THE PARIS OF THE PAST!!!!! !!!!!!!
HYDERABAD PROFILE By: Jawed Akhter, Toronto Canada.
BACKGROUND & HISTORY:
Hyderabad Sindh , Former Capital of Sindh, the 3rd largest city of Pakistan and
2nd largest city of Sindh home to almost 2 million people is one of the oldest
cities of South Asia. Hyderabad is a very unique city in so many ways and not so
different from many other historic cities of the world in terms of fate and
Hyderabad Sindh has been on the crossroads of various warriors, rulers, and
travelers and has benefited and suffered from time to time. Like Athens, Rome,
Paris, Istanbul, Baghdad, Damascus, Delhi, Cairo, London; Hyderabad Sindh also
stands tall and proud with full force of modern day hustle and bustle to tell
you the story of its past, present, and future to every visitor. It is also
Cultural Capital and Literary Capital of Sindh ; A city of Artists, Artisans,
Writers ,Poets, Politicians and Activists. Nerve center of every mass movement
Hyderabad has a Glorious past and once it was known as PARIS of Sindh when its
streets were washed with Perfumes and city lamps were lit by pure butter. But
sadly it all ended when British took control of the city on March 24th in 1843
in a fierce and bloody battle of Miani under the leadership of Sir Charles
Napier of East India Company.
The Great son of Hyderabad Sindh; the General of the Sindhi Army HOSH MUHAMMED
SHEEDI SHAHEED fought fiercely with British till his last breath. British Army
was shocked and very much impressed by his bravery the way he fought by carrying
a cannon on his shoulders on the towers of Hyderabad fort. He was given official
salute by British army after his martyrdom.
Hyderabad Sindh is a city of Three Hillocks (GANJO TAKKAR, Being the tallest one
and famous one as a place of worship; Ganjo Takkar Sindhi words meaning Barren
Hill) on the banks of Sindhu river (Sindhu is a Sindhi word for Indus) and the
great Kalhoro ruler Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro founded the city in year 1768 AD.
He named it after Hazrat Ali Haider the fourth caliph of Islam. He loved the
city so much that he declared the city the Capital of Sindh and ordered to build
a magnificent fort “ PAKKO QILO” (Sindhi words for a Strong Fort) to defend the
people and kingdom from all the outside invasions. The fort covered 36 acres of
land surrounded by man made creeks and DHANDS (Sindhi word for Depressions)
which were fed from the Phulleli Canal. Boats used to sail in these creeks.
Modern day Khai Road, Tank # 1,2,and 3 and DomanWah are the relics of those
creeks. All the cannons from Hyderabad Fort were shifted to Lahore when one unit
was imposed on Pakistan in 1955 and Lahore was declared as Capital of West
Pakistan. Till this day Cannons of Hyderabad Sindh are kept in Lahore.
Previously in pre-Islamic times Hyderabad was called as Neroon Kot. Sindhi
words meaning Place of Neroon ruler of that time.
In earlier history of South Asia; Subcontinent was divided in two separate great
kingdoms of HIND ( meaning India) and SINDH.
SINDH had greater and closer contacts with Arabian Peninsula, Afghanistan, Iran,
Iraq, Greece, Turkey, and Europe than with India. Since then Hyderabad has seen
various travelers from Persia to Arabia, faced Greek, Turk, and Mongolian
armies, and finally British. Being on the crossroads Hyderabad Sindh has become
an Archeological Oasis.
Sindhu river or river Indus in English has ruled and regulated Sindh and
Hyderabad socially, culturally, economically and politically. It has decided the
fate of Sindh and Hyderabad in war and in peace times. Hyderabad and Sindh are
so intertwined to each other that Hyderabad is called the CULTURAL CAPITAL of
SINDH and it has always been the major transportation hub due to its central
location in Sindh.
