QUTUB SHAHI DYNASTY-HISTORICAL MONUMENTS OF HYDERABAD
The Qutub Shahis was the ruling family of the kingdom of Golconda, DECCAN, southern India. They were Shia Muslims and belonged to a Turkmen tribe from the Turkmenistan-Armenia region. The dynasty ruled Golconda for 171 years until the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb’s armies conquered the Deccan in 1687. Amidst beautifully laid out gardens of Ibrahim Bagh there are seven tombs erected in the memory of the departed kings of Golconda and they are known as Qutub Shahi tombs. They are located one km away from Golconda Fort. The site is considered to be one of the world’s largest necropolis and nowhere in the world there are so many tombs in one place.
Each tomb stands on a raised platform. It is a domed structure built on a square base surrounded by pointed arches. The quadrangular terrace is approached on all sides by flights of steps. The galleries of the smaller tombs are single storied while the larger ones are two-storied. In the center of each tomb is a sarcophagus which overlies the actual burial vault in a crypt below. The material used was Grey granite embellished with stucco ornamentation. The domes were originally overlaid with blue and green tiles of which only a few pieces remain now. The tombs were once furnished with carpets, chandeliers and velvet canopies on silver poles. Qurans were kept on decorated supports.Golden spires were fitted over the tombs of the Sultans. The tombs were surrounded by rose gardens and fountains. The tomb of founder of Hyderabad City, Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah is the most impressive, rising to a height of 42.5 meters with a large dome and 28 open arches on each side. He had taken Iranian help in the planning of Hyderabad.
Iranian Government and the Iranian Consulate in Hyderabad have taken a great interest in the restoration work of these tombs. During August 2006, six Iranian experts had visited the site to draw up the plans for restoration which also includes the Prema mati Mosque, and the Badshahi Ashoor Khana where tears are shed over the martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandson Hussain. The underground drainage system, the fountains and the hamam(bath) that existed before would be restored. Gardens will be developed in and around the monuments. This project when completed will be like 20 Taj Mahals at one place.
Please view the related blog post titled ‘Shia Ruler of Golconda – Verily a Blessed Soul’.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.