Evening Walk For Low Light Photography at Hussain Sagar Tank Bund
Tank Bund on the Banks of Hussain Sagar is the informal city center of Twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Every city slowly gets its own hangout place or the city center where the citizens and the tourists and travelers converge to soak the essence of a city. In Delhi for me it was De Pauls at Janpath the Gehri Route in Chandigarh sector 10 filled that void in otherwise Sarkari city. Mumbai has many informal meeting places like Juhu Chowpatty, Bandra Bandstand, and Queens Necklace etc, and Kolkata has The Maidan,( simply the open ground near Victoria Memorial) the playground of emerging revolutionaries and cricketers in equal measures, while every techie worth his code has taken aimless strolls on the MG Road-Brigade road combine in Bangalore, while trying to do calculations in mind how much he will be able to save on his next H1 assignment to the US.
But trust me Tank Bund Hussain Sagar has been around much before all these. Built-in 1562 by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali to take care of drinking and irrigation needs of the twin cities, today it is the informal get together place for the tourists and mana Hyderabadis both.
Yesterday I went there with our Photography group Hyderabad Weekend Shoots, to do some low light photography, along with evening walk. The idea was to try some light streaks and capture the towering 18 meters high Buddha statue in the center of the lake with all the lights around. As parking is a pain I decided to take an auto and after haggling with 10 autowallahs, one of them agreed to take me there and that too with the meter. (Who says there is no hope for India? A Hyderabadi autowallah who goes with meter is proof enough for me).
I reached a bit early so could not find anybody so decided to take a round around the area in auto, it was a big mistake as some procession was going on and we were stuck for about 45 minutes. I decided to walk and discovered an APTDC coffee shop, had some idlis there after a wait of another 15 minutes (seriously cold idlis after 15 min when I was the only customer in the coffee shop). Finally, when I reached the rendezvous I immediately started clicking, missing in the process the customary group shot of HWS photo walks as these guys were further ahead.
But soon I realized there is more to Hussain Sagar Tank Bund that just clicking pictures and that is when it dawned to me that Hussain Sagar Tank Bund is the go-to place if you want to go to just hangout. While one goes to Charminar, Taramati Baradari and Golconda fort with the aim to watch them and show to visiting relatives, you go to Hussain Sagar just to walk on the Tank Bund. As Chandrasekhar Singh, the Nat Geo Mega award-winning photographer mentioned, ” I asked this ice cream seller for how long he has sold ice cream here, he mentioned for 30+ years, also when I asked about another brand of the same ice cream of my childhood he said yes :). This guy ( whose photo you see here clicked by Sekhar Anna as we all call him) has been selling the local Hyderabadi brands for last 3 decades and never felt the need to move to MNC brands because Hyderabadis love the local flavors served by him.
In space cramped city Hussain Sagar Tank Bund gives people a footpath to walk, couples enough anonymity to indulge in some PDA, and the local street food vendors enough business to take care of their family. We did indulge in some bhutta (corn on the cob), BhelPuri while experimenting with low light photography. As the Bhelpuri guy mixes fresh-cut onions, with earthy flavored bhel and squeezes lemon on it, your salivary glands release a waterfall in your mouth and famished customers wait for spell-bound, as you can see in this picture below. The two customers are standing still while the hands of the vendor were moving so fast that he comes like a ghost in this long exposure photo.
There are many other activities you can do around Hussain Sagar Tank Bund; there are 3 major green lungs of city NTR Gardens, Lumbini Park, Sanjeevaiah Park each with its own attraction. Nearby on Naubat Pahad, you can see the top of Birla Mandir, illuminated by lights in the evening. You can also take a ferry to the Giant Buddha Statue and if you are visiting in day you can also enjoy just watching all the sailboats in the lake. Oh yes if you want to try lots of other street foods in India just visit the Eat Street on the other side of the Hussain Sagar and enjoy all the street food delicacies.
So my non-Hyderabadi reader how about sharing your cities meeting point where you go just to hang out?
There are some more pictures that I experimented with in low light I will publish those in a future post.
How to reach Hussain Sagar Tank Bund: It is in the middle of city dividing Secunderabad and Hyderabad. Follow this link on Google Map to reach Hussain Sagar. There is no ticket to walk but there are tickets for the various gardens around the area. Submitting this post for Thursday Challenge. Check more images on reflection in Thursday challenge here.
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