Hyderabad is city of Saints and Sufis as hundreds of shrines are scattered all
over the city. Hyderabad has been influenced by all the great faiths from
Zoroastrians to Buddhists, Hinduism to Jainism, and from Christianity to Islam
between different periods of time thus becoming a very religiously tolerant city
After the death of Great king Kalhoro started the Talpur rule and Mir Fateh Ali
Khan Talpur became the new ruler in 1789. It was a Golden time in the history of
Hyderabad. Talpur rule lasted more than 50 years and ended in 1843 after British
attack. Year 1843 is a dark period in history of Hyderabad Sindh when people
lost their independence; Sindh became a British Colony and People of Hyderabad
British destroyed the Hyderabad fort, Looted the royal treasures and burned down
most famous and glorious Mir’s Court and Palace inside the fort. Demolished most
of the buildings around the fort to accommodate British troops and constructed
Royal family members and male princes were paraded naked on the streets of
Hyderabad and were used as horses in carriages controlled by British Viceroy
Charles Napier by using hunters. The crown of being a Capital of the emirate of
Sindh was then transferred to Karachi. Hyderabad Sindh lost its glory, and
people went into deep depression. No longer were the roads covered with perfume
but they were covered with blood. It is important to note that the British held
most of their Regiments and Ammunition in Hyderabad Sindh during the first war
of independence of 1857 due to its central and very important strategic
Prior to 1947 Hyderabad Sindh was a combination of both Muslims and Hindus
communities speaking the same Sindhi language and sharing the same Sindhi
Hyderabad was a great trading and commercial city and a big export centre for
products made in Sindh. The city was flourishing with Parks, Water fountains,
and Illuminating Lamps. The population of the city was based upon 25% Sindhi
Hindus and 25% Sindhi Muslims. When partition of subcontinent and creation of
Pakistan occurred in 1947 Sindhi Hindus expected to remain in Hyderabad Sindh
because there was a very good relationship between Hindu Sindhis and Muslim
Sindhis. When large waves of Muslim refugees from India started to pour into
Hyderabad Sindh, Violence erupted again on the streets of Hyderabad. First
massacre of Sindhi Hindus took place in very famous LONG BHAGHAT STREET. After
1843 Hyderabad went again into darkness & deep depression and local residents
were shocked and confused. Sindhi Hindus were forced to flee leaving everything
behind and Sindhi Muslims and Local Police were merely onlookers. Newly arrived
refugees from various parts of India settled in the homes and lands which
belonged to Sindhi Hindus.
After 1947 with the influx of people from across the borders Hyderabad Sindh saw
its numbers increasing in population and even became the largest city of Sindh
province of Pakistan for a while according to population stats of that time.
Hyderabad all of a sudden found a new glory and regained its title of being a
capital of Sindh again for a short while. Government of Sindh proposed the
creation of two more suburbs named as Latifabad( in the honour of most famous
and great poet-saint of Sindh Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai) and Qasimabad of
considering the future growth and population explosion in Hyderabad Sindh. It
really healed the wounds of Hyderabad Sindh big time.
It all happened so fast like seeing a dream and then it was all over. Karachi
was declared the Capital of Sindh. Hyderabad fell victim to mean and dirty
politics and became the most neglected city of Pakistan and was hit so hard that
every day was a nightmare.
In early 1970’s Hyderabad witnessed the first ever Language riots between Sindhi
speaking and Urdu speaking residents of this city. City was drenched in blood
and suffered a huge loss as its landmarks such as Mukhi House, Sindh University,
Sindhology Museum, Sindh Museum and Sindh Text Book Board were looted and then
burnt down into ashes. Laying a first foundation of ethnic divide in the city.
Then came the dark era of Late 1980’s and early 1990’s when Hyderabad Sindh was
soaked in blood bath, ethnic riots, and civil war between native Sindhis and
Urdu Speaking settlers.
Hyderabad Sindh became the Beruit of Pakistan and the city had never been the
same again. Forever divided by ethnicity, deeply scarred by racial hatred like a
modern day city of Beruit in Lebanon. It was 4rd time in a row that streets of
Hyderabad were covered in blood after 1843, 1947 & 1972. Again there was a mass
exodus of population. Native Sindhis have to flee from City and Latifabad
leaving everything behind and settle in Qasimabad. It is the dark chapter in the
history of Hyderabad Sindh and a black spot on the city.
UNIQUENESS OF HYDERABAD SINDH:
Hyderabad Sindh has many unique things but most of all it is surrounded by tall
beautifully hand painted permanent flag poles in the honors of martyrs of
Karbala the family & companions of Holy Prophet (May Peace Be Upon Him) keeping
the tradition of early rulers of Hyderabad and that’s why Observance of holy
month of Muharrem is very unique in Hyderabad. Various areas of old city are
named behind the term(PIR) a Sindhi word for a locality. Following are some more
unique features of the city.
