Near a 400-year-old lake......
Hussain Sagar is not only a link between culturally different Hyderabad and Secunderabad, known as twin cities all over the country, but its a showcase of hyderabad, historically and contemporarily. This lake was built by Husain Shah Wali, hence the name, during the time of that great builder Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah in the 1500s to meet the water needs of the city. This is i belivee was before the historic Charminar, which overshadows every other landmark in the city. It is now popularly known as Tank Bund, it appeals to tourists as well as the residents of the twin cities. Now the city has many spots to while away ur time but tank bund still offers an affordable way of relaxing.
The tank bund has parks, statues, sites of entertainment and the capital’s administrative hub, some of it ecologically damaging the shrunken lake. We residents read in the papers daily about the damage being caused to the the lake by commercial activity round it. Hope the govt does something worthhile on this
It also has NTR memorial, the Lumbini park, the Hyderabad Boat Club, a flyover nearing completion since a long time on one side of tank Bund, while the Secunderabad Sailing Club, Sanjeeviah Park and the recently resstored Hazrat Saidani Ma Saheba tomb, which we didnt know existed, are on the secunderabad side of the lake are appealing for the tourist. But the centre of attraction literally is the Buddha statue in the middle of the ancient lake.
The lake, its size and purity are threatened by the immersion of Ganesha idols every year and industrial waste, not to mention encroachments by politicians. Yet Hussain Sagar is the most popular spot and very scenic. On tank bund u have wrought iron benches for romance-prone couples to forget time and the world. With huge number of statues of intellectuals. The Necklace Road and the Tank Bund are places to see at night as a relaxing way of spending time in hyderabad which does not have a wild night life. Tank bund has been a place to have fun n relax n keep healthy for me for a long time. earlier as a kid we used to go there with my parents, my dad had an Enfield bike, where they used to sell kebabs, umm. or maybe icecream in summers. When we were growing up tank bund was used to learn driving or jus freaking out at high speeds at night on the bike. And now i regularly go there every morning for jogging, since my ingenious Chief minister has built an excellent jogging track for me.
My favourite one
This place is so speacial.It looks so great,with an outdoor ambience on the terrace with water falls and ponds and fishes.there is also an indoor section.The ambience itself is worth a visit.The food is good too.They have cover charges on weekends. The food is great here.Just go and try anything.Also dont miss the Indian mouth fresherners after you have had your meal.They leave them at the exit area just outside the lift!!
Built in 1913, the building was originally the Hyderabad State Town hall. The architecture is a synthesis of Rajasthani and Persian styles, with an all white, aesthetic look. Located adjoining the picturesque Public Gardens, a massive statue of Mahatma Gandhi in a sitting posture is erected at the entrance park to the Assembly.
ok...if i only i had stumbled on to this site a little earlier I might be able to enhance my experience even more. none the less...better late than never.
it is my 2nd week in hyderabad, the capital city of andra pradesh, middle south easternish area of india.
everthing has been going well. i am actually here on clinical attachment with an eye institute but i have had some time to explore the surroundings quite a bit.
the institute is in banjara hills which is one of the nicer areas here. i am within walking distance from food, shops and banks.
ventured out to the old city on my free day and walked around the charmina, mosque and bazaar.
entrance fee for the charmina is Rs5 for locals and Rs100 for foreign nationals but it is well worth the fee. we went in the morning and bumped into a friendly local guide upstairs the charmina who introduced us to a newly arrived american tourist. from the charmina you get a pretty good view of the old city, reaching past the old golconda fort which i plan to visit within the next few weeks.
the nearby mosque is said to be one of the largest here. with a capacity of 10,000 people. i was a bit weary of taking of my birkenstocks and walking around the mosque initially. and i had to concentrate hard to not step on the pigeon crap that was on the italian marble floor as well. once inside the mosque, the american guy and i was separated and the mosque guide asked us to donate some money. be warned of this separation tactic and don't let them push you into donating anything more than Rs10. this is what i paid. the american dude paid Rs500. they will knock u back and ask for big Rs "for the kids". i highly doubt this.
the girls were not allowed into the mosque.
after this we collected our shoes and walked around the bazaar. i was slightly disappoined with the bazaar. i was expecting an undercovered area more similar to one that i had been to in istanbul. instead, the bazaar here is made up of shops one after another on either sides of the roads west and north of the charmina. there are lots of bangles for sale and also pearls. the girls paid about 8Rs per gram of silver for anklets etc and no pearls were bought.
for lunch, we venturd to the shadab hotel and had some authentic hyderabadi food...chicken briyani and hyderabadi chicken. it was yummy. this was the closest toilet we could find as well..and the girls did well with the squat toilets...although there was no toilet paper.
after lunch we hung around, walked around, had chai (lovely sweet tea) and made our way back to the charmina at sunset. at around 7pm, the lights go up and the charmina is transformed into a most amazing structure with blue and green lights. shall upload a picture of this when i get back to Melbourne.
we took an auto back home after this.
the best way we found was to take a metered auto on the way and bargain on the way back. usually we try to knock off 10-20 Rs. there is apparently time and a half rule after 11pm where u pay 1.5X the normal rate...although we have bargained this down a few times as well.
for first timers to india, (especially westerners) a lot of things are very confronting. the way the city moves, the autos, traffic, the way ppl shake your hand and shout hello to you, girls being stalked, being surrounded by kids and i guess just being in a totally different environment can be overwhelming. the food may also be a new adjustment. but i think with an open mind and with an eye for adventure, anyone can survive this place. for asian tourists, its actually not such a hard adjustment. speaking for myself, parts of the city reminds me of KL and the way ppl think is also reminescent of the way a lot of asians do business.
more on hyderabad later....