Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shopping at Charminar



A stunning and an elegant monument lies in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, which holds a special place not only in the hearts of tourists but also shopaholics! It is a solid structure that stands tall and erect in the bustling city. A favourite destination for all which can never let you down. Good food, excellent shopping and lots of walking are guaranteed. If you don’t mind the heat, the place can cater to all your demands. But if you do, try going to the ‘four towers’ at night. The lights around the place will be fascinating to your eyes. That is the magic of the strong monument- the Charminar.

As I walked towards it, the first thought that flashed in my mind was how tall it was! The four towers (minarets) looked graceful rising high in the sky. I entered inside and looked around closely. There was a small fountain in the very center with water gushing from it continuously. Small plants were seen in the pots near the fountain. People had to buy tickets to go to the upper floors. Some were busy clicking group photos whereas some just hung around. Youngsters preferred to go upstairs whereas some old people decided to stay back because of the climbing. To go upstairs, people had to go in a single queue. I realized later why.

After some time, when I joined such a queue, I was sandwiched between the walls. It was annoying. Climbing the stairs meant going through a closed passage that had only two openings. One at the bottom through which we entered and the other on the upper floor. It was semi-dark and crammed.There was hardly any place for even stretching your arms. There was only room enough for climbing the steps slowly in the forward direction. People were climbing the stairs with a lot of annoyance and irritating coughs. In front of me stood a man who started coughing loudly and kept on with it until we had reached the upper landing. As soon as he breathed in the fresh air, his coughing stopped automatically! As for me, I had covered my stole neatly around my face and got rid of it only after coming in the open air. Phew!

The monument was magnificent from inside as well. On looking down from the tower, I could see the busy city.




The walls were ancient. But here I got a bit angry. As usual, there were funny writings and names written by people. Some scratches around the walls. Seriously, is nothing anymore sacred? Why do some people have to ruin their own country’s monument? As I walked on, I saw many more proofs of silly human writings on the old walls.

By the time I came down, the heat had lessened a bit. But the crowd had just increased somehow. After taking a last look at Charminar, I turned and moved forwards for the most exciting part-shopping! There were ample of shops and vendors around spread on the streets. Shops selling colorful bangles, long necklaces and dangling earrings were the most crowded. Pearl necklaces were in high demand and the shops selling them were big and comforting. They provided long stools to sit on and produced many varieties of pearl jewellery they had to select from. I got into a serious argument with one of the shopkeepers while buying a pearl necklace over its price. Small shops sold purses, handbags and clothes at a reasonable rate. The crowd mostly comprised of young girls and women. There were food shops which sold ice-creams and juices. Because of the heat, these shops were most sought after.  So pay attention girls. Forget about shopping malls. Whatever items you get in a mall, the same item could be bargained at a better price at Charminar. That is if you know how to bargain and don’t give in easily to the shopkeeper’s price! And bargaining is every women’s birth right, isn't it?!

When the sun was finally setting, I was ready to go. My purse had become considerably light and my camera’s battery low. My mobile showed seven missed calls. I quickly went through them and one of them turned out to be an important call. I dialed and talked while going to a nearby bus stop to catch the city bus. As I walked away from the Charminar, I could see many people coming towards it walking past me. What was it about the place that come what may, morning or night, people still continued coming to it? I wondered. And with a last look at the towering monument and its magnificence in twilight, I bade it goodbye. Till I come again!











  

   



16 comments:

  1. Did you taste Irani chai near by charminar???

    ReplyDelete
  2. The heat was too much for a chai!!
    Instead I tucked in ice-creams!

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow....you got lucky to see the view from charminar.....i went there in 1999 but could not get a view as going to the top was not allowed at that time :)

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  4. The first photograph is majestic ! But i would visit in a relatively cooler season :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliment. And yes, its better to visit the monument in a cooler season...but people like me cannot resist travelling even if its summer!:-)

      Delete
  5. Terrific captures of monument.

    ReplyDelete
  6. good pics. Liked the post.
    www.duringmytimes.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Amazing shots! I have been there many years back. So, this brought back old memories...thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Charminar is a majestic but difficult monument to shoot, thanks to its cramped surroundings. You have extracted remarkable images nevertheless and made it all the more lively by your spicy narration of the surrounding market.

    ReplyDelete
  9. nice clicks! especially the first one :)

    And there are so many places to visit in Hyderabad! you got to come for atleast a week to cover all the tourist spots in the city :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And I am already acquainted with all the tourist places in the city because I have previously lived in Hyd for four years.

      Delete