Thank God for Wikipedia!!
I was reading some stuff about travel writing recently, and it appears that the great travel writers like Colin Thubron know so much of the history of the places that they travel, that when they write about the place, the writing is rich. And not just a travelogue of events.
It was 1997, when I visited Golconda Fort, which is on the outskirts of Hyderabad in India. All these years I was under the impression that this fort was built by the Muslim ruler Hyder Ali. I was ashamed of my ignorance when I learned that Golconda was actually first built bu the Kakatiya Kings in the 13th century. This was then further expanded upon by the Qutab Shahi kings, and completed in 1525.
1525 AD is possibly a significant year, as the Mughal Emperor, Babur entered India in 1526, and set up the Mughal Empire. Golconda finally fell to the last great Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb.
I climbed up Golconda Fort on a on afternoon day with my sisters. It was bleeding hot, and apart from the heat, my focus was squarely on taking pictures. That was it! I did not know, or pay attention to the superb acoustic history of the fort. It would appear that a handclap at the main entrance could be heard at the highest point of the fort (Bala Hissar), which was over a kilometer away. Neither did I know that the fort was known for its superb airconditioning system or, its waterways.
So much history. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and we look further. Thus spake Isaac Newton. If it is true in the world of physics, it is true of all other activities.