Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hyderabad Trips:Mecca Masjid, Birla Temple

After our visit to Chowmahalla Palace, we thought to visit the mecca masjid nearby. It is the oldest mosque in Hyderabad city and one of the oldest and largest mosques in India. It is built by 6th Qutb Shai sultan of Golkonda. It is said that it can occupy 10, 000 worshippers at the same time!!. It is near Charminar only. U can enjoy the magnificent view of charminar if you visit this. And if you visit charminar , don’t  forget to visit this :-) :-)  It is having many tombs of kings. 

view of charminar from Mecca Masjid

The views of flying sparrows is  simply superb. One has to be there to enjoy it.  After the bomb blasts in outskirts of it, security is enhanced and strict bag checking going on there now. Still, no hindrance to those who visit without Bags except normal checking.

After that we went in Nampally bus to go to Birla Mandir. We have to get down near Ravindra Bharathi. It is nice auditorium.  Yesterday(28 jan) had something to remember for me. At the entrance , we saw a board about  a drama at 4 o’clock in Ravindra Bharathi. You may be wondering whats the speciality in that? Its quite common for dramas to be staged in Ravindra Bharathi. But that was drama in my mother tongue Kannada. Was quite amazed and didn’t expect that here. But we haven’t had tickets for that and our main aim was going to birla mandir. Moreover we were very hungry and eager to have lunch. So went to Kamath Hotel nearby. Near Birla temple you have plenty of good hotels.

     Then we went to Birla temple.Visiting timings for the temple is morning 7 to 12 . It will be closed from 12 to 2. Then from 2 in the afternoon, it will be opened again.  The way to temple is a bit uphill. The narrow path is like a street surrouned by shops in both sides. U can find religious photos, threads, coconut and other things of worship, ornaments etc.  We reached Birla temple complex.  There is also strict security. We can’t carry any electronic gadgets inside. So deposited our cell phones, cameras in the free service clock room. Ofcourse, we can take photos from outside after that. We have to keep our slippers, shoes also in the free service counter for that. Then we started climbing the steps of Birla Temple Complex.

Collection of Temples in Birla Temple

  It is actually a complex of temples. First temple is of the god who removes all troubles. Yes, Vignanivaraka Ganesha Temple.  We prayed him and after pradakshina to that temple, we went to next temple. That is of Kailasapathi. Yes, you are right again ! It is of Lord Shiva. After that we were blessed by red colour idol of Sri Hanuman Bhagavan. After that we seen one more temple of hanuman.   After that we started climbing steps again. There is a library. U can visit that if u have time. While u climb the steps, u get to see the magnificent views of Husain sagar. The budha statue, Lumbini park views are so nice from those steps that it can’t be described in words J. You can also see the views of Hyderabad city.  We also saw the picture of Dasharatha Maharaja’s Putrakameshti Yaga and other of ramarajyam.

way up
Main temple in birla temple complex is of Lord Venkateshwara. That is the top most temple there. Before we get there there is one pravesha Dwaram. The style of that is similar to that of praveshadwaram of  Nanjundeshwara templeof  Mysore. My friend from tamilnadu Santhosh told that it is same in Tamilnadu also. There we have white marble inscription of image of Krishna’s Geetopadesha to Arjuna.

   Then there is Sai Bhaba mandir in the left side when u climb. We went there . It’s a quite place for those who are in peaceful place for meditation. We enjoyed the calmness and views from that place. After that there is one more place. There you find a lift. The lift is for old age people and other s who are unable to come using steps for the temple. The view from that point is also good. To the astonishment of me and more to appreciate the people who built it, it the main sayings from almost all major religions in the world even including that of confusious.  After that we saw the Yaga shala. It is having the image of Lord Ganesh along with his 2 wives Ridhi and Siddi.

  After that we came back and started climbing the steps to Lord Venkateshwara temple. There are separate ways to ascend and descend the temple. On the walls of both the ways, there are white marble stone inscriptions from Tulsi Ramayan and corresponding verses from tulsi ramayan. After enjoying the views of those in ascending way, we entered the premises of venkateshwara temple. It is having all 10 avataras of Lord Vishnu outside the temple.  The temple is said to be constructed in Rajasthani and Utkal Style. It is also having the images of Sri Shankaracharya, Sri Ramanujacharya, and Swamiji Of Chinmaya Mission. Infront of the temple there is Garuda Temple. And Garuda Dwaja for that. Santhosh told that they call it “Kodi Maram” in Tamil. Praveshadwaram is beside Garuda Dwaja itself. Surya pointed out people throwing coins from garuda temple to a floar of praveshadwaram. There is one foot or so space there. Couldn’t get the reason behind that exactly. It may be somewhat  like if the coin stays there there wish will be satisfied. If it falls from there, wish won’t be satisfied or somewhat like that.

  There is temple of Godess Padmavati @the Right of Lord Venkateshwara and Godess Andalamma @ the left.  After praying to these deities we went inside.  The statue of Lord Venkateshwara is in Black Marble. In the entrance also there is 2 dieties welcoming and wishing us.  In the Entrance there is picture of Samudra Mathana.  We stepped in first entrance.  After that we are having the pictures of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma to the left of us or to the right of  Venkateshwara.  Then there are  those of Godess Parvati, Godess Lakshmi, Godess Saraswati in the opposite site accordingly. There is picture of Sita Rama, Radha Krishna also. Then in the centre there is lord Venkateshwara decorated beautifully with flowers. Santhosh told that Shanivar(Saturday) as . the day of Lord Venkateshwar. So we were double delighted.  After praying there, we took the prasadam and came out.

Birla Mandir@night(Courtesy:

If you happen to visit that temple in the evening, it would be more beautiful in focus light.

