MUNICIPAL BUILDING- SECUNDERABAD TODAY'S MUNICIPAL BUILDING-
|The year 1869 saw the birth
of Municipal administration in Hyderabad. For municipal
purposes, the city was divided into four parts and the
suburbs into five parts. The whole management was placed
under a Municipal Superintendent. Two municipalities,
Hyderabad city and Chaderghat, were designed.
--------------------------------PWD OF TODAY
The first Public Works Department was created in
1868 when a Chief Engineer was appointed along with a
staff of engineers, and a code compiled for their guidance.
The Chief Engineer exercised a general control over the
department and audited the entire expenditure. The State
was divided into 14 districts, each under a District Engineer.
Organised by the Bombay Telephone Company, a Telephone
Department was first formed in 1884. The company worked
for 8 months, after which the Department was taken over
by the State. The principal nobles of the State, wealthy
private individuals and other important officials, were
subscribers to the system. The annual upkeep cost around
Rs 15, 000 and the fees collected from the non-official
class of subscribers amounted to Rs 10, 000. The total
number of offices and dwelling houses to which the wires
were laid were 154, including 71 State installments.
----------------------- THE 1ST SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
The first English public school in Hyderabad, called St
George's School, was founded by a clergyman of the
Church of England in 1834. Later, many Roman Catholic
Missionaries found their way into the city. An Arabic
and a Persian school were also founded in the city at
about the same time by Amir-i-Kabir, a liberal patron
of learning and a mathematician. State education commenced
in 1854, when a school called the Dar-ul-Ulum was founded
for boys in the city near Madina.
In 1859, orders were issued directing that two schools
- one Persian and the other vernacular - should be opened
in each taluq, and one at the head quarters of each district.
Mahaboobia Girls School was the first girls school in
Hyderabad. In 1872, there were 16 schools in the city
and suburbs, and English was taught in one of the schools.
In 1880, the Chaderghat High School was affiliated to
the Madras University; it was raised to the rank of a
Grade I college in 1881.
The first Medical Institute in the State was the Hyderabad
Medical School founded in 1846. At first, the education
was imparted in Urdu, but in 1884 English became the medium
The British Post Office in the Nizam's State was established
in 1783. British post offices existed in the State even
in 1817, and Hyderabad was no exception. The postmen used
to function as a mobile post offices delivering and writing
letters. The postal department's origin on scientific
principles can be credited to Nawab Juvab Ali Khan, Mukhtan-at-mulla
and Sir Salarjung, the Prime Minister of the Hyderabad
State. Salar Jung's services in 1857 helped in the origin
and reform of the postal department. In the great historical
year of 1857, the State Postal Department was established
and the Head Post Office of Hyderabad was created. Sadar
Tappa Khana was the first post office established in Hyderabad
in 1863. By the end of 1893, there were six letter boxes.
The library movement was a popular movement and derived
its motivation, strength and direction from the people.
Innumerable small libraries and reading rooms were established
everywhere in the State from 1901. The government provided
money for libraries. The head of a library was designated
as a superintendent. A State library called Qutub Khana-e-
Asafia was set up and housed in the office of the Directorate
of Public Instructions on the Malguzari Road. Later, it
was shifted to the government building at Abids that now
houses the General Post Office. Renowned scholar Syed
Ali Hyder Tabatabayi was the first Superintendent. Today,
the State Central Library, the first library of Hyderabad,
is kept open from 7 am to 11 am and 3 pm to 9 pm. It remains
closed for 17 days in a year. Members are entitled to
borrow two books at a time. Membership fees was Rs 2 per
month with a deposit of Rs 15. The present building of
the State Central Library in Afzalgunj was completed in
-------------------------MAJESTIC IN RED AND WHITE
The present High Court building was constructed
in 1918. Initially, it was located at the Old Patthargatti
area. But the disastrous Musi floods of 1908 affected
this building, particularly the record room. In 1912,
the High Court was shifted to a building owned by Salar
Jung in Chatta Bazar, near the place where the new building
of the City Civil Court today stands. The construction
of the High Court building was started on April 15, 1915
and was completed on March 31, 1918. The amount expended
was around Rs 19 lakhs.
The earliest section of railways to be surveyed and constructed
in the State of Hyderabad was the Wadi-Secunderabad
line. The survey started on October 30, 1869 and the
construction work on March 25, 1871. The Nizam's Government
provided the capital and the Government of India constructed
the line, which was opened for traffic on October 9, 1874.
The Nizam was a year-old prince when the first train arrived
on the decorated platform of the Hyderabad railway station.
The occasion was celebrated with pomp and glitter in the
-------------------------THE OLDEST BRIDGE
Purana Pul (Old Bridge), built in 1578, was the
first bridge to be constructed in the Hyderabad city.
