Of the numerous lanes and bylanes radiating from the Charminar, the most fascinating is probably the Laad Bazaar road that ends at Purana Pul, the ancient bridge across the River Musi. This weekend, I had the pleasure of going on a photowalk through this historical route with the very talented Anuradha Goyal who writes one of my favourite travel blogs. Here's what early mornings look like in the first stretch, from Charminar to Mahboob Chowk, without the hustle and bustle of the bazaars.
|A sugarcane juice stall that hadn't opened yet|
|Stacks and stacks of bling|
Afzal Miya's lace shop is a treasure trove for lace, tassels, ribbon, borders and pretty much any kind of embellishments for your clothes. Can you see "century old ladies fashion" written on the shutter?
|Afzal Miyan Lace Centre|
We continued to walk through Laad Bazaar and reached Mahboob Chowk. This is the Mahboob Chowk Clock Tower.
|Mahboob Chowk Clock Tower|
In front of the clock tower, is the Moti Mahal that is over a hundred years old. It was first a palace of the Nizam, then a homeopathic hospital, and now, a function palace. You can spend hours browsing through the shops selling books and antiques (so they claim) in the ground floor of this building.
A cluster of shops around the clock tower specialize in duplicating keys. The blue machine you see in the next picture? It is a key duplicator!
|Key Duplicating Machine|
The Mahboob Chowk Beef Market. It is called a beef market, but has shops selling all kinds of meat.
|Mahboob Chowk Beef Market|
A naan shop in the Chowk had soft fluffy naans, a Hyderabadi staple for almost the last two centuries, cooking in a tandoor.
|Inside the tandoor|
|Hot naans straight from the tandoor|
We chatted with the men in the shop, and they showed us how the naan is made. And then we walked on.