The Pulse of my City



Hyderabad: A Walk through Time



I have only been a resident of Hyderabad for the past four years. To me, this city has come to represent many things over the span of these few years. I had visited the city on various occasions throughout my childhood and when I chose to pursue my passion for architecture, it was purely by chance that I landed here. Here, in the city of pearls, the throne of the Qutb Shahi dynasty and of the Nizams, where there is a lingering nostalgia of a bygone era still hanging in the air; here, in the cradle of rich heritage and cultural multiplicity, of an intellectual awakening on the horizon; here, in the ever-active, ever-growing poignant Cyberabad, in the city that never sleeps.

Four hundred years rich, Hyderabad has come of age as cultured as the pearls that are sold in its Old City. The city has lived through many a civilization, sieving from each its own singular ethos. Built originally as a walled city by the Qutb Shahi Dynasty, the city has now grown far beyond its intended limits, encompassing and transcending various cultures, traditions, and styles of art and architecture. The first impression one gets of Hyderabad upon entry is that of its vibrant, throbbing pulse of movement, whether you’re getting off a plane at the Rajiv Gandhi Terminal in Secunderabad, or entering the city from Imlibun Bus Station near the Old City. For some reason, Hyderabad has been branded as the laid-back city, still reminiscing a departed time. In reality, however, the city is a hub of activity, demarcated by its heavy traffic, pedestrian or otherwise, and its active day and nightlife.

Originally designed to be a metropolitan capital city, Hyderabad as a city of age 400+ has long developed into a culture that is unique to itself. The Charminar, which was designed as a monument to commemorate the eradication of plague, became the central square of Hyderabad, as marketplaces and residences alike sprouted from its core. Over time, the Charminar has come to serve as a symbol of Hyderabad. With the advent of urbanization, the walled city, designed to suit another time, has made way to accommodate the new changes that have barged into it, creating an eternally open-ended urban ecological cycle. The old city is still an axis of commerce and commotion, without letting go of its age-old symbolic ties.

          Now the Charminar stands at the center of the inner city, surrounded by the smells, sounds, motions and colors that are unique to Hyderabad alone, and that tend to grow on you as you walk through its streets. Unlike the monuments in other cities, the Charminar is a part of the street, a part of the people, a common entity to be shared by all who reside and move around it. The Old City still houses a bustling community, that of dwellers in the deep-rooted houses around the Charminar, and that of shoppers who come from far and wide to forage for trinkets in the Laad Bazar.

But the development impulses of the metropolis have bypassed this historic core, and shifted to create other centers in various areas of the city. In my mind’s eye, the nucleus of the modern Hyderabad is the large artificial lake in between the twin cities, the Hussain Sagar, for Hyderabad is not just a city in itself; it encompasses Secunderabad as well, without which its pulse cannot be described. The changing colors of the lake itself set the mood of the city and its commuters as they travel along it in the morning to their respective places of work. The Hussain Sagar can be white and full of promise, or blue and sparkling, a keeper of many secrets, or dark and gloomy and temperamental. In the center of the lake stands a statue of the Buddha, overlooking the people, sometimes in plain view and sometimes obscured by thick, overhanging fog. A new addition, the Necklace Road, embraces the lake and stretches to meet the Tank Bund from either side. This Road represents the youth culture and fun-loving nature of Hyderabadi’s. The evening sees bikers speeding down the smooth curves of the road, and stopping to grab a bite at various stops along it, like Eat Street and Prasad’s IMAX Theater, which, keeping with the insomniac nature of the city, stay open till the wee hours. The Hyderabadi penchant for food has given rise to many restaurants and eateries throughout the city; however, biryani remains the ultimate favorite, and a person visiting the city will feel overwhelmed with all the variety in delicacies.

Although architecture-wise, Hyderabad’s experimental stage has just arrived, the fusion between the old and the new hints at the immense potential of the future. It is a city where there is more singing than silence.

The contemporary Hyderabad is completely unbrandable. It has its own personality, its own pulse and character; it caters to every need of its varied residents and visitors; no outsider feels more at home anywhere else. But in this city, all you need to do is find an empty bench on Tank Bund to kick back and relax… and take in the various senses that the city provokes. With the zooming of traffic behind and the crashing of waves in front, and the beautiful amalgamation of architecture, offset by the rocky landscape, and presented in a panoramic view around the periphery of the Hussain Sagar, no single day is like another in Hyderabad. 

