Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hyderabad - Arrival

This is the first of several postings pertaining to my short trip to Hyderabad and on to Agra.

After a pleasant overnight train, I arrived in Andhra Pradesh's capital city of  a bit ahead of schedule. While waiting for a doctor friend (whom I met while traveling in Vizag) to arrive, I took in the scenes before me. Probably around 70°F (21°C), many of the locals were dressed for winter. Many had on the striped caps I so enjoyed seeing in Chennai. Others had on stocking caps. Earmuffs were also very common. Babies were snuggled in fleece sleepers. Some women had on winter jackets over their saris. As in any public place, autorickshaw drivers flooded the area, descending upon people as they stepped out of the train or past the exit. Taking an uncrowded local bus (which was much nicer than most I’ve ridden in Chennai), we arrived at the grounds of the public eye hospital my friend worked at. I was to stay in the guesthouse there. After washing up, we headed out to get some south Indian breakfast, accompanied by a doctor from Orissa who was there for training. We signed up for a local tour of Hyderabad, which would take the latter part of the morning and to the evening.

Hyderabad’s nearly equal proportion of Muslim and Hindu residents was immediately apparent – so very different than Chennai. Mosques, far from being rarities tucked in a few places as in Chennai, dominated the skyline. A large number of women wore burquas and hijabs. Saris were also present, but not nearly as prevalent. White caps of Muslims were perhaps even more noticed than the forehead markings of Hindus. Signs were often marked in Telegu (local language of Andhra Pradesh), Arabic, Hindu, and English. In Chennai, one would typically see Tamil and English.

1 comment:

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