Orginally written in Medium - Jan, 2017
‘I had a very comfortable journey in the train’ would be a great lie! The biggest problem being, I couldn't fit in the side-upper. I was struggling like a crushed candy in a tightly fit bottle! -_- I was tightly sealed head to toe from end to end , without any movement! Nevertheless , As dawn breaks , I switch to the lower berth and my co passengers were awake by now! I had a hot cup of tea which was indeed a bliss!
As the train halted at Secunderabad Junction, the compartment was almost vacant with very few passengers left. The family I traveled with were from Tirunelveli, in the south of Tamilnadu. They were here for the sports tournament ( I think , Athletics ) of their daughter. When it was my chance to tell about my profession, I thought of creating a new identity for myself. I told them I was a travel blogger (A travel blogger who is yet to write his first article ) and that I travel alone (This being my first journey alone) and write about the experiences I have. Immediately , the young girl with all curiosity asked , “Anna, Will you write about us? :)” Then, the father, with pride started telling about his daughter’s achievements. He loves travelling too , but for his daughter. All the places he has visited outside of his native till now, is for his daughter’s tournaments. He mentioned they were visiting Mumbai next month and that they did not know much places to visit there. I immediately gave them some suggestions and I felt a little proud when they look convinced! We bid goodbyes as the train touched the platform of Hyderabad Decan. Its indeed a conversation to remember, about a father’s love and sacrifices for his daughter, and the best part? It did not involve exchange of names or numbers! It was indeed a very pleasant morning conversation to have!
As I get down , I finally decided to check my phone and this message is always a bliss, “Open WiFi Network Available”. It was the Rail-Wire WiFi which was introduced in most railway stations by The Indian Railways with Google. I quickly checked the directions for my hotel from my current location , and it was 1.6 kms away. ‘Hmm, not too far’ , I thought. And I thought of taking a bus! As I walked towards the exit of the railway station , a handful of people asked if I wanted an auto. Declining all their offers in the most polite way possible, I marched towards the bus-stand.
The metro rail construction was on progress that made a things a little messier. The bus stand was no where to be seen , as I walked along the direction my map pointed out..
After a few hundred meters, I found a bandi towards my left , preparing food for breakfast. I did a little research on Hyderabad food, and I knew bandis are the way to go in Hyderabad, especially for breakfasts! So I approached him asking what’s available. He pointed towards a menu , as I glanced through the menu, idly, dosa, butter dosa, ghee dosa, masala dosa, cheese dosa…. And I stopped right there! Cheese dosa for breakfast! I told him the order and leisurely looked at the way he cooked it. Hot Cheese Dosa in Hyderabadi style was there in my hands in no time!The molten cheese along with the vegetable stuffing sprinkled with coriander leaves with a hint of spice !! Ahaaaaa!! Yummm….. It was indeed a cheesy great breakfast to begin a particularly long day!!
After the soul satisfying breakfast , I proceeded towards my hotel , still in search of a bus. I asked an old bookkeeper for directions to the bus stand, he asked more information on where I wanted to go and then he said its down the street in a walkable distance. He gave me the directions and made sure I understood it. And yeah, One thing about Hyderabad , or any place in Andhra (and Telangana) , People understand Hindi very easily. Coming from Tamilnadu, where people speak no language other than the native one, it was surprising to see people knowing Hindi. It was indeed a pleasant surprise for me!
I checked into the Hotel . It was a budget hotel booked from Makemytrip and the room was convenient enough for a traveller.. Travellers , unlike tourists , don’t really care about the amenities provided in the hotel.. All they need is a clean room ( preferably with no insects and bugs :P ) and a bathroom (hot water is a luxury ! :P ) Considering the above aspects , my room was well and good , for 500 bucks a day. After a bit of freshening up, I was all set to explore my first day at Hyderabad..
I had listed out a few places to visit in Hyderabad , from TripAdvisor and a lot of food joints , from Zomato! I enquired about the feasiblity of visiting the places in my short span. ( 2.5 days) Taj Falaknuma Palace was ruled out right at the first because , I had to make advance reservations to visit the Palace. Also having a meal at the palace was mandatory, which was definitely way out of my budget. And the next to be ruled out was , Ramoji film city, which itself will consume one day of my time and from the suggestions, its not a go-to place when you are travelling solo.
