I got out fairly early this morning, got 20km in and was back home (to shuffle laundry) when it started to rain. Lucky timing. As usual, I recorded a GPS plot and took some pictures.
I began by winding my way west through the slum between my home and the wealthy MLA colony. Exploring the ridgeline at the southern edge, I was again treated to great views of Golconda, the Qutub Shahi tombs, and the spread of the city. Off to the southeast I could just barely make out the four corner minarets of Charminar - a place I hope to visit tomorrow, if the weather looks reasonable.
I poked around the MLA colony a bit and then continued west, past Apollo Hospital and Lily Pond and into Jubilee Hills. I wanted to find out where some of the side streets come out, and I wound up biking into Mandagiri Hills. This is some of the most expensive real estate in Hyderabad; it's convenient to Hitec City, yet isolated on a hill well away from traffic, noise and pollution. This sign appears a short ways into the colony.
This is a HUDA project: the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority. How promoting a refuge for the rich helps create a "Green Hyderabad" is anyone's guess. If Anil's assertion that 10% of all government revenues go to bribes and other corruption, the auction of plots in Nandagiri Hills must have produced some very happy bureaucrats.
This structure has obviously been at the top of Nandagiri Hills since long before the HUDA auction; I'd love to know its story. It's quite lovely to look at and very well maintained.
On my way out of Nandagiri Hills, I paused and took this picture, across the valley between here and the more southern part of Jubilee Hills. It shows some classic features of Hyderabad: great rocks, luxurious homes, and clusters of tents for the less well-heeled. At least they get a great view...
Biking back to Banjara Hills I stopped just past Apollo Hospital and took these three pictures from the same spot, looking (respectively) east, south and west.
"The poor you will always have with you."
The last three shots were taken as I passed back through the slum to Mithala Nagar, my neighborhood. First, this little scene of mixed-species domestic tranquility.
Next, more great rocks.
Finally, I once again met Mama Donkey and child, this time on the other side of the open area north of my house.
So if you go by my blog photos, you would have to conclude either that there are very few people in Hyderabad, or that I don't find them interesting. Neither is true; I just don't feel very comfortable taking pictures of people, especially if they are interesting! But the people are endlessly fascinating, even if I don't capture their images. Note that "interesting" is not necessarily "pleasant." Some of today's pictures not taken:
- a deeply upsetting scene of a half a dozen small kids tormenting a tethered dog by throwing fistfuls of sand at it;
- a man with horribly twisted ankles walking on all fours, like a dog, making pretty good time up Road #12;
- the blessing of a new car at the temple near my house;
- two small boys tearing down a hill on a bicycle, laughing hysterically and somehow not wiping out at the bottom. As I rode off, they were pushing the bike back up the hilll, presumably for another go at it.