Heritage Hyderabad

What does Charminar mean for the average Hyderabadi? Is it a traffic hazard like one of my colleagues pointed out or is a charming reminder and proud heritage of the yester years? To know the answer one should try The Heritage Walks which is conducted by the Aptdc every Sunday at 7am, where well educated guides give you the know tow of old city Hyderabad on the 2-3 hr walk.  Me and my two girlfriends reached Charminar at the early hrs of 6:30 to buy the ticket for the walk and I saw charminar and the old city in its former glory and not just in the hurried photos every tourist takes while trying to dodge traffic or the occasional cow and the sea of people. Because at 6:30 am old city is still asleep the chudis are not yet displayed on their stands and the ittar shops are yet to open. At 6:30 you can almost imagine the old city when it was not so old, when it was royal and new and sparkling, a place from where the people could still see their old home of Golconda Fort from where they had to resettle here in order to escape the plague that had taken over the narrow winding streets of the fort four hundred years ago.

The majestic Charminar, the guide explains the intricacies and complexities of the architecture which is the marriage of Persian and Indian styles which gives rise to the Charminar. The Persian Indian marriages personify the family of the Nizams as well. The Nizam who had the Kohinoor and the same Nizam who was touted to be the wealthiest man in the world  and used a huge diamond as his paper weight.

The narrow doors that lead to the workshops above the myriad of shadi bazaar or chudi bazaar. I am not sure if the narrow doors are testimony to the slight frame of the Indians then or was it a way to discourage thieves because I dont think that the average Indian now can fit through the door.

The grand entrance of the Chowmahalla Palace which is now prey to encroachment. This is almost adjacent to Charminar, the current entrance to the palace has now been pushed back because of the various businesses and residences that have cropped up here in the past hundred years or so.

The clock tower in the middle of the market, each floor with a different taste and method of architecture.

A mosque which a lady built with the meher or dowry she received on her marriage from the groom. A naan bakery attached to the mosque which pays rent or money to the mosque along with other businesses.

A noble man’s house with a platform at the entrance high enough to mount an elephant. Because the elephant was the common noble man’s BMW.

The bird seller selling parrots, ducks, pigeons and the rarest of the rare, the CROW!!

The mystic, the grand and magnificent Chowmahalla Palace, once the center of Hyderabad and the seat of the Asaf Zahi Dynasty, which is a blog post of its own. You can read a bit about it here http://www.chowmahalla.com/history.htm

 

For your next trip to Hyderabad.

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