Just a short distance from Hyderabad, the technical hub of Telangana, India, stands the fortress of Golconda. Started in 1143, it was built up by several dynasties through the centuries, protecting royalty and priceless jewels alike.
The fortress may be old, but it’s practically a spring chicken compared to the rocks on and from which it is built. And although breathtaking, we’re talking about an EarthCache, so it is the rocks themselves that are the real stars of our Geocache of the Week, Rocks of Hyderabad – Golconda.
Don’t get distracted by Golconda’s diamonds. For this cache, we’re interested in its granite. Most of the area is built on granite dating back over 2.5 billion years, making it some of the oldest and hardest rock in the world.
Geologists estimate that the rocks formed about the same time as the earth’s crust, when molten magma bubbled up from within the earth and cooled under the surface.
Over time—about 25 million years—the softer outer layers of granite eroded away, leaving the tors around which Golconda was built.
The granite maintained a natural cooling and drainage system within the structure, which played an important role in the construction and maintenance of the fortress. These systems fed the once lush, sprawling gardens, the remnants of which are still visible today.
Once you learn all you can from the rock, take some time to explore the ruins of the fortress itself. After all, it’s listed as an official treasure on the Archeological Survey of India’s “List of Monuments.”
In addition to the imposing architecture, you can also view cannons, tombs, and intricate painted wall art. The fortress’ natural acoustic system was specially designed to amplify sound. The noise of a single clap is said to be able to travel over a kilometer through the acoustically engineered corridors.
If you visit, the fort itself is open daily from 9:00 to 17:30, but consider visiting in the late afternoon and staying into the evening for the light and sound show that bathes the ancient rocks in stunning color.
Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.