On the occasion of International Women’s day 2022, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has announced that no entry fees shall be charged to women visitors at all ticketed, centrally protected monuments or archaeological sites and remains.
The orders have been passed by the director-general of the ASI, V. Vidyavathi to allow all women, both domestic and foreign, free entry to all ticketed monuments across the country.
“In an office exercise of the powers conferred under Rule 6 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules, 1959, the Director-General, Archaeological Survey of India has directed that no fee shall be charged from women visitors (both domestic and foreign) at all ticketed Centrally protected monuments / Archaeological Sites & Remains specified in the Second Schedule of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules,” read the press release from the department.
Protected Monuments in Hyderbad- Golconda and Charminar
The Golconda Fort’s origins are traced back to the 14th century when the Rajah of Warangal Deo Rai (under the Kakatiya Kingdom which ruled from Warangal) built a mud fort. It was later taken over by the Bahmani Empire between 1358 and 1375. It was later developed into a full-fledged citadel by Sultan Quli who founded the Qutb Shahi kingdom in 1518 following the death of the last sovereign Bahamani emperor Mahmud Shah Bahamani.
Earlier, Sultan Quli was a commander and later governor of Tilang (Telangana), under the Bahamani Empire (1347-1518), when its second capital was at Bidar. Sultan Quli, who was originally from Hamadan, rose to the level of Governor under the Bahamani empire. At this point in time, he was given the fort, which he began developing into a walled city. It eventually came to be called Golconda Fort (name derived from Telugu Golla-conda, or shepherds hill).
The fort has 87 bastions, and eight gates, of which a few are not accessible to the general public as they are under army control. It is believed to be one of the Deccan’s most impregnable forts and had kept Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s army at bay for eight months when he laid siege to Hyderabad in 1687. Aurangzeb succeeded and ended the Qutb Shahi reign that year and took Abul Hassan Tana Shah, the last Golconda king, captive.
Charminar: The Charminar is Hyderabad’s foundational monument. Built-in 1591, it was constructed to mark the city’s establishment by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the fourth ruler of the Qutb Shahi (or Golconda) dynasty. Prior to the Charminar being built, the Golconda Fort was a walled city, from where the first three kings Qutb Shahi kings had ruled.
After Hyderabad was founded, the fort was eventually turned into a military barrack. However, the fort was also the place from where the final Qutb Shahi-Mughal war was also fought in 1687 after Aurangzeb attacked the Golconda kingdom. He succeeded after an eight-month-long battle, after which the entire Qutb Shahi area was brought under Mughal territory.
The Nizams (Asaf Jahi dynasty), who ruled next, were high-ranking Mughal commanders originally. The first Nizam, Mir Qamruddin Khan, attained the position in 1724 and ruled from Aurangabad, which was the capital of the Deccan (Nizam territory). His father and grandfather were part of the Mughal armies that destroyed Hyderabad in the final war between the Golconda and Mughal dynasties in 1687.