Friday, August 03, 2007

Discovery of Hyderabad 2.0

Starting from where I ended my previous entry in this blog...

We reached the Golconda Fort just before noon. Knowing it will help us in understanding the place better, we engaged a Guide this time. We were fortunate to get Shaik Nabi, whose family has been doing this for generations. He himself has been doing it for 35 years he claimed! Ketu was as eager as a beaver could be! I was still feeling strongly about the Tomb's fall from grace. We started our upward trek catching glimpses of the entire fort at various points. Nabi was an expert at his craft. He had a decent sense of humour as well. It was a pleasure hearing him interjecting current satire into his captivating tale of what happened at the Fort centuries ago.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable climb till we reached one third of our way up! From then on the lack of exercise started telling on me! The weather was perfect. I am sure we could not have any better conditions to make this climb up the Fort. We reached the top of the fort, admiring how the architects had come up with ingenious solutions for important problems! From supply of water up the hill to the flow of air in the royal court, it was marvelous to experience it all! Especially the first "telephone" without the wires!

We heard stories of how various kings and dynasties ruled the lands. The stories of love, betrayal and prosperity! It was a history lesson I loved revising. It made me feel proud of being a Hyderabadi all over again.

Amidst all this we kept passing one structure to another, capturing the essence of these places in our minds and our pictures. As usual, Ketu kept pointing and I kept clicking! :) I added a few of mine as well! By now I was beginning to get the hang of this. There were a couple of places where the stench of Bat feces was very strong but we had to bear it.

The climb down was much more easy on the tired legs. We were shown how the King and Queen came down the hill on special stairways built for their comfort. How the experts ensured that their palanquin or "Palkhi" does not tilt even when on an incline. The graffiti was prominent here as well but not as ubiquitous as at the Tombs. The Golconda Fort was much better maintained. We heaved a sigh of relief when we reached the foot of the hill on which the fort was built!

Ravindra decided to celebrate this with ice cream! A Kwality Walls vendor was conveniently located inside the fort campus and we gorged down one each sitting on the lawns of the Taramati Masjid. Lunch was an assortment of Samosa's, Lays and Soft Drinks hence this Ice Cream provided us with some more energy that we badly needed after this climb. The album of the pictures taken at Golconda Fort is embedded below:

After we finished the tour of the Golconda Fort, it was time for us to go to the Falaknuma Palace, which is now under the management of the Taj group of Hotels. After entry was denied, Ravindra made some calls and pulled a few strings and we were allowed a chaperoned visit to the outer parts of the palace. The Security officer in charge who accompanied us sweetly but firmly declined us permission to take any photographs. It was a day of Discovery! Re-Discovery of my beloved city of Hyderabad for me.

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