It is one of the most significant medieval necropolises. The grand mausoleum of the city’s founder, Mohd Quli Qutb Shah, and the cluster of seven tombs stand out for their elaborate and intricate architecture. All the graceful structures in the 106-acre royal necropolis are reflective of Persian, Pathan and Hindu forms of architectural style.
The Qutb Shahi kings, who ruled the Hyderabad region for 169 years, have left behind a number of mausoleums known for their bulbous domes. There are also mosques, step-wells, mortuary baths, pavilions and garden structures. Surely, it is the largest cluster of the 16 century structures set within an urban green space.
What strikes visitors is the richly embellished lime-stucco ornamentation on the tombs. According to historians, the tombs were once furnished with carpets, chandeliers and velvet canopies on silver poles. Copies of the Holy Quran were kept on supports, and people recited verses. The golden spires fitted atop the tombs of the sultans distinguished them from other tombs. They were held in great respect during the Qutb Shahi rule, but later they were neglected. It was Sir Salar Jung III who ordered their restoration in the early 19 century.
Located over a kilometre northwest of the Golconda Fort, the Qutb Shahi tombs provide the ideal starting point for visitors to view the Qutb Shahi heritage. The tombs differ in size but share the same architectural grandeur and beauty. The most modest of the tombs is that of Sultan Quli Qutbul Mulk, while the most impressive one is that of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah. It rises to a height of 42.5 metres and is topped by a large dome. One can see architectural, aesthetic, archaeological, economic, social and even spiritual significance in the Qutb Shahi tombs. But the first and the foremost feeling one gets is emotional.
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