> Trips > India 2011 > Sun Apr-24
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Sun Apr-24 Birthday, Salar Jung Museum, Nizam's Museum, Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad House, Sahib Sindh Sultan
Ben got up early, worked on trip notes and a bit of email, had a nice breakfast at the hotel, and then got picked up at 10:00 a.m. by Ashfaq (Raj's driver) for the day.

We arrived at the Salarjung Museum 45 minutes later and spent 1.5 hours enjoying the exhibits: unfortunately cameras are not allowed inside. Ben enjoyed the Ivory Carvings Gallery -- there were chairs and even a horse drawn carriage that were covered in effectively an ivory veneer. The Jade collection included many daggers and swords whose handles were made of jade and in many cases the jade had gold and jewels embedded into in in beautiful designs. The most surprising exhibit is an old English clock which has a little man with a hammer than hammers out the hour. As noon approached the viewing area became packed to the gills -- there were easily over 1000 visitors waiting to watch this bit of old mechanical magic.

A five minute drive took us to The Nazim's Museum, where photos were allowed. The fabrics and clothing in the Nazim's immense wardrobe room were beautiful, and the range of gifts in honor of the last Nazim's Silver (25th) Jubilee were stunning. Ben took many photos in the 30 minutes we spent there.

We got to Charminar at 1:20 p.m. so that Ben could go visit the Mecca Masjid mosque (the 2nd largest mosque in India).

Ben explored the exterior but as a "non-believer" was not allowed inside. He spent 10 minutes snapping photos and then it was time for lunch.

A 20 minute drive brought Ashfaq and Ben to Hyderabad House which is well-known for its biryani. We ordered lamb curry, chicken biryani, naan, 7 Ups, and bottled water. Ashfaq of course ate only with his right hand, so Ben gave it a try -- he succeeded in feeding himself, but it's tough on those Western habits (keeping your hands clean). The piping hot finger bowl with a slice of lime was a relief!

After an hour at lunch Ashfaq took Ben back to his hotel -- a 40 minute drive. Ben had three hours to work on trip notes...and take a nap!

Prashant and his wife and two daughters arrived at Ben's hotel at 7:00 p.m. to pick him up for dinner. We drove 30 minutes to dine at Sahib Sindh Sultan, a cute restaurant in an upscale mall. The "SSS" were the three Vulcan engines which pulled the train that made Asia's first rail run on April 16, 1853 from Bori Bunder to Thane. We had a lovely dinner (too much food) and great conversation. Ben also tried the paan after dinner -- a concoction wrapped in a betle leaf and used as a palate cleanser, a breath freshener, and for digestive purposes. He gamely chewed (and chewed and chewed) and managed to swallow the entire thing with several big slugs of water. An acquired taste to be sure. :-)

Ben got back to his room about 10:40 p.m. and spent an hour on packing and email before setting his alarm clock for 4:00 a.m. and going to bed just after midnight.

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Last updated Friday, September 14th, 2012.
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