The receptionist suggested me to visit Birla Mandir , Charminar and Salar Jung museum as they were all nearby. But little did I know what plans nature had for me! ;-)
As per the plan, I visited Birla Mandir at first. It was located in a slightly higher altitude with narrow roads, so there were no public transport for Birla Mandir. An auto from my hotel to Birla Mandir costed Rs.60. The architecture of the temple was charming with the white marble structure visible from a distance itself. There were three separate counters to handover bags, footwear and electronic items respectively. A designated token was given for each. Photography and usage of mobile phones are strictly prohibited within the temple, which gives a peaceful and serene experience to the visitors.
At first , I was disappointed to know Photography was prohibited inside the temple , but then after visiting the temple , I felt it was just the need of the hour! Tell me , When was the last time , you spent time in solitude, without any electronic gadgets? Its truly surprising to know , how some time for yourself can bring so much transformations inside you! Every person must experience this feeling!
One thing I loved about the temple was , its not about the religion, its about the preaching . Every religion can teach us a lesson, and proving which, I could see scripts from various religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism engraved in the walls of the temple! I spent some time reading all the scripts, relating each of them to my real life! I got some life lessons out of those quotes which definitely induced some transformation within me!
Unfortunately, I did not make a note of any of those quotes nor do I have any pictures, but, I would strongly recommend you to visit the temple and experience it all yourself. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! :-)
As I climbed further more, falling in love with every piece that this temple has to offer, I was spell bound by the magnificent view of Hussain Sagar Lake and a beautiful aerial view of Hyderabad City. The tall buildings, the Buddha statue in the center of the lake, the Indian flag that fluttered with the wind and the lush greenery makes it flawless! After spending some time experiencing the above landscape by sitting in the white marble flooring , I set out towards the exit thinking about the impeccable experience I just had.
After collecting all my valuables and capturing some photos from the outside, I set to walk downhill, without a single clue on what my next location is. After a few meters, I saw a signboard which said , A ride to Hussain Sagar lake for Rs.10 /- . Its too good to be true ? Because the uphill is quite a distance and no auto driver will agree to come for such a meagre fare. But what’s the catch? I was excited to know so I went ahead and asked for it!
He said, its Rs.10 for a drop to Hussain Sagar Lake and I can go ahead and sit in the auto!
Even if the fare was Rs.10 , No one would want to advertise it with hoardings! I was still half-minded but went ahead anyway and got into the auto! A few seconds after the ride started, the driver began to speak, “Yeah come on, this is what I was waiting for”, I thought.
He told about the famous pearls from Hyderabad! And also, he asked me if I could visit the Hyderabad pearl shop that he would take me. The ride was sponsored by the pearl shops and they would provide the auto driver with a lunch token if he brought in some customers! I clearly told the driver that, I don’t need any pearls and I was not in the mood for it ! But the driver kept on requesting and I indeed felt pity , and I eventually agreed, on one condition, there was no guarantee that I would purchase.
I visited the store , I came back to the auto and told him it was expensive. He took me to another shop (!?) What now? I kept up my promise now what is this? Again I repeated the same act, Would go inside, Ask for the price, Will tell its costly and come out. Meanwhile, the auto driver also started giving me suggestions and was manipulating me to buy the product! I started feeling a little weird and I walked out of the store. I told him , I am visiting no more store! He started his lunch drama again, and he said this will be his last shop and he will surely take me to the lake next. And as I enter the shop, I continued the routine. I asked for the price, it was costly. I asked for a men’s ring and he showed me a few. And only one fit my finger perfectly. As I asked the price, he said it was Rs.1600 /- , I got irritated as fuck, and in a possibly harsh tone, I told him, I will give rs.200 for this , Yes or NO?
Let me tell you guys, I was 100 % sure that he will disagree and that , all this drama will come to an end finally! My thoughts were all filled up on how he will try to reject my offer or continue the bargaining process.
