Apr 162013

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.

buddha statue in Hussain Sagar tank bund lights in evening

Hussain Sagar Tank Bund In Evening Lights

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).

18 meter tall buddha statue in hussain Sagar illuminated in evening

The Buddha Stands Tall In Hussain Sagar

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.

18 meter tall Buddha statue in Hussain Sagar Hyderabad

The Calmness Of Buddha’s Face Will Make You Also Calm

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.

Ice Cream Vendor at Tank Bund

A local Hyderabadi Ice cream Seller Pic by Chandrasekhar Singh

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.

making of bhel puri a street food of India while customers watch the action

Cravings For the Aroma Of Bhelpuri

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.

Bhel puri a street food stall with kerosene lamp

Bhel Puri Is A Popular Street Snack In India

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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  15 Responses to “An Evening Walk at Hussain Sagar Tank Bund”

Comments (15)
  1. nice light and mood 🙂

  2. That was a charming piece. Got a real sense of the place. Loved Sekhar Anna.

  3. Great pictures here. That was a very fruitful photo-walk, eh. 🙂

    I didn’t know you could take a boat to the Buddha. That was news to me. Such an impressive structure, that is. 🙂

  4. Lovely images and wonderful commentary! Loved it!

  5. I love the photographs. I call India “the country of my heart”. In the last 15 months, I’ve spent 9 months there, 4 in Mumbai, 5 in Jaipur – with short forays to Chandigarh, Patiala, and Bangalore to see friends. I will return June 1, hopefully, for six months to Mumbai and, if finances permit, I will see Kerala, Pondicherry, and Goa this visit. At 68, I know my travel time is limited.

    My Thursday Challenge reflection shot is at:


    • Hi Carmen….Welcome to desi Traveler, it is so wonderful to see your kind words about India. I live in Hyderabad and post monsoon I would suggest a short trip to Hyderbaad ( for heritage) and Vizag and surroundings for beach and natural wonders. Wishing you many many years of happy Travel…. Thanks.

  6. Interesting post. It’s the little things (such as the ice cream seller) that give character to a place. The ice cream seller photo and the last one are excellent!

    There are plenty of good parks by the lake where I live (Toronto).

    • Thanks Neeraj…You are lucky to live in place with lots of parks and a lake. At one point of time we thought about migrating to Canada, but the thought of cold gave me shivers 🙂

  7. I enjoyed reading this article and yes it gave me ideas too for my trip to Hyderabad in May/June this year. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thanks, this is timely. Just finished booking my tickets to Hyderabad and the tip is appreciated 🙂

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