The Hyderabad Heritage Marathon on September 23, 2012 is truly a run back through history. From Chowmahalla Palace it starts and ends at the Qutub Shahi Tombs and when you finish, it will have been a crash course in all that the great city stands for. This is the route map of the full marathon.
Chowmahalla Palace or Chowmahallat (four palaces) was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty and was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. In Persian, Chahar means four and in Arabic Mahalat (plural of Mahal) means places, hence the name Chowmahallat — four places, or four palaces. All ceremonial functions and receptions for the governor-general were done at this palace. This architectural gem is said to have been modelled on the Shah of Iran’s palace in Tehran.
Mention Hyderabad to anyone from other states. Without exception, only one image comes to their minds: Charminar. On the east bank of River Musi stands tall this stately building. Charminar (four towers) was built on the orders of Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty in 1591 AD to commemorate the elimination of a plague epidemic from this city.
On the south bank of the River Musi stands one of the finest buildings in the City built in red and white stones in Saracenic style. The High Court building’s plan was drawn by Shankar Lal of Jaipur which was materialised by Mehar Ali Fazil, from the City itself. The construction started on April 15, 1915 and was completed on March 31, 1919. On April 20,1920 the High Court building was inaugurated by Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan.
The fruit market of Hyderabad was built in 1935 during the reign of the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. It was named after his second son Moazzam Jah. There are shops around here where you get excellent dil khush and fruit biscuits.
Bagh-e-Aam, more famous as Public Gardens, is a historic park located in the heart of the City of Hyderabad. Bagh-e-Aam means People’s Park. Public Gardens is home to some major landmarks in Hyderabad like the AP Legislative Assembly, Jubilee Hall, AP State Archaeology Museum, Indira Priyadarshini Auditorium, and the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University.
Taramati Baradari was a sarai (a caravan station for traders and travellers) as part of Ibrahim Bagh, a Persian style garden built during the reign of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah, the second Sultan of Golconda. The Baradari was constructed on the banks of the Musi river. The tourism department attributes the name to the reign of the Seventh Sultan of Golconda, Abdullah Qutb Shah who as an ode to his favourite courtesan, Taramati, is said to have named the sarai Taramati Baradari.
Osmansagar, or the Gandipet Lake, was named thus after the Mir Osman Ali Khan. It is an artificial lake created by damming the Musi River in 1920, for providing drinking water source for Hyderabad, and also saving the city from floods, on the lines of which Hyderabad suffered in 1908. A princely guest house called Sagar Mahal, overlooking the lake, now a heritage building, the summer resort of the last Nizam, offers the best view of the lake.
Golconda was the capital of ancient Kingdom of Golconda (1518–1687). The most important builder of Golconda was Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah Wali, the fourth Qutub king of the Qutub Shahi Dynasty. Everyone knows this trivia about the fort: the perfect acoustical system by which a hand clap sounded at the fort’s main gates, the grand portico, can be heard at the top of the citadel, situated on a 300-foot (91 m)-high granite hill.
The tombs of the seven Qutub Shahi rulers in the Ibrahim Bagh are located close to the Golconda Fort. The galleries of the smaller tombs are of a single storey while the larger ones are two storied. The domes were originally overlaid with blue and green tiles, of which only a few pieces now remain. The mausoleums of the Sultans of Golconda are great feats of architecture that have stood the test of time.