And to my dismay, he said, ‘Ok sir, Take it.. I am packing it for you. Here’s the bill!!’ I was Shocked, Surprised, Confused, *insert 100 more adjectives* and I was feeling all of them in one instant! I did not want to purchase anything and now I am supposed to pay bill for a product for which I supposedly bargained! Realizing the ground reality, I paid the amount and climbed the auto and finally, I was going to the destination! While getting down at Hussain Sagar Lake, I told the auto driver, ‘I know the product is not worth even rs.200 , the amount I paid is for your lunch, Have a good day!’ We exchanged glances and we both knew what it was! So guys, this is the great Hyderabad Pearl Scam. After this incident I googled about it and I could see worse experiences than mine. People have paid upto Rs.4000 for a chain that was not even worth Rs.400. BEWARE! After a peaceful experience at Birla Mandir, this is not the experience one would wish to have! But yeah, Life is unpredictable , Right?
/* Are you still reading this? Are you excited to know about what happened at Hussain Sagar Lake? */
I reminded myself that I should be more cautious on my spends! As I got down from the auto, I noticed Lumbini Park entrance across the road. From what I know , the boating in the Hussain Sagar Lake is available only from within this park. Let me give you a little background on why I wanted to visit Hussain Sagar Lake, Its because of this.
The Hussain Sagar lake along with the buddha statue has an amazing view during sunset. As an avid photography lover, I wanted to capture a photo during this golden hour. But as fate decided , Or because of my instinct reflex actions , Or because of my extremely thrifty mindset (Remember the Rs.10 signboard? ) , I landed up in this park by afternoon when it was hot as a boiling pot. (-_-) As I entered the park, there was a baggage deposit counter. I seriously don’t understand the reason behind this. Why shouldn’t a person carry a bag inside a garden? And the biggest irony of all, ‘Keep all valuable with you, We are not responsible if anything is missing from the baggage.’ Then , what the hell is the purpose of Baggage counter in the first place! The baggage counter, entrance ticket counter and ticket counter to the boat ride are all in different places. This is one very frustrating thing about Indian Tourist Destinations. Why don’t we have a centralized entry system , where you’re billed for what you require. By this,
Tourists do not get confused
One single receipt will contain all the necessary information, instead of separate tickets for bag, tickets and camera.
By having a single counter, its easy to convey instructions to the tourists.
After entering the park, I got the tickets for the boat ride and climbed the boat. I sat beside a family from Kerala who were not willing to involve in a conversation. Oh yeah, I wanted to share this. Have you ever wondered why you do not have any experiences of talking to strangers when on a tour? There are multiple turnoffs for someone to come and talk to you, which I will talk in some other article maybe, But one of the biggest is earphones! Wearing earphones is a clear turn off. Don’t even expect anyone to talk to you with your earphones on. Wearing them clearly indicates you do not want to involve in a conversation. On the contrary, if you’re not willing to involve in a conversation, use your earphones! ;-)
The boat ride was a bumpy one and wasn’t one of the best ones, but the excitement of going near the Buddha statue reminded me of my childhood memories when I went to Vivekananda rocks in Kanyakumari. I have a very fond memory of my childhood there. Though I do not remember much , this is an excerpt from my parents. This happened when I was about 5–6 years old. We were on a family tour to Vivekananda Rock and I had got lost somewhere in the crowd. My family could find me nowhere for half an hour. And finally , when the boat was about to leave and when the crowd got dispersed ,my father found me crying in one corner. I was very careful to not get lost since then. From ‘Not wanting to get lost to wanting to get lost in the wanderlust’, I feel I have grown up a lot.
While the Buddha statue here at Hyderabad can no way be compared to that of the majestic Thiruvalluvar statue in Kanyakumari in terms of size, the former still stood as a landmark to Hyderabad. The boat carried around 50 people and it would halt for 10 minutes before it takes us back to the park. And this is the sight , I witnessed!
After spending some time here, Observing people, Helping them by clicking pictures , Exploring the scenic beauty of Hyderabad from the center of the lake, Trying to spot Birla Mandir from where I saw this beautiful statue sometime back , I was back into the boat in no time! After spending sometime in the park, which was just like any other park in the world , the reality hit me! I have not had any food in the last 6–7 hours! After drinking a cup of sugarcane juice from the park, I felt relieved and I sat down for a while in the shade thinking about my next plan!
