Jul 14, 2018

Churches of Abids, Hyderabad

December 10, 2017
Sunday afternoon trip to Abids to see the ancient churches of Hyderabad. We had three churches on our list and also another ancient monument-

  • St. Joseph's Cathedral
  • St. George's Church
  • Wesley Church
  • Gun Foundry

We started our tour with St. Joseph's Cathedral, the largest on our list.

Established in 1820 CE, its construction began in 1869 and completed in 1891 including its facade and twin bell towers. The architecture is Gothic and in sync with churches built during that time.

 One of the towers has a bell which was imported from Italy. It is said the bell can be played in different tunes.

Massive columns and arches dominate the interior.

 Its domed ceiling is high and the glass chandeliers are seems to from Nizam's time.

  The solid wooden pews are ancient too.

Stained glass covering the arched windows seem to be imported too.

Lovely statues of characters from Bible adorn the sides. There's an imitation of the famous Pietà by Michelangelo in this church.

A candle stand covered with colorful wax droppings.

A close look at one of the intricately designed stained glass panes.

Having spent about 30 minutes, we move on to St. George's Church which is a five minute drive. This church has a better ambiance.. there's more open space and plenty of trees. This structure's construction started in 1844 but date of completion is not available. Its single tower is as tall as St. Joseph's Cathedral' bell towers.

The interior is quite compact and a mass was in progress at the time, hence I did not take any pictures of interior.

Next we stopped at Wesley Church which is also British era building but too much of recent changes. Lastly we went in search of the Gun Foundry building which lead us into the narrow lanes of Gun Foundry locality. Most people had no idea about the ancient structure, finally an elderly person pointed us to a crumbled mass of stones which is supposed to its remains. I was hoping the foundry was a protected monument but no such luck.

The other heritage churches are situated at Secunderabad, a pending trip.

  • Trinity Church
  • St. John's Church
  • St. Mary’s Church
  • Wesley Church
  • All Saints Church

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Jul 7, 2018

Hunter's Lodge, Hosakere

Dec 24, 2012
While travelling from Gogi village to Vanadurga fort we had seen this ancient building. That day we had a tight schedule and this was an unexpected discovery. We stopped few second for a quick shot and moved on. I'd guessed it was a palace from Adil Shahi times.

June 23, 2018
I received a set of pictures from Venkatesh Bappargi, my friend from Wagangera. Venkatesg had visited Hosakere and shared his pictures. I'm posting them with permission.

Hosakere village is about 9 kms from Gogi, 20 kms from Shahpur town and 20 kms from Shorapur (Surpur). This area was part of Surpur kingdom.

This building is marked in Wikimapia and its description reads as follows- This is known as a Hunting Palace built by Shorapur Nayakas in 1820s. The square structure has tower in the middle with three storyes. The upper story has windows on cardinal directions for placing guns to hunt the animals who come for water to the lake below. Such hunting palaces are not known in southern Deccan before the Mughals, hence, this is the only one example of hunting palace found in the Deccan and also in Karnataka. For more details please read my Book- Surapura Samsthana- Historical and Archaeological Study of Poligar State in South India published by Bharatiya Prakashan, Delhi in 2004. - Aruni, S.K.

Interesting to know kings had palaces built for the sake of hunting. This reminds me of a building on the banks of Pocharam reservoir close to Pocharam dam. So we have two examples of hunting lodges in South India. The hunting house of Pocharam also has a tower which gives a good view of the lake shore.

The building is square in plan, about 64' x 64'. In elevation it has 11 arches of similar size and all four faces have the same number of arches. Going by the arches, it seems builders had copied the design from Shahpur fort. This is the eastern face.

 The building nust have been well furnished in its heydays. Now just the skeleton stands.

The walls are solid and built of dressed blocks, just like a fort. Probably there were stables too.

The niches in the columns, between the arches, must be for placing oil lamps to light up the interior during night times.

The central tower is approximately 40' tall. While the upper half is made of red soil bricks, its base made of stone and integrated with the main structure. The tower seems to be rectangular in plan. Every face has different number of windows and gun-holes.

 The screen wall is made of bricks and mortar. Three of four faces still have the screen but on one wall its missing completely.

This is the western face, as seen from Hosakere lake bed.

Thanks to my friend Venkatesh for the pleasant surprise. Hoping to meet him again soon.

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