Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday hoisted the national flag at the historic Golconda Fort to showcase the rich legacy of Telangana and bid adieu to five-decade-old tradition of Independence Day celebrations at the Parade Ground.
KCR, who chose the ancient fort for the first Independence Day celebrations after formation of Telangana as a separate state, in his speech highlighted the significance of the fort in Telangana's history and culture. He described Independence Day celebrations at the fort as another historic event.
After paying tributes to martyrs at a memorial at Parade Ground in Secunderabad, Rao drove to Golconda and hoisted the tricolour at a colourful ceremony with the majestic fort in the backdrop.
The Parade Ground had been hosting the Independence Day celebrations since 1956, when Andhra State was merged with Telangana to form Andhra Pradesh.
The chief minister unfurled the national flag on a 62 feet tall pole from a makeshift platform close to the iconic Taramati mosque amid rendition of the national anthem.
Before unfurling the tricolour, Rao was presented a guard of honour by a police contingent. After hoisting the flag, he addressed the gathering. Due to lack of space in the fort ruins, the traditional parade and demonstration by tableaux were omitted.
The impressive celebrations highlighted the rich culture of Telangana with the drummers and other artists performing on the ramparts.
KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known, said the people of Telangana were happy to celebrate the first Independence Day in their own state at Golconda Fort, which is a symbol of Telangana's rich heritage.
From the fort's construction by Kaktiyas to the rule of the Qutub Shahi kings, the chief minister referred to several historical developments to underline the role played by the fort in Telangana's history and culture.
He pointed out that the fort got global recognition with its famous Koh-i-Noor diamond and was a global gateway for diamond traders including diamond traders from Rome, England and Turkey.
The ancient fort on the fringes of the city was the capital of the Qutub Shahi kingdom from 1518 to 1687. The fort was built by the Kaktiyas of Warangal during 10th century as a mud fort and was later fortified by the Qutub Shahi kings.