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Nizam Konda island set to regain past glory

Nizam Konda island set to regain past glory
Highlights

The dilapidated hill fort near Beechupally in Mahbubnagar district, which can be reached only by boat, is being developed into a tourist attraction

The dilapidated hill fort near Beechupally in Mahbubnagar district, which can be reached only by boat, is being developed into a tourist
attraction

Hyderabad: Nizam Konda, a hill fort located on a small river island near Beechupally, which was once a hub of activity lost its glory after
independence; it was forgotten and left to derelict. However, the fort is all set to regain its lost glory thanks to the decision of Telangana
Department of Archaeology and Museums to revive it into a tourist spot.

The fort construction was commenced by Rani Lingamma of Gadwal Samasthanam in 1325 AD and was completed by Raja Tirumalaraja in
1742 AD. It was considered as an impregnable fort built with stone and mud with the parapet walls raised and plastered with thick lime
plaster. The fort has become a military base during the Qutub Shahi and Asaf Jahi regimes and was used to control the trade activities in
this area.

Nizam Konda island is located in the backwaters of River Krishna, 140 km away from Hyderabad city and only a stone’s throw away from
the Hyderabad-Kurnool highway.

“The fort is an ideal spot to develop into a tourist spot as it has history, adventure and is surrounded by water. As it is right on the
highway, it could become a good stopover for travelers,” says P Brahmachary, Deputy Director of the Department of Archaeology and
Museums.

“For history buffs, the place is a must visit. The fort could not be easily attacked and was on the boundary between Gadwal and
Wanaparthy. The Wanaparthy Samsthanam was in agreement with the Asaf Jahis and supplied men and arms to the Nizam. It was a
vantage protective post and was strategically located,” says P Anuradha Reddy, convener, INTACH Telangana.

The island can be approached only by boat. People who are visiting the fort approach villagers who bring a basket boat which can seat 6
-7 people at a time. The tourism department plans to develop a hanging garden bridge in the future. The visitors used to wade through
rubble and rocks to reach the hill top. Now, they are using the 700 steps built by the Department of Archaeology built from the banks of
the Krishna.

Azeem Osman, consulting engineer with the department says, “A path has been created for tourists to reach the top but the surroundings
with lots of greenery have been untouched. There are a few structures and a Hanuman temple on top. As of now, people from
surrounding villages visit the place.”

The approach was completed at a cost of Rs 40 lakh from the 13th Finance Commission grant. The ramparts of the fort are still intact but
at places stones jut out. The department has plans to work on the walls as well says an official.

The island fort is all set to regain its past glory but with a difference. This time, around there would be no battles by the Gadwal kings
but tourists would take a sneak peek into the times of the past.

T P Venu

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