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Go, Golconda

PICNIC TIME Post Independence Day celebrations, the Fort has seen a spurt in visitors. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

PICNIC TIME Post Independence Day celebrations, the Fort has seen a spurt in visitors. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf  

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Hyderabadis have renewed their interest in the Fort following the I-day flag hoisting

Guess who’s busy more than usual. The guards and the staff at the Golconda Fort’s ticket counter. Besides the regular out-of-town tourists, city tourists too are making a beeline towards the Fort. They might be climbing the entire fort area or reading the historic information at the gate like tourists from other places, but they say it was a great reminder and time for a recap of childhood memories. Just the way it happened with real estate developer, Ashwin Rao.

Childhood memories

Besides being a regular at the I-day parade in Parade Ground in Secunderabad as a child, Ashwin and his siblings were also regulars at the Golconda fort. “It could be picnics, evening outing or just a casual day with visiting cousins, Golconda was a must. Once I completed my studies and got involved in business, I hardly thought of revisiting the place. But when I got the invitation for the I-day flag hoisting at Golconda, I didn’t want to miss the historic event for anything. I went with my wife and as we sat through the flag hoisting the cultural events that followed, we realised our children are missing all the fun and excitement. So, we plan to do a family picnic, just like the old times. No other place in the city can be better than this Fort or the zoo for a good family time,” says Ashwin.

His family’s plan isn’t a stray example of rejuvenated interest in the fort. Some like Bharati who was named after ‘Bharat’ (the country) since she was born in 1947, says, “It was a different experience for me. I just couldn’t miss it for anything. To suit the festive mood, I also colour coordinated my sari. My children appreciate it when I dress well, which I mostly do,” she laughs.

Bharati, as a day out with husband, is planning to come for the Light and Sound show one of the evenings.

Bharati adds, “Once the sun sets, the Fort has a completely different atmosphere. Its silence and calmness appeals to me.”

If that’s what the not-so-young have to say, the younger ones have a new ‘funda’, “We knew the Fort will have a spic and span look for the flag hoisting for I-day. So we made plans to go, the following day despite not being sure of the weather. We went armed with umbrellas and thought ‘'maybe the Fort looks even better when it rains,’” says Priya Dey.

Priya went with her friends and cousins and the big group sure had a lot of fun when they say “the lawns are amazing to laze around. We also liked the fact that there are restrictions on walking in certain areas of the lawn.”

Tourists are happy. What about the guards and the maintenance staff? “People have become sensible than before; they litter less and mostly make the best use of the litter bins,” says the gardener. He wishes that “Things like cooking during religious festivals should be stopped. The smoke and soot spoils whatever is remaining.”

Another classic case of killing two birds with one stone: “The I-day event made me curious about the Fort all over again and I went there on Saturday, while there, I thought why not check out Qutub Shahi Tombs which I haven’t been to so far. And so I did, and it was the most relaxed evening in a long time for me,” says Pratibha Roy, a job consultant

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 2:10:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/hyderabadis-throng-golconda-fort/article6331812.ece

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