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Nindia 2013

Nindia is short for Nepal and India, a 20 week trip we did in the first half of 2013.

We started and finished in Mumbai, travelling via Karnataka, Hampi and Hyderabad to the shores of Orissa before heading North to Nepal where we stayed 2 months, with a long trek in the Everest region.

From Kathmandu, we toured Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh before catching our plane back home.

A vibrant and tiring trip, full of impressions and memories.

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Path: Photos > Residency Hyderabad
Tags: Nindia  2013  India

Residency Hyderabad



We came to Hyderabad with great expectations fuelled by William Dalrymple's book White Mughals which we both had read avidly. The Residency, designed and built by James Achilles Kirkpatrick, the then British resident and one of the heroes of the story, is an important feature of the book. As it turned out, visiting this place would be the highlight of our visit in Hyderabad.

None of our two guidebooks mentioned the Residency as a sight and the word residency on the Footprint city map was the only hint of its existence. The grounds are now occupied by the Osmania University College for Women and we were stopped at the front gate by a security guard. He did not want to let us in, but pointed to an office building, suggesting we apply there for authorisation. We were not very optimistic (see Thomas' page about Indian Bureaucracy) and decided to get out of his view as soon as his attention got diverted by an incoming vehicle. We found the main Residency building very quickly and were lucky: the entrance door stood ajar and we could slip in unseen.

Wandering through this old mansion was quite an experience. Silently, we progressed slowly and could still wonder at the past magnificence of the place with its painted ceilings, the grand staircase and chandeliers still hanging. Unfortunately, the whole is in a terrible state of repair. Many floor boards are broken (some being really unsafe), there are mouse and pigeon droppings all over the floor, the window shutters are crumbling down. Rooms in the side wings have been converted into classrooms and though they are not used anymore there are school furniture, old papers and garbage cluttered everywhere. Nevertheless, the place has retained its past prestige and seeing it like that added a certain magic feel to it.

We have read that it is now a protected monument (although we could not find it on the ASI list), but unless the Archeogical Survey of India does something very quickly, there will soon be nothing much left to protect.

The Residency's front entrance is still imposing.
Colonnades along the house offered shelter from the heat and the sun. The elegant grand staircase leading to the upper floor. The first floor, all suites opening on the central staircase. Ceiling in one of the reception rooms downstairs. Ghosts of the past: this old print of the children of Kirkpatrick and his wife Khair-un-Nissa hangs on the walls of the staircase. The Residency is now only home to the pigeons of Hyderabad. One of the side rooms, later converted into classrooms. Old students' papers bursting out of a built-in wardrobe. It's just a matter of time before the old shutters will disappear as well. Honi soit qui mal y pense, testimony of a glorious past.

Go back to Northern Karnataka and Hampi or go on to Highlights of Mumbai or go up to Photos

$updated from: Photos.htxt Mon 03 May 2021 16:08:31 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$