“Keep moving, Keep moving, You can’t go through this road” the policeman who blocked us kept blowing his whistle, waiving away vehicles and diverting people from the approach road.

Charminar from the Makkah masjid side

My friend Mithun told him we just wanted to see it for five-ten minutes only and then we’ll be on our way. He still didn’t agree. Then we showed him our id cards, explaining that we are Assistant comminssioners, on Bharath Darshan and hence might not find time to come later.if there is anything he could do for us, now would be the time. His tone and look had already changed and he allowed us entry.

Makkah Masjid at Night. The central dome was built from sand brought from Mekkah.

Any visit to Hyderabad without Charminar in the itinerary can’t be considered complete. If Gateway of India is the mascot for Mumbai, Howrah Bridge that of Kolkata, then Charminar it is for Hyderabad. Built at a prayer site, in the 16th century, the Char Minar was gratitude offering to the almighty for saving the City from an attack of plague. This was my second visit to Char Minar. The previous visit was during daytime and hence I could climb up the structure and get a view of all the surrounding streets.

In Search of Irani Chai

We kept on searching for Irani Chai. However, since it was late most tea shops were closed. The shopkeepers did come and ask us whether we wanted juice. However, noone had tea.

It had rained and the entire area did not resemble anything like a heritage site. The streets were filled with garbage and on enquiry we got to know that it would be cleaned at 4 AM.

One if the shopkeepers told us that night time the shops have to be closed as per police order. As we moved on, I heard someone call out “Tea” from one of the shops. The shop had a cut in it’s closed shutter. From the outside it looked like the shop was closed, but it was just a closure of convenience.

The shop with cut shutter

We went ahead and bought 4 tea. It was not Irani, but made of minutemaid. Very sweet, I thought. It somewhat resembled “Paalada” taste for me. After having the tea, we set out to roam around Hyderabad city in our car, while the night was still young.

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