One of the many things, we as a family, learnt in Sweden was to enjoy the great outdoors and a good long walk! A few weeks ago, when a group our friends planned a Trek to the Bhongir Fort, we got all excited and pounced on the opportunity!
Although the original plan was to leave the city limits at 6:30 am, by the time everyone arrived at the meeting point, it was 8:am!
Located approximately 48 Kms away from Secunderabad, it took us an hour and a half by car to arrive at the Bhongir Fort!
As we all stood at the foot of the massive monolithic rock, we remained standing there for a few moments gasping at the very thought of climbing something so ginormous in size and height!
However, once we started climbing, we got lost in conversations and what seemed like a Herculean task soon became an easy and fun feat!
It was quite a sunny Saturday morning. The temperature was 32°C. It was hot. Thanks to the pockets of shade along the trek and the cool breeze that was very refreshing the higher we climbed!
The Bhongir fort in Nalgonda district of Telangana, although major portions of it have been lost and ruined over centuries, the little that time has left behind for us is a reflection of a magnificent, royal past!
The Bhongir Fort was erected by Chalukya ruler, Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI in the tenth century!
This 500 feet high, unique monolithic rock sits on a vast expanse of 50 acres.
It is believed that an underground chamber in the fort has a secret passage that leads to the Golconda Fort located 50 Kms away.
The whole trek consists of intermittent stairs and rocky narrow paths. Climbing up the rock to the fort was adventurous.
Half way up, we took a break at this stone pavilion.
After reenergising in the shade and rehydrating ourselves, we resumed our trek!
I got to commend my girls at this point because they were such great sports. They thoroughly enjoyed the company of all the annas and akkas and not once complained about the heat or exhaustion.
The second half of the trek was slightly more tedious than the first half. The rock was steep.
We took periodic breaks as we went higher.
The higher we went, the view kept getting better and better!
Having travelled a little bit and having seen how heritage is preserved and presented to generations, seeing the state of this 10th Century treasure was a sad sight.
There was NOT a single trash can throughout the entire stretch of the trek! As a result, plastic and litter are strewn around everywhere!
The second thing that I noticed was, there was no boards with facts and historical information of the fort. There were school kids and villagers visiting the fort. I am not sure how many of them have access to the internet to search and find information about the fort. How would they get to know what a historical place they were treading upon?
One more thing that popped to my mind was, how cool it would be if there were sign posts every 50 or 100 feet showing the altitude reached?
It’s very disheartening to see that almost 90% of media, educational institutions, medical institutions and even tourism is purely run with the motive of making money. The result being, there is a lack of vision and creativity in these mentioned spheres.
I wish our tourism industry could consider the following points when it comes to presenting our rich history and heritage –
- What could be done to spark interest and curiosity in a child
- How can information/history be presented in an amusing manner to a younger generation
- How can history be recreated for people to not just see, but feel and experience a piece of history
- How can history be made relevant the present times and the generations to come.
The Bhongir Fort at the peak of the massive rock stands as a testament to the once glorious past. It’s stone walls, unique windows, faint patterns that still linger on the roof and the fortress is guaranteed to transport one back in time!
If you are someone into history and adventure, you can enjoy a good drive from Hyderabad and spend half a day at the Bhongir Fort!
Things to consider while planning a trip to Bhongir Fort –
- Plan your trip after checking the weather forecast. Go on a relatively cooler day.
- Go dressed in activewear. A lot of climbing is involved. Comfortable, light clothing is recommended.
- Avoid handbags. Carry a backpack.
- Stock yourself with sufficient water. Once you enter the premise, there is no tuckshop that sells water. By the time we reached the top, we ran out of all the water we carried and we returned super thirsty and dehydrated!
- Carry a bag to carry back your litter. As responsible citizens, let’s do our bit to keep our country clean.
- I would not recommend this place if you’ve got kids younger than 3 years old or if your child is someone who prefers being carried. It takes approximately one hour to reach the fort that is 500 feet up. So if your child can handle that amount of walking/climbing, go for it!
- A trip to Bhongir Fort can be best enjoyed if gone in a large group.
Lastly, I request each one of you, to spare a few moments during your visit to meet the person in charge at the ticketing counter and request him/her to place trash cans along the trek. I have now made it a practice to share my suggestions wherever I go with high hopes that will be put into action!
“What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.”
– Mollie Beattie
Let’s save, preserve, protect and present our rich and varied history and heritage in the best way possible to the generations to come!