I realise its been a while since my last post so my apologies to begin with. I’ve been doing this for a month now 😲 and have really enjoyed sharing our experiences with everyone but I have found that I was starting to put a bit of pressure on myself with regard to the blog for a few reasons.
Firstly I felt that I had to have done something different everyday that had to be shared and that whatever I had done had to be informative, interesting and, if I could manage it, amusing. Secondly I was pressuring myself to get it typed and posted as soon as possible after having done it and thirdly I have been, and am trying, not to come across as though I am boasting or showing off about what Anita and I are able to experience whilst we are here.
So no more pressure on myself 😁
It would also be very easy for me to write about what we have done and are doing from the point of view of ‘Look at me and look at what we’ve been able to do and look how much its cost and we’ve had this done for us and had that done for us’ but this is not me. I am very aware of what a fortunate and lucky position we are both in which is down to the company Anita works for. It also has a great deal to do with timing as it would not have been possible in any way shape or form for us to have done this had the chance arisen this time last year.
So I will continue to post and keep everyone updated on what its like to be An Ordinary Bloke (and his Wife) Living in India and would love to see and read comments (good and bad) on what you think. I am, however, going to try not to write in the format of – I did this, then I did this, then I did that… I’m pretty sure no-one wants to know the exact ins and outs of every day but please feel free to tell me if that’s how you feel the post has read…
So to catch up I’ll start by going back to Wednesday 24th May. Myself, Shaun and Tony arranged to go to Golkonda Fort (also known as Golconda) which is one of the oldest landmarks in Hyderabad and one which we had seen when we from the top of the boulders. This fort was built in the 16th century for the Qutb Shahs as the centre of a fortified city surrounded by a walled city housing their subjects. The journey (Tony had again generously offered to pick us both up) to Golkonda took us through the still militarised area surrounding it (no photography allowed – oops) which is very different to the rest of Hyderabad that I have seen so far.
As soon as we entered the military area the streets were noticeably cleaner (no litter here) and the condition of the walls and buildings were of a much better standard. To get to the entrance you actually drive through the centre of the camp so we got a good look at some of the barracks and various training areas and entrance gates which I did resist the temptation to photograph.
The entrance to Golkonda is a typically turnstiled affair so Tony’s driver dropped us off and said he was going to park up somewhere out of the sun while we spent a bit of time exploring. As both Tony and Shaun have been here before we didn’t take up any of the many offers of a guide. I think when I come back here either with Anita or when we have visitors I will probably get a guide . Not taking anything away from either Tony or Shaun but there was no way I was ever going to remember everything they told me and there is always something different that a local guide will tell you especially in a place with as much history as this.
Now one think to note about Golkonda is it is very high and there are a LOT of steps to get to the top, so of course what time would the three of us be starting to climb these steps? Yep 11.30. Mad dogs and all that yet again.
As we walked Tony and Shaun pointed out various different features and things that they have picked up from the tours that they have done. One feature was two holes in stone work either side of an arch way. These arch ways were apparently something to do with keep two warring brothers separated so I said that I thought the eyelets looked like somewhere where a prisoner would have been tied to and tortured. Turns out they were used to attach sheets and cloths to. I like my version better 🤣
I am so glad I have gotten into the habit of taking water with me whenever I go out as the sun was really hot (yeah state the obvious why don’t you!!!) and beat down relentlessly as we climbed and the guys showed me where the water reservoirs are that used to collect the water and then supply it to the various levels of the fort.
Although a lot of the fort is derelict now there is still evidence of the pipes that formed the water supply system throughout the fort.
The good thing about Golkonda is the many different levels that there were to the fort which means there are plenty of places to stop, catch your breath and enjoy the views over Hyderabad as you get higher and higher. Another good thing is there are stalls at various points that sell food and drink so whether you get sick of hot water that you’ve bought with you or just fancy a nice cold bottle of water you are able to get them along the way.
Incorporated into the fort are many temples as well, most of which you can go into and look around (obviously being respectful and removing your footwear before doing so) but I did find that, unlike in Britain, when you go into a temple, castle or stone building the heat doesn’t go away here 😅😅😅
Eventually we got to the top and the views were stunning. We were a lot higher here than when we went to the boulders so could see even further across Hyderabad. We could also see the wall that surrounds the fort and then beyond that the outer wall that was built around the subjects houses to protect them in a walled city (insert here your favourite clichéd movie/TV series reference – I’m going to use Game of Thrones)
We again caught a breath and had a chat and drink of water then noticed something moving below us. We could see something rummaging around in the rubbish (even ancient monuments here don’t escape the litter bugs!!!) Then a mongoose emerged and sat and looked up at us all. It stayed for quite a while before deciding it was getting nothing from us and was then gone up and over one of the walls and into the undergrowth. Cool!!!
Thankfully the walk back down was a lot easier than the climb up but Shaun did warn about the steps which have been worn smooth by the amount of people going up and down them. This does not give a problem on the climb up but when coming back down it is apparently all too easy to slip as he found out personally 😲
We came down and out a different way so the lads could show me some of the smaller shrine areas of the fort which then also took us round where there is a light show at night. There is a seating area where you can watch the lights being projected onto the side of the fort and the ruins. Very impressive apparently so we will hopefully be able to get a night visit in while we are here. We then went through into one of the old hallways where there was the most disgusting smell. This is caused by the bats that nest (is that what bats do???) in the corners of the roof of each hall. As we walked further in we could hear the bats squeaking so went to where there was a growing crowd and the bats could be seen flying through the doorways from one hall to another. This is very unusual in the day as they are normally sleeping. Braving the increasing intensity of the smell I managed to get some pictures of the bats. They are hard to see but on the ones where the flash went off it has picked up their eyes.
Time to leave as they were starting to freak me out a bit!!!
As we were leaving we had to walk through a sort of gatehouse where there were ladies making up flower garlands and then through two huge doors with quite big spikes all over them. Tony asked if I knew what they were. I’ll be honest I hadn’t even noticed them on the way in so didn’t have a clue. They were attached to the door to prevent the doors from being charged and battered by elephants during an attack. Clever and very simple…
Tony had called his driver to let him know that we were on our way out so he was waiting where he had dropped us off. We got into the car which had been running so the aircon was really nice and cold. Bearing in mind that he had been parked in the shade for the time we were in the fort we were all surprised to see that the outside temperature reading in the car read 45 degrees C. Not many people will ever hear me say this but that is verging on too hot… even for me and I love the sun and the heat 😎😎😎😎
I really am looking forward to bringing people here 😁😁😁