Nestling on predominantly sloping terrain of grey and pink granite, dotted with small hills, Hyderabad is the city of Nizams located in the state of Andhra Pradesh and considered as the twin city of Secunderabad. It is a historic city, known for its rich heritage, monuments and culture. The city was founded by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah in the year 1591 and contributed a lot in the development of the city. Many dynasties came to this city and made various beautiful monuments and forts that reflect different architectural senses. After 1687, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb conquered this city.
Hyderabad is also renowned for its coloured stones. Once known for its pearl and diamond trading centres, today the city steered its stature to one of the eminent financial and Information Technology hubs in India. It is not only visited for the popular architectures like the Charminar and the Golkanada Fort or for the Ramoji Film City but today it is often frequented by corporate travellers as well. The city is also a hub of software firms. Mughal and Persian style of food is easily available in the restaurants. Enjoy various attractions in Hyderabad such as the Charminar, Golconda Fort, Mecca Masjid, The Salar Jung Museum, Quli Qutub Shahi Tombs and many others. Some other noted tourist destinations around Hyderabad are Tirupati and Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, Hampi and Badami in Karnataka and Nanded in Maharashtra.
Hyderabad is one of the frequented tourist cities in India for its unique and rich culture, tradition and hues of Nizams. The city is nestling amidst the hues of Deccan terrain as well as the Eastern Ghats. The city is well knitted by roadways, airways and railways. Hyderabad encircles some of India’s prominent cities that can be reached within a day. The distance from Bangalore to Hyderabad is approximately 560 km whereas from Mumbai to Hyderabad it is approximately 700 km and from Chennai to Hyderabad is 630 km whereas from Tirupati to Hyderabad is 550 km and from Vizag to Hyderabad is approximately 590 km. The distance from Hampi to Hyderabad is approximately 370 km. Thus Hyderabad being centrally located, one can reach Hyderabad by road from the major South Indian and Deccan cities.
This city consists of three main railway junctions. Hyderabad Railway Station, Secunderabad Railway Station and Kachiguda Railway Station are the three important points to board trains for different locations.
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport connects the city to some of the major international hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur, Doha, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Muscat, Mashhad, London and Sharjah. Well the domestic terminal connects the city with all other cities in India. Hyderabad Airport is about 8 km away from the city centre and is accessible with various transportation facilities.
Hyderabad acquits a tropical wet and dry climate. The city dwells fairly warm climate all throughout the year except for the winter season during which the climate remains pleasant. Thus the ideal time to visit the city is from October to March to feel its charm that the Nizams have left behind years before.
Hyderabad climate is hot and humid in the month of May when the temperature scorches at 40°C and 45°C. In the months from June to September the city receives medium to heavy rains and may be associated with heavy winds. The temperature in October lies between 22 °C and 30°C whereas it drops to a minimum of 20°C and stays within 25°C in November. During the months of December and January the temperature varies between 15°C and 20°C. The temperature in February and March slightly rises to a maximum of 27°C and In April the temperature soars to a high of 35°C.
Hyderabad was crafted by the Nizams and now it is popularly known as the Pearl City of India. Hyderabad holds spectacular examples of history like Charminar, Golconda Fort, Mecca Masjid and Chowmahalla Palace. Ramoji Film city is also one of the major tourist attractions in Hyderabad where a lot of Bollywood movies are shot. Other prominent tourist attractions in Hyderabad are AP State Archaeology Museum, Nizam Museum, City Museum, Birla Science Museum, Shamirpet Lake, Hussain Sagar Lake and Mir Alam Tank.
With lots of wildlife parks in and around the city, Hyderabad sightseeing gives a perfect blend of nature and culture. Some famous national parks are Mrugavani National Park, Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park, Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park and Manjira Wildlife Sanctuary.
Nehru Zoological Park: Spanning across an area of 300 acres, Nehru Zoological Park was opened for public in 1963. A must visit for animal lovers; this zoo houses around 250 species of fauna. All the animals are kept in surroundings similar to their natural atmosphere. It has species of Indian rhino, Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, python, panther, Asiatic lion, gaur, antelopes, deer, Himalayan Black Bear and number of birds as its inmates. A number of animals from zoo across the country have been brought here showcasing the variety of wildlife it inhabitants.
Few added attractions for children and visitors include Natural History Museum, Toy Train, Aquarium, Butterfly Park, Jurassic Park and Children’s Park. It happens to be the first zoo that started off with the idea of Safari Park and successfully established the Lion Safari Park. This park has been extended to a Safari complex also including Bear Safari, Tiger Safari and Bison Safari.
Moreover, Mir Alam Tank that is situated next to this zoological park also draws a number of people due to boating activity conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department.
