Tharamati Bara Dari- The Story of a Faltered Love

Every King is said to have had his share of concubines - most of them were ravishing beauties who were well-acclaimed for their expertise in dance and music. Tharamati and her sister Premamati were no different and supposedly said to have lured Abdullah Qutab Shah- the 7th Sultan of Golconda and the grandson of Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah-the founder of Hyderabad, with their mesmerizing artistic skills and beauty. The Sultan was so bowled over by the scintillating music of Tharamati and the spellbinding dance of Premamati, that he built two separate rectangular pavilions on two hillocks, near to the Golconda fort and surely with a straight, unhindered view from his balcony at the fort.

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As we climb the steps to the 12-door open hall, we wonder about that unknown era and what it would have been with the pavilion lit with blazing torches and fresh blooms that decorate the wall, the smell of which waft through the gentle dusk breeze . We even strain our ears to hear that beautiful voice singing melodies for her Sultan. As per one faction of the local folklore, Tharamati was a singer who used to sing her melodies for local travellers. It so happened the Sultan heard her singing one day and his love for her sparked almost instantaneously. According to the other legend, Tharamati and her sister Premamati were rope dancers. However, as to what exactly the two courtesans were is still a debate. History and folklore are unable to precisely chronicle as to whether the two sisters were singers or dancers.

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The Tharamati Bara Dari is a rectangular building with 12 arched doorways- an architectural brilliance designed for cross ventilation which beat even the harshest summers back in days when fans and air-conditioners were yet to be invented. The open pavilion is built of lime and mortar and its acoustic architecture is said to be one of the finest. It carried the scintillating voice of Tharamati to her lover Sultan, who awaited at his balcony almost a mile and half away. And unlike the fate of most concubines of the kings, who are neglected as they age, Tharamati and Premamati were different for Sultan Abdullah. Both the sisters were buried in the royal cemetery of Qutab Shahi rulers next to the many kings and queens. You can still spot their graves at the royal cemetery located half a mile north to the Golconda fort. 

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Today, the royal heritage is an eclectic mixture of old and new architecture. The Telegana Government has converted the heritage site to a resort. It has become a much sought after space for themed destinations like marriage, banquets and other elite functions that can be done with a royal flavor. The groundsof the Bara Dari is decked up with lush and well-tended gardens, a theatre having seating capacity for 500 people, an open air auditorium, multi-cuisine restaurant, a banquet hall and a swimming pool. However, all these modern structures are located below the flight of stairs leading to the Bara Dari, which does stand untarnished as a monumental edifice to true love.


Image Courtesy : Wikipedia