Hyderabad

Andhra Pradesh spells magic. For it combines the old with the new, retaining its old culture and hospitality while driving itself to conquer new frontiers, particularly in the realm of information technology as well as tourism. Over the past few years, Andhra Pradesh tourism has emerged as a frontrunner in regards to the creation of new tourist attractions and infrastructure.

Out of all the states of erstwhile Deccan - Bijapur, Berar, Bidar and Golconda - Golconda was by far the most powerful. Ruled by the Qutub Shahis, the capital Bhagyanagar was named after a royal beloved Bhagmati, who later as the wife of Quli Qutub Shah became Hyder Mahal and thus was born Hyderabad.

What started as a strong outpost of the Kakatiyas of Warangal has not turned into a fascinating city. Eight hundred years ago when they made the mud-walled fort on top a hillock that commanded the surroundings, they had little idea that one day it will form the nucleus of a great kingdom and city. Nor, perhaps, did Mohammed Quils Qutb Shah, fifth in line of Qutb Shahi rulers, know it when he fell in love with a village maiden that he was indeed laying the foundations of a unique culture.

Hyderabad, often called the gateway to the South, blends the north and south, blends the north and south Indian identities. Yet, from both it has developed a distinct personality of its own. Its language has melody, its riches were known throughout the world, its style was envied by many. The past still lingers in its present making it a delightful city with a lot to offer: history, culture, entertainment, crafts and above all a great holiday.

Hyderabad General Information

  • Area: 217 Sq km.
  • Population: 36, 86,460
  • Altitude: 500 mt. Above sea level
  • Rainfall: 89 cm. June to September
  • Language: Hindi, Telgu, Urdu & English
  • Festivals: Deccan Festival
  • Clothing:
  • Summer - Cottons
  • Winters – Light Woolens
  • Season: June to February

Best to visit Hyderabad

Hyderabad is a princely state, where you can see a perfect blend of modern and erstwhile luxury. The city is known for its hotness. So, it is recommended to avoid May and June for that matter. But it would be perfect to visit the city between the months of October and March; specifically winter seasons.

Seasons Months Temperature
Summers April to June 30°c - 45°c
Monsoon July to Sep 25°c - 37°c
Winter Oct to March 14°c - 32°c

How to Get There

By Air

The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secundrabad are linked by air services to most important centres of India. Rajeev Gandhi International Airport in Shamsahabad 22 Kms from main city

By Rail

Hyderabad & Secunderabad are well covered on the extensive network of Indian Railways.

By Road

Hyderabad is very well linked to all major centres of the region by regular bus services of Andhra Pradesh State Road

Place to visit

Char Minar

The most important landmark of the city, it was built, as the legend goes, by Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah in honour of his Hindu wife, Bhagmati, in 1591 AD. The 53 mts. tall structure now forms the centrepiece of the old city and is surrounded by crowded bazaars.

The Charminar is as much the signature of Hyderabad as the Taj Mahal is of Agra or the Eiffel Tower is of Paris. It was said to be built as a charm to ward off a deadly epidemic raging at that time. Four graceful minarets soar to a height of 48.7m. Above the ground. Charminar has 45 prayer spaces and a mosque in it. Visitors can view the architectural splendour inside the Charminar. The monument is illuminated in the evenings and a pedestrianisation project around the monument is under implementation.

Mecca Masjid

Close to the Char Minar is the largest mosque of South India, the Mecca Masjid, with lofty colonnades and entrance arches made of single slabs of granite. The mosque was begun by Abdullah Qutb Shah in 1614 AD and completed by Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb in 1687. Mecca Masjid is poetry in stone, with a hall measuring 67m and soaring to a height of 54m. Fifteen graceful arches - five to each of the three sides, support the roof. Towards the southern end of the mosque lie the marble graves of members of the Asaf Jahi dynasty.

Jami Masjid

Also near the Char Minar is the oldest mosque in Hyderabad (1597 AD)

Sri Venkateswara Temple

Popularly called the Birla Minder the white marble temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara stands on one of the two hillocks, Naubat Pahad and Kala Pahad. The temple presents a beautiful sight at night when it is illuminated, standing against the dark sky.

