Saturday, January 03, 2015

Shamshabad in flashback

Remember the old Shamshabad? The vineyards that ran through either side of the highway? The sprawling grape gardens and the bunches of grapes uniformly hanging down in the midst of green vines. Often, we would see people selling farm fresh grapes as we drove past in bus or car or as the train would chug through while waiting for a clear signal from Kacheguda station. In fact, these vineyards were famous for their Anab Shahi grapes, the sugary sweet and seedless variety that was abundantly available all over the city, especially at the A1 Grapes Stores near Secunderabad Railway Station. Today, both the grape dealer and the variety of grapes have become a thing of the past. And vineyards have given way to runways, busy with take offs and landings of several flights.

As we all know, today Shamshabad is a bustling suburb of Hyderabad, standing proud with the world class Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) and of course other development activities. However, my association with this place goes well back in time, because of the local train I used to travel in, that would run between Secunderabad and Umdanagar Railway Station at Shamshabad. By the way, Umdanagar station is just about 6 Kms from the RGIA, and if utilized strategically, it can very well connect the airport with the railway station offering a good chance for seamless travel in MMTS for many passengers.

The other day, in one my trips down the memory lane, I remembered visiting a temple in Shamshabad during my childhood and tried hard to recollect some details. One thing I remembered clearly was that the temple had some huge tamarind trees and lot of greenery around. I had gone there along with my father in an outing with some neighbours in our colony. Now, in the absence of my father and losing connection with my childhood neighbours, the only source of information for me was Google. Thanks to Google, one search and wow...the temple appears on first page with pictures, location and all other details. It is located at Ammapalli, five kilometers away from Shamshabad village. Somehow I felt I should revisit this place and relive those moments as soon as possible, since my interest in temples is rather shortlived. Not to mention, the commercial aspect of temples, the long queues and all that goes in the name of darshan and its classes and categories.

A short drive to the temple on the first day of the year along with my friend Archana and my mother not only made the day special, it also initiated me into exploring more such slices of the rich multicultural history of Telangana.
It was interesting to know that this 700 year old Rama Chandra Swamy temple has unique architecture, blending the typical south Indian style with traces of Moghul and Rajasthani 'kamans' or 'arches' in the gopuram and the walls surrounding the step well. Another thing that aroused my curiosity was the connection with the Telugu film makers. Apparently, there is a belief that shooting at least one scene in this temple assures them success at boxoffice:) Such facts apart, the temple is home to a unique idol of Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana, all carved out of a single black stone. The best part of this place is that it's not yet commercialized. This is the write up that came handy in learning about the temple.


1 comment:

Ravi Kishore K said...

Nice write up.