A LOOK AT THE LOCAL TOURIST
PRADESH STATE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
by the people
This edifice in white marble, completed in 1913,
was once the Town Hall of the Nizam's
Hyderabad State. Its construction started
in 1905 with the money raised by the Hyderabadis
to celebrate the 40th birthday of Nizam Mahaboob
Ali Khan. Architects from Rajasthan were
specially commissioned to design it. It now houses
Legislative Assembly of AP. A few unobtrusive
additions have been made to the old structure
to accommodate the offices of various political
parties and ministers.
An interesting addition that attracts the attention
of all passers by and visitors is the massive
ebony coloured statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
The pensive figure of the Mahatma, sitting serenly
on the front lawns was carved by the renowned
sculptor, Ram Kinkar.
with special permission only)
Standing majestic, standing sombre
is the landmark of Hyderabad.Without a mention of
this monument built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah
in 1591 AD, the description of Hyderbad is incomplete.
This edifice was set when the foundation of Hyderabad
was just being laid. A prototype of the ritualistic
taziya, the Charminar today stands majestically
in the heart of the Old City. Its imposing 180-feet
tall structure has four minarets rising to a height
48.7 metres. The western section houses a mosque
that showcases the brilliant craftsmanship of the
Qutb Shahi artisans. Historian Haroon
Khan Sherwani is of the opinion that the upper
storey was a school, while the French traveller,
Tavernier believed that it was used as a
pumping reservoir. Yet others believe that the Charminar
served as a gateway overlooking an elegant piazza.
Whatever be the purpose of the upper storey, today
Charminar forms an elegant backdrop to the bustling
Lad Bazar and stands indulgently looking
over Char Kaman, the four arches that elegantly
span across four busy streets.
Witness to the the Qutb Shahi era
| The Golconda Fort is a must-see historical monument.
This sprawling fort stands about 10 km west of Hyderabad.
It was originally constructed on a hill by the Kakatiya
kings of Warangal in the later part of
the 12th century. It was then called Mankal.
However, it was the Qutb Shahi kings of
the 16th century who developed the fort and made
it their official home with Hyderabad as their
capital. Thus grew the mighty Golconda kingdom,
the most powerful in the Deccan in the
16th and 17th centuries.
Quli Qutb Shah reconstructed the entire mud
structure fortifying it with stone. While the
walls and bastions were rebuilt with large blocks
of masonry, the gates were studded with iron spikes.
Within the precincts of the fort lie, scattered
in all directions, a number of old buildings,
mosques and other historically and architecturally
important places. The fort is constructed about
400 feet above the surrounding plain. There are
eight gates in the outer wall.
of the most interesting feature of the fort is
its indigenous system of acoustics. The various
edifices are arranged in a way to transmit sound
to different far-away points. A clap at the entrance
of the fort could be heard in the court hall.
An indigenous signalling device indeed. In Golconda,
the Qutb Shahi rulers were also believed to have
developed an ingenious water supply system.
A Sound and Light show after the fall
of dusk recreates the history of the Golconda
Fort. It also recreates the magic of the bygone
times, for the tourists and visitors to carry
home tucked in precious corners of their hearts.
Details of Sound and Light show:
1st show ( English - All days )
Nov. - Feb. 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Mar. - Oct. 7.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
2nd show ( Telugu - Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday
Nov. - Feb. 7.45 p.m. to 8.45 p.m.
Mar. - Oct. 8.15 p.m. to 9.15 p.m.
2nd show ( Hindi - Mon, Wed, Fri. & Sun )
Cannons made in 1786 are still around
of the several cannon and cannonball factories set
up in 1786 by Monsieur Raymond, the then
French General deputed in Nizam's service,
the Gun Foundry is the only one of its kind
in Andhra Pradesh. Called Tope-ka-Sancha by
the locals, today it can be tracked in Abids
in a narrow lane opposite the Mahboobia Girls'
High School. Cannons, or the topes,
which bear inscriptions that reveal details of its
manufacture, are displayed in Baagh-e-Aam, the
Tribute in stone
High Court is situated on the south banks of
river Musi, which now falls under the Afzalgunj
area. It is one of the few fine buildings in
Sarcenic style built in red and white stone.
While Shankarlal of Jaipur drew up the plan
of the High Court, local engineer Mehar Ali Fazil
executed the design. It is said that while digging
the foundation for this structure, workers unearthed
the ruins of two palaces, the Hina Mahal and
the Nadi Mahal. Nizam VII inaugurated the
monument on April 20, 1920. A reproduction of this
building carved in thick silver can be found in
the Purani Haveli museum.
On Nizam's land, with Queen's purse
Church of Holy Trinity is a marvellous piece
of architecture that was built in 1846 during the
British rule. It is said that the Queen Victoria
aided this construction by contributing from
her private purse. It was built on a piece of land
donated by the Nizam's government. Next to this
church is a 150 year old cemetery, where many British
soldiers were laid to rest. In 1983, during their
stay in Hyderabad, Queen Elizabeth and Prince
Philip visited the Holy Trinity Church.
Hyderabadi bangles, Hyderabadi environ
Bazar is a street flanked with shops selling
colourful bangles, glittering bridal wear et al.
This bustling marketplace, famous for its stone-studded
lac and glass bangles, is on the top of the local
itinerary of all tourists.
A visit to Lad Bazar is a must if you are looking
for a feel of the tradition of Hyderabad. The
bazaar, also famous for utility articles, bridal
wears, attars (perfumes) and embroidery in gold
and silver threads, leads to a cross road simply
called the Chowk, the Square.
the Chowk one can see splendid pink gates and
semi-circular outer walls of the Nizam's parade
grounds. These walls are built in the French
- Islamic style. During the times of Nizam
VI, the place was used to quarter his troops.
The gateway is wide to facilitate the movement
of the elephants.
120 years of betting and gambling
120-year-old Malakpet Race Course lies off
the highway to Vijayawada. The place became
a major scene of action in the winter of 1879 when
the first races were held. Betting began way back
in 1880 when a grand lottery was one of the chief
Equipped with a swimming pool for exercising
horses and a training school for apprentice jockeys,
today's Race Course of Malakpet is regarded as
one of the finest modern Race Courses in India.
Awe inspiring, spiritually uplifting
Mecca Masjid is the largest mosque in the
Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the
second largest in India and the seventh
largest in the world. The awe inspiring masjid,
located in the Southwest of Charminar, can
accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers. The construction
of Mecca Masjid, started in 1614 A.D by Sultan
Muhammad Qutb Shah, continued for over 77
years to be completed by Mughal emperor
Aurangzeb in 1694 AD. It is believed that
the central arch of the mosque was built using
bricks specially brought from Mecca. Thus
the name, Mecca Masjid.
The lofty colonnades and the arches at the entrance
are made from single slabs of granite brought from
a stone quarry 11 km north of Charminar. Legend
has it that these slabs were pulled with the aid
of 1,400 bullocks. The construction involved the
work of 8000 masons and labourers. To the south
of the mosque are the marble tombs of all Nizams,
except that of Mir Osman Ali Khan. Mecca
Masjid has a hall, 67 m long, 54 m wide and 23 m
high. Its roof is supported by 15 graceful arches
that lend it grandeur and elegance. A strand of
the Prophet's hair is believed to be found in one
of its many rooms. After all this, it is not a wonder
that it is regarded as one of the most impressive
mosques of the world.