Thousands of people go to the Moula Ali shrine in Secunderabad every year but the story of how the Ashoorkhana (it is often mistaken as a dargah, which is basically a grave) came up is one among those which gives the city its slightly mystic character.
Sometime between 1550 and 1580, during the reign of Ibrahim Qutb Shah (the third king of the Qutb Shahi dynasty), Mallik Yakut, an Abyssinian dreamt that Hazrat Ali, the son-in-law of prophet Mohammed was sitting on the hill with his palm resting on the rock. Yakut woke up and went up to the hill, where he apparently found a handprint engraved into the rock. Later, that piece of rock was taken and consecrated into a shrine on top of the hill.
Primarily a place of worship for Shia Muslims, the Moula Ali shrine is thronged by people of different faiths. At the foothills also lies the tomb of Maha Laqa Bai Chanda, an 18th-century poet and courtesan of the Asa fJahi era. Incidentally, this year marks 250 years since her birth. Come join us for a walk listening to stories about of Moula Ali, the Qutb Shahi era and also about Maha Laqa Bai Chanda, who managed to hold her own in an age that was dominated by men.