For most people, Moula Ali is the “outer” railway station just before you reach Secunderbad. If you travel to Secunderabad by an overnight train, you will find most people walking up just when the train reaches Moula Ali, you will also find people cribbing about the train being delayed in the “outer” at Moula Ali. In addition to its importance on the railway line, Moula Ali is also a place of historical and religious importance to the city of Hyderabad.
Not satiated with our trip to Shamirpet Lake, we drove to Moula Ali, a place we had wanted to visit since the time we set foot in Hyderabad !
Moula Ali Dargah
Moula Ali Hill is a hillock that looks like a gigantic rock jutting out of the land. On top of this hillock is the famous Moula Ali Dargah. This close to 250 years old mosque was built during the Asif Jahi Dynasty (Nizams).
Before you reach the hill, you have to walk through narrow, winding bye-lanes bordered by old buildings and structures, suddenly it feels like you have been transported back by atleast a century !
We stopped for a cup of our evening tea before climbing up the hill.
There are 500 odd steps leading to the top of the hill where the Dargah is located.
Halfway up, if you turn around, you can get the most breathtaking view of Secunderabad. The city lies below stretching as far as you can see.
The centuries old structures seem to have blended in nicely with the modern buildings, together, they have added to the beauty of the city.
The 10 minute climb up the hill is relatively easy, one – because the steps are fairly flat and two – you stop after 5 steps awestruck by the city views !
Inside the Dargah, there is a calm and serenity all around as people go about their prayers.
The inner chamber of the Dargah is brightly coloured and decorated with sparkling glass and flags. Unknowingly, you are drawn into the sight and you bow down in reverence. We could hear young boys singing Sufi songs, they had the most soulful and mellifluous voices.
We noticed an interesting practice, people were breaking coconuts as offerings, it is amazing how cultures and practices have intermingled in our country. With the strains of the Sufi music ringing in our ears, we sat in one of the shelters to enjoy the breeze and we could feel what has been said for thousands of years, since development of human intelligence – God is one !
On top of the city !
Moula Ali Hill is one of the highest points in the city, especially on the Secunderabad side. We walked down and sat the rocky slope of the hill, unable to take our eyes off the views before us. It did make us feel on top of the city !
There are other hillocks and formations around the Moula Ali hill, these are popular hangouts of adventure clubs in the city. There are two other Dargahs on the hillocks opposite to Moula Ali hill.
In the distance, we spotted a goods train slithering towards the Ramakrishnapuram railway station. You can hear the horn all the way up !
We tried mapping areas on what looked like a live version of Google Earth !
We spent a few more minutes in the arched shelters, these shelters are built on platforms extending out of the hillock. The old meets the new in this view of the city.
And, this is how the old views the new !
It began drizzling by 5.30 PM, as closing time neared and we climbed down. If it rains, you got to watch your step, the steep hill and the steps become very slippery.
When we finally reached the bottom of the hill and looked up at the Dargah and the hillock, it seemed like it was a dream world up there !