1. CITY OF WIND CATCHERS, Hyderabad Sindh is known as city of “MANGH”
Sindhi word for Wind Catchers.A triangular structure on the rooftop funneling
the cool breeze into the homes below. If we look the rare pictures of Hyderabad
in 1800 the skyline of city is dotted by unlimited windcatchers. But after 1960
construction patterns changed and Windcatchers has become a symbol of the past.
A part of Heritage of Hyderabad. Currently Hyderabad Government headquarters
building has windcatchers as a proud symbol of the city in its architectural
2. LONGEST BAZAAR OF ASIA, Hyderabad has this honour to have the Longest
Bazaar in Asia. This Bazaar is called SHAHI BAZAAR meaning Royal Bazaar founded
by Kalhora rulers. It is 4.5 KM long and starts from the Market Chowk (Square)
all the way ending at the front of Hyderabad Fort. One can buy from world
renowned diamonds and gold jewellery to a stitching needle. This is a bazaar of
contrasts where new and old mix and mingle in a very traditional way with all
the hustle and bustle. On both sides of the bazaar is the web of hundreds of
narrow streets which connect to different parts of old city like arteries. This
Bazaar also extends to two very different, Diverse and large Bazaars known as
CHOTKI GHITTI, and RESHAM GHITTI. Ghitti is a Sindhi word for a narrow street.
Shopping in these bazaars is a lifetime experience.
3. LARGEST BANGLE PRODUCER IN THE WORLD, Hyderabad Sindh has also the
honour of being the largest Glass Bangles producer in the world. Glass Bangles
made in Hyderabad Sindh are exported to all over Pakistan and in International
market. Bangles of Hyderabad are so unique and eye catching and there are
thousands of different kinds to choose from.
4. HOME OF AJRAK, Ajrak the world famous Sindhi traditional fabric worn
by all men,women and children and a Symbol of Sindhi Culture and Honour. It is
always presented to guests, visitors and as a priceless gift of all occasions
from festivals to weddings. Ajrak making centers are scattered all around
Hyderabad where artists are always busy to create new design and patterns on
5. CAKES OF LEGENDRY BOMBAY BAKERY, Hyderabad is famous in the world for
its mouthwatering unique cakes and they just melt in your mouth. These cakes are
one of a kind and their unique formula is tightly kept family secret to this
day. This bakery is also part of the proud heritage of this city and these cakes
have become a sweet symbol of the city and proudly given as sweet gifts. To get
the cake one has to visit the bakery very early as cakes are sold in no time.
6. PALLO Fish, Hyderabad is also home of the famous Sindhi fish called
“PALLO” only found in River Indus. Hyderabad being on the banks of the river
Indus becomes a central point for this fish treat. PALLO fish swims in opposite
direction in the river Indus and extremely tasty and cooked in so many ways and
is an integral part of Sindhi Cuisine in the city.
7. SIR COWASJI JEHANGIR PSYCHATRIST/SUNATIC ASYLUM, Hyderabad has the
prestige to have the largest facility for mental health in Asia. It is covered
on 25 acres of land in Hussainabad. Historically the founder of Hyderabad the
great ruler Ghulam Shah Kalhoro asked his associate Diwan Giddumal to establish
this recreational port on river Indus known as Gidu Bander nowadays called as
Hussainabad. British Army before their attack on Hyderabad landed on this port
and renamed it as One Tree Bander.
8. AIR UNIVERSITY, Hyderabad has the honour to have the largest Air
University in Asia known as Civil Aviation Training Institute where students
from different parts from the world learn how to fly commercial planes and study
in the fields of Air traffic services and communications operations, Electrical
Engineering related to Aircrafts and Aviation Management and Fire fighting
services. This facility was founded in 1982 and spread on over 230 acres of land
adjacent to Hyderabad Airport. ICAO based in Montreal Canada awarded this
facility status of Regional Institute in Asia in 1988
LANDMARKS OF HYDERABAD:
1. “PAKKO QILO” Hyderabad Fort. It is worth to visit the remains of the
Mir’s Darbar, Grave of General Hosh Muhammed Shaheed, and the magnificent
structure of the fort. It is heartbreaking to see that fort is under siege of
encroachment by dwellers. This brutal occupation has destroyed the fort and
needs immediate attention to restore its grand past.
2. MARKET CLOCK TOWER. The tall standing structure and the defining
skyline of the city is Navalrai Market clock tower constructed in 1914.
