Culture · Daily Life · Events · People · Uncategorized · Urban

Bahubali 2 – a mega blockbuster

This has to go down as my first time in a theatre on a “first day – first show”.  Its another matter altogether that I did not intend to watch the movie itself.

The day: 28th April 2017, about 10 am

The movie: Bahubali-The Conclusion

Location: Sudarshan theatre, RTC Crossroads.

When I read that – BookMyShow (an online portal for selling movie tickets) had claimed to have sold a million tickets – two days before the release of ‘Bahubali-The Conclusion’ (!!) –  I was eager to see the craze for myself. Friends and family were keen to know if I was sure – I am habituated to watching a flick only on its way out even it has a rating of a 5* and comes highly recommended. But hey who said I wanted to watch this movie today itself?

A promotional poster featuring Prabhas and the leading lady Anushka Shetty

With its grand sets and epic performances, Baahubali-2 was the most-anticipated film of the year. The film had released in 6,500 screens, which is highest ever in Indian history.

The question “Why Kattappa Killed Bahubali” even got its own hashtag after the film’s poster and trailers and the first look were out.

Drumrolls were the order of the day – drumming up the celebrations as well as the hype.


A huge garland for ……
……for the larger-than-life Bahubali!!
One of those rare movies where the director as well as the antagonist get their hoardings!
Can we believe Bahubali gets an abhishekam (milk poured over his head) amidst all the fanfare?


The ardent fans ensure Bahubali enters their digital world as well!!

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Architecture · Art · Culture · Heritage · Landscape · Monument · Uncategorized

Back to life

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A month ago, I had an opportunity to visit the Qutb Shahi tombs site and had a (brief) look at the restoration activities and to say that it is a mega project would be an understatement.

The entire restoration project is divided into three phases and each phase is planned such that the visitors can move about freely in the rest of the site.

The three years of restoration work has infused life into the weather beaten mausoleums at the Quli Qutb Shahi tombs complex near Golconda fort. The sparkling white domes of the renovated structures are a contrast to the older monuments that patiently await their turn for a makeover.

Although the Quli Qutb Shah tombs’ complex is commonly referred to as ‘Saat Gumbaz’ or ‘Seven tombs’, it encompasses a total of 75 structures comprising 40 mausoleums, 23 mosques, six baolis (step-wells), a hamam (mortuary bath), an Idgah, pavilions, garden structures and enclosure walls spread across an expanse of 108 acres.

The tombs (close to the main entrance) that are scheduled for phase II and III seem to wait for their turn to get a facelift – Originally the Badi Baoli and Fatima Sultana’s tomb was planned as a part of phase II but due to collapse of a wall in the Baoli due to rain and the plinth of Fatima’s tomb – they were included in Phase I

The complex is an example of rare architectural splendor and was selected for conservation by the Government of Telangana. The objective was to restore the grandeur of the site and develop it as an urban archaeological park called Quli Qutb Shah Archaeological Park.  The aim was to showcase and ensure long term preservation as well as enhance understanding of the monuments that stand within its boundaries.

The main aim of the project is to ensure long term preservation of the monuments which is achieved by using traditional materials and craftsmen. Only traditional building materials like lime mortar and stone are used.

Badi Baoli – the 400-year-old step well that collapsed in 2013 now collects enough water to fulfil the needs of the restoration activities at the site


The revival of Badi Baoli, one of the six step wells within the complex, is probably as remarkable as the 400-year-old quadrangular structure used for water storage. In a span of three years, starting from a collapsed condition in 2013, it has become completely functional and collected about 33 lakh liters of water during the monsoon of 2016, which is now used within the site for the restoration activities.

The terrace of the Hamam or mortuary bath is now devoid of any vegetation.
The Idgah which stands to the south of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah’s tomb, is one of the earliest structures constructed by Sultan Quli Qutb Shah
The tomb of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad is the most grand and stands on a pavilion
The ceiling of Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah after the restoration works are complete.
On the external walls of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah’s tomb, portions of the original intricate glazed tile work are still visible.
The Southern Gate, connected to the Golconda fort through an underground passage, was used as a processional pathway to bring the body to the tomb site for burial ceremonies

It is common belief that a body was brought to the tomb complex for burial from Golconda through an underground passage. An archival photograph suggested the possibility of a processional path way connecting the Golconda Fort with the tomb complex.

