Ever wondered where the name Nampally came from? It comes from Neknam Khan, governor of Karnataka whose actual name was Raza Ali. It was changed to Neknam Khan when he came to work for Mohd Mir Jumla, the subedar of Karnataka.
An able military commander and administrator, Neknam Khan was an accomplished scholar and poet. Such was his renown that a famous poet of the period, Md Ibrahim Shah Qadir, wrote a long poem in his praise. When he died in 1672, a village Neknam Khan Pally was established which later became Nampally. There is another hamlet Neknamguda named after him, located near Nanakramguda, beyond Dargah Hussain Shah Wali.
From a small village to a bustling shopping centre, Nampally today houses a mix of new and old buildings. Among the important places in the area is the shrine Dargah-e-Yousufain, which is the final resting place of the two great saints, Hazrat Syed Yousufuddin and Hazrat Syed Shareefuddin. They served in the army of Aurangzeb when he attacked Golconda and according to local beliefs it was due to their prayers and blessings that Aurangzeb could conquer Golconda in 1687.
To the south of this shrine is Khitte Saliheen, a burial ground of the Arab religious leaders, who came to the kingdom during the reign of the sixth Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan. Among them was the first murshid (guru or spiritual master) Habeeb Eledroos.
During the siege of Golconda, the Mughal army was stationed in Nampally village. The victory celebrations were held on a large ground, appropriately called Fateh Maidan. There used to be a garden called Bagh-e-Dilkusha which was destroyed by the Mughal army. To the west of Fateh Maidan was Bagh-e-Aam which was obtained by Nawab Salar Jung I in 1899. The first zoo was also founded here. To the left of the Ek Minar Masjid crossroads is the orphanage, Anees-ul-Ghurba (friend of the poor), started by Khwaja Badruddin Chishti in 1948.
The Government Girls School Nampally and College and Priyadarshini College for Women once used to be the garden of Husn Liqa Begum, an adopted daughter of the famous courtesan and poet, Mah Laqa Bai Chanda.
On the rear side of Public Garden was the Amera Department (comptroller office) and Government Guesthouse which has now been converted into the Nampally Civil Court.
The Hyderabad Railway Station (formerly known as Nampally Railway Station) was constructed in 1875 and used to be the last boarding point. The Nampally Sarai built in 1941 comes on the way to the station.
Currently, the locality has become an important business centre with shops dotting the area selling everything from shoes, jewellery to unani and Ayurvedic medicines. Above all, the famous Subhan bakery, known for its tasty Osmania biscuits and the phenomenal giant cookie Dum ka roat, is situated here.