Aug 30, 2010

Gulzar Hauz and Char Kaman

The city of Hyderabad was created by Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, with his Prime Minister Mir Momin in charge of the design and construction of the new city.

After the construction of the Charminar, the piece de resistance of  Hyderabad, about three quarters of a kilometer to its north, this is what Mir Momin built:
This is the Gulzar Hauz.

Mir Momin, the Prime Minister of Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the king who founded the city of Hyderabad, had this octogonal fountain built at the intersection of four wide roads from the four cardinal directions. A few metres into each of these roads, he built four arches, through which one needs to pass, to go to different parts of the city - these are called Charkaman (four arches). The fountain and the arches together formed a piazza or the town square, of the newly built city.

Originally, there were four streams originating from the fountain, dividing each of the radial roads into two halves., representing the four rivers in the Islamic description of paradise, carrying water, milk, honey and wine.

The arches to the North, South, East and West of the fountain, are called Machli Kaman, Charminar Kaman, Kali Kaman and Kaman Sher Dil respectively.

Clockwise from top left: 
Charminar Kaman (South), Kali Kaman (East), Machli Kaman (North) and Kaman Sher Dil (West)

The Kaman Sher Dil on the west, led to the palaces of the royal family, that overlooked the piazza. They were all destroyed by Aurangzeb during his seige of the kingdom. It is said that the antechambers of the palaces are used as shops - Maybe this is a part of it? Not sure.
Reason #159462 I love Hyderabad - even a simple fountain you pass so frequently, and ignore most of the time, has a story behind it, and a reason for existence :)


  1. Wow so nice..i agree everything has a story behind it..especially when you live in a city that has a rich history...anything antique you see makes you wonder..who how what where..
    When i visit ruins and meet a guide or someone local and they tell me mind builds up the whole empire and i am already in their world.
    This is super work :)

  2. Anonymous4:37 AM

    Love the blue fountain and the whole history behind it. I can imagine the water flowing and the palaces. sigh.
    Thank you for Intach, they are doing some great things!

  3. Thank you Sharanya! Yeah, I totally get what you mean :) I need to visit those ruins you told me about the other day:)

    Thank you H - glad you liked the post!

  4. Have passed Gulzar Haus so many times, without a clue about it's beautiful past. Will give it a lot more respect when i'm there next :)

  5. As usual breathtakingly beautiful images... every new post takes me closer to my impending Hyderabad journey :)

  6. Karthik Satya12:21 AM

    Awesome Madhu ... the way u put the whole story is really fantastic ... AS u said .. every part of hyderabad & India has a story associated with it ... that is what makes everything in India & Hyderabad so unique...

  7. lol Zainab :)

    Aparna - awww :(

    Thank you so much, Sophia :)

    Thanks a ton Karthik - so true, there is history everywhere you look in India :)

  8. my father used tell that good perfume smell used to come from gulzar house

    any body passing through gulzar house will experience it and they feel fresh as if some body has welcome them in the area

    gone those days , but still I think Hyderabad is the best place to live , the food , the culture & hospitality awesome mashalllah.