The City of the Nizams and the IT Capital of modern India, Hyderabad envelopes centuries of heritage within its ultra-modern lifestyle. Nestled along the banks of the Musi River, it is the fourth most populous city in India. The city still retains the historic glory left behind through ages of the Nizamshahi rule here; something that the hi-tech revolution fails to hide. Let’s walk you through this historic city to explore the secrets the city hides for its travellers.
Hyderabad City Quick Facts
The city of Hyderabad has a surprise for every traveler. Whether you are here for the first time or more than once, the city has a distinct charm that keeps you attracted to itself. Whether it is history, culture, language, or food, Hyderabad will keep all your senses engaged, at all times.
Source: Soham Banerjee
The early 16th Century Hyderabad was under the rule of Qutb Shahi Dynasty for almost a century until it was taken over by Mughals. The city was declared a sovereign state in the early 17th century by Asif Jah, which also came to be known as the Nizams of Hyderabad. Hyderabad continued to be a princely state through the British reign until Indian Independence in 1947.
Much of the cultural bonding that is visible today between the Indian Hindus and Muslims is attributed to the Nizamshahi Rulers who created a sense of homogeneity and respect between the cultures unlike the Adilshahis in the North.
Hyderabad today is the joint capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states after Telangana split up from Andhra Pradesh to form a new Indian State in February 2014.
The legacy left behind by the Nizamshah rulers still remains intact in the daily lifestyle of the city. The city is home to the some of the majestic architectural monuments and buildings that form the centre stage of attractions.
You will love Hyderabad for many reasons, especially if you know how to speak in Hindi. The accent, typically called the ‘Hyderabadi accent’ has been adopted in numerous old Bollywood movies and one of the famous Bollywood Filmstars – Late Mehmood Sahab (Father of Singer Lucky Ali) was popular to use the Hyderabad accent with dexterity in his acting and performance.
Source: Karan Verma
Another reason would be food. The ‘Hyderabadi Biryani‘ is packed with spices your taste buds will fall short of comprehending and you will need some really extra muscles to find it out. The city is a haven for the non-vegetarians and specializes in wide varieties of local non-vegetarian cuisines.
Hyderabad has gradually transformed itself into the IT Hub of India, and the metamorphosis of the ancient and the modern is exceptionally seamless. You will find even the most educated locals of the city in the most simple attire and lifestyle, reflecting how rooted they are, to their culture.
When to Visit
Although Hyderabad is open to visit round the year, but any time other than summers is good to visit Hyderabad. The rainy seasons are accommodative and can still let you enjoy the city. Summers are hot and humid, so it is recommended to keep summers for other parts of India rather than Hyderabad.
Places to See
Hyderabad has a rich combination of historic and modern architecture that will give a traveler ample opportunities to explore. The good part about Hyderabad is that though the modern city has surrounded itself around the historic one, the city has been planned to keep the access to the historic parts of the city more accessible. The modern roads and buildings have been planned to properly connect the city with the historic monuments and at no point of time, the history seems to be left away from the mainstream. These are some of the popular places you must visit while you visit Hyderabad city.
Source: Low Jianwei
The Golconda Fort is an epitome of architectural excellence. The fortress acted as a barrier preventing the enemy entry into the city. Constructed during the Qutb Shahi Reign, this citadel stands over stone mines that produced some of the most valuable and precious gems of the century. This is where the famous Kohinoor diamond was discovered.
The distinct feature of Golconda Fort is its acoustic design that allowed the guards on the watchtowers to alert the rest of the troops by clapping from the tower. The sound would then circulate across the entire fortress alerting the guards to get prepared against any external attack at a short notice.
Source: Mannar K
The Salarjung Museum is a repository of precious artefacts and art objects which symbolize the artistic tastes of Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan also known as the Salar Jung-III. The Salar Jungs continued the collection as a part of their family tradition for almost three generations.
The museum has a collection of Asian, European and Far Eastern artefacts ranging as far back as 2nd Century A.D. and includes collections of Greek, Roman, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Islamic cultures. The museum has artefacts and sculptures made of wood, stone, metal-ware, paper, ceramics, glass, lacquer, porcelain, bronze, enamel, and seasoned furniture.
Ramoji Film City
Source: Shashi Bellamkonda
Get a glimpse of the Tollywood Films (referred for both Telugu and Bengali Films, based on region), at the film sets of the Ramoji Film City. The film city walks you through a miniature city with gardens, parks, recording rooms, lakes, theaters, action studios and buildings that make you feel a part of cinema for a moment.
You can enjoy game shows, mini-circus, food, fairs and festivals that are organized at various points within the venue.
Hussain Sagar Lake
Source: Alosh Bennett
The centre-stage of the city is the Hussain Sagar lake. The banks of the Hussain Sagar lake give a splendid view of the city. The river is spread over 6 square km and was built in the second half of 16th Century during the Qutb Shahi Reign. The lake draws its water from the Musi River.