This entry was published on November 6, 2005 at 11:53 and is filed under ArchiRave. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

49 thoughts on “The Pulse of my City

  1. kimmy on said:

    it\’s too hard to me……i must learn more words….

  2. my dear;your msn space good but me msn space very good 😉 nice working but u need some pratice:) lolI am Student of Architecture…. see u later bb kendine iyi bak sonra görüşürüz…………

  3. my dear;your msn space good but me msn space very good 😉 nice working but u need some pratice:) lolI am Student of Architecture…. see u later bb kendine iyi bak sonra görüşürüz…………

  4. Hi there, Im an architectual student in Australia ive been looking at some of your work, abviously done in Auto CAD, ive been using Auto CAD 2005, but if you want something to make houseing look real, try using a program called revit it is amazing to see some of the work go to and look at the gallery.Best of Luck, Sean

  5. Hmm.. that was one of the best blogs I have read about hyderabad..Glad to know that someone here(hyd) enjoys the city and its beauty with an artistic sense^_^

  6. Hmm.. that was one of the best blogs I have read about hyderabad..Glad to know that someone here(hyd) enjoys the city and its beauty with an artistic sense^_^

  7. Alicia on said:

    Hey, thanks for the comment on my space. The reason why the Arabic part of my name says Alicia is because that\’s my real name.:D

  8. Maggie on said:

    Congrats! Cool Space!M.

  9. This a very nice cultural space,keep the good work…I like your "outrageous pages" very funny nice sketches that you have in there,as well the rest of the pictures.Blessings.(interior designer)Maya

  10. Sabrina on said:

    hey takbir…nice reading ur blog…im a hyderabadi grl living in dubai n havent been to hyd in ages…ur article made up for my not going to hyd all these years! i plan to take a print of ur blog n make my parents read it…they\’ve been brought up there u see..the language u use is good…although a lil too formal and "architectur-y"..nevertheless…congrats on being featured on best of msn spaces.AfreenPS: i\’ll be looking forward to more post in hyd! n Eid Mubarak!

  11. Andrea on said:

    Congrats on being named MSN best of spaces. I will come back and read more on your city.andrea

  12. Unknown on said:

    That picture of you is incredible… gorgeous! Plus, your skin is exquisite… why can\’t there be more women like you in my country?

  13. Thanyarat on said:

    hi c u

  14. Unknown on said:

    very cool blog….i\’ve always wanted to visit Hyderabad, perhaps one day. I loved your pic of the display of bangles! Good luck.

  15. Hyderabad certainly seems to a wonderful place. I love the photography – although not an expert on architecture, I\’m definitely an avid fan of beautiful photography, whether it be buildings, people or just life as it slowly edges by.You left a post about being in Saudi Arabia on my blog; although I have never been there myself, I have lived in Kuwait most of my life. Even though life in Egypt and Kuwait is probably quite a bit different from Saudi and India – according to the several multi-national friends I have (Kuwait was a very multi-cultural place – more foreigners than natives.) However, Kuwait has actually derived many of it\’s traditions and culture from Indian influence due to the extensive trade between the two countries in the pre-oil days.Peace from Cairo\’s Suburbia.

  16. fatima on said:

    Salaam….. I just accidentally got carried into ur was on msn whats your story and i found a picture of charminar and i got transfered to ur site..i just wanted to say i love ur site…it has wonderful pictures. I am also from hyderabad… but i live in New York…well take care and enjoy life..hope ur architec dreams coem true…

  17. Hi,What\’s your e-mail-id?One of my architect friend wants to talk to you.regards,Thiru

  18. What can i say? It\’s awesome! best blog i\’ve read and beautiful pics. I\’ll definitely save your space as favorite and come back t read your updates.~ nini

  19. Silliest Schnauzer on said:

    I like the pictures you have on your site… I don\’t remember telling you, so I am telling you now.Mark

  20. Silliest Schnauzer on said:

    You are right about what you said… I can imagine that in other countries, without so many activists speaking up , there is bound to be a lot more abuse of power. People who are angry, in my opinion, should never enter politics. Which is why I never will!What the leaders need to realize is that nice minorities, deserving minorities do exist.And if the authorities are abusing you, my prayers are with you! If not, then I wish you happiness… and for the abuse to stop for the people you know.

