General view of buildings in the Trimulgherry entrenched camp near Secunderabad, photographed by Deen Dayal in the 1880s.
The Secunderabad we know today was once a British cantonment. The town had a completely different history from Hyderabad, owing to the convergence of Europeans and several different local communities. The present-day Secunderabad, with its churches, temples, bazaars and educational institutions, is reminiscent of this history.
Unlike a large portion of India during colonial rule, Hyderabad was a "princely state" - as such it was not directly ruled by the British. For almost 200 years prior to independence Hyderabad was ruled by the Asaf Jahi dynasty, and the ruler was referred to as the "Nizam". In the late part of the eighteenth century the then Nizam, Nawab Sikandar Jah, allowed the British to post a Resident in Hyderabad, as quid pro quo for British help during some of the wars. The British were allowed to set up their "Residency" in a few villages north of Hyderabad. The area that became the Residency therefore came to be known as "Secunderabad" after the name of the Nizam. This was during the early part of the nineteenth century. In 1857, the British, apprehensive after the Sepoy Mutiny which swept the northern and central parts of India, decided to fortify their areas in Secunderabad. For this purpose they built an encampment surrounded by a trench - the Entrenchment.
First photograph is a view of the Entrenchment, probably taken from All Saints Road on its northern edge. The low hills visible in the distance are (possibly) Malkajgiri (on the left) and the area now known as Mahendra Hills (on the right). At present the Entrenchment area is occupied by the Indian Army, which has a Military Hospital and other establishments there.
Initially it encompassed an area of ten square kilometers and had a population of 5,000 troops, plus several thousand civilians. However years later it had increased to 41 square kilometers making it one of the largest cantonments in asia.
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