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Take a walk through history

AMINA SAMREEN

The Hyderabad Heritage Walk is one you cannot miss…

PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR

Heart of Hyderabad: The Charminar.

Ever imagined the area around Charminar would be quiet? Well, on a Sunday morning you can not only imagine it but can also experience it through the Hyderabad Heritage Walks. The walks are conducted every Sunday morning from 7 a.m. From Charminar to Chowmahalla palace by the AP Tourism Department. Through this walk one can explore the charm and aura of Hyderabad's rich heritage.

Hot spots

It's a two hour walk which takes you around Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Lad Bazaar, Jillu khana gate, Mehboob Chowk, Mehboob Chowk Mosque, Clock Tower, Moti Mahal, Amir-e-Kabir street, Abdar Khana, Asman Jah Bahadur Dewdi, Baradari Nawab Khursheed Jah Bahadur ,Iqbal-ud-Doulah Dewdi, Shahi Khazana building , Aiwan-e-Ali and the Chowmahalla palace.

To start, one needs to wake up at 6:30 in the morning on Sunday and be there at Charminar and buy tickets.

And what follows in the next few minutes is sheer joy, of knowing the history behind the monuments as I experienced on one such heritage trail.

Let me take you through the walk. Our guide Manisha Gadhalay introduced us to the spectacular Charminar built in 1591 by the Quli Qutub Shah ruler.

The Mughals and the Qutub dynasty had different styles, she explained. And there was more.

Lanes lure

Leading us through the lanes of Lad Bazaar she told us about its history and its present relevance, a shopper's paradise. Once in Lad Bazaar one can see the Royal Ceremonial entrance of the Asaf Jahi period known then as the Shahi Zullu Khana. Moving further we can see the back entrance of Mecca Masjid. Further down the lane is the Mehboob Chowk build post 1750. The Mehboob Chowk right now houses a market for exotic birds.

The significance in architecture is the palanquin as Akbar had adopted this style from Bengal.

* * *

Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth th ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty built Charminar in 1591 shortly after he had shifted his capital from Golkonda to what is now known as Hyderabad. He built this famous structure to commemorate the elimination of a plague epidemic from this city.

There is also a legend of an underground tunnel connecting the palace at Golkonda to Charminar, intended as an escape route for the Qutub Shahi rulers in case of a siege, though the exact location of the tunnel is unknown.

Tickets – Rs. 50, available at Charminar

Days – Sundays and second Saturdays

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