A Walk down the Heritage

Sunday is the best day of the week for me. It’s a day when I wake up late, watch TV and  relax the whole time. But one fine Sunday morning I did something different and joined a group of people from the ‘Hyderabad Weekend Shoots’ for a photowalk at the Charminar. Hyderabad Weekend Shoots is a group of photography-enthusiasts who go for photowalks across the city on a regular basis.

For those who do not understand what a photowalk is, it is said to be an act of walking with a camera for the sole purpose of clicking pictures of things and objects that the photographer may find appealing.

That Sunday, I took my first photowalk with the group. I clicked few pictures of the Charminar and Mecca Masjid from every possible angle. During this time I communicated with many people from the group. As we were clicking pictures, we were approached by a lady from the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department which organises the‘Heritage Walk’ from the Charminar to Chowmahalla Palace. All of us then decided to go for the walk, as it meant more photographs along the way.

We covered a distance of little less than two kilometers; however, the trail covered interesting areas such as, the Laad Bazar, the secondary entrance to Mecca Masjid, Jilu Khana Gate, Mehboob Chowk Mosque, Clock Tower, Moti Mahal, Amie-e-Kabir Street, Aabdarkhana, Asman Jah Bahadur Devdi and Chowmahalla Palace.

We started at 7:30 in the morning and soon our guide  briefed us about the three phases of history whose remnants the trial covered – the Qutub Shahi period, the Mughal Era and the Asaf Jahi period. The guide then explained the architectural details of the monuments. He explained about the typical Qutub Shahi architecture of the Gates of Jilu Khana. The minute details of the architecture were extremely enthralling and captivating.

The most interesting part of the walk was our visit to an old house built in the typical Qutub Shahi style, which still preserves the brackets in the walls, the old lamp and the old clock.

The finer aspects of the walk was like a complete range of wedding essentials that were seen at the Laad Bazaar from itr to mehendi; the traditional chulha at the Mehboob Chowk which still specializes in delicious naans, the narrow gateways and the cheerful kids who happily posed for us.

To say the walk was simply enjoyable, would take away the essance of the experience. What started as a photowalk ended as one of those rare moments of my life, which I will cherish for a long time to come. It was an experience which made me feel proud of the cultural richness and heritage of my city and country.

P.S.: The Heritage walk is organised every Sunday. It is a one-and-a-half hour walk from the Charminar to Chowmahala Palace. Tickets cost Rs 50 which includes breakfast at the Palace.

For more details contact the Department of Tourism.

Lipi Bharadwaj