On a recent work trip to Hyderabad, I planned to spend an extra evening to visit a dear cousin. And as I was looking at Google maps to instruct the taxi driver, I realized that they lived fairly close to Hussainsagar. This is the iconic landmark of Hyderabad and among the few memories I retain of the few weeks I spent in the city during the 1970s, when my parents lived there for a few years.
In those days the Tank Bandh, along the lake side was the main artery joining Hyderabad and Secunderabad. But the rest of the lake perimeter was undeveloped and just ?? jungle. In the subsequent decades, the city has grown all around the lake. A perimeter road runs all around the lake, predominantly the effort of Chandrababu Naidu during his charismatic first term as CM.
As I discussed the possibility of taking a morning walk around the lake, my sister and brother-in-law pitched in with suggestions and wanted join the walk. The nearest point on the lake, was only a couple of kilometers away as he crow flies – but an inconvenient railway line with no overbridge, made it further away. I dismissed the suggestion, that we could run across the tracks as not many trains plied on the route. We set off at 5.30am, planning to catcjh an auto to take us the 3 odd Kms to the lake – but finally ended up walking all the way as we could not get an auto.
We climbed over the foot-bridge at the Necklace Road station, just as the sun was rising – the beautiful view of the sunrise over the lake, the hordes of pigeons and of course, the legacy of the previous days visitors (so much for Swach Bharat)!! The Necklace Road, has lovely walking paths all around the lake, the whole perimeter being probably about 8-9 Kms. It is interspersed with many parks and recreation areas, all of which were closed as we went past. It is fairly green and well maintained
So, we walked about 75% of the perimeter, past the Birla Temple which was one of the few landmarks I could relate to and right across the tank Bandh. And as in any other Indian city, one cannot walk this distance without coming across a part of history – in this case the Darga Hazrat Syed Shah Sharifuddin!
And then it was warming up, and so we headed home, after a filter-coffee stop, a most rewarding mornings activity!