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Secunderabad

Secunderabad was founded about 200 years (18th century) ago as one of the largest British Cantonments in India and to this date has a large Army presence.  It is the twin city of Hyderabad, India, and is separated by the man made lake, Husain Sagar, from the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Named after Sikandar Jah, the third Nizam of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, Secunderabad had its own municipality and city government, until recently when it was merged with Hyderabad, the district. In common parlance however, Secunderabad is seldom used these days outside the twin cities. Instead Hyderabad is used normally.

Former Union Minister and BJP national secretary Bandaru Dattatreya has urged Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to organise yearlong celebrations to mark the completion of 200 years of Secunderabad. He suggested that the Government safeguard heritage architecture and monuments in Secunderabad. The celebrations should be continued throughout the year 2006, he said, listing among the monuments Secunderabad Cantonment, railway station, Gandhi Hospital, Polo grounds, Parade grounds.

Culturally, Secunderabad is very different from its next door neighbour on the other side of Hussain Sagar. It is more cosmopolitan, not so steeped in history, has a plethora of well-founded schools and colleges, and, because of the presence of many different religions, is dotted with Parsi fire temples, temples and churches, not only ancient mosques, minarets, monuments and Qutb Shahi sites! It is the home of the South Central Railway, with imposing modern headquarters in Lalaguda, surrounded by residential flats and bungalows, a splendid recreation centre, clubs, schools, colleges, technical training establishments and a hospital.

The French, very interested in the political affairs of the Deccan in their own time, established a full-fledged embassy in Secunderabad, well over a century ago! Of course, it is no longer functional.

The modern face of Secunderabad is reflected by Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hari Hara Kala Bhavan, Jubilee Bus Station, Pizza Corner on S.P.Road, Anand and Sangeet cinemas, Elahe's boutique, Minerva Shopping Complex, Foodworld on Prenderghast Road, Sangeet Sagar, the music shop, and the office of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. It must not be supposed that the Dutch are the first Europeans to have got a footing here.

On the occasion of the birthday of this cosmopolitan city, TeluguOne offers a special review of culture, food, entertainment and development of various places in the city.

"Bolo Ram"- Bollaram

Bollarum is divided into a few distinct localities called Doveton Bazar, Chintal Bazar, Sadar Bazar, Risala Bazar, Poineer Bazar, Burton Guda and Macha Bollarum (which is separated from the others mentioned by a railway track that has a meter gauge line and a broad gauge line). A Part of Bollarum is in Hyderabad district and a part is in Ranga Reddy District.

Bollarum has a unique story about its name. When the British were laying out the railway line through this town, an officer asked a person what was the name of the place to set up a station there. The person was an ardent worshipper of Rama and obviously he couldn't speak English, so he greeted the gentleman by saying "Bolo Ram" which eventually became Bollarum, also spelled as bolaram or bolarum.

The majority of the population is Hindus. You can find people of all religions living in harmony. There is also a considerable amount of Jain population here. There are couple of mosques, and a Gurudwara too. The population of Bollarum is about 50,000. Most of the population are employees and work in Railways, Industries, defence, offices, etc. More than half of the area used to be cultivated but now every inch of the land is used for house construction.

It is a famous soccer playing town. It has many native players who were on India's national soccer team. Bollarum is also an educational hub of Hyderabad because it has numerous schools and colleges among which are the prestigious St. Anne's Girl School and College, Valerian Grammar School, Sadhana Mandir Hindi Vidyalaya and a few Post Graduate Colleges also, an international college of business and commerce. It has a big bazaar named Sadar Bazaar which has many textile, jewellery, general shops and Money lending shops. It is also a popular place for hindu temples, to name a few: Shiva Temple, Hanuman Temple, Mahankali Temple, Ayyappa temple which is one of the oldest Ayyappa temples in Andhra Pradesh and the Muthyaalamma temple where every weekend is like a carnival Bollarum is a cantonment area.

Bollaram is well connected to different parts of the city with regular bus service provided by the state road transport corporation (APSRTC). It is also connected with regular local train service provided by the south central railways. The general population have been staying here for generations and the town has just started developing new layouts on its periphery. Celebration is a part of life for Bolarumites and you can find people celebrating festivals with pomp and gaiety, the popular one being the yearly Jatara, Dasara-where a effigy of Ravana is burnt, Holi, Divali, Sankrantri.

It also houses the Rastrapati Nilayam, the equivalent of Rashtrpati Bhavan in New Delhi. This serves as the house/office of the president during his yearly sojourn to south of India. During the Presidents Southern Sojourn, this building literally converts into the president's office. Bolarum , being a cantonment has good many old European structured bungalows and one of them - The Chateau, close to the Valerian Grammar School, housed Winston Churchill during his early days with the Raj (British) empire. He was a captain with the british army then. Bolarum forms an integral part of the Secunderabad Cantonment, supposedly the largest in India. The other imporant landmarks for this town are:

1. Rashtrapati Nilayam

2. Holy Trinity Church

3. Chateau (Churchill Home)

4. Macha Bolarm market - The old vegetable market. The villagers get their produce/vegetable in train and then sell it in this market, which is just next to the railway station.

5. Bolarum Golf Course - The only 18-hole golf course in the entire city of Hyderabad. This is maintained by the Indian army and is not open to general public. You either has to be a defense personal or affiliated with the Secunderabad club.

6. LRMG College - One of the oldest colleges in the city of Hyderabad. It was constructed in the year 1926. It has a huge and magnificent building with a big auditorium. It now is in a very bad shape and needs immediate attention.

7. RSI Club: The Rajender Singhji Institute is again a club for the defense personnel only. It also has a huge Olympic sized swimming pool very close to it.

8.  Bollarum Library, close to lakadwal cross roads.

9. St. Anns Provincilate, Ayyappa Temple, St.Anns Girls School all on the same road stretch.

Bollarum has one of the oldest and best Golf courses in the nation.

Contd...

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