  21. Silliest Schnauzer on said:

    PS Why should the abuse only stop for the people you know? It should stop, PERIOD!Have a good day!

  22. BIRYANI BIRYANI BIRYANI!!!!!!im missing home now…look what uve gone and done. Pune is the shits when it comes to food and a host of other thigns.Hyderabad..good ol hyderabad.hv fun and take care..ciao.Rps: dropby sometime.

  23. Unknown on said:

    Just dropped in from MSN best . . . Nice blog! Regards, Al

  24. Mehreen on said:

    Nice Space…by the way I\’m Mehreen from Dallas, TX USA. So where r u originally from…i mean have u lived in India ur whole life? Believe it or not this is the 1st time I\’ve even seen a space over here with desi songs in it….that\’s really cool. U should really visit my space but its not as good as yours… 😦

  25. awesome site!love the things you writeand your pics

  26. Lezanne on said:

    That was a good read 🙂 of history. And intredting

  27. Lezanne on said:

    ment intresting (my spelling really sucks) being afrikaans and all

  28. Steve on said:

    Hey!Nice site, check out mine at: **** ****-DJ Nizzo

  29. Silliest Schnauzer on said:

    Is your picture real? The one on there is very pretty, almost too pretty to be someone on a blog like this. Oh well, I guess I can thank God for the opportunity to see a beautiful woman who is different than what I am used to seeing.Here\’s a way to save money on electricity: If you want to light up a room, just smile:)

  30. Vikas on said:

    Wonderful photography! you made my day. BTW, how did you change the backgrop of your space?

  31. Silliest Schnauzer on said:

    I hope you are happy…. because when people are, it is always a good thing:)

  32. My best friend loves architecture as well. I like it to…well, i hope that i can visit India one day…All the best to you!

  33. Crystal on said:

    Hi there!Just came upon your space and wanted to invite you to come join my Love Train.You will find the link on the right of my space.Hope to see you soon :)Crystal

  34. Your city sounds wonderful. You write so well, with so much flair I don\’t think I\’ve even registered how vivid the imagery is. Good job. Take care. -Andy

  35. hi!sorry for my english, im from argentina and i love architecture, i like a lot your space.have spectacular weekend 😉

  36. Unknown on said: 六合彩 香港六合彩 六合彩 香港六合彩 六合彩 香港六合彩

  37. Emmanuel_Goldstein_Wang on said:

    I love your page and your profile! Thanks for stopping by my lame page.

  38. harvey on said:

    hey i really liked your poems. perhaps you could take a look at mine. and let me know what you think. they\’re on the same site. my names harvey lacey. email me

  39. Jerca on said:

    Lovely Space. :DYou should only update it more often. 🙂

  40. Jerca on said:

    Lovely Space. :DYou should only update it more often. 🙂

  41. pankaj on said:

    I understand that you are from the beautiful city of HYDERABAD….I love that air of this place and you have been great at writing abt it and bringing it on the global map…..I must admit that I simply adore the way you write and I love your poems….I must say that I write too…but haven\’t for the last few months….but you inspired me to begin once again….thanks….looking fwd to more of you….I must confess that I am inspired by your space ….

  42. pankaj on said:

    hey…..As I am surfing thru your space ….I am simply beginning to adore you in itself……you are so talented…PHOTOGRAPHY, ARCHITECTURE,POEMS…. and what not….I am beginning to see myself in you…..Please..don\’e even entertain the notion that I am flattering you…What i write is what I have felt in the "SANCTUM SANCTORUM" OF MY HEART.

  43. delkash on said:

    kewl ! so uve updated academy of architecture – pulse \’05 snaps!!! hope we guys gave ull a good NASA time…gud luck…have fun….keep the typing going…..

  44. Takbïr on said:

    Hey… I\’d like to know who delkash is… wud\’ve been helpful if u\’d left a link (don\’t worry, I won\’t start hurlin\’ chairs at ya!)

  45. delkash on said:

    hahhaa ermm… why dont u mail me ur id so i can get in touch with u !!

  46. Takbïr on said:

    Hehe… how can I mail u when I don\’t kno ur address?

  47. delkash on said:

    hie buzz me at 😉

  48. pankaj on said:

    hi Takbir,
                I have been waiting fo youto write something for too long now…stopped blogging have you?
              can you tell me how to add music to my space? i\’ll be grateful…..
             looking fwd to more on your space…..

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