A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a week working in Hyderabad, a city of 7 or so million in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (which is in the process of splitting into two states – but that is another story). During my work week, I had little to no time to see the actual city – it’s huge in terms of square mileage, and getting anywhere I wanted to go, by motorized rickshaw would have put me into darkness.
So on Saturday, we finally set out for “old Hyderabad.” The area around the city has had inhabitants for two millenia, but it was not until 1591 that the current city was founded on the southern bank of the Musi River, where “old Hyderabad” can be found today. The Koh-i-Noor diamond was apparently mined near Hyderabad, but today, the old part of Hyderabad and its bazaars are known for pearls, jewelry, silks, and Islamic buildings and monuments.
We had our driver take us to the “Charminar” – which means, literally, “four minarets. From this structure, in the middle of a roundabout, extend four roads, all of which have an arch extending over them. The area is almost frantic with activity – tourists, merchants, beggars and traders moving in all directions.
The bulk of the Charminar is suspended over your head by the four corner minarets.
You can climb up into the Charminar, which is architecturally an interesting structure. From the top, you can circle in all directions, admiring the archways and construction of the tower itself, or looking out across this part of the city.
Nearby, you can see the Mecca Masjid (“Mecca Mosque”), which, like the Charminar, the sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, founder of the city, had built.
We headed over to the mosque, where we ran into these three boys, along with many other people.
All these photos, by the way, are film photos taken with a Ricoh Super Kr-5. After I shot the photos above, I put in a roll of 36 black and white exposures. When I developed them, I was amazed that every single one of them came out sharp, in focus, and properly exposed. I got some great photos around the mosque, which I will share in a couple of days. In the meantime, this is a fun thing you can do with photos: