This was the capital of the Qutub Shahi dynasty and is also known as the Golla Konda Fort. It is a few kilometers from the Hussain Sagar Lake and is a huge and mighty fort till date to have been built on a hilltop. Originally known as Mankal, this was a palace built in the 12th Century in place of what was earlier a mud palace built by the king of Warangal. This was later fortified in the 14th and 17th centuries and the credit for this goes to the Bahmani Sultanate. One of the architectural marvels of Hyderabad, there are a numkber of gates out of which the most famous is the Fateh Darwaza which could be crossed by Aurangzeb once. This fort is on top of a granite hill and is itself also made of granite.
The fort of Gandikota acquired its name due to the 'gorge' (in Telugu it is called 'gandi'), formed between the Erramala range of hills, also known as Gandikota hills and the river Pennar that flows at its foot, reducing its width to a mere 300 ft (see the river image below). Situated amidst beautiful landscape and wild forests, it is endowed with vast natural resources. Surrounded by a deep valley and impassable hills AND with massive boulders of red granite and the river Pennar that flows about 300 ft. below on the west and northern sides, its location affords strong natural defence to the occupants of the Fort.
The official residence of the Nizams while they were the authority of the state, this ws a prominent seat of the famous Asaf Jahi Dyansty. The palace in the local language is called as the Chowmallattuu Palace. The construction began in the year 1750 by Nizam Salabhat Jung and was finally completed in the year 1864- 69 by Nizam Afzar- Ud Dawla Bahadur. Stretching from the Laad Bazar to the Aspan Chowk, the palace is a replica of the Shah's Palace in Teheran of Italy. The palace in spite of being so old has held on nicely to its former beauty and glory and is ageing with absolute grace. The detailing of the architecture and designs is fantastic. Apart from the beautoful lawns and and gardens the Tehniyat Mahal, Afzal, Mehtab and Aftab Mahals are very popular attractions in here.
Taj Falaknuma Palace
The Falaknuma Palace is probably the most royal and luxurious on this list, primarily because it was not allowed to turn into a ruin with time. Until 2000, Falaknuma was a private property of the Nizams, but due to the decline of zamindari in Hyderabad (and India), the family agreed to a more economically beneficial step and let the Taj group of hotels protect their legacy. The five acre complex has some of the world's greatest accessories, like the largest collection of Venetian chandeliers in the world, the famed dining hall, which seats 100 guests at a time and a walnut-wood library which has one of the finest collections of Quran.
In the district of Guntur, the Nargarjuna Sagar Dam is declared as one of the largest dams in Asia as well the longest masonry dam of India. The dam was fully open in the year 1972. The beautiful sceneries attracts hundreds of tourists here every month. There are regular tours organised here and you can opt for one to view the working of the turbines and then boat along the Nagarjuna Lake till the Nagarjunakonda Island. Here there is a beautiful museum in which is housed a huge collection of antiques for you to know a little more about the history of the region. The other attractions here are the Ethiopiala Waterfalls and the Srisailam Wildlife resort. Boating is thus the main activity here.
Situated on a hillock in the Vijayawada city is the Kondapalli Fort which was built in the 14th century by Prolaya Vema Reddi, the founder of the Reddy Empire. The fort later went to the hands of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. The Stone tower of the fort is what makes it look even mightier. There are three entrances one after another in this fort. The first and the main one is named as Dargah Darwaza and is carved out of a single slab of granite and the next one is named as the Golconda Darwaza. The fort is now a famous picnic spot and a tourist attraction too. The Dargah of Garib Sahib, a Persian Sain is probably the most attractive part of the fort. The Tanisha Mahal is where you will still find remains of many statues and other items of that Era. The Rani Mahal is the Queens' Palace, Gajashala is where the elephants were kept, Bhojanashala or the dining hall and the Veerupaksha Temple. This fort was the leisure retreat of the king meant for his luxury purposes. The Kondapalli Village around the fort is famous mainly for the wooden dolls made here.
Another architectural marvel made of lime and mortal, Paigal Tombs are made out of lime and mortar with amazing marble carvings. These tombs are 200 years old which represent the final resting places of several generations of the Paigah Nobles. You'll feel wonderful seeing the delicately carved wooden doors and window screens done in jaali (netted) work. The detail work done on these is in itself a display of its magnificence.Each Tomb has been designed differently, with elaborate covering and marble fences which are adorned with exemplary geometrical and floral designs. The Paigahs were great patrons of arts and have made several palaces. Their love for art is seen even in their exquisite tombs. This place is provides a dazzling sight for someone who is visiting this place first time.