Punjagutta literally means a palm impression on a hillock. A visitor offers his prayers to what is believed to be an imprint of the palm of Hazrat Ali on top of the hillock.
Nestled on a hilltop between precariously balancing rocks and a tamarind tree this shrine is said to be almost as old as the city itself. While the ashoorkhana was built during the Qutb Shahi rule, the mosque was a recent addition. From the top one can see a few weather crafted rocks that fortuitously survived the rampant modernization in the bustling centre.
It is quite awe-inspiring to imagine how the palm-impression was formed. The palm impression also has another impression at a distance of 2 feet to suggest that of a knee. A little away from the palm and knee impression is yet another impression to suggest that of the hoof of a horse.
While it was astonishing to discover something of historic value amidst this mini corporate jungle – what was more surprising was the fact that there until I reached the foot of the place not a soul knew about the Punjagutta Pahad. The encroachments do not make the experience pleasurable and it is equally disconcerting to know that neither this gem nor the rocks have been listed under the archaeological monuments.
If the rocks around would talk, I wonder if anyone would take heed.
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