Hyderabad, once the city of Nizams, has a certain old world elegance interwoven firmly in the fabric of the modern metro city. The sprawling city of Hyderabad, along with Secunderabad offers a different kind of experience. It is a mixture of the old Muslim world and the modern IT hub, both thriving side by side. The places of tourist interest in Hyderabad are-
The most famous landmark of Hyderabad, the Char minar stands majestically on the middle of the road. It is a beautiful specimen of the Islamic style of architecture, built in 1591. There are four arch shaped entrances and four minarets on the four corners of the structure. Hence, the name char (four) minar. Made of granite and lime mortar, the minarets on four corners stand 55 mt. tall. There are 149 steps inside, to reach the top of Charminar. The passage/staircase to the top is quite narrow and dark. Therefore limited numbers of people are allowed at one time.
Located just next to the Charminar is the oldest and the largest Masjid of Hyderabad, the Mecca Masjid. The Masjid is worth a visit not just for its size, but for the architecture too.
The Chowmahalla Palace is just a walking distance away from the Charminar. Built by the Jahi dynasty, this British style palace comprises of four separate palaces inside one campus. Therefore it is known as Chowmahala palace. It is now a museum showcasing a good collection of the belongings of the royal family, like weapons, jewellery, dresses, baggis, utensils etc.
Golconda is a huge uniquely built fort, surrounded by hills. Built in the 16th century, it thrived for almost 400 years, witnessing the rise and fall of many rulers and their kin. The fort reaches to a height of 120 mts., with a boundary wall covering 10 kms. It needs lots of stamina to climb to the top of this fort.
A major attraction of the Golconda fort is the light & sound show held in the evening, inside the ruins of the fort. It is certainly a must watch! The history of the fort comes alive as the light shines on different parts of the fort, the story being narrated by the reverberating voice of Mr. Amitabh Bachhan.
GOLCONDA FORT MECCA MASJID
Qutub Shahi Tomb
Situated near the Golconda fort, Qutub Shahi Tomb has many tombs inside a campus. Each tomb is worth a visit for their architectural designs and carvings.
Salar Jung Museum
The Salar Jung Museum is one of the biggest museums in India. It requires almost a whole day to see through the entire museum, which has a wide range of collection of antique art and artifacts, utensils, crockery, weapons etc. from all over the world.
Purani Haveli is a comparatively less visited site as it can be reached through small by lanes of Hyderabad. But you certainly must visit this place for the unique wardrobe of the Nizam. Purani haveli was the main residence of Nizam VI. The building structure, in the 19th century neo-classical style, in itself is not very fascinating, but the wooden wardrobe of the Nizam, housed in the haveli, is really amazing. It is believed to be the largest in the world. The wardrobe, where the Nizam kept his innumerable clothes, fully occupies a 73 sq. mt. room, almost till the ceiling. There is a mechanical lift to reach to the top of the wardrobe. This mechanical lift is another really interesting piece of our past.
WOODEN WARDROBE (PURANI HAVELI) HUSSAIN SAGAR LAKE
The Shamirpet Lake and the Hussain Sagar Lake add to the beauty of this planned old city. A giant statue of Standing Buddha stands at the centre of Hussain Sagar Lake, which is a man made lake (tank). Boats ferry tourists to the Buddha statue. The Necklace road encircling the lake offers a beautiful sight in the evening when all the lights are switched on. There are 33 statues of celebrities on the sides of the road around Hussain sagar. On one side of this lake is Hyderabad, and on the other is Secunderabad.
Parks & Gardens
There are a number of beautifully landscaped gardens and amusement parks in Hyderabad. The most prominent being the Lumbini Park and NTR Park.
Like all other Birla Temples in the country, the one in Hyderabad too is a grand one, built in white marble. The temple is on a small hill from where the entire Hyderabad city can be viewed.
Located in the new Hitech city in Hyderabad, Shilparaman is an interesting place, where a wide variety of handicrafts from all states of the country are available at one place.
NTR PARK RAMOJI FILM CITY
Ramoji Film City
When visiting Hyderabad, you simply cannot miss the Ramoji Film City. Located 35 km. away, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, this place is truly an experience of lifetime. It unearths the real story of the make-believe world of movies. There is Taj mahal, Golden temple, Havelis of Rajasthan, a London residential colony, college, stadium, airport, railway station, caves, hospital, prison, Japanese garden, everything is in the campus. The half sized Taj Mahal here will appear like the real one in movies. Then there are different sections showcasing the making of movies, how the stunts are performed, animation, dreamworld etc. A whole day is needed for Ramoji studio tour. It is an amazing experience. You are bound to return smiling all the way.
Mosques, churches and temples, all exist in almost equal number. You can get a taste of both, the typical south Indian culture as well as the Muslim culture.
When in Hyderabad, how can one forget to buy the real pearl jewellery sets for self as well as friends & relatives! Then the hyderabadi food! There are lots of delicacies to explore, particularly for the non-vegetarians.
Hyderabad still seems to retain the royal, relaxed aura of the Nizams, even amidst all the modern developments. The city is worth a visit, not just for experiencing the old world charm of the Nizams, but equally for the contemporary, beautifully planned modern Hyderabad.