Birla Mandir: Hyderabad is the brainchild of Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah of Qutub Shahi dynasty. It later went to the hands of Mughal viceroy Asif Jah I, who created his own dynasty which in known till today as the Nizams of Hyderabad. The relics of Qutb Shahi and Nizams are still visible everywhere in Hyderabad and amidst those masterpieces; symbols of Hindu religion are also seen to exist in harmony. One such immaculate example is Birla Mandir, an enchanting Hindu temple that showcases the brilliance of marble work and Hindu architecture. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara and remains occupied by thousands of tourists. While the outer structure of the temple represents the magical blend of Dravidian, Rajasthani and Utkala architectures, the granite idol of presiding deity explain the majesty of Hindu God and their religious teachings. Its picturesque setting on a hillock wide opens up to breath taking views of Hussain Sagar and the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Apart from the main shrine, the temple has shrines of other Hindu deities like Ganesha, Brahma, Shiva, Saraswati, Hanuman and Shakti.
Golconda Fort: Golconda is a medieval fort overlooking the city. Originally built in mud on a 400 ft hill, the fort ruins of today have seen the reign of several dynasties. Situated 11 km away from the bustling urbanism of Hyderabad, it derives its name from a Telugu word meaning Shepherd’s Hill. Reminiscence of a well-planned Golconda city within the fortress limits is evident even now. The remains of multiple fortification layers, armouries, magazines, mosques, granaries, reservoirs, audience chambers and royal dwellings complement the striking appearance of the fort.
Famous for its acoustics, a unique signalling device that was incorporated in its construction, the structure is known for its palaces, ingenious water supply system and the famous Fateh Rahben, one of the cannons used in the last siege of Golconda by Aurangzeb. The Sound & Light show brings alive the grandeur of one of India’s famous forts.
Char Minar: Char Minar is located in the heart of Hyderabad’s old city, surrounded by Mecca Masjid and Laad Bazaar - a boisterous shopping street, this landmark is laced in history. Built in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, it was constructed to commemorate the founding of Hyderabad and also to ward of a deadly epidemic that was rampant then in the Golconda region. Graced by 4 minarets soaring almost 50 ft in height, it has a mosque and 45 prayer spaces.
Qutub Shahi Tombs: One of the historical places to visit in Hyderabad is the set of absolutely beautiful Qutub Shahi Tombs ensconced against the lovely backdrop of the picturesque Ibrahim Bagh. These represent the final resting ground of rulers of the founding dynasty of Hyderabad. The most authentic and majestic display of Persian, Hindu, and Pathan architectural designs dedicated to the seven kings who ruled Golconda for nearly 170 years, the rulers themselves built these tombs.
Mecca Masjid: Mecca Masjid holds a distinct position of not just being the oldest mosques in the city, but is also one of India’s biggest. This 400 year old monument was constructed using the soil from Mecca. Adding more to the erstwhile era around the Charminar and old Hyderabad city, the mosque’s imposing structure and splendid architecture are visible in its three-arched façade carved from single granite, minarets, and balconies.
Shri Jagannath Temple: Shri Jagannath Temple is a modern day temple built by the local Oriya community. This replica of the original in Puri draws devotees with its sanctum sanctorum housing statues of Lord Jagannath, and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. A true representation of the original, the construction in red sand stone is a visual marvel and is known for its annual Ratha Yatra. The spectacular temple is constructed with an attractive Shikhara measuring 70 feet in height.
Ramoji Film City: Ramoji Film City is one place which makes its way to every traveller’s list because of its magical theme around cinema, which is the most common love of every Indian. The only one of its kind in India, this holiday destination offers something special to everyone. The world’s largest integrated film city, spread across 2,000 acres ensures that every visitor makes most from the day spent here. Features include well-defined categories of entertainment suited for different ages from Eureka, the performance arena modelled on the lines of royal forts hosting live shows, to getting a tour of a typical film studio, multi-cuisine restaurants, shopping venues, kids’ park, and even a bird park.
Salar Jung Museum: Salar Jung Museum is located in the prime venue of old Hyderabad city near the Charminar, Mecca Masjid and State Central Library. This is among India’s premier museums with 38 galleries spread over three buildings. Check out artifacts mirroring the human evolution from 2nd century BC to early 20th century AD.
Hussain Sagar Lake: Hussain Sagar Lake is one of the largest man-made lakes in India and has been adorning the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad since 1562. This lake is best visited to spend time around dusk with pleasant air filling the surroundings. Adding to its charm is the monolithic statue of the Buddha installed in the heart of the lake. Several facilities around the lake periphery such as boating and water sports, and the neighborhood Lumbini Park, an amusement park are add-on attractions.
Biggest Baobab: Hyderabad’s biggest possible tree of Baobab popularly called “The Cave of 40 Thieves” is situated close to Golconda Fort. This centuries old Hatiyaan tree stands right opposite the Mulla Khiyali Mosque in the less frequented vicinity of Naya Quila. Belonging to the African Baobab family, the tree gets its name from its enormous girth and also the branches that look like elephant trunks. The hollow of this mesmerizing tree can easily accommodate over 20 people.
Falaknuma Palace: Falaknuma was once private property of the Nizam’s royal family. It is equipped with a lavish reception room and a library which has a roof carved from Walnut. On the architectural front, it has a blend of the Italian and Tudor styles.