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City and its names

Anand Raj Varma PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL

Anand Raj Varma PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

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A walk through Hyderabad ‘gallis’ with Anand Raj Varma’s new book

HYDERABAD: How familiar are you with your city? Do you know where Koka-ki-Tatti is? Where is Dekhchi Galli located or what is meant by Karmanghat? No prizes for guessing. The generation next may be familiar with the upscale areas in Hyderabad but they draw a blank when asked about the localities south of Musi.

Now you can brag about your knowledge of Hyderabad, particularly the ‘ purana shahr’. Just flip through the book Hyderabad - Mohalle, Gali, Kooche and get a thorough hold of information on the nawabi city.

Few people know Hyderabad like the back of their hand. Anand Raj Verma is one of them. His new book tells all about the names of the localities in the old city, their history and whom they are named after. After success of his Hindi book by the same name, Anand Raj has come up with its Urdu version, packing it with the history of some more localities.

The 310 pages book gives a detailed account of 65 localities, 40 dargahs, 10 temples, 8 mosques and 12 historical sites. Anand Raj Verma has done a painstaking research by visiting each area, talking with the people and collecting the little known facts.

A former principal of the Anwarul Uloom College, Anand Raj is a symbol of the famed Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb of Hyderabad. He has not just given a detailed account of various localities but classified them into 14 categories. For instance areas with the suffix ‘kunta’ — Errakunta, Nawabsab Kunta, Nallakunta are all listed together. So are areas bearing animal names such as Murghi Chowk, Hiran Tekri, Oontwadi, Mitti-ka-Sher.

The classification of areas by communities makes for interesting read. For instance Irani Galli, Sikh Chowni, Lodhawadi, Brahmanwadi. Readers will be surprised to find some ‘ khaate peete’ mohalle like Doodh Bowli, Shakargunj, Gowlipura, Misrigunj. Some areas are categorised by different professions like Kumarwadi, Sunar Galli, Kooche Nohagran (elegy reciters), Kooche Hakiman (Hakeem basti). There also quite a few areas bearing fruit names like Jambagh, Seetaphalmandi, Sapota basti. If you are looking for colourful localities there are quite a few — Hari Bowli, Lal Darwaza, Peeli Dargah.

Funny names apart, Anand Raj Verma has included many interesting anecdotes thereby enhancing the readability of his book. “For this I have depended on oral history,” he says.

The book is scheduled to be released on October 31 at Salar Jung Museum.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 3:04:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/a-walk-through-hyderabad-gallis-with-anand-raj-varmas-new-book/article7818229.ece

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