Tales have been woven around the construction of this
bridge, which might be mere myths. Some believe that the
bridge was built by Ibrahim's father to facilitate his
son's meeting with his beloved Bhagmati. But the tales
seem baseless as historical dates point out that when
the bridge was constructed, Sultan Ibrahim Qutb Shah was
just a child of seven. It is more likely that it was built
for the convenience of the citizens of Golconda and Chachalam.
--------------------------MORNING MUSIC FROM HILL TOP
The French historian Tavernier described Hyderabad as
"The City of Gardens." Locals called it "Baagh-Nagar"
after the huge expanse of garden that spread across, from
Fateh Maidan to Nampally. Sultan Mohammed Qutb Shah, the
builder of the Mecca Masjid, had constructed a palace
on a hillock called Naubat Pahadt. It is said that every
morning at daybreak, the musical instrument naubat
used to be played from atop the hillock. Right below it
was the vast expanse of the garden, which he called Bagh-e-Dilkusha.
It is believed that it was he who had planned the first
garden in Hyderabad.
FIRST RADIO STATION
------------------------------REACHING OUT TO THE PEOPLE
A remarkable and noteworthy feature of Hyderabad is the
setting up of a Radio Station very soon after the BBC
commenced its broadcast. Sayed Muzaffar Ali and Mahaboob
Ali, grandson and nephew of Mir Chirag Ali respectively,
worked in an innovative way to start a broadcast station.
The emergence of this broadcast station is unique because
neither was very interested in education. They created
it after seeing a few science books, magazines and charts.
Muzaffar Ali was the technical man behind the setting
up of the station while Mahaboob Ali pooled in the financial
resources. It was lodged in the house of Mir Chirag Ali.
A transformer of 200 watts was put up and preliminary
broadcast was started. In 1936, the broadcast station
was taken over by the government for a sum of Rs 25,000.
It was put on a frequency of 411 mts, 730 khtz. In the
same year the station was shifted to Khairatabad
and later on to the present building at Saifabad.
William Palmer & Company was the first Bank established
in Hyderabad. It was the idea of Kirk Patrick, William
Palmer, and a doctor who set it up in the Residency. However,
the bank was not successful, and customers were cheated
of their deposits. As public wrath became more intense,
they were asked to leave the Residency. The present building
of Andhra Bank at Kothi was William Palmer's home, and
the building that houses the nearby State Bank of India
was where Palmer shifted his bank. This is the main reason
why that area is known as Bank Street.
In 1595, barely 200 yards from the Purani Haveli, the
Dar-ul-Shafa or House of Cure was built as a double-storied
hospital-cum-residential college of the Unani system of
medicine. The fifth Qutb Shahi king, Quli Qutb, built
it. It is said that this hospital was purposely built
at two ramparts of the city in order to prevent epidemic
or contagious diseases from being brought into the city.
Every non-local resident entering the city had to first
check into the hospital to be tested and declared disease-free.
This done, he was medically certified by the hakims to
enter into the city. In case of any illness, the person
had to undergo treatment until cured. Medicine was given
free of cost to as many as 400 patients at a time. Sarais
and beds were provided to patients and the people who
attended to them. Physicians came from Greece, Italy and
the Persian Gulf to attend to the sick here.
IN THE CROWN
Golconda is synonymous with diamonds. Though diamonds
were never mined here, they were cut and polished in a
village called Karwan near Golconda Fort. The Kohinoor
diamond was found in Kothur in 1656 during the reign of
Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah.
Passing hands through the Mughals to Nadir Shah of Persia,
who took it to Iran, the diamond was brought back to India
by Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. After Ranjeet Singh died, the
diamond was taken by Lord Lawrence in 1849 and presented
to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
FIRST CHURCH (1846)
The British Resident General Fraser, who was donated land
by the Nizam's government, built the Church of the Holy
Trinity. Adjacent to the Church is a 150-year-old
cemetery, where British soldiers were laid to rest.
-------------------------NIZAM'S LAND FOR THE 1ST
The first major mosque, the Jama Masjid, was built
by Mohd Quli Qutub Shah in 1598. Standing near Charminar,
the mosque is a blend of Indo-Persian and South Indian
style of architecture. A school, a guest house and a Turkish
bath were attached to this mosque.
DISASTER - THE MUSI FLOODS OF 1908
The worst ever disaster to strike the city was floods,
when the river Musi, that flowed through the city, flooded
its banks on September 28, 1908. Thousands lost their
lives and nearly 20,000 houses were washed away. Collapsed
houses, dead bodies, animal carcasses and uprooted trees
lay strewn on either side of the river. Ten centers for
refugee and rehabilitation works were set up. The gates
of the royal palace were thrown open as temporary camping
To prevent the recurrence of such tragedies, the Osman
Sagar and Himayath Sagar were built and the embankments
on the northern and southern sides of the river were raised.
A tamarind tree standing in a park outside the Osmania
Hospital on the bank of river Musi is said to have saved
over 150 lives during these floods. A small plaque on
the tree bears the inscription.