One-Day Field Trips

Natural History of Hyderabad: a visit to the lakes and rock formations in Hyderabad

A visit to the lakes and rock formations in Hyderabad

Hyderabad was known to be a city of lakes. Unfortunately, a majority of these water bodies have either vanished, shrunk to less than 50% of their original water spread area and /or are heavily polluted to the extent that they cannot be called fresh water bodies any longer. Water bodies play a crucial role in absorbing rainwater, recharging groundwater, lowering temperatures and providing a constant source of fresh water in times of crises & nurturing local flora and fauna. They maintain an ecological balance and act as sponges to contain water both in times of floods as well as draughts.
This field visit will draw attention to the historical water bodies surrounding Naya Quila area of Golkonda fort and also within the premises of Naya Quila. Three main water bodies – Jamali Kunta, Shah Hatem Talab and Naya Quila Talab are heritage structures since some them even pre-date the Golkonda Fort.

Jamali Kunta: This historical lake was rendered dysfunctional by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) owing to it being used as a garbage dump. The water body was then leased out to Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA) for "reclamation" as a green lawn to be used as a golf course, and is currently being managed by HGA. Presently this water body has been reduced to small puddles of water where water-draining outlets have been deliberately built so as to ensure protection of the Golf Course at the expense of water conservation. This seriously affects recharge of ground water in the area, flood protection capacity of the water body, local temperatures and long-term water security.

Shah Hatem Talab: This is a lake situated next to the Naya Quila wall along side the moat/road. Historically, it predates the Naya Quila and is intrinsically connected to various irrigation systems inside Naya Quila as evidenced by various connecting tunnels, water hauzes, and irrigation channels etc. This water body has already been reduced to nearly half its size by private encroachment. It has about 52 acres of water spread. Here we wish to bring to fore three issues of serious concern that are threatening what is left over of the water body.
  • Construction of a spillway (Photo 1) on the moat wall by GHMC that constitutes the boundary of the Talab in violation of various extant legislations.
  • Moves by Hyderabad Gold Association to encroach land for the construction of a golf course.
  • Absence of scientific basis to the arguments presented by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) that the construction of the spill way mentioned above helps in flood control.

Naya Quila Talab: This water body is situated within the Naya Quila area, right next to the golf course inside the premises of the Fort, and constitutes part of the irrigation systems that connected the water bodies inside & outside the Naya Quila area. This water body is in a badly neglected state. This state of neglect and overgrowth of waterweeds may be used as an excuse by the govt for allocating it also to HGA.

The daylong visit within Hyderabad would be anchored by Dr.Jasween Jairath of Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL).

Please Note:

A visit to the rock formations within the city of Hyderabad, has not been finalised, as we are yet to find a suitable partner organization. The delay is regretted and all the delegates will be posted on the latest in the same.