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Twin city of Hyderabadmarker and the city that houses the India's largest cantonment, Secunderabad ( , ) lies on the north of the city of Hyderabad. Both the cities are collectively known just as Hyderabad outside the state and together they form the fifth largest metropolis in Indiamarker. Even, officially, the capital city of the state of Andhra Pradeshmarker is referred to just as Hyderabad. Within the state, though, the two cities are popularly called as 'Twin Cities'. In common parlance, however, Secunderabad is seldom used outside the state. Though they are called twins, the cities have a different history and present fusion of different cultures, with Secunderabad having developed under direct British rule until 1948 and Hyderabad as the capital of Nizam's princely state.

About the City

Secunderabad was founded in the 18th century as a Britishmarker cantonment and has a large Army and Air Force presence to this day. In fact the Secunderabad Cantonment happens to be the largest in India. Named after Sikandar Jah, the third Nizam of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, Secunderabad until recently had its own municipality and city government. Secunderabad was the area in Hyderabad which was under the control of the British. Now it is a part of the Hyderabad districtmarker. Secunderabad celebrated two hundred years of its formation in 2007.

Lake Hussain Sagar, which separates the city of Secunderabad from Hyderabad
The Cantonment area is farther from the Hyderabad portion than rest of the city. Adjoining Hyderabad is the mostly civilian portion of Secunderabad which is commercially active and centrally located. Begumpet Airport is close to Secunderabad and served both the cities until early 2008. Secunderabad railway station is one of the largest in India and is also the zonal headquarters of South Central Railway.The Twin Cities are separated by the man-made Hussain Sagarmarker lake, which was built during the reign of the Qutub Shahis in the 16th century. The lake is a heart shaped jewel keeping the two cities together and is very dear to its citizens.

Sir Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Britain during World War II, was posted in Secunderabad during the 1880s as a subaltern in the British Army.

Sir Ronald Ross conducted his initial research on the cause of malaria in the city of Secunderabad. The original building is today called the Sir Ronald Ross Institute and is located on the Minister Road. The city of Secunderabad which was once said to be modern compared to its twin during the Nizam's rule, has grown tremendously over the years to catch up with the metropolis of Hyderabad. Populous places of the city include Paradise Circle, Trimulgherry, Marredpally, Tarnaka, Kharkhana, Ranigunj, etc.

Geography

Secunderabad is located at . It has an average elevation of 543 metres (1781 ft). Its climate is very similar to the metropolis of Hyderabad.

Demographics

 India census, Secunderabad had a population of 204,182. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Secunderabad has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 68%. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Secunderabad's population is a mix of cultures and religions, comprising people from all major states of India. Its population consists a significant number of Tamilians (Mudaliars), who are considered to be one of the original groups inhabiting the city, Parsis, Telugus and many others. It was under the rule of the Nizams, and later the British, that this community was held in high respect for its efficient administrative and trading skills. Padmarao Nagar, a residential suburb is named after Late Dewan Bahadur Padma Rao Mudaliar.

The city also has a good population of Christians, with famous churches like St Mary's Church (biggest parish in twin cities), St John's Church, and cathedrals found across the city. There are many Christian educational institutions like St Andrew's, St Ann's, St Patrick's, St John's, St Mary's, St Francis located in the city providing primary, secondary, and higher education.

Commercial areas

  • Rastrapathi Road - Earlier known as King's Way, is a major commercial road in heart of the city, better known as R.P road. Various businesses, hotels, malls are located here. A variety of sports shops are also located here.
    Parklane, a famous shopping centre of the city


  • Park lane - This is a famous lane known for fashion textiles, ready-made stores, etc. CTC (Chenoy Trade Centre), which is the largest computer bazaar in the twin cities is located here. Sales, rentals and repair of computer peripherals are done here. Other businesses are also located here.


  • MG Road, Secunderabad - This is another major commercial road in the city and is one of the busiest, holding a variety of businesses. This road was formerly called James street. This place also has MMTS rail connectivity to various parts of the city.


