A Visit to Charminar

Hyderabad. The city that is famous for serving a ravishing preparation of Biriyani, pearls and gems among which the Koh-i-Noor is a mantle, bakeries which dishes out the instantly favorite cookies and pastries, the city with a history as well as one that is one of the flagships of the Indian IT industry. Going to a city with such a varied mix of attractions, I had my own speculations and expectations. And Hyderabad was far from any disappointment! So here follows, a brief account of my solitary exploration of Hyderabad. I chronicled my visit to the Charminar, and Mecca Masjid in the vicinity in the first part of the post.

Part One in the two post series of ‘A Day in Hyderabad’.

A Day in Hyderabad

Chapter I: Charminar Chronicles

New Paths, Old Habits…

Standing in the bus stop at Osmania University, I had by now been accustomed to the Deccan heat in January. The weather wasn’t exactly close to my favorite kind, but nevertheless, I was enjoying my stay. It was a Sunday, and not wanting to waste the day, I decided to visit the iconic Charminar. It would need me to visit the older parts of the city, and I took the bus to Afzalganj, from where a short trip by auto rickshaw would take me to Charminar area. The city was a different one, the paths new to me, but the habit of exploration and walking remained.

Sitting in the auto at Charminar, staring out at the chaotic congregation outside, I lay in wonder how the cogs work together to keep the machinery in place, if at all there is one for these patches of areas in India. Markets, hawkers, peddlers, vendors, pedestrians, two-wheelers, cattle, auto rickshaws- all seemed to compliment each other in the chaotic assemble of daily life. How do such random plethora of activities go about in unison, should be a matter of research! Getting down, the first sight met with Islamic architectures:

The first sight of the iconic monument!
The first sight of the iconic monument!

Walking on, I crossed over to the other end of the monument. There was a queue for climbing up the stairs to the viewpoint upstairs. I skipped going up, because that would take up a lot of time and because the streets are more interesting, bubbling with activities.

The Charminar was now visible in its strategic glory and prominence in the area.

The Charminar in its prominence!
The Charminar in its prominence!

I went to the foot of the structure to get some close glimpses of the architecture, and managed a few shots of its magnificence.

I have little knowledge of architecture photography.
I have little knowledge of architecture photography.

My 5MP cellphone camera was not doing a bad job, I guess.

A different angle of the Charminar

I scanned the area around me, and I could imagine spiralling down to the past. Given, the area was visibly dominated by buildings as old as the 16th century.

The Makkah(Mecca) Masjid

View from the courtard of the Makkah Masjid
View from the courtyard of the Makkah Masjid

The Makkah Masjid was open to all, apart from some restrictions on dressing.

Historical fact: It was constructed using blocks made from soil brought from Islam’s holy land of Mecca.

I spent some time at the Makkah Masjid, noticing the various activities around. Watching children feeding the pigeons and enjoying themselves. it was impossible not to be nostalgic about childhood and how little things meant so much happiness. Oh, we are drifting away.

No, that is not the Taj Mahal.
No, that is NOT the Taj Mahal.

The streets had all kinds of shops selling items like ‘itar‘- a strong perfume, or the famed bangles available in the area. It seemed like a street shopping arcade that would surely draw the fancy of women.

I checked my watch. It was 4:30PM only. It was too early to call it a day. I consulted Google Maps and noticed another place nearby, I could visit that day in Hyderabad.

The plan was simple. Ask someone directions, board the right bus and trust my feet. And I was not disappointed! But, it would be covered in another post! So long, dear reader!

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