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 Beyond Hyderabad

Chronicling 400 years of Hyderabad's history is not easy. Especially history as rich and diverse as that of Hyderabad.  For the ancient capital of the Nizams empire is, today, a happening place.  Explore the by lanes, taste the roadside foodstuff and smell the entrepreneurial excitement in the air, get a whiff of the nostalgia. Today Hyderabad is a blend of the old and the new, the emerging character unique and trend-setting in India.

Catch a glimpse of an era spanning the glorious Qutub Shahi, the Asif Jahi and the Nizam dynasties who left their indomitable stamp on the city. Take a stroll down memory lane by browsing through a list of important dates and significant events, the turning points in Deccani history. 

The Heritage of the Qutb Shahis of Golconda and Hyderabad/M.A. Nayeem. Hyderabad, Hyderabad Pub., 2006, xxii, 385 p., figs., maps, plans, $85. ISBN 81-85492-23-9.

Contents: Preface. I. Evolution, Rise and fall of the Qutb Shahi Kingdom: 1. Political background - disintegration of the Bahmani Kingdom. 2. Rise and fall of the Qutb Shahi Kingdom (924 - 1099 /1518-1687). 3. The five phases of Qutb Shahi diplomatic history. 4. Political institutions, administrative and military organization. 5. Iran - Golconda - Hyderabad relations and Iranian impact. II. Architecture: Golconda: 1. Characteristic features of Qutb Shahi architecture. 2. Architecture of Golconda, Hyderabad and other regions of the kingdom. 3. Golconda Fort (Muhammad Nagar). 4. Qutb Shahi Tombs in Golconda. 5. Mosques within the fort and around Golconda (upto Puranapul). 6. Subterranean summer palace. 7. Pavilions. 8. Shaikhpet Sarai. 9. Karwan commercial centre. 10. Pul-i-Nauras (Puranapul). 11. Tombs / Dargahs of Sufi saints. III. Architecture: Hyderabad: 1. Charminar. 2. Charkaman. 3. Palaces and Pavilions. 4. Mosques and Idgah. 5. Ashurkhanas. 6. Daru'shifa. 7. Tombs / Dargahs. 8. Sultan Nagar Fort. IV. Architecture: Other Regions of the Kingdom: 1. Kovilkonda, Bhongir, Kondapalli, Penukonda and Cumbum. V. Famous Golconda diamonds. VI. Paintings -- (A) Miniature and large size, (B) Qalamkari. VII. Costumes and jewellery. VIII. Arms and Armour. IX. Numismatics: 1. Qutb Shahi coins. 2. Coins current in Golconda. X. Miscellaneous Antiquities: 1. From subterranean palace excavation in Golconda and the tombs. 2. Antiquities from Inner Golconda Fort. 3. Antiquities from Outer Golconda Fort. 4. Antiquities from Kovilkonda Fort. XI. Calligraphy and epigraphic heritage. XII. Archival and literary heritage. Appendices: 1. Genealogy of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. 2. The Qutb Shahi Sultans. 3. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.

"This is first comprehensive and profusely illustrated book which brings under one cover almost all the existing antiquities of heritage of the multi-faceted Qutb Shahi culture of Golconda - Hyderabad. The Qutb Shahi Kingdom was one of the five off-shoots of the Bahmani Kingdom (1347-1518). Sultan - Quli Qutbul Mulk, an emigrant from Hamadan (Iran), who was appointed governor of the Bahmani province of "Telangana" in 1496, assumed autonomous rule, on the disintegration of the Bahmani Kingdom. But he never declared independence nor he assumed royal titles even when the parent state had disappeared. At the time of appointment as governor, Golconda was granted as Jagir (fief) to Sultan  - Quli by the Bahmani Sultan. He made Golconda "(Golla-Konda)" his provincial capital and named in "Muhammadnagar", and form it evolved, in course of time, the Golconda kingdom. Sultan Quli built the first inner forts of Golconda. Ibrahim Qutb Shah expanded it by building outer fort. Later, new fort added. The fifth ruler Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah founded the new city of Hyderabad, in 1591 and named it after the fourth Caliph of Islam Hazrat Ali's title "Haider" (City of Haider). It was planed by Iranians as Safahan-i-Nawi (New Isfahan) Golconda and Hyderabad became the rendezvous of men of learning and flourished as multi-national and multi-racial cities, with people flocking to it from Iran, Turkey, Central Asia, North India and other regions of the Deccan. The rulers patronised learned men from these countries. Further, with ethnic and Shiah ideological link between Iran and the Qutb Shahs, there was a constant influx of Iranians and they had profound impact on all walks of life and culture. During the course of Qutb Shahi rule of 175 lunar years, Golconda, Hyderabad became the cradle of cultures and a nucleus of composite cultures with the unique architectural monuments of distinct Qutb Shahi style which are the living heritage. Around 1680, when the kingdom was at his height, it covered not only the present boundaries of Andhra Pradesh, but it extended beyond Chennai, St. Thome, ports of Orissa etc. This magnum opus on the Qutb Shahis tries to recapture the sublime spirit of the opulent oriental life and culture as rendered by its aesthetic architecture, art, pulsating paintings, costumes, jewellery, arms, Armour numerous other antiquities, which are brought to light and published for the first time. Being secular rulers they patronized Muslims, Hindus and Christians alike the Hindus occupied top most positions, like Prime Minister, commander-in-chief of the army etc. and were recruited at all levels.

