Afzal Gunj formerly grain merchants’ hub; now a city hot spot
Afzal Gunj Formerly Grain Merchants’ Hub; Now a City Hot Spot. Afzal Gunj is an old suburb located in the south zone of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits. It is very close to Musi river.
Afzal Gunj is an old suburb located in the south zone of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits. It is very close to Musi river.
The Central Bus Station Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (formerly known as Imilibun) is present here. It is the third largest bus station in India in terms of area, occupying 30 acres followed after Delhi and Chennai. The bus station provides services to most of the parts of the city and other districts and states, covering 3,560 arrivals and departures per day.
The major land marks are Osmania General Hospital (built by the Nizam in 1910), Telangana State Central Library (constructed in 1891 by Nawab Imad-ul-Mulk. It was formerly known as the Asafia Library), Telangana High Court (constructed by the Nizam in 1920), Salar Jung Museum (constructed in 1951).
Prominent areas under Afzal Gunj are Begum Bazar; Siddiambar Bazar; Osaman Gunj; Padmashali Colony; etc. The population of the area is 1.3 lakh, spread over in 2.5 square kilometres.
The fifth Nizam Afzal ad-Dawlah gifted land to grain merchants for trade and commerce. The place was named Afzal Gunj. A lot of markets mushroomed around Begum Bazaar like Moazzam Jahi Market, Siddi Amber Bazaar, Osman Gunj Market, Begum Bazaar, Pool Bagh etc. Afzal ad-Dawlah, Asaf Jah V Mir Tahniyath Ali Khan Siddiqi, was the ruling Nizam of Hyderabad from 1857 to 1869. His realm was divided into five subahs and sixteen districts; each subah was headed by a subedar and each district by a taluqdar. Reforms during his reign, by his Prime Minister Salar Jung, included the establishment of a governmental central treasury in 1855. He reformed the Hyderabad revenue and judicial systems, instituted a postal service and constructed the first rail and telegraph networks. In 1861 he was awarded the Star of India.
There are many shops that cater to all the needs of the people. Also there is an old shop called as Munnalal Dawasaaz, Mustafa Pan Shop, Vajra Complex (named after Vajramma Erukulla), Ashok Bazar Hardware Needs and a popular Irani hotel called Television Cafe.
The RTC connects Afzal Gunj with all parts of the city like Dilsukhnagar, Gachibowli, Himayat Nagar, Jubilee Hills and villages surrounding the city. The nearest MMTS station is at Malakpet, which is about 2 km away. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is about 35 km from Afzal Gunj.
According to a spokesperson of RTC, “Afzal Gunj bus station has been existing since the Nizam State Rail & Road Transport Department (NSR RTD). It is one of the busiest bus stops in the twin cities, with more than 1,500 trips made by buses to all parts of the city from 5 am to midnight daily.”
G Ramesh, Station House Officer, Sultan Bazaar Traffic Police, said, “The roads near Afzal Gunj are very old and narrow, leading to traffic jams during the peak hours. It is very tough to regulate the traffic. There is a need to widen the roads and take action against illegal encroachments on the footpath, leading the pedestrians to walk on the road leading to unforeseen accidents and fatal injuries. There are no parking slots for the shops located on the ever busy roads, and people park their vehicles on the main road, leading to traffic jams.”
He appealed to the GHMC authorities to widen the roads and remove illegal encroachments to ease traffic.