Hyderabad Municipal Maps, City Area, Sheet No - 6

Leonard Munn, A.F Chinoy, and A.T MackenzieJanuary, 1913

Kalakriti Archives

Kalakriti Archives
Hyderabad, India

The river Musi and its northern bank is the highlight of the map. The river Musi, a tributary of the Krishna River, originating from the Ananthagiri Hills near Vikarabad is famous as much as Hyderabad famous. The original city of Hyderabad was founded on the southern bank of river Musi by Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1591 A.D, and over the centuries, the city has grown into both banks of the river. The old city lies on its southern bank, which was the seat of power till the 7th the Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. Also, the people of Hyderabad will never forget it due to the recurrent floods in it, and the worst one occurred in 1908 which led to the reorganization of the city itself. Subsequently, the Nizam shifted his residence, since then the city center saw a shift into the northern banks in particular. So, the role of Musi is inevitable for the city of Hyderabad both positively as well as negatively, not only in the past but also at the present too, in the forms of canals and dams constructed over it for the distribution of water.

The settlement area on the northern bank of the river, crossed by a channel diverted from the river seems for the distribution of water than a carrier of drainage, depicted on the map. The Major settlement is around the Mukhtarpura street, where many other street lanes are meets together and formed a junction, there, interestingly a gateway namely Chau Burji is identifiable on the map. Besides the residences, temple, garden, and Chilla are also visible on the map. The word Chilla has many meanings like 'retreat' in western religious terms, whereas both in Arabic and Persian literally means forty. It is a spiritual practice of penance and solitude in Sufism. The Sufi/dervish isolated from any human contact and remain in a practice of meditation without food for forty days and nights within a small room like the ritual of Arbaeen, an observance take place for forty days after the Muharram 10, especially of Shia Muslims. So, here the building also seems such one.


  • Title: Hyderabad Municipal Maps, City Area, Sheet No - 6
  • Creator: Leonard Munn, A.F Chinoy, A.T Mackenzie
  • Date Created: January, 1913
  • Provenance: These sets of maps were created by the Hyderabad Municipal Survey during 1912-1915. The devastation caused by the flood of 1908 in the river Musi, prompted the Nizam’s administration to devise a plan for urban Hyderabad. This was led by an engineer Leonard Munn (1878-1935). The other people, who were part of the survey under Munn, was A.F. Chinoy as the assistant and A.T. Mackenzie as chief engineer from the P.W.D. What makes these maps much more precious is that each and every thing are depicted in it. The names of streets, landmarks, and even residents appeared prominently on the map. The dominant opinion on the creation of the municipal maps is the 1908 flood, which took over many lives as well as even merged some areas into one. After the flood, Nizam decided to change the future of the Hyderabad city, who could realize the pitfalls of unplanned growth, resulted in the formation of a planning body called city improvement Board (CIB) in 1912 under the able guidance of M.Vishveshwarya from Mysore. The following years marked by the development activities by the CIB such as improvement of the Musi river banks, slum clearance, construction of houses, construction of bridges and lakes, road and sewerage, and stormwater drainage etc. Also, M. Vishveshwarya submitted a comprehensive planning and some recommendation for the future modification of the city in 1930. The net result also included the idea of Municipal Survey, because without survey modification of the city would be impossible. Thus, survey became inevitable and became the base for everything. The original survey which was started in 1912, done using trigonometric methods with reference to Global Telecommunication System (GTS) points, took over three years to complete it. The origin of the survey was the S.E minaret of Afzal Ganj Masjid. The survey divided the city into 848 parts, which were grouped into 16 sets and each map showing 1000 feet north to south and 1400 feet east to west. Since the maps are at a scale of 50 feet to 1 inch, showing each and every building that existed then.The survey divided the city into 848 parts, which were grouped into 16 sets (area). These 16 areas were Chadarghat & Residency; Mir Alam & Bahdurpura; Asaf Nagar; Falak Numa; Khariatabad, Karwan; Golconda; Chilkalgura; Lingampalli; Malakpet & Chanchalgura; North Hussain Sagar Tank; Begampet; Saifabad & South Hussain Sagar Tank; Hughes Town & Mushirabad; Phisal Banda, and City area. The number of sheets from each of these areas were more in number. Since the maps are at a scale of 50 feet to 1 inch, showing each and every building that existed then. The main roads along with streets and branch roads; building footprints like whether the building has one or more than one stories; bungalows, and gardens whether it is major or tiny like laid out along with homes or with graves, and finally even minute details. The minute details are interesting because it did not leave even to mark fire plugs, dust bins, letter box pillars, urinal, latrines, baoli, water trough, well, hills, cart tracks, drain channels, hedge, ponds, and lakes etc. The landmarks like the Temple, Mosque, Church, Dargah, Police Station, Dhobi Ghat, Brick Kiln, Tanneries, etc are also well depicted. The residents of prominent people in the form of vestibules along with stables always attached to it are also noted. Also, the graveyards are well marked based on the names given like cemetery, kabristan, masan, and samadh, which makes one easily understandable to which community it belongs. The nature of the soil is also marked well by indicating whether the land was wasteland or else hilly, marshy, and cultivable land etc. Another interesting thing is that the flood level of 1908 also marked by highlighting high and low water marks areas.The general index to the areas, those were the core places of the survey, are given on the back of the map. The index to the sheet numbers from the particular area is also given back of the map. And, it is even mentioned that some sheets have not been printed, because those were blank sheets and showing only water surfaces. Also, 60 symbols and abbreviations are listed on the back indicating whatever things and places come under the survey. Apart from these, the methods used to conduct the survey, Hyderabad Municipal Survey office seal along with reproduced sheet numbers, and even marked whether it is the special edition or not, are also showed clearly on the back of the map.
  • Subject Keywords: Musi River, Masan, Gobind Nayak, Dewal Mata, Dhangar Lane, Dherwara Lane, Chilla, Dewal, Sikh Lane, Sayad Fakhr-ud-Din Vakil, Kalot Lane, Mukhtarpura Street, Latrine, Kazi Sahib Lane, Masjid Ghauslya, Dewal Mata, Sayad Ahmad Lane, Kalot Street, Chau Burj, Munawar Jah Ihata Street, Ihata Munawar Jah.
  • Type: Map
  • Rights: Karen Leonard
  • Medium: Paper
  • Survey: 1912/1915
  • Publishing House: Hyderabad Minicipal Survey
  • Map Size: 69 x 102 cm
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1878/1935
  • Creator's Bio: Leonard Munn, an engineer, who was the chief inspector of the mines under the Nizam rule. Munn was born in Madresfield village in Worcestershire in England on May 31, 1878. He graduated as a mining engineer and had worked in the mines in Australia and Africa well in the 1890s. Munn arrived in India in 1902, worked first for a private firm as a gold prospector and then became the chief inspector of mines under the Nizam's government. He worked as a mining engineer with Municipal Survey Department during 1909-1919. Then he became the special officer in charge of Well-Sinking and Geological Department and even served as the Director of the Geological Survey in 1928. In 1929, Munn shifted his residence to the Lingsugur, a place in the northern Karnataka, was part of Nizam's dominion in those time. Munn died at Lingsugur on October 21, 1935, and buried in an old British cemetery. An inscription found from his gravestone about his achievement especially on supervising the construction of 1200 wells in the famine zone of Raichur district.
  • Commissioned by: 7th Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan
  • Collection: Kalakriti Archives_Karen Leonard's collction

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