Sunday, February 25, 2007

Days in the Deccan

Hyderabad has been a lot of fun!

A great mix of meeting up with family and friends and seeing a new city.

My first night here, Scribbler took me to a lovely waterfront restaurant along the shores of Hussein Sagar, Hyderabad's man made lake. R, a mutual cousin (from the Goa branch of the phamily) joined us as well, and since I hadn't met him in something like 15 years it was quite the reunion!

Friday was a full day of lectures for Scribs, so I took off to the "old city" to amuse myself. Unfortunately I forgot that in a predominantly Muslim city, most attractions are closed on a Friday, so after a quick peek at the Charminar and a round at the Salar Jung Museum to see the Nizam's Jewels that were on display I decided to call one of my aunt's old school friends and go visit her. 2 hours and 3 buses later I was standing hesitantly at the side of the road waiting for her to pick me up! Meeting J and her family was worth the effort and later that evening she took me to an artisan's village where I picked up 2 lovely Tanjore paintings for our house.

Getting back to the very other end of town to CIEFL was quite an adventure, and if it were not for an extremely kind girl who I met at the bus stand, I might still be lost in the city! Not only did she give me a ride to a less crowded bus stop, but she waited till I got onto the right bus and gave me detailed instructions for my change over! Thanks a bunch Pratipa... where ever you are!

Golconda Fort was supposed to be on the agenda for Saturday, but Scribs and I both slept in and we had to revisit our plans. Before we could decide anything concrete, J called and told us that if we wanted, we could get to her place in the early evening and then she'd drive us to the fort and back to catch the daily sound and light show at sunset! Mighty pleased with this plan, we set off for the old city again and this time stopped in at the Chowmahalla Palace which used to be the seat of the Asaf Jai dynasty and the official residences of the Nizams (the rulers) of Hyderabad.

The second time around, the journey to J's place was far easier and that evening we drove to the ancient fort of Golconda which is located on the outskirts of the city. Once a mighty establishment that was the seat of the Deccan Empire, most of the fort now lies in ruins. Every evening at sundown a sound and light show walks visitors through the Fort's impressive history, outlining important events and offering an insight into bygone times.
After a very well rested night at J's place and a lovely "home made" breakfast, Scribs and I reluctantly said goodbye to J and her family and made our way back home. Stopped off for lunch at the Paradise Restaurant, Hyderabad's most famous landmark that started off as a simple one room Irani restaurant and is today a 4 floor, multi cuisine restaurant! R was able to join us again, so the "cousins" enjoyed a lovely and utterly delish biryani lunch together later washed down with ice cream at the funniest little ice cream parlor nearby. Back at CIEFL now and just a few hours left here in Hyderabad before I have to catch my train to Hampi. From IT city, to the ruins of an ancient empire - my journey goes on!

1 comment:

Naveed said...

We're all glad to see you're still having oodles of fun. A certain Japanese friend of our asked when you'd be visiting their motherland. I'll ask him to convey tips on the best drawer-beds :P

Keep having great fun!

Your friend,

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