Just then when I was lazing around in the park , I received a call from Raviesha. So let me introduce her to you! She is a true blood Hyderabadi ( atleast likes to be told so) who’s very much interested in photography and in doing community service. We got introduced in Instagram ( My profile ) initially to discuss about photography and then eventually became good friends. So when I told her , I was visiting Hyderabad , She wanted me to experience the best of Hyderabad. We decided to meet at Golconda Fort in about two hours time. And her two cents to me? Not to have any food until then because, she is going to get me the best biriyani in Hyderabad! (!!!?!!) With all excitement, I set out towards the exit and went to the baggage counter to get my bag.. And I put my hands inside the pocket to take the receipt, I couldn’t find it, I search for it again , and its not there !! I take out every random things from the pocket and still I cant find it.. All the other tickets were there except this. (Now you get the reason why I want a single receipt? Maintaining one receipt is easy !) And luckily , My bag was still there in the counter. I told him my scenario and he said , they followed rules and he can’t give me the bag. I was not in the mood for argument , and I told him, OK , Keep the bag aside , I will come with the receipt. I went back in to the park, searching all the way and I couldn’t find it. Now I had lost all hope and went back to the baggage counter. I said I could prove him it’s my bag. He said , that’s not a problem, and that I would have to pay a fine of Rs.100 for losing the receipt. The receipt was a computerized paper bill by the way. I paid the fine , showed the ID , got the back, cursed AP tourism and was out on my way.
From what I inquired, I should first board a bus to Medipatnam , and then get a bus to Golconda Fort. Hyderabad has all types of buses and I seriously do not know / understand their types. From the bus stand, I climbed a bus that goes to Medipatnam. This was a short ride with me observing the Hyderabad City. Once at Medipatnam, I went and enquired to a juice vendor about the bus to Golconda Fort , He said it will stop right there. After waiting for a good long time , I couldn’t find any buses that goes to Golconda Fort. I went and asked again. Here’s the conversation.
Me : Bhaiya, No buses that came goes to Golconda fort. Are you sure if this is the place of arrival? Him : Yes , it will come right here. Me : Ok, Any idea how long will it take? Him : It will take another two hours for the bus to come. The previous bus went before sometime only. Me : (Dumbfounded) Any alternative options? Him : Take the share auto there, they will drop you at Golconda fort for 20 rupees. Me : You could have told this earlier, so I could have avoided the wait time? Him : You only asked where the bus comes.!
So here I have my first lesson in my travel. Ask specific questions !!
I went ahead to the share auto and took my seat, but it won’t leave unless the auto is full. (This is universal, Share auto getting occupied means — 12 people sitting in an auto that is meant for four people) While I was waiting , a private mini bus arrived at the bus stand and the conductor began shouting , “Golconda Fort”. The share auto was no where to be filled , So I got down and got into the bus and sat beside an old man. The old man started asking about me.. I told him I was a student in Hyderabad and was going to Golconda Fort. I am a person who can’t lie easily but somehow , I had fun while I did it. He asked about my native, And he was surprised when I said Chennai. “Chennai ka baashan tho alag hai na?, Aap kaise hindi mae baath kar rahe ho?” (The native language of Chennai is different! How is that you are speaking Hindi? ) Then he asked if I came from an agriculture background, I politely declined. And then he started talking about the great Golconda fort. I could see the pride in his face while talking about it. He‘s been living in that locality for almost 5 decades. Golconda fort has 8 big gateways ( called darwazas ) and they’re the only entry point to the fort. He also said that the fort was very secure, and had secret tunnels that goes upto Charminar. Any intruder can be easily caught if he tries to get in! And my face glowed when he said, various kinds of diamond mines were present in this fort including , Kohinoor! Ahh, Such is the history of this place. And as we talked, we passed through a huge darwaza , entering the Golconda fort. He got down a few stops before the last stop and we bid goodbye’s and he wished me to have a great time! I could see the massive constructions of the fort from the distance, And I felt like I was in a historic place.
As I got down from the bus, I went towards the entrance to buy entry tickets. I liked the way entrance tickets were given for one main reason , they adapted to technologies! The entrance ticket had a QR code that should be scanned at the entrance! Indeed, necessity is the mother of invention! As I came out of the counter, I got a call from Raviesha, and she said she had arrived! As we talked, we were waving hands to identify ourselves! Yes, this is the first time I was meeting her! And along with her, Came another young girl, Her sister, Mohitha! Mohitha is also a great lover of photography, And she loves my photography! Raviesha said she was very excited to meet me and she wanted to ask a lot of questions to me! So here we are, a squad of three, all set to explore Golconda Fort and also ready to brainstorm each other with questions!
