Hyderabad: Kali Kaman fully restored; MA&UD shares pictures

Hyderabad: After sufficient delay, the historic Kali Kaman near Charminar has been fully restored.

Telangana Special Chief Secretary of Municipal Administration Arvind Kumar tweeted on Saturday sharing before and after pictures of the Kaman.


Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and the Telangana Department of Heritage worked on the restoration of the Kaman under the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP). It reportedly cost Rs 1.48 crore. The project began in November, with encroachments near the four Kamans being razed along with other maintenance works.

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History of the Kali Kaman

The Kali Kaman and the Char Kaman (4 arches) are some of the earliest monuments built which served as the entrances to the new city of Hyderabad (founded in 1591), that had been shifted out of the Golconda fort, which before Hyderabad used to be a walled city, and capital of the Golconda kingdom.

As one approaches the the Charminar (from Madina junction), the first Kaman that comes is the northern ‘Machli Kaman’ (which apparently gets its name as a big fish made of bamboo and paper used to be suspended in the centre of the arch every lunar new year), and the southern Charmnar Kaman (in picture).

But most people generally miss noticing the eastern Kali Kaman and the western Sihr-e-Batil (now known as Mitti ka Sher). All of the 4 arches had a purpose, and were built as a piazza by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad, and grandson of Sultan Quli, the founder of the Golconda kingdom.

The Charminar is Hyderabad’s foundational building, and the Char Kaman, along with the Badshahi Ashurkhana and Jama Masjid (diagonally opposite the Charminar), were built soon after. In fact, the original Qutb Shahi palaces were situated towards the western Sihr-e-Batil Kaman (translates to arch of lion hearted or magic breaker), which today don’t exist as the city was almost razed to the ground by Mughal emperor Aurangzed when he conquered the Golconda kingdom in 1687.

According to the historian Syed Ali Asgar Bilgrami’s book Landmarks of the Deccan, four highways led to different parts of the city through every arch (Hyderabad was built with Charminar as its centre) and exactly in the centre of the four arches was the reservoir called Char-su-ka-Houz, which is now defunct and is called Gulzar Houz

The Qutb Shahis or Golconda kings were Hyderabad’s Persian Shia Muslim founders, and the kingdom was founded by Sultan Quli, who hailed from Hamadan, which is in present day Iran.

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