Jun 282018

People & their Professions in Old Hyderabad

Pearl seller near Charminar Hyderabad

Hyderabad is known as the city of Pearls

A city is not just a place on a map; it is a collection of souls rubbing shoulders with each other in small space. Yes, bodies have souls and souls have shoulders to rub, as the cities keep on getting cramped. Hyderabad is one such city or let me correct myself it is a collection of cities namely Secunderabad, Hyderabad, and Cyberabad.  Now in Hyderabad itself, we have new Hyderabad and the Old Hyderabad.

The three ” BAD Ass” new cities have surrounded the old city of Hyderabad and are trying to strangulate her to oblivion. But this old maiden has her own strength coupled with timeless charm and has enough admirers to keep the smile on her Pan Smeared lips and kohl-lined eyes that will make you visit her again and again. 


Bullet repair restoration Old Hyderabad

An Ustad Jee who can restore old Bullets for you

In the new cities migrants from around the country jostle to get a job in one of the IT or BPO company and spend their days in front of a monitor, trying to steal a glance on their social media accounts. It is the old city which nurtures a variety of professions that have been in families for generations.

I regularly take walks in the bylanes behind Charminar in Old Hyderabad and every time I discover a new profession that these hardworking people follow just like forefathers or they learned as a young apprentice under the watchful eyes of a tough taskmaster Ustad jee.

This post is about pictures, people and professions observed over years and appear as a blog post here on desi Traveler. Here are some of the people that I saw doing things exactly the way their forefathers did during the era of Nizams and before that during the reign of the Qutub Shahi dynasty.

There were Attar or perfume makers who sell concoctions to not only attract your beloved but claim to cure every ailment known to man.  There was this guy whose claim to fame is put Soorma (Kohl) in eyes to make you immune to all evil eyes.

Attar Shop Old Hyderabad

Caps? Kajal? Attar? You name it we have it- Oh all you need is picture 🙁

Some of the guys were making bread from the traditional clay oven, which the locals come and buy while it is still hot. Not far from the bakery one could not resist the smell of Kebabs, releasing the aroma of melting fat.  In a small shop, 2 artisans were beating a small piece of Silver to convert it into Waqr or Silver foil to be pasted on your favorite sweets like Laddu and Barfi.

Kebab Shop Old Hyderabad

Kebabs being fanned the OLD Fashioned Way near Charminar. This ensures consistency in the tenderness

Naan Shop Old Hyderabad

These naan bread can be found in narrow lanes behind Charminar

Musical instrument shop Hyderabad

Musical Instruments Shop

Marriage things shop old Hyderabad

Getting married you will need these Pagdee, Sehra, and Garlands

One of the most interesting shops I found was in General Bazaar ( technically not told city ?? but old if you compare to new parts of Hyderabad )where they make all kind of Indian music instruments like harmonium, Mridangam ( an Indian drum), manjeera etc.

A shop right next to it makes caps and sehras (headgear) to be worn by bridegroom during the marriage. So now you know where to head when you plan to get married. Oh, you are already married no problem buy some flowers from one of the traditional flower shops that do not sell bouquets, but flowers and garlands only made from fresh flowers sourced from flower markets like Gudimalkapur.

A flower shop in Old Hyderabad

Do you want Flowers or Pictures? Either way, I smile… 🙂 🙂 🙂 

Back in bylanes behind Charminar, an old potter lady had a line of earthen pots for sale that her family makes in the backyard; I admired her courage as she was right next to a shop selling hammers!

Pottery old Hyderabad

This potter lady has a shop next to a hammer shop !!

hardware being sold on footpath old Hyderabad

Hammers and other tools of the trade for artisans like Carpenter etc being sold on a pavement in Old Hyderabad

Reusing Old Electric motors Old Hyderabad

Old Hyderabad has always been big on recycling here a shop repurposes old electric motors

Any post about Old Hyderabad cannot be complete without the mention of Laad Bazaar where you can buy bangles of every color, design, and material. All of these shops do brisk business by not only selling to the locals and tourists but also exporting around the world.

Bangle Shop Old Hyderabad Laad Bazaar

A Bangle Seller Old Hyderabad

But not all professions are very old, some of the enterprising types have adapted newer professions and are engaged in restoring bullets, and recycling of old motors, they cannibalize parts from defunct motors and combine the parts to make one functional motor. This is the earliest form of recycling, invented right here in Old city of Hyderabad.

Watermelon shop Old Hyderabad

This is called Value Added Service or VAS to your fruits

Best Time To Visit Old Hyderabad: Hyderabadis love to take their afternoon siesta, so go after lunch around 3 pm and stay till late evening when the lights of the old city bring back her beauty illuminating Charminar other historical buildings like the Chowmalla Palace.

Kohl or Surma Seller in Old Hyderabad India

Surma seller Old Hyderabad – Yes in Old Hyderabad even men use Kohl

Overall Old Hyderabad is a shopper’s paradise and you can get a lot of things that connect the present to the past, whatever is not readily available the shopkeeper will be happy to get it made to order for you. This includes genuine antiques made to order to your specifications. Beat That!!


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People Passions & Professions in Old Hyderabad Telangana India

People Passions & Professions in Old Hyderabad India

🙂 🙂 🙂

  15 Responses to “People, Passions & Professions : Jobs In OLD Hyderabad”

Comments (15)
  1. Great to see them 🙂

  2. बोले तो जबरा फैन हो गये है हम आपकी तस्वीरो के प्रसाद भाई

  3. eminent Italian economist Carlo M Cipolla commented that at the emergence of industrial age, the unit of production was not yet a factory but no more a shop. it was either a guild or a home, in which the artisan had the complete independence to show his creativity. it was an age of transition. between peddling and mass production. these old cities still exhibit the same spirit. this informal sector based on either family labour or on all-male master-apprenticeship system is still neglected in our economy. thank you Desi Traveler. please contact me on my mail. would love to talk to you.

  4. Gems shop missing? Great photos

  5. very interesting traditional post sharing

  6. Wonderful photo essay, Prasad!

  7. Such a beautiful compilation, each picture touching a chord of everyday life and living. It feels like I have just returned after taking a stroll in the bazaars of Hyderabad!

  8. beautiful pictures from the heart of real Hyderabad
    city 🙂

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