@ the base of Birla Temple

After seeing the main temple also there is place to sit and meditate or enjoy the magnificent views of the city from there. We decended enjoying the views. Then there is a shopping complex @ the root of the steps.  After collecting our belongings and taking some photos we returned from Birla Mandir with mind full of devotion and satisfaction.

Hyderabad Trips: Chowmahalla Palace

                It has been 6 Sundays since we are in Hyderabad and more than that since I wrote last time. In the weekends so far, We visited  some tourist attractions in Hyderabad like Salar Zang  Musuem , Char Minar, Mecca Masjid, Lumbini Park, NTR Garden , Golkonda Fort,Durgam Charu,  Birla Mandir and Chowmahalla Palace… Thought of writing was suppressed by many reasons somehow  till now. But after yesterday’s trip I couldn’t resist myself from writing.   So jolting down again in the weekend free time :-)
 Yesterday we had been to Chowmahalla palace in Hyderabad. It is built by Asaf Jah Dynasty and renovated recently in  2005. It is having 4 palaces namely Taniyat mahal, Aftab Mahal, Afzal Mahal, Mehtab Mahal. It is near to charminar and mecca maszid. It is walkable distance of 10 mins from there.  You can also get there by bus num 65, 66 (the same buses which go to charminar).  The Entry fee there is 30 Rs per head for adult Indian citizens and 150 for Foreigners. 50 Rs  extra for camera irrespective of whether it is mobile camera or digital camera J J. The happy thing is you can take photo anywhere you want in this palace (the first time I am seeing this in any palace  I visited so far) except a place which I will mention as we proceed.

First you get canteen. We thought to visit there @the end . A cool water fountain welcomed us to the Chowmahalla palace along with greenery of plants of lawn. 4 olden day missiles at four sides of the fountain were joining the party :-) we took photo infront of a Mahal and Clock tower. The big clock was showing the exact time !! and more the astonishment of all of us we came to know that the clock is showing the exact time from more than 100 years..

      Later I recalled the some wonderful  timeclocks  we saw in jantar mantar(New Delhi) and other temples although they are solar colcks and felt proud to be Indian again :-) After that we entered Darbar Hall. In the right side you have zenana photo exhibition. We visited that. It is having 2 chariot like vehilcles which were used by royal family. I think I need not mention that we took photo infront of this and all the beautiful things in the palaces throught wherever photography is not banned :-) :-) 

Royal vehicles
Darbar Hall
Then we came back to Darbar hall. It is having the throne of the king where he used to sit for darbar.It is having numerous chandeliers hanging from the artistically crafted and painted roof.  After seeing the darbar hall we went to see Hall of heritage Crafts, then to Hall of Heritage Crafts and then to hall of heritage crackery. Many girls from a highschool of hyderabad were also there with us along with us and many other touristsJ don’t  take it in other ways:-) :-) I mentioned this because they were making note of each and everything they saw in those museum.

I felt sad for sometime that had I been like them even I could have made note of those things and describe them in detail for you J But later I thought, even if I describe you won’t get the the same delight as visting and seeing them with your eyes. And there is one more chance of making you sleep if I start describing all the things I saw. So , am moving to next section that is Armory :-)

 Armory section is having all types of swords. (I remember 9 types) used by the dynasty.   There were various draggers like peshkabz, bichwa, jambia, chilanum, katar, afghan chura and many more along the description of those. There were other guns and barrels and plent y of other weapons used by the dynasty.

After that we visited Taniyat mahal.It is having tiger model and throne of king and mirrors and other things. Along with those things, it is having a unique clock named British Time Break Clock.

England Time Break Clock
     It is having a king with hucka in hand, 2 people who swing chamara(air fans) for the king and 3 musicians and many wonders. (see the picture).

  • 2 people make action for every second.
  • King rotates his head every minute.
  •  For every 15 minutes background screen will go up and people behind it will appear . A man will come and chimes the bell. After that screen comes down. . If you want to see that again, wait for another 15 minutes :-) :-)
  • At 8, 16, 24, 32nd minute you can listen to the chime sound .
  •  For each hour, background screen goes up. People behind it will appear and do some action rythemic with chime sound which appear simultaneously. In built piano sound will also be ther. After that  a man will appear and drums . Screen comes down after  that.

After that  we visited Aftab Mahal. It is about lifestyle of ladies. It is having the photos of royal family, especially the ladies of royal family. Photography is prohibited here.  After that we went to another hall having the dresses of royal family, sarees and other things. But couldn’t take any photos ther e properly there because of  glare of lighting. If you want to see the sarees, dresses and other things of royal families of those days, you can also visit Salar Zung Musuem nearby. There you can find whole collection of things like this :-)

Royal Dresses

After that we visited A collection of Vintage cars. We saw cars like 3 Fiats, Packard and many other cars. Then we saw Rolls Royce Pavillion.

Rolls Royce Pavillion
After that we went to see the Afzal mahal where crown of palace is located. But that was under renovation when we went there. So could only peek  from the windows to get some magnificent glimpses .You may be fortunate enough to see it if u plan to visit it next time . There are some old vehicles used by royal families parked in the shade of buildings here and there. 

We could take the photo of  statue of 2 men fighting there only. The last  palace, i.e Mehtab mahal is under archives dept and closed for public. Even the entrance of palaces are good. And lawns separating the way from a palace to next. So you could see people resting under the shade of trees or children playing in the lawns on the way. We enjoyed cool drinks and ice cream in the canteen mentioned earlier. With the eye full of magnificent views and mind full of happiness  we left from Chowmahal to our next destination of the trip. 

Note: Special thanks to my Friends Santhosh and Sivaraj for encouraging me to write this  and also thanks to friends Madhav, Surya,Mohan , Goutham, Anil  for the wonderful memories of the trip.