Europeans too were employed and they were given extra-ordinary concessions to establish factories within the kingdom. They patronized Persian, Telugu, Urdu and Arabic languages. Most of the royal orders or farmans, were bilingual in Persian and Telugu. It represented unity in diversity. The composite civilization that evolved came to be known first as "Deccani", and later became popular as the "Hyderabadi Culture". A  glance of the table of contents reveals the wide variety of topics covered and documented by original photographs (mostly taken by the author himself during his field survey) of architecture, and that of antiquities acquired from various museum, both Indian and foreign and from the State Department of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, Idare-I-Adabiyati Urdu, and personal collections. The history of high level of grandeur and sophistication is explored by Dr. Nayeem in this very vivid account substantiated by nearly seven hundred photographs, all in multi-colour, except a few. Another unique aspect of this study is the detailed Historical Map of Golconda Fort, prepared by the author map of the inner forts etc. Numerous plans, and lay-out of various buildings, palaces complex in Golconda Fort, etc. substantiate the study. This splendid work, an outcome of several years' research, is a broad based study that integrates diverse elements and present a synthesized panoramic survey of the chief constituents of the oriental culture. The author brilliantly treats the historical frame work in chronological order, highlighting the salient aspects of each ruler's reig,. Including also Iran's relations with Golconda-Hyderabad, political institutions, administrative and military organization etc. Then in the following eleven chapters the author describes the different antiquities."

Hyderabad is a heady mixture of history,heritage, hospitality and a thriving hitech revolution.

Sultan Quli Qutb Shah laid the foundation of the new city and named it "haiderabad"( city of haider) after the titile of the fourth caliph of islam hazrat ali.

The new city was also called bagh-nagar(city of gardens) as it was replete with gardens and groves.

The State had its own currency, mint, railways, flag and postal system. Soon after India gained independence, Hyderabad State merged with the Union of India. On November 1, 1956 the map of India was redrawn into linguistic states, and Hyderabad became the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

The History
The history of Hyderabad begins with the establishment of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. Quli Qutub Shah seized the reins of power from the Bahamani kingdom in 1512 and established the fortress city of Golconda. Inadequacy of water, and frequent epidemics of plaque and cholera persuaded Mohammad, the fifth Quli Qutub Shahi ruler to venture outward to establish the new city with the Charminar as its center and with four great roads fanning out in the four cardinal directions. Hyderabad's fame, strategic location and Golconda's legendary wealth attracted Aurangazeb who captured Golconda after a long siege in 1687. After this defeat the importance of Hyderabad declined and the city fell into partial ruin. As the Mughal Empire decayed and began to disintegrate, the viceroy, Asaf Jah I proclaimed himself the Nizam and established independent rule of the Deccan. Hyderabad once again became a major capital city, ruled by successive Nizams of the Asaf Jah dynasty until the state was merged into the Indian Union in 1948.

Hyderabad was modeled after Isfaan in Iran and built under the supervision of the prime minister Mir Momin, a poet, architect and an aesthete-like his master. He tried to create a replica of Paradise itself to suit Muhammad Quli’s status as the greatest of the Qutb Shahi rulers. The city was completed in 1592. It has a grid plan of two broad intersecting streets with the Charminar as a kind of triumphal arch at the center. The French traveler, Tavernier in 1652, compared Hyderabad to Orleans ‘well built and opened out’ and in 1672, Abbe Carr was much impressed by the city as the center of all trade in the East.

Making Of The Twin City - Secunderabad
In 1798, a subsidiary alliance for military and political cooperation was signed between the Nizam and the British East India Company. Thereafter an area north of what is now the Hussain Sagar Lake was established as a cantonment. The area was named Secunderabad after the then Nizam, Sikander Jah. Both Hyderabad and Secunderabad grew together and have now merged. An imaginary line drawn across the Tank bund is still used to distinguish the two cities.

Aurangzeb died in 1707, seven years after the death of the last Qutb Shahi ruler, Abul Hasan Tana Shah in prison in 1700. The Mughal governor of Hyderabad, Mir Kamruddin Khan, titled Nizam-ul-Mulk, declared independence and started the Asaf Jahi dynasty. The waning Mughal power found itself helpless against forces of disintegration. But the Nizams were fabulously rich and stories of their hordes of gold, diamonds and pearls spread far and wide. Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam before Hyderabad merged into the Union of India, was among the world’s wealthiest individuals. Prior to their treaty with the British, the Nizams had good relations with the French. Monsieur Raymond, a French adventurer and commander of the Nizam’s troops, earned great respect of the people. A 23-feet-high granite obelisk inscribed JR stands on a hill in Saururnagar in memory of this trusted lieutenant of the Nizams, who couldn’t stand the growth British influence.