3. THE KUTCHERY or COURT COMPLEX. A grand architectural landmark of the
city and has honour to be the Parliament for a short while while Hyderabad was
capital of Sindh after creation of Pakistan. The center piece of the building is
DARBAR HALL a must see. This building was destroyed in great fires of 1906 and a
new one was constructed keeping the same design intact.
4. NAVA VIDYALA. Now known as Sindh University old campus was built in
1912. It has a very impressive European style look.
5. NAVAL RAI HIRANAND ACADEMY. Now known as Govt High School was built in
1900 as one of the elite schools of the city.
6. CIVIL HOSPITAL. British built this hospital in 1894 and till this day
is one of the major hospital of the city.
7. RAILWAY STATION. British built this beautiful and historic building in
8. SADDAR. British built a huge Cantonement in Hyderabad from 1851 to
1856. This area consisted of large barracks, officers bungalows and historic
church of St.Thomas . Now this whole area is known as Hyderabad Canntt: /Saddar.
9. THE HOLMSTEAD HALL. It was also built by British in 1905 in the memory
of Dr. Homestead a famous civil surgeon of Hyderabad.
10. MUKHI HOUSE. This beautiful and magnificent building was built in
1900 by a very famous tradesman of Hyderabad.
11. MIAN KAQIR JO PIR AND MAI KHARIEY MASJID. In 1908 Hyderabad
Municipality constructed a municipal market to upgrade the area and Mai Kheriey
Masjid is one of the oldest mosques in the city.
12. NOOR MUHAMMED HIGH SCHOOL. This historic school was built in 1933 and
played a very important role in Pakistan Movement.
13. CIRCUIT HOUSE. This was an official accommodation for british royals
and was built in 1912 . Nowadays it is also used to accommodate presidents and
Primenministers of Pakistan while visiting Hyderabad.
14. BADSHAHI BUNGALOW. It is the wonderful palace of Prince Mir Hassan
Ali Khan Talpur the son of the last ruler of Hyderabad His Highness Mir Naseer
khan Talpur. This Palace is located in Tando of Talpur Mirs in Latifabad.
15. THANDI SARAK. ( COOL STREET) As it says from the name this street is
really a cool street lined with trees and very beautiful and one of the most
important streets of the city. Major expensive hotels, fast food restaurants
Airlines offices,& Govt: Main Offices are located on this street. Hyderabad is
very famous for its breeze that flows at night making it pleasant and clean.
HYDERABAD - IN MODERN TIMES:
Hyderabad Sindh is a booming metropolis with all the hustle and bustle of a big
city. Hyderabad has a hot and humid climate with cool and breezy nights. Very
well connected by road,rail and air with all the major cities of Pakistan. Right
now city is going through a rapid modernization program. New flyovers,
pedestrian bridges, new bus terminal, shopping malls, five star hotels,
amusement parks, new hospitals, trauma center, and a new transport system are
planned and work has begun on various mega projects. Hyderabad Airport has been
reopened after a long time and flights for major cities in Pakistan has resumed.
All major foreign banks and foreign fast food chain restaurants have opened up
their branches in Hyderabad due to increased industrial, economic, and
commercial activity in the city. High rise buildings are rising all over the
city in different parts and Hyderabad Sindh is marching fast towards a bright
and happy future to become a livable modern, green and clean environmentally
friendly city in the new century. Hyderabad has 4 universities and a huge number
of schools, and colleges. Hyderabad has 2 radio stations Radio Pakistan and
Sachal FM radio station and 5 Television stations based in the city are KTN, KTN
NEWS, KASHISH TV, SINDH TV, and DHOOM TV. Huge number of newspapers and
magazines are published and printed from the city but the famous ones are Daily
KAWISH, Daily IBRAT, and Daily SAFEER. City has also a world class one of a kind
state of the art web portal of APNAHYDERABAD.COM
PLACES TO VISIT.
Sindhology (There are only 2 such kind of museums in the world one in Egypt
and the other in Hyderabad Sindh).
Tombs of Mirs and
selling traditional Sindhi arts and crafts including Sindhi JANDI furniture,
embroidery, Sindhi caps and jewellery.
While visiting Hyderabad please do not forget to drink Traditional Sindhi drink
“THADAL” a cool combination of local herbs, almonds and pistachios.
Updated: 2nd Largest City of Sindh and 3rd Largest City of