Taramati Baradari

Filed under Attractions

Romance is not uncommon, especially where royalty and history are concerned. Across the ages, stories are told about kings who have fallen under the spell of a courtesan. In the Middle East, the story about Scheherezade and her one thousand and one nights of stories and tales to the Persian king Shahryar has given the world a thousand and one dreams, not to mention her story being a tale unto itself as well. The middle ages, in particular, are rife with romance and grace, and they are especially obvious in India where it is customary for rulers to have harems.

Near Gandipet Lake, in Hyderabad, there stands a structure that is a king’s ode to one of his favourite subjects. The story goes that the seventh sultan of Golconda, Abdullah Qutub Shah, had two ravishing dancing girls and courtesans, Taramati and Premamati, who would often dance on ropes tied between their pavilion and the sultan’s balcony. Among the two, Abdullah Qutub Shah’s favorite was Taramati, much like how his grandfather, the founder of Hyderabad, had Bhagmati as his favored courtesan. It was said that the prince enjoyed Tamarati’s voice so much that he created a palace with such fine acoustics that her voice would still reach him at Golconda Fort. That palace stands today as Taramati Baradari, one of Hyderabad’s more popular monument from the Qutub Shahi dynasty.

The monument itself is comprised of a music hall with twelve entrance ways that served as the auditorium. To make sure that the sound would not be diluted by the heavy population of the surrounding area, the Taramati Baradari was placed on top of a hill. Its hall is semi-arched and huge, opening into an art gallery that also doubles as a banquet hall whenever the need arises. Perfect attention was devoted to the acoustics of the palace, making it comparable to the one in the area of Bala Hissar, in Afghanistan. Due to the monument’s good acoustics and its history (after all, Tamarati was known to dedicate her life to music and dance), Taramati Baradari is a monument that has become dedicated to classical music and folk art dance forms.

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