I have been in Hyderabad for 10 years now and in these 10 years, I visited Charminar two times, stayed there for 10 minutes and left. Charminar which is the symbol of Hyderabad, never generated any interest for me. So when I got an invitation to take a walk around Charminar with a person who has explored the area on feet several times and has done plenty of research, it seemed a perfect opportunity to give Charminar a third chance. One Saturday morning when chaos around the monument was not at its peak, I was standing with a group ready to walk streets around.
RudBuddy has several guided tours for Hyderabad and other places. One such guided tour is Heritage Walk : Charminar in Morning Light where Navin walks with you on the streets nearby telling stories about the place and keeps you engaged and entertained. The tour starts at Nimrah Cafe situated in front of Charminar and famous for its tea and bakery items. After introducing ourselves while tasting the delicious biscuits, we walked in front of the monument.
Navin explained the history of Hyderabad along with some very interesting facts like why Nizams didn’t wear any crown despite being rulers. There were some interesting observations about the design of the structure and various symbols on the walls. e.g. Did you know that each side of Charminar is designed differently ? We spent around 10 minutes and then started the walk on streets nearby.
We went to a nearby cobble streets where various shops are located. It was great to find a cobble street in Hyderabad :). Navin talked about bangles, pearls, perfumes which are sold in these shops. He also showed an old shop where naan (kind of bread) which is traditional Hyderabadi breakfast is sold. There are lots of gates in the area which are not in good condition now but hold an importance in history. e.g. there was a gate which was half kilometer from Chaumala Palace which served as entry gate in ancient times.
He also introduced to secret small doors for shops where many years back small children were employed for bangle preparation and doors were designed such that only kids can enter from it with very narrow steps. This has discontinued for good in today’s time. Our next stop was Govind Dosa Point where we had special delicious Govind Dosa. This stall has been there for more than 20 years. Contrary to popular assumption that all restaurants near Charminar would be serving non-veg food, we found pure veg restaurants in nearby streets because of presence of Marwadi community, who had been staying there from 6 or more generations.
There are a lot of small interesting things in near by area which would go unnoticed without a person who has explored the area in detail. Next Navin takes us to ‘Mitti Ka Sher’ known for obvious reasons visible in photo below :). Finally Navin brought us to a square called Charminar Kaman from where we could see 4 big structure in four directions. Charminar is visible at some 100 meters from this place. We return back to Charminar where Navin concluded the tour.
We interacted for some time about tours offered by RudBuddy.They appear a bit pricier but bring a welcome change from just taking a picture of tourist place without any information about it. Moreover the tour lead will also answer any queries about city you have and can give some useful insights. Give it a try and experience them yourself.
Note : I was hosted by RudBuddy for this tour.