Hyderabad

Brief

Hyderabad, the capital of Telengana State, is a city steeped in time, together with a tremendous modern technological side to it. It is a major centre for the Tech Industry and is so called ‘Cyberabad’. The city was formed by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, a poet of the Deccan form of Urdu and the 5th Sultan of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. He married Bhagmati, a local Hindu beauty and named her Hyder Mahal. It was in her honour, the city derived its name.

After the Shahi Dynasty, Aurangzeb began the Mughal rule and and much later evolved the Nizams. The last Nizam, Osmal Ali Khan, is believed to be one of the wealthiest man on earth, ever.

The Golkonda region, with numerous diamond mines, in the past, was known as the, ‘Diamond Capital of India’ and are famous for having produced the Kohinoor, the Regent, the Hope and the Orloff.

 

Travel Tips

November to February is cool and pleasant (14-19 degrees Celsius) and is the best time for a trip to Hyderabad. February is the time for the world famous 5day longDeccan Festival or Hyderabad Festival, celebrating the rich art, culture, literature, music and cuisines of Hyderabad.

Things to do

The Charminar withfour iconic minarets(184feet) and four enormous arches and a double balcony, constructed in 1591, defines the city of Hyderabad. This archaeological treasure is one of the most popular Indian monuments. The main markets, Laad Bazaar, is around this old Hyderabad area. Hyderabad is famous for Hyderabadi Biriyani, Irani chai (tea), pearls and the indigenous weaves and fabrics. All this is available at the market at a reasonable price.

Makkah Masjid(1694), modelled on Mecca’s Grand Mosque, is one of the largest mosques in India with beautiful Islamic architecture.

The Chowmahalla Palace (1750), palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad is a site with the UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit Award. The Nizam’s collection of cars is the major attraction here.

Paigah Tombs, set amidst a labyrinth spread across 30 acres, have beautiful Moorish architecture and are embellished with lattice and stucco work on marble inlays.

Falaknama Palace (1884) which belonged to the Paigah family and later was owned by the Nizam is taken over by the Taj Group. Entry and palace tour is only through Telengana Tourism and is an expensive proposition.

Salar Jung Museumis formed by private collections of Salar Jung III for 14 long years. He was the Prime Minister to the Nizam Osman Ali Khan. It is one of the largest museums in India and is famous for the curios and art collectibles and the display of clocks.

Birla Temple, the spotless white temple with Dravidian Rajasthani and Utkala architecture stands on a 280feet hillock is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara of Tirumala Tirupati. It is built of pure white marble and is illuminated spectacularly in the evening.

Sudha Car Museum is an automobile museum with Kanya Sudhakar’s handmade, ‘Crazy cars’, which resemble everyday objects like pen, pencil and sharpner, dedicated to Children’s Day, handbag and stiletto dedicated to Women’s Day and even condom dedicated to World Aid’s Day. His name is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records (2005) for riding the world’s largest tricycle (42 feet high). You can find his name on Limca Book of Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Golkonda Fort, an architectural wonder, was built in the 16thCentury (1591) by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. It was conquered by Aurangzeb in 1687 and after the Mughals, the Nizams ruled for the next two centuries, from 1724 to 1948. The fort, situated high above on mud citadel, comprised of Fateh Darwaza, Jami Masjid, palaces, galleries, pavilions, halls and baths and the domed tombs of the Kings and their consorts. A walk in the ruins of the fort is one of the most significant tourist attractions. An Entry fee of Rs.10 (9am to 5pm) is charged and Rs.50 is charged for the captivating light and sound show in the evening. The show is in English, followed by Hindi and Telegu.

Hussain Sagar, spread across almost 6 square km, fed by the waters from the river Musi, with the 60feet high stone curved Buddha statue at the centre, is spectacular. Boating and parasailing in the lake are popular activities. The Lumbini Park, situated on the bank is a beautiful park from where one can enjoy a ferry ride to the centre of the lake, to the statue of Buddha.

Snow World, is an amusement park with snow inside, made from mineral water, with provision for snow sports. Entry fee of Rs.500 for an adult and Rs.300 for a child is charged.

Sunset at Osman Sagar Lake should not be missed. On the banks of the lake stands the famous ‘Visa Balaji Temple’, actually called the Chilkoor Balaji Temple. It is now popularly believed that praying at this ancient temple fulfils the desire of getting visa successfully.

Ramoji Film City, 32kms away from the main city of Hyderabad, is spread across 2000 acres with numerous entertainment facilities. Sets of the Wild West to Indian Bazars, palaces to slums, airports and railway stations are present. Many movies have been shot here. An Entry fee of Rs.1150 per adult and Rs.950 per child is charged.

The Tollywood stars are seen sprawling around Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills. The Tinsel Town is a notable place as it is home to the entertainment industry. Their bungalows, apartments and studios are situated here. Near this area one can visit the Durgam Cheruvu Lake. Durgam Cheruvu hanging bridge is under construction. One must not miss Shilparamam, an arts and crafts village, preserving and propagating Indian handicrafts, located in this area (Madhapur).

There is a small saree village, Ponchampalli, on the Hyderabad – Vijayavada Highway. You can see how the sarees are woven and can pick up from plethora of choices.

What to Eat & Where to Eat

Hyderbadi Dum Biriyani with Mirchi ka Salan and Khubani ka Meetha made of apricots as dessert from Paradise Restaurant completes the Hyderabad trip.

Mutton Paya at Sadab Hotel near Charminarand Maqdoom Bhai ke Paya at Mangalhat are lipsmacking.

Irani Chai and Osmania Biscuits at Nimrah Café and Bakery (NCB) near Charminar is just perfect for evening snacking.

Ulavacharu, Rayalaseema Ruchulu, Dakshin and Chutneysare famousfor authentic South Indian dishes.

Getting Around

Hyderabad has good public transport run by Telengana State Road Transport. Telengana Tourism runs HOHO buses (Charges Rs.500-650) every half an hour, starting from 9:00am to 5:00pm, from Lumbini Park/ Tank Bund. The service is closed on Fridays. Car services and Taxis are also available.

  • Flight

    Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, 24kms away from the main city, is well connected with trains, buses and taxis.

     

  • Train

    Secunderabad Railway Station is closest to the city with ample availability of buses and taxis.

     

  • Bus

    Imlibun Bus Stand (Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station) and Central Bus Stand (CBS) connecting NH65) are the most popular bus stands connecting the major cities of India.

Surrounding Attractions

Sanchi is a famous Buddhist pilgrimage. Some of the first “stupas” here were built around the 3rd century BC by King Ashok.  Sanchi is located around 45 kilometers from Bhopal and can be accessed by road.

Khajuraho is famous for its numerous temples as well as showcasing Kamasutra through figures/ statues on the temples. It is located around 383 kilometers from Bhopal.

Pachmarhi is a small army settlement and is located around 210 kilometers from Bhopal.

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