Barkas, Hyderabad

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Coordinates: 17°19′07″N 78°28′56″E / 17.318595°N 78.482298°E / 17.318595; 78.482298

Barkas (Urdu: بارکس‎, (Telugu: బర్కాస్) is a neighbourhood in Hyderabad, India that used to serve as the Military Barracks of the Nizam of Hyderabad. It is known as being inhabited mainly by the Chaush community who are direct descendants of the Hadhrami Arab military men and bodyguards hailing from the Hadhramaut region of the then, South Arabia, now part of the Republic of Yemen.Now barkas comes under old city area of hyderabad. The name "Barkas" is believed to be derived from the English word "barracks". .

It was a colony of the former employees of Nizams, the sovereigns of the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad. As they were surrounded by hostile rulers in the Deccan, Nizams (who considered themselves agnatically descended from first Arab Caliph Abu Bakr) trusted the tall and strongly built Arabs. Arabs had been mostly recruited in their personal army. Their numbers grew and the Arabs were settled in barracks on the outskirts of the walled, gated city.

The name 'Barkas' is derived from the word 'Wadiya Barkas', which is a colony in Saudi Arabia. A regiment from Barkas in Arabia had been called to Hyderabad. So most of the residents of this colony are the original inhabitants of Yemen and Arabia.

One can savour Iranian dishes like Harees (meat cooked with crushed wheat and spices) and Biryani (rice cooked with chicken) and Mandi (made from rice basmati, meat lamb or chicken, and a mixture of spices) in any places in Hyderabad. But the sweet version of Haleem, known by the name Harees, is only available at Barkas.

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