“The twin city of Hyderabad”.
Where is Secunderabad?
The city of Secunderabad is the twin city of Hyderabad in the State of Telangana lying on the northern part of the Deccan Plateau. Both cities are referred to as the twin cities, although they have different histories and cultures.
Secunderabad is divided from Hyderabad by the Hussain Sagar lake and was developed in 1806 as a British cantonment under the British Raj. To this day it still has a large presence of Indian army and air force personnel.
Secunderabad was a liberal city compared to Hyderabad due to the presence of the British. Local churches like Wesely church and St. Mary’s church adding to the cosmopolitan culture of the city.
Our journey from Chenni to Secunderabad was on the train.
During our time in Secunderabad, we chose to stay at the Hotel Incredible One booked through Booking.com. A boutique hotel located in the heart of the city. Our room came with an ensuite bathroom, complimentary breakfast, free Wifi, a safe, a refrigerator, and an LED TV.
Places of interest
Our visit to Secunderabad wasn’t for sightseeing. It was to visit the church in which Tania’s grandparents got married and the venue in which they held their wedding reception.
Church of St. John The Baptist
Built in 1813, it is the oldest Christian church in Secunderabad and the church in which Tania’s grandparents got married in 1942. The church has an amazing pipe organ, built in Chennai, in September 1908, which is still used every Sunday during service.
We would like to think that it was used during Tania’s grandparents wedding ceremony. Primarily built to serve the spiritual needs of the British Forces stationed at Lancer’s Line, the Rev J. Brachenbury was the first Chaplain.
Being a Garrison church, during the Parade Services held every Sunday, the servicemen’s rifles were placed outside stacked in typical tripod formation. However, during the great Indian Mutiny of 1857-1859, rifles were stolen by mutineers. Subsequently, the Commanding Officer of the British Forces ordered rifle racks to be installed at each pew, allowing weapons to be taken into the church.
Established in 1878, it is one of the five oldest clubs in India. Formed by the British Army Garrisons that were stationed in Secunderabad. It is also the club in which Tania’s grandparents held their wedding reception in 1942.
The Club was then known as the Garrison Club. As time went by, the officers later changed the name to the Secunderabad Club since it was situated in Secunderabad. Until 1947, there were only British Presidents of the Club and a few high-ranking nobility were offered membership.
Club membership is extremely difficult to obtain, being bequeathed across generations, much like family heirlooms, making it an elite club.