Hyderabad History

Glorious and Vibrant History 

     Though often repeated, history is always enchanting to hear. Even a royal court, which was once the symphony of thousands of chiming voices, can turn dumb one day. But a solitary pearl in a muted court hall, which is in shambles, can put together the great memories in the form of a ballet and still sing it. That song itself welcomes thousands of music notes. Though, the once historically prominent Hyderabad is cruising ahead with modern cyber musings and digital notes, it cannot be concluded that the past is the past. The Musi River, which once had carried with itself many sweet memories is now flooded with drain water. If you are enchanted to delve deeper, you can witness many civilizations that took shape on its banks. Many royal love stories and many more heartbeats of the souls of the poor still resonate along its banks. The great Telugu poet Pothana says, "Kaare Rajulu Rajyamul galgave, vaareri siri mootagattukoni povanjaalare.' In a similar way, though the kingdoms and kings have sunk into the oblivion, we are still left with the sweet stories of this beautiful city. During those days itself, the Nawabs married women of all faiths and spread the fact the feeling that affections are valued more than religion. Hyderabad remains as a memorable gift of those stories of love. Charminar stands as a beautiful jewel to this city. Today, it is an irony that, in a city which once traded pearls on its streets, water has become a scarce commercial commodity. Though the city is turning expensive on many counts, it still remains the favourite choice for a lot of people. This city cherishes itself in the memories and footsteps of many historic personalities. The fragrance of the ancient history is ubiquitous all over the city's soil.

     The exotic mix of diverse cultures which astonish the world are a unique feature of this city. It is our minimum responsibility to keep ourselves abreast about the ancient history of this city. This city, which is a mix of many traditions and as an abode for many rulers, after a decade, is gearing up for crucial elections and thereby, would spread the fragrances of a vibrant democracy. At this juncture, this is an attempt to touch and feel the hidden pearls down the history lanes and the remnant ruins of monuments which stand moot witness all-round the city. We hold pride in being citizens of this city with a great history. Along with that, to protect this city and ensure its bright future, we got a chance to seriously assess and decide the credentials of the rulers to this city. What appears here when we look back into the history, five centuries ago, when the foundations had not even been laid for this city? From that point of time, if we could join each of the droplets in the city's journey, it would result in the vast river called Hyderabad's history. And this is an attempt to have a cursory look and subtly touch the points in that magnificent journey.

     It would be surprising to know that history of our Bhagyanagaram, which is now spreading its jubilant pride world over, dates back to the period prior to Christ. But that is true. This land had given birth to many heroes and warriors, and had also been an abode to many arts and traditions. Though the foundation for the city of Hyderabad was laid in 1591, there are evidences that there were human settlements in the surrounding areas even prior to that. It was recorded that aboriginal people lived during 3000-1000 BC in the areas of Hasmathpet, Begumpet, Gachibowli, Maulali, Bowenpally, Lingampalli, Kukatpally, Gaganpahad, Uppal, Gurramguda and Miralam Tank. Of all these, the remains that were found in Hasmathpet were the most ancient. When the archaeological department had conducted excavations again in 1934, human remains and other articles from the graves were reported. But, no utensils were found here. Based on this, it can be concluded that there was human existence here even before man started making utensils. When the scientists from the archaeological department of Birla Museum conducted similar excavations in Maulali, they found some valuable materials. The antiquities unearthed in the campus of Central University in Gachibowli, also speak about the ancient history of the surrounding places of Hyderabad.

     Coming to the historical era, historical evidences found in the surrounding villages of Hyderabad, like Kondapur, point to the fact that all this area was initially under the Mauryan rule and later under the Andhra Satavahana’s rule. After the fall of Satavahana empire, Vishnukundinas, who ruled the vast regions of Andhra, made Keesaragutta, a suburb of Hyderabad, as their capital city for some period. The rock inscriptions which were found at the Narasimhaswamy temple in Chaitanyapuri, suggest that that place was a Buddhist aaramam during the reign of Vishnukundinas. Badami Chalukyas ruled this place after Vishnukundinas. After that, this region was ruled by Rashtrakutas and Kalyani Chalukyas and their inscriptions were found in Chilkur, near Gandipet. After Kalyani Chalukyas, Andhra region was ruled by Kakatiyas. Their capital city was Orugallu(Warangal). The credit of unification of all the Telugu speaking regions goes to them. It is evident that Prince Rudradeva, the son of second Prola Raja (1116-1157 A.D.) of this dynasty, as a royal representative, ruled the region of Hyderabad too, along with the areas of Raigir and Bhongir of Nalgonda district. Following the history of the Dhyaananjaneya Swamy temple in Karmanghat, it is understood that it was built by Rudradeva himself in 1143 A.D.. Local folklores point to the fact that it is Rudradeva himself who had built the Golkonda fort, which later played a prominent role in Andhra history. Historical evidence suggest that the name Golkonda came into local parlance through the word Gollakonda, as Gollas(Yadavas) lived on that hill during that time. Rudradeva might have built this fort to prevent the onslaught of conquests from Devagiri rulers. It can be firmly believed that Rudradeva, who built Karmanghat temple and Golkonda Fort, might have lived in this city for a period of time. During that time, the village at which Golkonda was situated is called Manugallu. In 1323, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, by ending the Kakatiya Empire, established the rule of Delhi Sultanate in Andhra region. But, Allauddin Hassan Bahmani, his lieutenant, revolted against him and established Bahmani Sultanate in 1347 with Daulatabad as its capital. After the fall of Kakatiyas, the Prolayanayaka and Kaapayanayaka of the Musunoor dynasty had freed the Andhra region from the Delhi rule. They brought all the area from Bidar to Bay of Bengal under their control. Conflict was inevitable between the leaders of Musunoor and the Bahmani Sultans who wanted to spread their territories to the south. To sustain the conquests of Bahmanis, Kaapayanayaka had further fortified Golkonda.

Construction of Hyderabad City

     Of all the tasks undertaken by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the most immemorial one was the construction of the city on the south of Musi River, as planned by his father. He laid the foundation for this in 1591. It is known that the auspicious time for this was decided by following the Hindu and Muslim almanacs. The foundation stone for the city was laid at such a time when the Moon was in Leo phase and when Jupiter was in his original position. Historians are of the opinion that this was designed by Aleem, an architect, inspired from the famous Iranian city of Isfahan. Due to this, Quli Qutb Shah’s Prime Minister Mir Momin, who had also played a vital role in the construction of Hyderabad, referred to it as ‘New Isfahan.’