  • Dundoo Plaza - (Previously known as Patny; now owned by the Dundoo family) This is another major commercial hub where big commercial establishments like Kalaniketan, R.S. Bros, CMR, Chennai Shoping Centre, etc are present here.


  • Paradise Circle - This is a major junction connecting suburbs of Secunderabad. Also this junction has the famous Paradise restaurant which is all famous for Hyderabadi Biryani.


  • Swapnalok complex - This is a major commercial complex situated in the heart of city. This complex houses a variety of businesses such as shopping stores, small IT companies, and other businesses.


  • Trimulgherrymarker - is in the cantonment proper, now a well developed suburb of the city. Many well developed residential and commercial buildings are located here.


  • Secunderabad Club - is one of the oldest clubs in India located some 7 km from the Secunderabad railway station.
  • Karkhana, Secunderabad, - is a mojor hub for both commercial and residential activity


Culture

St. Mary's Church, decorated on christmas eve
The city has a mixture of many religions.

The city has well known temples such as the Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Temple, one of most famous temples in the city. It is located in the heart of Secunderabad area, between R.P.Road and M.G.Road. There is an annual festival also known as the Bonalu Jatara held during the Ashada jathara on principal days which falls on Sunday and Monday.
The entrance to the Mahankali Temple


Other notable temples in the area include:
  • Sri Ganesh Temple, Gopalpuram - Secunderabad Station
  • Sri Hanuman Temple, Tadbund
  • Sri Sai Baba Temple, Near Passport Office
  • Sree Ayyappa Devasthanam‎, Bolarum
  • Lord Venkateswara Temple,(Ratnalayam), Shamirpet
  • Sri Sarveswaralayam‎, Marredpally
  • ISKCON Temple, Near Sangeet Theatre
  • Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple, Padmarao Nagar


Secunderabad is home to many old and beautiful churches. Most of these churches were built in the early nineteenth century during the British Raj. Many missionaries who have settled here have initiated the construction of these churches.

Most of these churches have established schools, providing early education to the natives and uneducated people. Their sacrifices have seen the development of the region. The churches are decorated every December for the Christmas and New year season. Some of the famous churches in Secunderabad are:

  • St.John the Baptist Church, Secunderabad
  • St.Mary's Church, Secunderabad
  • Wesley Church, Clock Tower
  • St.Thomas S.P.G. Church, Secunderabad
  • All Saints Church, Trimulgherry
  • Holy Trinity Church, Bollarum
  • Centenary Baptist Church, Secunderabad


Sports and recreation

  • Gymkhana Grounds - These grounds are multi-purpose grounds and are very large. They are occasionally let out for various occasions such as exhibitions, trade fairs, musical concerts, etc. They are also a favourite for all kinds of sports especially inter-school/college and inter-city tournaments. There is a small, but, neatly laid out cricket ground which hosted several first class cricket matches in the past.


Parade Grounds


  • Parade Grounds - These vast grounds are under the control of the union Defence ministry and serve as the designated venue for all official events like Independence day and Republic day parade celebrations. The military establishment lets this ground out also for civilian purposes like political party rallies, meetings, cultural events, etc. The Gymkhana grounds lie adjacent to these grounds.


  • Polo Grounds - Abutting the Parade grounds and under the control of the union Defence ministry, the Polo grounds are used for military and NCC training purposes. Polo matches and annual tournaments are held in these grounds.


  • Golf Courses - The oldest and famous golf course is the Bollarum golf course located at Bollarummarker. This is the only 18-hole golf course in Secunderabad. This is owned and maintained by the Indian army and is not open to general public. For entry, one has to be either a defence personnel or affiliated with the Secunderbad Club.


Railway golf course is a well known golf course of the city, located at Tarnaka. Spread over a vast and lush green area, this place is a golfer's paradise and attracts various golfers from various parts of state and the country.