Golconda fort is a very huge one and takes hours to completely experience it. After some initial observations , we walked uphill with a faster pace. Meanwhile, young Mohitha kept shooting questions, “Which type of photography do you like? Street or Nature?”, “ Why don’t you shoot for money?” etc etc.The view from uphill is amazing ! The beauty of this place is that, there’s no guidelines or anything on which specific direction you should go. You can go in any direction of your choice and explore the fort on your own. Some astonishing facts can be unraveled in this fort , for example , communication that were passed during early days when there was any intruder inside the fort. Using the concept of echoes and tunnels , messages were passed from one end to another. Science has been in our genes for way too long! It was past dusk, and we had to leave! Unfortunately we couldn’t stay there for the light and sound show, which I hear are fantastic! If you’re at Golconda fort for an evening , do attend their light and sound show!
We made our way to our next destination , Dine Hill. This was Raviesha’s choice, and she would not tell anything more about this place. A sneak peak of the reviews said it was a good place! Out of the reviews, one that stood out was, “Only a true blood Hyderabadi can take you here!” Haa! I felt proud! I have a true blood Hyderabadi friend to take me to such places! We dropped Mohitha back at home, as she had to prepare for her school the next day and we drove towards Dine hill. It was located in Masab Tank.
So we entered this place, it was a cozy dim light hotel and menu was decided by Raviesha. She did not want me to interfere. Choosing the menu is always the difficult task for me. Especially in a place like Hyderabad , where all the food items will smack your lips. While I was eagerly waiting for the food, she started talking about her college life, and I could relate every word of it. She was doing her first year B Tech in Information Technology and I graduated in Computer Science and Engg. ( Basically many different names, two different degrees and one universal tag- ‘Saala Engineer hoon!’ ! ) Engineering is like continuation of high school. Its Mandatory. People then decide to do what they want in life! She was worried about her attendance because she bunked two classes and was worried on how to get a 9.999999999 + GPA. Every engineer dreams to get a GPA until he gets his first arrears in Engineering Mathematics. :=D
Even though it may seem bad to bunk classes at times, it was only those times that we really cherish in the long run. Nobody remembers on how you spent your time listening to classes or studying for exams. But everybody remembers the things done outside the classroom. Be it the Boiler maggi , Midnight sneakouts from hostel or the Borrowed labcoats/ uniforms and Doing everything illegal to finish some assignments and 1224353406830 other things, every damn thing was worth it.
College life is indeed a mixed phase of life , where there are many ‘firsts’. Its only when you do things out of your routine, you really create memories. And so after travelling on a long nostalgic path, I was brought back to senses by the huge plate that was brought. One plate that could fit the entire table and all dishes were served in it. How cool is that? Again its a definite hangout place with friends, for you get to put all your hands into a single plate in an instant. :P
There was biriyani mounted in the centers surrounded by a few starters and gravies on the plate. We hogged like there was no tomorrow. The biriyani was indeed good and all the other dishes were great and lip smacking. One notable mention in the gravies was Mirchi ka Salan , that was Hyderabadi special dish. And it was time for desserts.We had Qubani ka Meeta with Vanilla Icecream. Its a dessert consisting of dry apricots and it is another trademark Hyderabadi dessert. After a sumptuous meal , we decided to take a walk along the Banjara Hills locality. After walking for a few minutes , Raviesha came up with another splendid place for desserts. Since we already had our desserts at DineHill , I told her that there was no need for desserts.
But then she insisted saying, “Come on na, Its Samantha’s favourite. She visits here everytime she is at Hyderabad” Well, that one was more than enough for me to be convinced. I am a huge huge fan of Samantha or very specifically, the “Nithya” character from “Needhane en Ponvasantham” . Even though she is about to get married, She will be my princess forever in my heart. So, for the love of Samantha, We march towards Masqati icecream parlour. It was located in Banjara Hills itself. Within a few minutes we reached the location. It a small self service parlour. We ordered a chocolate sundae (My first love, My Second love, Chocolate! ) and a Honey and Fig Icecream (My first love, Nithya aka Samantha’s favorite). During one such talks about modelling, we both stumbled upon the same name, Pradaini Surva, And it so happens that both of us were a great fan of hers. I ve been following her for sometime now and I like her perspective of modeling unlike people who startout as models and deviate as actors in the film industry. And she’s based out of “Namma Chennai!” She is flawless and I love her posts in instagram. The first thing I do when I open Instagram is checking her instagram stories!
