Hyderabad is the capital of the southern Indian state named Telangana. It’s an old city famous for its rich culture, heritage and the Nizams. Given it’s rich history, it definitely is a tourist destination for solo travelers and family vacations.
While Hyderabad is most famous for the Charminar, there are many more things to do, like shipping and fine dining!
Off-late, Hyderabad has also become famous for being on the technology landscape with numerous software companies setting shop in Hyderabad.
How to get there
Hyderabad is well connected with rail, road and flight network. This is a no brainer. We took a flight to Shamshabad airport a.k.a “Rajiv Gandhi International Airport”.
Where to stay
Well, this is a question that largely depends on your budget. There are too many options from budget hotels to five star ones. We stayed at “The Park” but unfortunately, we were hugely disappointed with the hotel. So take your pick.
What to see – family
There are way too many things to do for families. However, given below is a compilation of few things we enjoyed:
This is a must visit for every traveler. Over 400 years old and still standing. This is the most recognizable piece of architecture from Hyderabad. Just like when you think of Paris and immediately Eiffel Tower comes to your mind, when you think of Hyderabad, Charminar will come to your mind. You cannot miss this at all.
Taken from Wikipadia:
Historian Masud Hussain Khan says that the construction of Charminar was completed in the year 1592, and that it is the city of Hyderabad which was actually founded in the year 1591. According to the book “Days of the Beloved”, Qutb shah constructed the Charminar in the year 1589, on the very spot where he first glimpsed his future queen Bhagmati, and after her conversion to Islam, Qutb Shah renamed the city as “Hyderabad”. Though the story was denied by the historians and scholars, it became popular folklore among the locals.
The Makkah Masjid
Situated just next to the Charminar, this Masjid (mosque) is one of the oldest in Hyderabad. It was completed in 1694 and it still stands majestically. If you are a woman, please remember, you must enter this mosque completely covered. No part of your legs, hands should be showing. The mosque has a special charm to it, something that takes you to an entirely different world. The calmness is what gives you a different feeling.
Makkah Masjid was built during the reign of Muhamm
ad Quli Qutb Shah, the 5th Qutb Shahi Sultan of
Golconda (now Hyderabad). The three arched facades have been carved from a single piece of granite, which took five years to quarry.More than 8,000 workers were employed to build the mosque. Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah personally laid the foundation stone. The construction was later completed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb after conquering Hyderabad.
Salar Jung Museum
This is a very famous museum in India, alas, it has not been maintained well. Still, the artifacts are worth seeing once, especially, the clothes and the arms of the Nizams. Please note, there is heavy traffic jam in front of the museum. You might as well drop your car a few hundred meters before the museum and walk to the gate. The major portion of this collection was acquired by Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan popularly known as Salar Jung III. The zeal for acquiring art objects continued as a family tradition for three generations of Salar Jungs. In 1914, Salar Jung III, after having relinquished the post of Prime Minister to H.E.H., the Nizam VII, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan, devoted rest of his entire life in collecting and enriching the treasures of art and literature till he lived.
Photo courtsey : Wikipedia, author Bernad Gagnon
I’m not too fond of shopping, however, my wife and daughter had already done their research.They were looking to shop for something that you generally do not get anywhere else; the Laad Bazaar, famous for its bangles and the famous Hyderabadi pearls.
Laad Bazaar is next to Charminar and is famous for cheap, gaudy, brilliant and bright bangles. Laad meaning lacquer is used to make bangles, on which artificial diamonds are studded.
The other important shopping item is “Hyderabadi Pearls”. The problem is, that there are far too many fake ones. Unless you know a local, who can take you to an authentic pearl shop, do not try this out. While Hyderabadi pearls are famous all over India, I guess (I’m still not sure), my wife was duped. She purchased two pearl sets. I guess, both are not authentic. Anyone’s best guess.
What to eat
Well, if you are in Hyderabad, how can you not eat the famous Hyderabadi Biryani. We had biryani at a restaurant named Bawarchi at Nallakunta.Pure taste and no nonsense.
Hyderabad is a great place for weekend getaway. Once in a while, you may come across some no-so-good experiences, but that is all a part and parcel of travel and vacation. Generally, its a trip worth remembering. Enjoy your vacation at Hyderabad !