Thursday, February 10, 2005

Musi River

A river which passes through the city of Hyderabad in India. Normally, it has a narrow and harmless stream flowing through the city but it is famous for causing destruction and loss of life when it is flooded.

This river's claim to fame is its significance in the birth of the city of Hyderabad. History tells us that the fifth ruler of Golconda - Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah fell in love with a local dancer named Bhagmati. She lived in a cottage in the village of Chichlam, situated on the southern bank of Musi.

It is said that once the young prince rode out from the Golconda Fort to meet his beloved, braving the flood waters of the River Musi. Later, the prince married the girl and ascended the throne following his father's death. When the fort of Golconda became insufficient and there was shortage of water and other resources, the emperor decided to shift his capital to the village Chichlam and thus Hyderabad was born.

Date: 10th February, 2005

Addendum: Purana Pul
When the prince Muhammad Quli risked his life to meet his beloved then his father decided to build a bridge on the Musi River. The bridge still connects both sides of Musi River but it is not used anymore. It is known as "Purana Pul". Sadly, A.P. Tourism is blind towards its romantic and historic significance. Today, nobody cares to mend the bridge which once brought the King and his subjects, together.

Date: 25th July, 2005

Charminar - Hyderabad's Eiffel Tower

Charminar is a monument located in the city of Hyderabad which is the capital city of the State of Andhra Pradesh in South India. [1] [2] [3]

Charminar is one of the most important landmarks of the city. The monument was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591 to commemorate the eradication of plague, shortly after he had shifted his capital from Golconda to what now is known as Hyderabad. Legends tell that the emperor Quli Qutb Shah prayed for the end of plague and took the vow to build a mosque on that very place. He ordered the contruction of the mosque which became popular as Charminar because of its four characteristic minarets. The top floor of the four-storeyed structure has a mosque which has 45 covered prayer spaces and some open space to accomodate more people in friday prayers.

The Charminar is a beautiful and impressive square monument, with each side measuring 20 m, and each of the edges having a pointed high minaret. It derives its name from these four gracefully carved minarets which soar to a height of 48.7 m above the ground, commanding the landscape for miles around. Charminar literally means 'Four Minars'. Each minaret has four storeys, each looking like a delicately carved ring around the minaret. Every side opens into a plaza through giant arches, which overlook four major thoroughfares and dwarf other features of the building except the minarets. Each arch is 11 m wide and rises 20 m to the pinnacle from the plinth. Once upon a time each of these arches led to four royal roads. Each of the four arches has a clock which were put up in 1889.

There are two galleries within the Charminar, one over another, and above those a terrace that serves as a roof, bordered with a stone balcony. It is vaulted underneath and appears like a dome. There is a large table raised seven or eight feet from the ground with steps to go up to it. Nothing in the town seems so lovely as the outside of that building. A thriving market still lies around the Charminar attracting people and merchandise of every description. In its heyday, the Charminar market had some 14,000 shops, a unique conglomeration of a grand oriental bazaar. The whole market around the Charminar is crowded with shops which sell glass bangles in rainbow colours.

Unlike Taj Mahal, the fluted minarets of Charminar are built into the main structure. Inside the four-storied minarets 149 winding steps guide the visitor to the upper floor, the highest point one can reach, and providing a panoramic view of the city. There is a mosque on the top floor, which offered a wonderful place to worship in solitude.

Built with granite and lime mortar, Charminar is a fine example of the Tazia style of architecture. The Charminar looks spectacular particularly in the nights when it is illuminated.

Source: Wikipedia

Fateh Maidaan

Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium at Hyderabad is also known as 'Fateh Maidaan'. Fateh in urdu means - victory and Maidaan means - a ground.

The name Fateh Maidaan came into being when Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb conquered the Golconda Fort. It was this place where the Mughal army laid the siege, leading to the fall of Golconda.

Since, camping at this place brought victory to the Mughals, it came to be called "Fateh Maidaan" then onwards.