Pre Nizam Era
After the fall of the Mauryan Empire, the history of the Andhras, as a continuous account of political and cultural events, commences with the rise of the Satavahanas as a political power They ruled over the Andhradesa including Deccan for about 400 years from the 2nd century B.C. to beyond the 2nd century A.D. Satavahanas were also called Salivahanas and Satakarnis. The Deccan, during this period, was an emporium of inland and maritime trade. The region between the rivers of Godavari and Krishna was full of ports and throbbing with activity. There was plentiful currency to facilitate trade and the Telugus entered upon a period of great industrial, commercial and maritime activity. Buddhism flourished throughout the period and at the same time the rulers were devoted to Vedic ritualism. They constructed several Buddhist Stupas, Chaityas and Viharas. The Stupa at Amaravati is known for its architecture par excellence. Satavahanas were not only the able rulers but were also lovers of literacy and architecture. The decline and fall of the Satavahana empire left the Andhra country in a political chaos. Local rulers as well as invaders tried to carve out small kingdoms for themselves and to establish dynasties. During the period from A.D.180 to A.D.624, Ikshvakus, Brihatphalayanas, Salankayanas, Vishnukundins, Vakatakas, Pallavas, Anandagotras, Kalingas and others ruled over the Andhra area with their small kingdoms. Such instability continued to prevail until the rise of the Eastern Chalukyas

Brief History
The Qutb Shahi dynasty founded the Kingdom of Golconda, one of the five kingdoms that emerged after the break up of the Bahamani Kingdom. The Qutb Shahis ruled the Deccan for almost 171 years.All the seven rulers were patrons of learning and were great builders. They contributed to the growth and development of Indo-Persian and Indo-Islamic literature and culture in Hyderabad. During the Qutb Shahi reign Golconda became one of the leading markets in the world of diamonds, pearls, steel for arms, and also printed fabric. The glory of the Golconda kingdom ended in 1687, after a valiant struggle. Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal ruler, captured Golconda after a siege that lasted eight months. Abul Hasan Tana Shah, the last king of Golconda, was imprisoned at Daulatabad, where he died after twelve years in captivity. With the conquest of the Deccan and the South, Aurangzeb succeeded in expanding the Mughal Empire to cover the entire sub-continent. However, after his death in 1707, the Empire rapidly declined. At that time , the Deccan was administered by a Subedar or viceroy of the Mughal Emperor. Mir Quamaruddin, the Governor of the Deccan, who bore the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk Feroze Jung Asif Jah, declared his independence from Mughal rule in 1724. He thus became the first Nizam and the founder of the Asif Jahi dynasty. Asif Jah I continued to maintain Aruangabad, which had been founded by the Mughal rulers as the capital of his new state. In 1769, Nizam Ali Khan Asif Jah II, shifted the capital to Hyderabad. The seven Nizam's of the Asif Jahi dynasty ruled the Deccan for nearly 224 years, right up to 1948. During the Asif Jahi period, Persian, Urdu, Telgu and Marathi developed simultaneously. The highest official positions were given to deserving persons irrespective of their religion. Persian was the official language up to 1893 and then Urdu up to 1948. When the British and the French spread their hold over the country, the Nizam soon won their friendship without bequeathing his power. The title "Faithful. Ally of the British Government" was bestowed on Nizam VII. The British stationed a Resident at Hyderabad, but the state continued to be ruled by the Nizam. The rule of the seven Nizam's saw the growth of Hyderabad both culturally and economically. Huge reservoirs, like the Nizam Sagar, Tungabadra, Osman Sagar, Himayath Sagar, and others were built. Survey work on Nagarjuna Sagar had also begun during this time. Hyderabad, under the Nizam's, was the largest princely state in India. Area wise it was as big as England and Scotland put together.

Hitech (IT Influence)
The e-world is already here. New economy is everywhere around and city is buzzing the mantra of information technology. A revolution that has already attracted Microsoft to set up its only overseas base here. Hyderabad is called as the second Silicon Valley in India after Bangalore. Hyderabad has a Software Technology Park with leading industries like Intergraph, UUNET, TCS, Wipro, Baan, Satyam, Park International, etc. Despite the prevailing slowdown in the IT sectors, construction activity is going on at full swing in the exclusive high-tech district of Cyberabad. Builders constructing technology parks are counting on the emergence of demand for space within a year. The real estate market in Hyderabad is inseparably linked to the fortunes of information technology -land prices and rentals rise fall and rise in tune with the boom and slump in the IT sector. But in Cyberabad, the exclusive IT district on the city outskirts, the real estate market has shaken off the prevailing IT slowdown, much ahead of the IT companies themselves. Even casual visitors will not miss the busy construction activity going on in the area: three more technology parks are coming up in the area which already boasts of HiTec City and multi-storeyed buildings of Wipro and other IT giants.Besides, HSBC has inaugurated its second global centre here. Construction is completed at Cyber Gateway (i.e. phase two of HiTec City) by L&T and the Techno park and E-park by SDE engineers. Both E-park and Techno Park have space of 2.25 lakh sft (12 floors) and 2.10 lakh sft (nine floors), respectively.

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