Hyderabad: The City of Pearls

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“Kya miyaan, Hyderabad aaya aur biriyani nakko khaya to kya kiya?”

Walk into Hyderabad and you’ll be greeted to a language that has proudly christened itself as a cross breed of Urdu and Hindi.

Known as the ‘city of pearls’, Hyderabad offers a variety of tourist attractions ranging from Heritage monuments, Lakes and Parks, Gardens and Resorts, Museums to delectable cuisine and a delightful shopping experience.

To the traveller, Hyderabad offers a fascinating panorama of the past, with a richly mixed cultural and historical tradition spanning 400 colourful years

From the charming Charminar, which is today one of the most recognised monuments of India and the face of Hyderabad, to the plush area of Banjara Hills and Hi-Tech city, Hyderabad is a perfect concoction of old-world charm and modern marvels.

Places to visit

Charminar

A symbolic representation of the city itself, a trip to Hyderabad is not complete without paying this place a visit. Charminar is a monument synonymous with the city itself; the four spires rising in the sky seem to proclaim to the world of the rich heritage of this ancient city. The breathtaking structure, which is at the heart of the city will mesmerise you more as you come closer.

An excellent example of Islamic architecture, the structure is made up of pulverized marbles, granites, mortar and limestone. As the sound of the city dwindles down, as serenity starts surrounding you, you will feel like heaven itself is blessing you.

Golconda Fort

One of the famous landmarks of Hyderabad, Golconda fort will take you far back into a time when kings ruled, battles were fought, and history was created.

Renowned for its diamond mines that have given the world the famous Kohinoor and Darya-i-noor diamonds, Golconda is also known for this famous fort. The ancient fort complex of Golconda will charm you with its history, tinged with legends and anecdotes.

Ramoji Film City

Get ready for a blockbuster holiday with your family at India’s best thematic destination and world’s largest film city. Ramoji Film City is India’s very own version of Disneyland, with a twist that only Indian cinema can bring! The film city is owned by the Ramoji group, which is headed by Ramoji Rao, a famous director of the Telegu film industry.

Declared as the ‘largest film city in the world’ by the Guinness Book of World Records, the place attracts millions of tourists every year. As you enter this place, you will see miniature replica sets of the Golconda Fort and the Hawa Mahal. The Fort is built on a hilltop from where you can get spectacular views of the entire film city.

Surendrapuri

If you have ever wondered about the innumerable Hindu Gods and Goddesses, you should check out this mythological museum. Located about 60 km away from Hyderabad city, not many tourist make it up to this place. But once you reach here, you’d realize how cool this place is. Also called the Mythological Awareness Centre, the museum was established to create knowledge about Hindu mythology.

Shilparamam Cultural Society

A place of the old world innocence and simplicity combined with the highly talented craftsmanship of traditional Telugu culture as well as other cultures of India, Shilparamam Cultural Society in Hyderabad is keeping the antiquity of Indian heritage alive in the midst of its modern changes. Thatched roof complexes, sparkling waterfalls, terracotta horses at the gate, statues dressed in traditional attires in rustic surroundings–it is a trip that showcases the traditional way of Indian life.

This trip will take you through handicraft markets of saris and pottery and if the All India Crafts Mela is happening, you will get to choose your souvenir from 650 stalls hailing from 25 Indian states.

Nehru Zoological Park

Spanning 300 lush green acres, the Nehru Zoological Park is a must for nature lovers. It has over 250 species of animals and birds, most of which are kept in conditions as close to their natural habitats as possible.

This is the first zoo to create moated enclosures for animals. The Lion Safari Park, Natural History Museum and Children’s Train are the added attractions.

Chowmahalla Palace

Sparkling fountains, lush gardens and in the midst of it all, a pretty white palace–these are the things that fairytales are made of! To see a fairytale come to life, come to Chowmahalla Palace.

Once, the palace used to serve as a royal entertainment site for the Nizams. Almost two centuries later, it still dazzles the visitors with its unique architectural style and elegance.

Today, Chowmahalla serves as an exclusive party venue, and hosts a lot of corporate parties and other big social events. As you step in the chandelier-lit Durbar Hall, the Belgian crystals glittering above and the white marbled floors with a mirror finish polish below, will transport you to a different world. And wait till you see the other royal artifacts and decorations.

Hussainsagar Lake

Excavated in 1562 AD by Hussain Shah Wali during the time of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah, the lake has a promenade that is a busy thoroughfare today. Boating and watersports are a regular feature in the Hussainsagar.

One of the World’s tallest monolithic statues of the Buddha stands on the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’, in the middle of the lake. Surroundings of Hussainsagar Lake provide marvellous entertainment options like NTR Gardens, Necklace Road, Tank Bund, Prasads Multiplex, Lumbini Park, Sanjeevaiah Park etc.,

Mecca Masjid

As your eyes follow the pigeons feeding on the long staircase and then take flight up to the high minarets of the mosque, you will feel the holiness that surrounds this oldest and biggest mosque in Hyderabad.

A sacred place for the Muslim population, located within 4 km from the centre of Hyderabad, the mosque has a central arch that was constructed using bricks made from the soil brought from Mecca by the then ruler Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, which is why it is called the Mecca Masjid.

Jagannath Temple

A must visit, if not for religious inclinations, then for its architectural magnificence, Jagannath temple is truly a sight to behold. Constructed by a group of Oriya workers, who wished to replicate the architecture of the Jagannath temple in Puri, the peak of the temple reaches 21.3 metres in height.

Though the main deity is Jagannath (the main deity of the Oriya people) along with his siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra, there are separate shrines for Goddess Laxmi, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and the Navagrahas.

And after a hectic day of sightseeing, don’t forget to dig into Hyderabad’s famous dum biryani and finish it up with some great desserts like ‘double ka meetha’, ‘qurbani ka meetha’ and a plethora of other mouth-watering dishes that can cause a gastronomical riot!

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