The lake at the centre has a splendid monolithic statue of Gautam Buddha, which adds to the charm and beauty of the lake. The lake also stands as a demarcation between the two cities – Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Source: Amit Shah
The laser show attracts hundreds of visitors almost every evening. The laser show is organized in Lumbini Park, located on the banks of Hussain Sagar Lake. The park serves for recreational and leisure activities during the day and has an amphitheatre that is lined with musical fountains in front that displays the 3-D laser show. The lights and the fountains move on the tunes of soulful classical music that is mesmerizing for all.
Mecca Masjid & Charminar
Among the most important historic monuments of the city are the Mecca Masjid and Charminar. Built during the Asaf Jahi rule, the Jama Masjid speaks volumes about the artistic and architectural mastery of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty.
Where to Eat
Hyderabad is famous for its royal taste and years of Nizamshahi Rule have preserved the authentic tastes and flavours that still reflect in the local cuisine. In fact, the food tour itself is an awesome way to understand and connect with the Hyderabadi culture. Here’s what you can try as you explore the royal city with a royal taste.
Jewel of Nizam
Here is your chance to get the authentic taste of Nizam Cuisine with the Jewel of Nizam. With its royal decor and ambiance, it is just the right place to enjoy the fine dining and Hyderabadi Hospitality. The restaurant several varieties of non-vegetarian delicacies such as Gosht(Meat), Kebabs, Fish, Lamb, and Chicken Shorba.
Address: Address: 10-1-124, Ground Floor | The Golkonda Hotel, Masab Tank, Hyderabad 500028, India
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The K&K Restaurant is a restaurant for all age groups, young and old, friends and family. The restaurant serves plethora of refined cuisines and also sports a chic bar – Marco Polo. The restaurant also serves other varieties such as Dakshin, the coffee shop Deccan Pavilion, and signature Kebabs and Curries.
Address: ITC Kakatiya Hotel, Lobby Level | Begumpet, Hyderabad 500016, India
Contact: +91-40 23400132
Gokul Chaat Bhandar
Get your hands on the Indian fast food rich in taste and flavours. Try out the tangy Pani puris, samosas, papdi, chaat, and of course – the yummy kulfis.
Address: Koti main Road, | Koti, Hyderabad, India
Where to Shop
Hyderabad is a haven for shopping lovers. Whether traditional or modern, you will find variety of options for your shopping tastes.
The Perfume Market
Source: Vetlver Aromatics
Entice your senses with the rich aroma of the locally prepared perfumes of Hyderabad’s perfume market. Also known as the ‘ittar’, these handmade perfumes come in small glass bottles containing extracts of roses, sandalwood, musk and jasmine.
Address: Laad Bazaar, near Charminar, Hyderabad
This multiplex mall is spread over an area of 2,35,000 square feet and is the largest mall in the metropolitan city. It boasts of 5-screen ultra-modern cinema halls, multi-cuisine fast food outlets, gaming zones, shopping levels, and food courts. You are sure to tire your legs once you check inside the shopping complex.
Address: NTR Gardens, LIC Division P.O., Necklace Rd, Hyderabad, Telangana 500063
Contact: +91-40-2344 8888
Come evenings and Hyderabad becomes vibrant and fun-filled. Rock music, DJ’s, dance, and partying; you name it and the city has it. Here are some places in Hyderabad where you can party around till it lasts.
One of the most stylish pubs in Hyderabad, the lounge boasts of its artistic interiors, specially designed private spaces and a tunneled entrance with a lighting display. The bar plays hip hop, club and house music. The bar specializes in Vodka cocktails such as Mojito, Kamikazi and Mirchi.
Address: 22, RajBhavan Road, Somajiguda, Hyderabad, Telangana 500082
Contact: +91-40-2345 6789
Hours: 07:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Get a panoramic view of the entire Hyderabad city as the night lights reflect the splendid cityscapes over the Hussainsagar Lake. This eight storied rooftop lounge, part of the Hyderabad Marriott Hotel, will make you feel at the top of the world, and is a great place to break free, relax and enjoy your evening. Spice it up with some retro, blues, acoustic, and classics over drinks and what you are looking at is super pleasant evening.
Address: Tank Bund Road, Opposite Hussain Sagar Lake, Hyderabad, Telangana 500080
Contact: +91-40-2752 2999
Hard Rock Cafe
The Hrad Rock Cafe` has an ambiance and setup that surrounds you with the collection of the Rock Stars such as Elvis Presley, George Harrison, and Michael Jackson. Come Thursdays and prepare yourself for some rocking live Indirock and Rock performances by Bob Sinclair, Saving Abel to name a few. The pub also serves a myriad range of cocktails and mocktails such as Hurricane, Mojitos, Ice Teas, Mango Tango, Berrilicious etc.
Address: GVK One Mall, 1st Floor, Road no 1, In GVK One Mall, Banjara Hills
Contact: +91-40-44767900/ 44767797
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