Birla Observatory and Planetarium

It occupies the other hillock, the Naubat Pahad, from where, in the times of the Nawabs, royal edicts were read out. Birla Planetarium is India’s most modern planetarium and first of its kind in the country .It is equipped with advanced technology from Japan and is built on Naubat Pahad adjacent to Kala Pahad. And the Science Museum stands tribute to the advancement achieved by Science and Technology.

Hussain Sagar

The largest of the lakes of Hyderabad and around which the city is spread, it was built by Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah. One of the World’s tallest monolithic statues of the Buddha stands on the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’, in the middle of the lake. Added to all these, AP Tourism have additional boating facilities like speed boats, motor boats, 48 seater launch etc. Starlit dinner on-board and private parties also can be arranged on the Launch.

Nehru Zoological Park

A very fine zoo spread over 320 acres and housing over 3000 animals and birds. The other attractions of the place are a lion safari park, a natural history museum, a pre-historic animal park and a children's park with facilities of a mini-train. (Closed on Monday)
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. APTDC runs an ice-cream parlour and restaurant here.

Golconda Fort

Standing atop an isolation hill on the outskirts of the city, the fort is known for its acoustic effects in built in the architectural design. The original fort was built by the Kakatiyas of Warangal, some eight hundred years ago. The Qutb Shahi rulers of Hyderabad adopted for fort and converted the mud structure into solid battlements and palaces with stone over a span of 62 years. Golconda is one of the famous forts of India. The name originates from the Telugu words “Golla Konda” meaning “Shepherd’s Hill. The fort is famous for its acoustics, palaces, ingenious water supply system and the famous Fateh Rahben gun, one of the cannons used in the last siege of Golconda by Aurangzeb, to whom the fort ultimately fell.

Sound & Light Show at Golconda Fort

The glorious past of Golconda Fort is narrated effectively with matchless Sound and Light effects. The unique Sound & Light Show takes you right back in time, when Golconda was full of life, glory and grandeur.

Qutb Shah Tombs

This cluster of graceful structures is the last resting place of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. Surrounded by well maintained gardens, the tombs are remarkable in their uniformity of design, each crowned by an onion-shaped dome?

Ramoji Film City

A dream world created for the celluloid on a sprawling 1000 acres, with every imaginable set and location, Ramoji Film City on the outskirts of Hyderabad offers facilities to produce any kind of movie. Apart from sets, there are hotels where artistes and technicians can stay. Visitors too can go round in conducted tours that the management organizes.

Birla Observatory and Planetarium

It occupies the other hillock, the Naubat Pahad, from where, in the times of the Nawabs, royal edicts were read out.

Shamirpet

Located 24 km to the north of Secunderabad, Shamir pet has a beautiful lake and a deer park. Its peaceful environs make it a great picnic spot. AP Tourism offers comfortable cottage facilities for accommodation, while the forest Lodges can be booked with the AP Forest Department office at Saifabad Tourist Cottages.

Osmansagar Lake

Osmansagar, better known as Gandipet, on the outskirts of Hyderabad is an excellent picnic spot. Osmansagar is one of the two lakes on the city’s periphery that supplies drinking water to the great metropolis. The lake is a reservoir created by a dam across the Isa, a tributary of the River Musi. Abutting the lake and the bund are lush gardens that provide the ideal ambience for an outing. Overlooking the lake is the heritage building, Sagar Mahal, built as a resort by the Nizam of Hyderabad and converted now into a lake resort managed by AP Tourism.

Mrugavani National Park (Chilkur)

Located 25 km. from Hyderabad, the park contains the endemic flora of Hyderabad and is an urban refuge for small mammals like wild boar, jungle cat etc. and birds.

Shopping

To leave Hyderabad without a material remembrance is nearly impossible, for the city has so much to offer. Pearls and diamonds are what the nobles in the mediaeval times sought here. The famed Kohinoor was mooned in these lands and it now adorns the British Crown. Cultured pearls in strings or set in jewellery is still a flourishing industry that employs a large number of craftsmen

Birdiware-black metal inlaid with silver, Pochampalli sarees and fabric, handwoven in silks and cottons, glass bangles, are some of the other handicrafts and perfumes that have made Hyderabad a shopper's delight. And if one is looking for variety and bargains then the lanes of the old city around Char Minar are the best place.