So after a whole lot of discussion about movies and how Telugu movies suck just like my telugu oratory skills to how she had to do an all nighter that day to complete a record notebook , we decided to bid good bye’s. After all it was a great fun day with Raviesha, A person whom I had not met earlier, and who turned out to be a very nice companion! I owe her for the efforts she put, to make sure that I am safe in her home city!
She dropped me back at a spot , which according to the cab driver was the bus-stand where I will get a bus to Medipatnam and from there I can board a bus to Koti. After standing for a good ten minutes, I got suspicious because, I couldn’t find a single bus passing through that road. After a while , I went and enquired to a local there, and he said , this bus stand has been closed and buses no longer come through this route. My bad. He also suggested me a route which involved me taking a share auto to Dargah and from there, a bus to Medipattinam. I thought it would be as easy as it sounded and went to the shareauto stand. I have travelled in shareautos in a lots of places and if you have travelled too, you will know the size of the auto. They are usually bigger than the normal autos. But this auto , was a normal auto, where even 4 people will be an overload was functioning as a share auto. When I went there Already 7 people were in the auto including the driver, 4 in the back and 2 in the front. Since it was already full , I was waiting for the next auto. But this auto wala was signalling me to come and sit. I was like, clueless, because I did not know where to sit. And then he pointed to the front right, there was exactly 5 cms of space available . After trying to sit there, I was in a position that was neither sitting nor standing and my half body was outside the vehicle. It was by far my most uncomfortable and horrific rides I have ever had. The ten minutes ride in that auto was like years to me! I was counting every millisecond! All the Newton’s theory of Relativity was proved to me without a theoretical proof. And finally, what seemed like a decade, I reached darga. After enquiring about the route to Medipatnam , it came to my knowledge that I had to take another shareauto to reach Medipatnam. But this time I was careful. I carefully chose a backside seat where I can comfortably rest my asses. ^_^ (What? U thought I’ll have another ride like SuperMan ahh? Poda! ) I reached Medipatnam , and while I was at the bus stand, I enquired about the bus to Kota. The shopkeeper was kind enough to guide me and at the end of which , he asked me, “Gol Gappe kaunge?” *Would you like to have a plate of Pani-Puri* His tone was such that, it was impossible for me to refuse. I had a plate of Pani-Puri. There was nothing remarkable about the taste of it but sometimes in life, Its for the people and not about other aspects. I paid him and climbed a bus to Koti.
After a hectic and an occupied day yesterday, I wanted to ease out a bit today. I had not planned much for the day with only Charminar and Salar Jung Museum on my mind. Raviesha called me by morning telling me that she bunked college and we can meet by evening. So I set out to visit Charminar. Expectations were high for me as it’s one of the icons of Hyderabad.
Charminar was around 1.5 kms from my place. On any normal day, I would have preferred to walk the distance. But for the Hyderabad heat, I just did not feel like taking a walk. I tried to get on a share auto, this time being careful with the seats, to Charminar.
Charminar is a 16th century monument. The monument was constructed during the time the capital was shifted from Golconda to Hyderabad. I was very excited to know the history behind it.
I was dropped in front of a narrow street and the driver said, the Charminar was just walkable distance from the side lane. As I walked in that road, I could see the Charminar, the exact monument we see in Google maps. But as I get nearer to it, something doesn’t add up. I didn’t feel like I’m visiting an historic monument at all. Very very poorly maintained with no proper instruction boards and it took me a while to figure out the entrance point.
Charminar was an okayish monument, instead of taking photos of the great historical monument, I ended up taking pictures of the pigeons present over there. One thing about Charminar is that, it’s very difficult for old people to climb there, as the steps are spiral and very steep. Even adults should make their move carefully. I so wish, the AP government take some measures to safeguard the monument. Charminar is located in one of the crowded localities of Hyderabad. Or is the other way round? But the lanes are famous for shopping, food and etc..
I had my breakfast at a small kiosk where I had deposited my bag. I had Masala dosa and it was goooooood! My next plan was to visit, Salar Jung Museum. Museums are not really my kind, as I feel they’re very much boring. I am a person who feels the need to experience things and I can’t feel that seeing photos, artifacts and manuscripts. I wanted to visit this museum because, I heard many people tell me that, this is the best museum in Hyderabad. Also it was very nearby from where I was. So why not give it a try?
