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Hussain Sagar: Lake Lustre

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Hussain Sagar bridges not only culturally disparate Hyderabad and Secunderabad, known as twin cities all over the country, but constitutes a continuum between history and contemporainty. It was a quiet and placid lake of 24 kilometres built by Hazrat Husain Shah Wali on a tributary of the Musi during the time of that great builder Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah in 1562 to meet the water and irrigation needs of the city. This was much before the historic Charminar overshadowed every other landmark in the city. It is now popularly known as Tank Bund, a truncated version of its original expanse, and has acquired trappings and environs that enhance its appeal to tourists as well as the denizens of the twin cities.

The simple bund that at one time connected the British and Nizam areas of the two cities is today a complex of parks, temples, statuary, sites of entertainment and the capital’s administrative hub, enriching and at the same time ecologically damaging the environs of the shrunken tank. The aesthetically built Secretariat buildings, the NTR memorial, the Lumbini park, the Hyderabad Boat Club, a flyover nearing completion add to the attraction of the southern side of the Tank Bund, while the Secunderabad Sailing Club, the Sanjeeviah Park and the Hazrat Saidani Ma Saheba tomb on the northern side enhance its allure for the tourist. Parallel to the tank bund is what is now known as the lower Tank Bund road, which, though built to reduce traffic congestion, has now become the axis of print media activity.

From the southern side, the lower Tank Bund road is heralded by the famous and very popular Katta Maisamma temple and close to it is the sprawling green lung, the Indira Gandhi Park. A new artery known as the Necklace Road links Lumbini park in Hyderabad with the Sanjeeviah park in Secunderabad. But the centre of attraction literally and figuratively is the monolith Buddha statue in the middle of the ancient lake.

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