  • Shamirpet Lake - It is situated 24km north of Secunderabad. Its beautiful rocky terrain on its bank is a delight to the eyes. Its distance from the city is an incentive for the weekend picnics. It offers a serene location. Shamirpet lake attracts a lot of birds, hence a destination for bird watchers too. There is also a deer park belonging to the state government near the lake. The best time to visit this lake is during October to March. The proposed Outer Ring Road will pass close to the lake.


Transport

The city is the Head-Quarters of South Central Railway Zone of the Indian Railways. It is served by one of the oldest and largest Railway Station in the twin cities popularly known as the Secunderabad Railway Station. It is well connected to other cities of the State as well as the country. Thousands of people from both the cities travel everyday from this station, because of its convenient location.

The Railway station has been renovated to provide convenient facilities to passengers like toll booths for cars, increased parking space, additional ticketing counters and giving it a better overall look as well. Private Taxis are also provided for commuters. MMTS local services are also available via this station. Secunderabad is also a major railway junction in the Wadi-Vijayawada railway route.

Secunderabad is also one of the major hub for the City Bus transport run by the AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and is well connected to all the corners of both Hyderabadmarker and Secunderabad. Major bus stations are the Jubilee Bus Station and Rathfile Bus station handling thousands of commuters everyday.

The city has good road connectivity to all places within it as well as with its neighbouring twin, Hyderabad. Tank Bund road is a historical and an important road which connects the two cities. It is situated on the banks of the lake Hussain sagarmarker. Every day thousands of people criss-cross the twin cities, and as such there is no difference between the two cities. Both of them are treated equally as one big city!

The city is also well connected by air to other cities of the state as well as to other major cities of the country and abroad, through the Begumpet Airportmarker which is very close to the city centre. The airport being close to the city was convenient for citizens and tourists alike until March 2008 when a new airport was opened in Shamshabadmarker on the outskirts of Hyderabad which is known as the Hyderabad International Airportmarker.

Educational institutions

Secunderabad is known for its well educated society. Many educational institutions have been set up partly by the British and foreign missionaries, who use to reside here during the colonial rule. Their mannerisms, strict discipline are still found in the educational institutions here. Some of the popular institutions of the city are listed below:

  • Satyam public School
  • Delhi Public School
  • Durga Bhavani High School
  • Gandhian High School { Shanker Veedhi R P road }
  • Seventh Day Adventist High School
  • B.R.J.C Parsi High School
  • St Peters High,Public and Grammer School
  • Little Flower High School ( In Abids HYDERADBAD )
  • St. Mark's High School
  • Sherwood Public School
  • New Ushodaya High School, Military Dairy Farm road,Subhash Nagar, Trimulgherry
  • Sri Rama Krishna Vidhya Nikethan (Deendayal Nagar)
  • Tagore's Home New Era Institute
  • Govt. Institute of Electronics (GIOE)
  • St. Thomas (SPG) Boys High school
  • St. Mary's High School, Junior College and Degree College
  • St. John's Church High School
  • St. Francis College
  • Sri Vidya Model High School, Warasiguda
  • Islamia High School
  • Saint Ann's High School
  • Saint Patrick's High School, Secunderabad
  • St. Andrews High School
  • Takshasila Public School, Lalapet
  • Kasturba Gandhi College for Women
  • Valerian Grammar School
  • Wesley Boys High School
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya
  • Johnson Grammar School
  • Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Sainikpuri (formerly Bhavans Sri Rama Krishna Vidyalaya)
  • Atomic Energy Central School
  • Army School R.K. Puram
  • Army School Bolaram
  • The Secunderabad High School
  • Keyes High School
  • Gujarathi High School, R.P.Road
  • Gitanjali Devashray, Clock Tower
  • Kenedy Vidya Bhavan High School
  • Sri Balaji High School, Warasiguda.
  • St. Joseph's High School, Trimulgherry (Lalbazar)


Neighbourhoods



Twin cities



References




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