HYDERABAD: A city of many mysteries, myths and fascinations was how Narendra Luther, well-known historian and writer, described Hyderabad during a session titled ‘Romance of Hyderabad’ in the city on Sunday.
“I came to Hyderabad in 1958 and whenever you enter a new city, you face two different situations while dealing with the unknown -- fear of the unknown, and fascination of the unknown. I was completely fascinated by this city and have had a romance with it which continues even today,” said Narendra Luther.
In an hour-long talk, he discussed in detail about various historical figures, monuments and incidents, which took place in Hyderabad. Displaying rare historical pictures, Luther provide valuable insight into the lives of the Nizams that ruled Hyderabad and how they shaped many parts of the city, which continue to exist even today.
Narrating the story of how Sultan Mohammad Quli fell in love with Bhagmati and subsequently named the city as Bhagyanagar, he said, “Sultan Mohammad Quli wanted his men to build a city which would be a replica of heaven. He envisioned the city to have huge gardens with a fountain in the middle.”
The historian also narrated the tale of seven Kulchas and even though the first Nizam himself denied it. “The first Nizam himself denied the story of the seven Kulchas, however, his predecessor the sixth Nizam said it was true. People are more inclined to believe such stories since it has a certain essence and magic to it,” Luther pointed out.
The veteran explained in detail about several historical figures, including Sir Ronald Ross, who discovered Malaria fever and was subsequently given the Nobel Prize for it in 1902, Raja Reen Dayal, a photographer who had captured many rare photographs of the city, and the Nizams of Hyderabad. He particularly referred to the sixth Nizam, Mehboob Ali Khan, who became the Nizam at two and half years of age in 1869. “After Mehboob Ali Khan became the Nizam, court etiquette changed significantly. Earlier, everybody had to remove their footwear and sit on the ground in the Nizam’s court. However, that changed and people sat on chairs,” Luther explained.
The sixth Nizam was also the first to receive oriental education and speak English language, something which was not easy to accomplish. “He would often run away from the classroom on hearing English. Also there was proxy punishment, ie, other children would get punished for mistakes of the Nizam,” Luther recalled.