An ode to the Frenchman

Moosarambagh is one of the few areas still called after its namesake

By Author  |  Published: 28th Jan 2018  12:25 amUpdated: 26th Jan 2018  5:09 pm
The beautiful Raymond's Tomb located in the area with the 23-foot high obelisk

After the British Residency, which is now referred to as ‘Koti’, this area adjacent to Dilsukhnagar, the area of Moosarambagh is probably the only area to be called by a non-Indian name in Hyderabad.

It is named after the French General, Monsieur Michael Raymond, who found favour with the second Nizam of Hyderabad.  He acquired much popularity amongst the local populace, to the extent that he was referred to as a saint. The Hindus called him ‘Moosaram’, while the Muslims referred to him as ‘Moosarahim’. Perhaps no other foreigner garnered so much love, affection and adulation from the people of Hyderabad as Monsieur Raymond.

His tomb stands in Moosarambagh, on a platform of 180 feet by 80 feet. It has an obelisk 23 feet high, draped in shining black granite stone with the initials ‘J R’ engraved on it.

The other area which had roads and spaces named after foreigners was Secunderabad, which was a cantonment for the British forces, and therefore had names such as Kingsway picket and Panderghast road, but the only area named after a Frenchman is Moosarambagh. He was born on September 29, 1755, and died on March 25, 1789 at the young age of 34.

Close to his tomb is a 28 pillared hall, much like a Greek structure, adjacent to which is a mysterious grave labelled ‘Annie Elizabeth Jaykins’ who died at the age of 21 on November 27, 1809.

Charkaman and Gulzar Houz

The Kamaan to the north in the busy area of charminar

As we move southwards from the Musi river towards the Charminar, we pass the Machli Kamaan where we can see the Gulzaar Houz – the fountain on the crossroad between all four kamaans. Octagonal in shape, this was known for its beauty and was much larger then.

At the time of building the Charminar, Quli Qutub Shah had laid out gardens and palaces around the monument. These numerous palaces were bestowed with titles and names- such as Daulat Khan-e-Ali, Chandan Mahal, Khushdad Mahal, Heena Mahal, Haider Mahal, Sajjan Mahal, Razaa Mahal, etc. At the centre of Daulat Khan-e-Ali stood a large water body, which is said to have been the source of supply of water to the army deployed in the area, and was watering hole for many animals that populated the area at that time.

In 1687, when the Mughals invaded Golkonda and won after a long siege, they destroyed most of the city that Quli Qutub Shah had established. Almost all the palaces and gardens were erased. There was no trace left of these. The only structures that survived this holocaust were the Charminar, Mecca Masjid, the four Kamaans and the fountain, which are reminders of the Qutub Shahi’s splendour.