Sunday early morning. Energetic girls gave up holiday sleep- shows their enthusiasm. Grand dad, the photographer, in any case rises early. Not looking sleepy at all.
Meet Diya. She studies in class 8th, Army Public School, Bolarum Secunderabad. In Diya's words, "Wake up in the morning with excitement, going for trek, just the right thing to do on the last day of the holidays!"
Deetya, three years younger is in class 5th at the same school. They are the life of our enclave--Swarnandhra in Secunderabad.
Located 9 kms from our house, it was a 30-minute drive to Moula Ali hill. See Google map showing the route from Secunderabad to Maula Ali.
No organised parking at the dargah, so we had to park in the by-lanes leading to the dargah दरगाह . However, the two wheelers park literally at the footsteps!
Here are Diya and Deetya walking through the bylanes. See Moula Ali hill in the background.
Compare the picture with an old picture which is 100-years old courtesy Wikipedia. Notice the similarity?
The hill has 5 gates or kamans कमान which are nice stopovers to catch your breath and savour the scenery.
A billboard about orphans and education caught my eye. Read it for your self-- is it not a beautiful message?
Maula Ali hill home to Maula Ali Dargah, is a hiker's paradise. 550 steps is not a steep climb compared to say Junagarh hill in Saurashtra which has 9999 steps!
Our gradual climb starts. Pictures.
We could catch the glory of morning sun as we started early.
And the climb continues..
The first group with their glowing faces in morning sunlight!
Unlike all dargahs which house the relics of people, Maula Ali dargah is unique. It houses the palm impressions of Moula Hazrat Ali, son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad. The palm impression on a rock hidden behind a curtain, the dargah is worshiped by people in distress and suffering. Also known as “Mushkil ko Shah” meaning
the deliverer from suffering.
The skyline on hill top is spoilt by the erection of cell phone tower. See the picture below.
Worshipers tie up locks on a string seeking their wish or mannat मन्नत to be fulfilled. And they come back to unlock it once their wish has been fulfilled. God also has his ways to do 'diligence check' much like an investment banker does!
Of course there are rusted locks signifying unfulfilled wishes or unfulfilled promises of worshipers to unlock them!
After enjoying the view from hill top, we started our climb down. The children did not seem to be tired a bit. On the contrary, they had more spring in their steps down and wanted to explore the surroundings!
Our next stop, a makbara मक़बरा on the hill slope.
Being few hundred feet above the ground, we could see the city below. Slight haze prevented us from spotting the Ammuguda hill as well as the Gun rock towards west and Mahendra hills in the south. But on a clear day, one can see that far from hill top. Some views from Moula Ali hill.
A rock formation which resembles a minaret.
See the picture below, where a lake is clearly seen being encroached. The water is covered with green hyacinth. And you can see the rock and sand dumps all around to fill the lake and reclaim it! Very sad commentary on state of affairs.
Unlike the children, the elders needed to rest a while. It was time for refreshments too.
While Satish was walking the hill slope, his picture reminded me of a quotation. See the picture.
In contrast with all the happiness that morning, we also noticed how some visitors in the past had behaved irresponsibly. Sadly, one of our national malaise to deface our monuments-- was visible all over! Such a pity we have no self discipline in this regard. Pictures.
Wonder whether the couples/lovers who etch their names on walls and trees, expect the graffiti to be read by the God and grant them eternal togetherness! When shall we become more disciplined as a nation?
About garbage disposal, less said the better!
On the way down, we spent some time observing the flora and fauna as well as some spectacular view.
We spotted tens of swifts doing their non-stop aerobatics. They make their nests high up on ledges, gateways and the like. See the picture below:
We also spotted few trees which had beans which appeared to become united as if 'mating'! May be this is nature's way of creating a complete fruit using two beans. Because we all know that pollination would have taken place before the (fruit) bean was formed. But, never seen it before. Pictures.
Time to drive back. Download pictures from the camera and share the story with you.
We would like to close on a positive note on hope with a quote by B Williams who said:
Keep hiking and admiring the Nature!
Thanks for browsing.
Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 27th Oct 2015
Note: Apart from Wikipedia, you may browse an excellent story on Moula Ali Dargah by Lakshmi Prabhala.
After reading Ghumakkad's account, here is what Diya and Deetya wrote about the hike and the experience. Thanks to both for their contribution.