried, can be reached from the terrace by narrow steps and also from all four directions at the ground level.

tomb of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah
Birth: 1530 AD
Accession: 27-7-1550 AD
Death: 5-6-1580 AD
The tomb of Ibrahim Qutb Shah (son of Sultan Quli Qutb Shah) was once beautifully decorated with tiles of various colors whose remains are still seen on the southern wall. The tomb is built on a square platform measuring 117 feet on all sides. the tombs of Neknam Khan and Prince Mohammad Amin - the sixth son of Ibrahim Qutb Shah also is located on the platform. The façade of the tomb is adorned with false arches. Each side contains 2 rows of 5 arches, one above the other measure 35 feet in height. The chambers of the tomb is square on plan at the floor level. Placing four arches at the corners on the first floor it turned into an octagonal shape and a little high up it becomes 16 sided over which the dome is built. The inscription on the floor of the chamber refers to the name of the king. A narrow passage inside the tomb on the south-eastern corner of the basement leads to the original grave.

tomb of Kusloom Begum
tomb of Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah
Accession: 2-9-1543 AD
Death: 22-1-1550 AD
The tomb of Jamshid Qutb (son of I King) is octagonal on plan, a unique architectural feature. A pair of balconies supported on brackets, one in lower and another in the upper stories. Built on an octagonal plinth over a square elevated platform. The tomb with its bulbous dome is remarkable for the shape arches on its sides and the picturesque galleries with cornice. The king died 7 years after his accession to the throne.

tomb of Subhan Quli (Chote Malik) III King
tomb of Subhan Quli (Chote Malik) III king
This is a small tomb built between the tombs of Sultan Quli and Jamshid Quli popularly known as Chte Malik ki Gumbad. Subhan Quli, as an infant succeeded Jamshid Quli his father. This tomb is square on plan but the dome is ribbed like melon externally. Inner surface of the dome and squinch arches represent simple architecture.

tomb of Sultan Quli Qutb Shah (I King)
This tomb of Sultan Quli, the founder of Qutb Shahi dynasty was built on a square platform (100 feet). The dome is square on plan whose inner structure is octagonal dome rises another 30 feet from the top of the walls. The sarcophagus is inscribed in Arabic of Naksh style with the name and title of the king. The throne verse of the Quran and Shitte Durud contained the names of twelve Imams. There are three other graves in the chamber and twenty one graves outside on the platform.

ancient Hindu Mantap
a mosque
five metal alloy cannon
This cannon could be a product of alloy casting technology. It is said that such an alloy is a mixture of tin, iron, copper, silver and gold. This alloy does not heat up even when exposed to blazing sun in summers.
The Mortuary Bath
This bath was built by Sultan Quili I, while erecting his own tomb, for the performance of ritual bath of the royal dead. It is one of the best specimens of the contemporary Persian and Turkish baths. It contains a number of cisterns for both hot and cold water, connected with pipes for regular supply of water. The 12 faceted shrouding platform is decorated with black basalt.

Few known necropolises of southern India-



Manjula Umesh said...

Good work Sir, nice compilation, pleasant captures with bright blue sky in the background.

siddeshwar said...

Thank you, Manjula.