st Joseph cathedral, gunfoundry , abids hyderabad
one of the earliest catholic church in hyderabad. Built in 1875 by italian priests. Patronised by the Nizam who donated a clock and a painting by spanish painter murillo.
This is in a quiet neighbourhood ,The building is in baroque style. The bells and numerous artifacts were shipped from italy.
The buildings around are undergoing renovation.
Near the towers in Charminar is one of the largest mosques in the world and apparently it can hold up to 10,000 worshippers at one time. It was built in the 1600s along with everything else Muslim in the country and it was completed until nearly 80 years during the time the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb annexed the Golconda kingdom. Many bricks built into the gate are made from soil from Mecca Saudi Arabia hence the name. The colonnades and door arches are made from slabs of granite. Non Muslims cant enter the mosque but you dont really need to because you can enjoy the architecture from the outside. The experience is bizaare because once you step outside into the bazaar area you are bombarded by touts and noise but near the mosque you can escape the chaos while many curious locals will ask to have a photo taken with you :) Fun
This lovely edifice was designed by an Italian architect and built by the Nawab Vicar Ul Umra. When the Nizam visited this palace for the first time, he was so impressed with what he saw that he chose to extend his stay there. In response to this open display of admiration from the Nizam the Ul Umra presented him with the palace building.
A walk through Hyderabad
"The atom has only an apparent brilliance. By nature it is only an atom, but if it loses itself in the sun, it will thereby share his qualities for ever." From ' The Conference of the Birds', Farid Ud-Din Attar, twelve-century Muslim Sufi
The most sacred place of Hindu living in Hyderabad is the Sri Venkateshwara tempel. It sits on a small hill in the middle of the town, dominating it by its outstanding position and beauty. This temple is actually a large complex of buildings made of fine, white as snow, marble, extremely nicely crafted. Hundreds of Hyderabadians gather here every day, particularly on holidays. They visit the sacred central chapel in the top most tempe, receive a kind of communion with a gray 'ash' which meaning remained unknown to me, or spend a few quiet moments in front of many smaller altars all around, sit around many terraces, eat sandwiches brought with them, even take a nap. Large families, groups of friends, young couples, people simply devout time to each other under the warm southern sun which is shining on and warming all of them. Nobody is hurrying, the atmosphere is warm, peaceful, and sedate, all worries like melted, everything is fine. I spent a few hours among these people without noticing how time is passing. At one moment three young boys in gray uniforms, I would guess from 8 to 15 years old, simply approached me and shared with me their fresh fruits. They had religious marks on their foreheads, probably future monks, I don't know. Be as it may, they approach was so natural and generous that I was astounded. At that moment some western culture indulged and selfish kids, trained to extortion by inconsistency, came on my mind.
Beautiful mosque Mecca Masjid is the biggest and most famous in the town. This is the most sacred place of Muslims living in Hyderabad. Very impressive architecture. Don't oversee the huge chandeliers inside the mosque.
Surely, the life is not comfortable in India. At least not for the vast majority of inhabitants. There is a lot of material poverty. This is most evident during landing at the Hyderabad airport. You will overflow an apparently endless ocean of shanties, barracks, and small houses made of any imaginable 'construction material'. One can see that people are trying more to survive than to collect unnecessary stuff. Yet, the faces of people whom I met do not reflect this. Most of them do not grieve, and most young faces posses a mild smile. The brightest smile I remember was owned by a guard in a small bank somewhere in outskirts of the town, having an at least 80 years old gun in his hands.
The central point of old Hyderabad is the triumphal arch Charminar with its majestic 54 m high four towers. This arch was built by sultan Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah who founded Hyderabad, as a legend tells, out of love to his beloved Bhagamathi. She was named "Hyder Mahal" and that explains town's name. A more pragmatic explanation would be that old capital, the fortress Golkonda (which is an extremely interesting place to visit too!) became too cramped for space behind its high and majestic city walls with 87 towers at the end of sixteenth century. So sultan decided to establish a new city in the vicinity. The Charminar was the beginning of the new town.
Most of retail trade in Hyderabad takes place on its streets. Particularly in the old center of the town around the triumphal arch Charminar the streets are packed with booths of any kind on both sides, crowds walking around, and nearly stalled traffic consisting of busses, trucks, small motor taxis, ox driven wooden carts with huge wheels, and chicken running around, in the middle. Fruit selection is huge. However, boil it, peel it, or though it away! Our bodies are used to a different bacterial landscape.
Street trade is vivid. Hundreds of to me completely unknown goods are on offer. For some of them I event do not know are they food or something different. I feel like an idiot. Yet to all of these people this stuff has a real value. They need it for their everyday life. Amazing how different lives we live.
Seems all whose first name is Ali are dentists in this town. Seems also people like to be on display here when they are tortured. A cordial suggestion from my own experience. Once I had a root canal problem during travel, not in India, but in Syria – the 'conditions' were about the same. I was forced to visit a local dentist. He was extremely proud to have me as a patient and I was sure that he did everything possible he could. I was grateful. However, it took me four months after return to my country, before I was really cured. So, take care about your teeth before you travel to exotic places.
Colors, used for dots painted on women forehead. These colors denote religious and not so long ago also social cast system appertenance. My feeling is that also accenting women beauty plays a role here, but I may be wrong. I was not long enough time in India to resolve this issue.
A picturesque conflict between modern aggressive advertising and old tradition. The guy is pressing a refreshing sweet juice from sugar cane. Hyderabad is mostly a hot place. It is not easy to refrain of such natural and tasty drink. You may have luck, but I rather stayed at industrially bottled drinks. What a pity!
This is neither a church nor a king's palace. It is an administrative building built during the colonial time. Administration is a big power in India. Like an elephant. Once I wanted to change US$50.00 to Indian rupees. I was kindly taken to a small local bank. First I was sited for 15 minutes, waiting with two dozens of other customers. Nobody was nervous, everybody was smiling to me, their guest. Then I was made a postmaster of about four or five administrative guys in different stories of the building, which were sending each other some kind of forms. All of them kindly and politely checked my passport. Everybody was smiling. I noticed they had computers on their desks, however nearly hidden behind piles of paper all around, and all monitors displayed a window asking for a password. Then I was sited again having a small tag with a number in my hands. After 15 or so minutes my number was called and I was allowed to see cashier behind an enormously strong iron grid who was guarded by two soldiers with archaic guns in their hands. These two have the brightest smile on their faces. Finally, after a huge, pathetic stamp (ink was missing) I got my rupees along with another great smile of the cashier. It took me altogether about 45 minutes. It seems that devils' secret password to efficiency hasn't yet reached this place. "Time is Money" is not a valid catch phrase here, definitely! Smiles are worthier than efficiency!