Excavations were conducted at a depression found south of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah’s tomb that revealed an arched gateway. This gate over which a mosque stands, would have been the processional path that was preferred for entry to the tombs during burial ceremonies.

The finer details of patterns in the stucco plaster on Sultan Qutb-ul-Mulk’s tomb (the first Qutb Shahi King) have been restored.
The tombs that are scheduled under the first phase of the restoration.
Among the tombs that are restored, the tomb of the second Qutb Shahi king, Jamshed Qutb Shah stands tall and is unique with its octagonal base.

The restoration project also envisages landscaping in about 15 acres as part of the Qutb Shah Heritage Park. Activities like tree and bird mapping have been conducted and various species of both have been identified. These studies will help improve the bio-diversity of the Qutb Shah Heritage Park as well as aid in creating an ecological zone with introduction of suitable tree species and development of a bird habitat typical of the region.

You could read the entire piece that was published in the Wow!Hyderabad Magazine Apr 2017 issue

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Architecture · Heritage · Landscape · Monument · Uncategorized

Monsieur Raymond’s tomb

6. Raymonds Tomb

On the top of a hillock near Asmangadh, stands the tomb of Monsieur Raymond, or General Michel Joachim Marie Raymond.  Monsieur Raymond was a French General in Nizam’s military and was also the founder of Gunfoundry Hyderabad.

In 1775, Raymond set out for Pondicherry to start a merchant shop, but eventually joined the service of the ruling Nizam of Hyderabad in 1786. In 1796, he was appointed Controller of Ordinance and established several cannon and cannonball factories. Guns, ammunition and cannons were forged under his guidance.

Raymond was not only a close friend of the second Nizam, but also won the love and trust of the local people. He was known for his kindness, and bravery. The place where his tomb is constructed is called Moosa-ram-bagh, after him.

The tomb is conical with a square base and of 7 metres in height and has the letters JR engraved on it. The Nizam built the pavilion which collapsed during 2001 and was rebuilt in 2003.

In 1798, Raymond had an untimely and mysterious death. The cause is not known ; some believe he was poisoned while others suspect he may have committed suicide.

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HydandSeek as a book!


The blog has remained dormant for sometime now…but I return with good news.

It is not often that something which starts as a simple creative side project eventually takes the form of a book and is on the shelves at bookstores, today.
The book has been conceptualised, designed and published by Blue Pencil Creative. It was launched at the Hyderabad Literary Festival 2015 and received great feedback and reviews.

If you are in Hyderabad you could pick up a copy of HydandSeek at any of these locations
BookPoint, Narayanguda
Saptaparni, Banjara Hills
The Secret Garden, Hotel Avasa, Madhapur

For those interested in procuring a copy of HydandSeek from other cities in India, please send an email to the[dot]bookpoint@orientblackswan[dot]com. You will receive instructions in an email. The payment mode is via bank transfer and the cost of the book is Rs 750/- including shipping.

As always, thank you all for your support and good wishes and get your copy today!

PS: Do follow us on our Facebook page for more recent updates.

Architecture · Daily Life · Heritage · Monument · Uncategorized

Khurshid Jah Baradari

The images that were seen in the last few posts were the interiors and details of the Khurshidjah Baradari, known more for the playground and cricket club than its history and heritage.

Although it is called a Baradari, the twelve doors aren’t present. Instead you see eight iconic  imposing pillars supporting the pediment , reminiscent of the Residency.  It is also known as Devdi of Nawab Khurshidjah Bahadur. [ A devdi is  a noble mansion where the noblemen of Hyderabad lived. They comprised of grand halls, serene courtyards, and vast spaces] The courtyard of this monument is said to have a star-shaped fountain, and to the west stands the Ishrat Mahal which was used as a court room.  The mansion was designed by Khurshid Jah’s grandfather, Shams-ul-Umara Amee-c-Kabir and on his death was completed by Khurshid Jah’s father.

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A ceiling in one of the inner chambers of the same monument seen here. I was hesitant to click the lower half as people lived there ( people live there, even though they do not look like they own the place. )

All the images on this blog are protected by copyright. Please do not copy, blog or repost in ANY way. If you wish to use them please get in touch with me through email.