Golconda , an ancient city and fortress of India, in the native state of Hyderabad or the Nizam's dominions, 7 m. N. W. of Hyderabad. The fortress stands on a rocky eminence, and is a large and strong edifice. It is now chiefly used as a prison, and as a depository for the treasures of the Nizam. The principal inhabitants and bankers of Hyderabad are also permitted to retain houses in it, to which on any alarm they retire with their money and other valuables. About 600 yards from the fortress are the tombs of the ancient kings of Golconda. Each mausoleum occupies the centre of a large quadrangular platform, which is approached on every side by granite stairs. They are mostly constructed of gray stone, ornamented with stucco and Indian porcelain, whose colors retain all their pristine brilliancy, and on which are engraved in white characters various extracts from the Koran. These mausolea are very numerous, and have a striking and impressive appearance when viewed from a distance. Golconda was formerly renowned for its diamonds, but they were merely cut and polished here, being generally brought from Parteall in the S. part of the Nizam's dominions.
It was anciently the capital of a powerful kingdom of the same name, which arose on the overthrow of the Bahmani empire; but it was taken by Aurungzebe and annexed to that of Delhi.
Tombs of the Kings, Golconda.