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A slice of Egypt in Hyderabad

J.S. Ifthekhar

OU Arts College has similarity with College of Sultan Hassan in Cairo

— Photo: Nagara Gopal

two of a kind: The doorway of College of Sultan Hassan in Cairo bears similarity to the main entrance of Arts College in Osmania University.


Hyderabad: While the developments in Egypt have sure caught the Hyderabadis' attention, few are aware that there is a slice of Egypt in the city.

The only thing that immediately comes to mind is the decaying Egyptian ‘mummy' at the State Archaeological Museum. But apart from this hoary corpse, there is quite a bit of Egyptian architecture here. Incidentally, all this relates to the times of the seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. The breathtaking Arts College building in the Osmania University campus has lot in common with the College of Sultan Hassan in Cairo.

The imposing high-rise portal crowned by a trefoil arch bears a striking similarity with the Cairo edifice built in 1363. The façade of both the structures impresses by their sheer height and one can't fail to marvel at the aesthetic beauty. The imposing doorway, in both the edifices, gives an impression of calm serenity.

Architects, who designed the Arts College building, have borrowed motifs from different historical structures and made a harmonious blend. “This type of architecture is very common in Egyptian mosques and other structures,” says M.A. Qaiyum, noted historian.

The Egyptian work can also be found in the historic Makka Masjid. Egyptian calligraphy containing Quranic verses adorn the Western side of the mosque. Similarly, the Shahi Masjid located in the Public Gardens has a touch of Egyptian architecture.

The central dome has a wavy design, which is an exact replica of Babe Zuwaila, a monumental gateway surmounted by two minarets and a dome, in Cairo.

What is striking is the beauty, grace and boldness of execution and the sheer size of the structures.

One cannot help but marvel at the design and ornamentation both in the Hyderabadi and Egyptian building, architects point out.

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