I visited the Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad and got a chance to photograph the Nizamiah Observatory which played an important part in the first ever international project for collaboratively photographing and mapping the skies - the Carte du Ciel. The observatory, which was the first to have catalogued and mapped both the Northern and Southern skies, now stands desolate and in ruins.
In 1887, at the meeting of the International Congress which established the Astrographic Catalogue, the zone from -17 to -23 degrees was assigned to the Observatory of Santiago. By 1900, the work was still not progressing, so a proposal to establish an observatory in Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay, was made. This, too, did not progress so the Observatory of Santiago was asked to re-undertake the project. At the same time, the Nizamiah Observatory offered to work on this zone as well. So, in 1909 there were two observatories offering to work on the -17 to -23 zone. A resolution passed by the Congress in 1909 assigned the -17 to -20 zone to the Nizamiah Observatory. After completing the photographing and measuring of these four bands in 1920, the International Astronomical Union recommended that the Nizamiah Observatory continue photographing down to -23 degrees declination. This work was completed in 1928. This zone between -17 and -23 degrees is known as the Hyderabad South zone. It also observed a section of the sky in the Northern hemisphere that Potsdam, a city in Germany, was originally assigned. This zone, between +36 and +39 degrees, is known as the Hyderabad North zone.
The Nizamiah Observatory, which still houses the 15" telescope, is located at the Centre for Economic and Social Studies campus in Hyderabad.