India – Day fourteen

Thursday March 30th Today we set off at 8.30, hopefully to beat the heat which we just about did. We headed to Golconda to see the fort. On the way we saw trucks full of live chickens going to market. They don´t come fresher than that. There were also dozens of goats.

Golconda was the capital of the Qutb Shahi kings from 1507 to 1687 & consisted of grand palaces, mosques & gardens. The fort has been there since the 13th century. Surrounded by three walls, the longest is seven kilometres. Golconda is famous for its hoard of diamonds. It was from here that the Koh-i-nor & Hope diamonds were taken.

We also visited the Qutb Shahi tombs – a collection of decorated 17th century tombs. Each tomb is of black granite or greenstone is built on a square or octagonal base with a large onion dome & lots of arches. There ia also a hammam where the bodies of the kings was washed before burial. The guide showed us the tree that produced soap nuts. He found a handful of soap nuts to show us. Locals used them as a cleaning agent for washing their hair, bathing & cleaning their teeth.

We were back at the hotel by 12.30. The first thing we did was to go to reception to ask the concierge to check us in on line for our flight the next day. The guide had told us that we would leave the hotel that next day at 2pm. The concierge said 1.30 because of the traffic. I think there was a bit of friction between the guide & concierge. Anyway – check in done we headed towards the pool. One of the butlers saw us. Yes – most of the hotels we stayed at did have butlers! He said the pool was undergoing extensive cleaning. Close by were three suites which had their own pool. The suites weren´t in use so we could use their pool. It was a lovely setting. We spent the afternoon by that pool & had a couple of beers there. Whilst we were there a couple of girls (Judy & Karen) from New York came for a quick swim. They were visiting India on a food discovery/research journey.

That evening we tried the mutton biryani for dinner. Of the three we´d tried I think our favourite was the chicken.

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