Only after I reached there, did I know that, this is one of the few National museums of India. Also it is the third largest museum in India. The museum was very large with over 30 galleries spread over two floors. That said , the museum also had a lot of antique collections.
One thing about the museum is, the museum itself. Its beautifully maintained and one can get the feel of luxury in there. I did not take my camera in there, because I wanted to explore without any gadgets. There are lots and lots of different types of clocks present there. One can stand , simply staring at the clocks. I mean, its flawless. The carvings and the mechanical work involved makes you feel astonished. People with greatest artistic abilities have lived before us. Speaking of art , Raja Ravi Varma paintings is another major attraction here. One more major attraction is the , Benzoni’s Veiled Rebecca. It is believed that, the Italian sculptor had made only four copies of this masterpiece , one of which is in this museum! One who is astonished by art will definitely love it. Also there are lots of memoirs, pieces of decor which makes the museum colorful. One more thing , that left me spell bound was the, Mephistopheles , which is actually a double statue carved out of a single wood. It would leave you spellbound for a minute as you can see one sculpture from the front , and in the mirror that’s present will show you a completely different sculpture. Ultimately both these were carved from the single wood and it is definitely a piece of art worth watching to.
Tipu Sultan’s swords , Things used by Aurangazeb ,and also the things used by Nizams of Hyderabad are another major things to watch out for.
That being said, whatever I said is just 10 % of what the museum holds. It is a very huge museum and if you’re a lover of art and history, you should definitely go to this place. You can spend a lot of time here.
I spent almost 2–3 hours here, after which I started feeling tired and after that, I just glanced each of the artifacts and made my way to the exit. I may have missed out on some more interesting things.
I was famished by now as the Hyderabad heat and the museum had drained all my energy. I wanted something to drink . And as soon as I came out, I saw a sugar cane juice stall.. Still having no idea on where my next stop would be, I concentrated on the sugar cane juice. The first glass was finished in no time and I was relishing the second glass when I decided to check if there are any open WiFis. You might wonder, why I keep checking for open WiFi instead of just connecting through mobile data. Well, I was using a custom mod cyanogen OS and due to some bug, I wasn’t able to connect using mobile data. Also there’s a special feature in my mobile phone, Half the touch screen won’t work. :D I’m glad I broke it, because of which I was able to enjoy my tour to the fullest instead of whiling away the time. I had around 10k with me and two choices, to buy a new mobile phone or to go on a travel. Well you know what I chose. :-)
Luckily there was a free WiFi available and a message from Raviesha.
Would you like to check out the hitech city and other places? I mean this side of Hyderabad. Let me know if you’re coming.
Even when we met yesterday, she kept telling me that, the place I stayed was old Hyderabad. And the actual Hyderabad is much more modern and developed. I thought I would come back again some other time because, that was a whole new place to explore. But nevertheless, I decided to go there and called her. She said she would be at forum mall in two hours.
So my next meeting was fixed and I needed to go to Kukatpally. I inquired and the shopkeeper asked me to board the bus to Lakdikapul and when I heard this place for the first time , I couldn’t register it at all. I pronounced it as Ladki ka phul (Girl’s Flower) and it did not make sense at all. After rounds of asking the shopkeeper to repeat , I almost assumed that , the name of the place is Ladkikaphul and thought it as to be some society dedicated to women. ( :-D )
Only later, that is when I started to write about it did I know that, it is lakdi ka pul meaning, Wooden bridge. So I got into a bus to Ladkikapul and then I had to change a bus to Forum Mall , ie , Kukatpally. I waited for few minutes and then , I got the sudden thought of going in an AC bus. They were all over, but none of those were going to my destination. I enquired about it to the nearby shop keeper and he said that , if I get down at the signal after KPHG , Forum mall is 500 metres by walk. And I decided to go for it as that was not a big difference for me. The ticket costed around Rs.50 and the entire ride was a bliss, considering the afternoon temperature of Hyderabad. I also loved the tour of the city , enjoying the views from the window seat.
------- The End ---
For those who are wondering , My solo travel continued from Hyderabad to Vizag , Araku Valley and Bhubaneshwar. But unfortunately I could not find the time to document the entire solo travel !