Walking in Hyderabad
Vidya Gajapathi Raju SinghPrincess of Vijayanagaram Wedding Planner - Sumyog
4 min read
The plaintive call of the peacock welcomes you as you step out on to the walking trail that borders the outer parameter of one of Hyderabad’s most spectacular parks – the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park, popularly called KBR Park. Set amidst the grounds of the Chiraan Palace, one of the erstwhile Nizam’s four fabulous palaces, this has to be one of Hyderabad’s highlights.
For me, the highlight of the three days I spent in this beautiful city was my early morning walks. Jubilee Hills is an extraordinarily beautiful neighborhood, developed several years ago, in order to extend this growing city. The rolling hills are crisscrossed with quiet lanes and as you look around, the architecture of the houses tends to overwhelm you. Some of these houses are stylish homes, built to accommodate the rocky outcrops that make up the topography that is so much a part of Hyderabad. Several houses are also indulgent fantasies of the owners and their architects!
Chiraan Palace is currently at the center of a controversy that seems to be brewing between the owner, Nizam Mukarram Jah and the government that is attempting to acquire this extraordinary property.
Four kilometers of walking trails crisscross the 350 acres of land that makes up the Chiraan Palace and a six-kilometer beautifully landscaped, spacious walking path borders the outer parameter. Throughout my walks here,
I heard the peacocks calling to each other and deer wandering about in the grounds. The visuals of the grounds that you see from the pathway are at times thickly wooded and also deep ravines with large ponds and water bodies. The path itself follows the topography of the land and you are confronted with some steep rocky climbs and a few gentler slopes.
The people of Hyderabad are fortunate that they have also several options to this park, in the waterfront walking areas bordering the vast Husain Sagar Lake. This beautiful city has survived centuries of history with absolute grace. Its culture is interwoven with the history of the erstwhile rulers, the Nizams and their families, who gave Hyderabad its wonderful unique architecture.
From the time you arrive and drive into the city, you begin to see the gracious buildings, starting with the Hyderabad Public School. Of course, now with the new airport being built a good distance outside the city, the elevated expressway, also a marvel of engineering brings you right into the city.
Hyderabad is a city of contradictions. You can go from the busy bustling streets in Charminar, right to the gracious homes of the aristocratic Nawabi families, to the well laid out new neighborhood of Jubilee Hills. Hyderabad has combined both Hindu and Islamic cultures through the centuries and today has even taken in its fold, the cyber culture with the Hi-Tech City emerging.
Golconda Fort stands witness to the rule of the Qutub Shahi Dynasty and in 1725 the rule of the Nizams was established. The city developed over the centuries into a center for arts, culture and learning.
The Musi River crisscrosses Hyderabad and the magnificent Mecca Masjid and the Salar Jung Museum are on the river’s banks. Passing through Chaminar you reach the Chowmahalla Palace, another of the Nizam’s Palaces. It has aesthetically laid out gardens and the many chandeliered Durbar Hall. Previously an exclusive domain of the Nizams, it is open today to the public and is even given out for parties and weddings.
Hyderabad has plenty to keep visitors busy, between shopping for pearls and jewellery, to the busy lanes of Charminar and of course the new era of mall shopping, one can also fit in a visit to the Architectural Museum, the Ramoji Film City and the Shilpa Raman Craft Village. If you’re a nature lover and like rocks, don’t forget to see the natural rocky outcrops this mesmerizing city has to offer. The society called ‘Save the Rocks’ organizes walks through the surreal landscape of the surrounding hills.
Through the centuries, the Deccan Plateau, where Hyderabad is situated provided a natural barrier against invasions. This allowed a unique culture to evolve and develop. Today, the height of the plateau provides the wonderful dry and cool weather and the stunning visuals of the rocky hills in and around this city.