"The City of Nizams"
A city of contrasts, Hyderabad exudes an old-world charm of its own with the Old City (Charminar side), Hitech City (Cyberabad) and the other areas lying between the old and the new. The capital and the largest city of Telanaga, Hyderabad is home to stately mosques and noisy bazaars lined parallelly alongside swanky new office buildings and malls, and it is these very contrasts – these glimpses into the city’s rich past with inherent promises of an even better future –that make Hyderabad a city worth visiting. Maybe even more than once.
The city of pearls and biryani, Hyderabad is home to one of the most iconic landmarks - the Charminar. Translating to 'four minarets', the grand edifice is built entirely out of limestone and granite, with four minarets on four sides, each of them facing a different street. The Charminar stands in a labyrinth of lanes crammed with shops, markets, stalls and shoppers - one of the best places to shop for the authentic pearls and relish the tasty biryanis, skewer kebabs and haleem (the smorgasbord of food that Hyderabad is known for).
The other side of Hyderabad - HiTech City or Cyberabad - is a stark contrast to the Old City. The area teems with grand malls, pulsating clubs, sleek restaurants and hi-rise buildings of the every-growing multinationals. Between the old and new lie the popular city areas of Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills flanked on the northeast by Secunderabad. Hyderabad and Secunderabad together are still referred to as the "twin cities", though they are practically one now.
Hyderabad pulsates with a spectacular mix of people and traditions. Make a journey through this mind-stirring metropolis and be ready to be amazed, frustrated, confounded and thrilled, all at once!
Places to visit in Hyderabad
1. Ramoji Film city
Located on the outskirts of Hyderabad, Ramoji Film City is certified as the World's largest Film Studio Complex by the Guinness Book of World Records. It is the most famous attraction in Hyderabad. The highlights are the film city tour, Sahas Adventure and holiday carnivals.
An identifying feature of the city, Charminar is the most prominent landmark of Hyderabad. It was erected by Quli Qutub Shah to signify the founding of Hyderabad. Everyone coming to the city, definitely visits the Charminar. It is also famous for the market that sprawls around it and is called 'Laad' or 'Chudi' Bazaar.
3. Hussain Sagar Lake
Hussain Sagar Lake is one of a largest man-made lake situated in Hyderabad. Renowned for its monolith of Lord Buddha placed right at the center of the lake, the place is famously known as a Tank Bund, a popular spot of tourist attraction.
Wonderla Amusement and Theme Park is the best water park in Hyderabad and one of the best things to do. With more than 43 fun and thrilling rides, it is a fun place for a family outing. The rides are divided into High Thrill Rides, Water Rides, Family Rides and Kids Rides.
GravityZip is India’s first indoor sky diving arena. It is located in Gandipet, Hyderabad only a few minutes away from Mehdipatanam Bus Stop. It features the first of its kind indoor skydiving wind tunnel, which is the first in India. It is fun for beginners as well as professionals. The flight package consists of 2 flights of 1-minute duration.
6. Chowmahalla Palace
The Chowmahalla Palace of Hyderabad once served as the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad during their reign still retains some of its past splendour. The architecture of the palace is an imposing sight to behold. The facade itself is a delicate artwork of domes, arches, windows and meticulously carved out designs.
7. Golkonda Fort
Golconda Fort is a massive fortress whose ruins stand proudly even today displaying the glory of its rich past and some untold sagas of the city's history. It is reputed for being the area where once, the mighty Koh-I-Noor diamond was stored. In the evening, Golconda Fort comes to life with the light and sound show.
8. Statue of Equality
The Statue of Equality is the second tallest sitting statue in the world at its height of 216 ft. Located in Muchintal, Hyderabad, it is a statue of Sri Bhagavad Ramanujacharya, who worked relentlessly to promote equality. It was built to commemorate his 1000th birthday. The highlights are the dancing water show with light and music and the dynamic fountain show (Leela Jala Neerjanam) held daily.
9. Thrill City
Thrill City is a virtual reality amusement park located on Necklace Road near Sanjeeviah Park in Hyderabad. It offers a flying simulator, cricket simulator, bumping cars, a bowling alley, swimming pool, splash coaster and much more. The highlight is the world's largest single platform motion theatre. Thrill City is a fun place to visit for people of all ages.
Situated in Madhapur area of Hyderabad, Shilparamam is a traditional crafts village created with the idea to preserve and conserve traditional crafts. The village has been set amidst cascading waterfalls and lush greenery; it has sections designated to depict each region of the country.
11. Birla Mandir
One of the popular attractions in Hyderabad, Birla Mandir is dedicated to the Lord Venkateshwara of Tirumala and is modelled after and is the replica of the idol of Balaji of Tirupati. The temple itself is located at the top of a 280 feet tall hill called the Naubat Pahad that overlooks both, Hyderabad and Secunderabad and is one of the best viewpoints in the city.
12. Taramati Baradari
Taramati Baradari is an ancient sarai (resting place) built during the reign of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah. The building is now a cultural complex which has an open-air auditorium for 1600 people, air-cooled theatre which can accommodate 500 people, a banquet hall and a multi-cuisine restaurant.
13. Qutub Shahi Tombs
Located in the Ibrahim Bagh, Qutub Shahi Tombs are a group of small and big mosques and tombs built by the rulers of the Qutub Shah dynasty. The tombs are all built on a raised platform and have a dome-shaped structure. The little tombs are single-storeyed while the bigger ones are double storeyed.
14. Nehru Zoological Park Safari
With about a 100 species finding habitats here, the Nehru Zoological Park is one of the largest zoos in India. Also known as Hyderabad Zoo, it houses the Indian Rhino, Asiatic Lion, Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant as well as panthers, pythons, deers, antelopes. The zoo also hosts safaris and educational shows.
15. KBR National Park
Located in the Jubilee Hills area of Hyderabad, KBR National Park, or Kasu Brahmananda Reddy Park, also known as Chiran Fort Palace is a world-famous national park. Boasting of picturesque beauty and a wide variety of flora, fauna and avifauna.
16. Lumbini Park
Lumbini Park is a gorgeous urban park named after Lumbini of Nepal. Located alongside Hussain Sagar, the park has an artificial water tank. A huge statue of Lord Buddha is installed in the tank which can be reached through paddle boats. The park also holds musical fountain shows.
17. B.M. Birla Planetarium and Science & Technological Museum
A one of its kind planetarium, the Birla Planetarium is one of the most modern planetariums in India. It is most popular for the Sky Show, the theme of which changes each year. The planetarium also houses a museum, science centre, art gallery and dinosaurium.
18. Hyderabadi Pearl Shopping
Hyderabad is often referred to as the City of Pearls for its wide variety and high quality of pearls. Pathergatti and Laad Bazaar are historical locations for purchasing pearls and are crowded with hundreds of stores that offer both singular pearls and pearl jewellery. They offer a variety of pearls such as Tahitian, Freshwater and South Sea Pearls
19. Durgam Cheruvu Bride
The Durgam Cheruvu Bridge is a beautiful cable bridge stretching between Jubilee Hills and the Financial District. It is the longest bridge in Hyderabad and perfect for a night drive when the bridge lights up brilliantly. The bridge is adorned with walking and cycling ramps as well. This allows visitors to stop and look out over the Durgam Cheruvu lake which acts as its namesake. It is located near the Inorbit Mall in Madhupur which is a popular shopping destination as well.
20. Hyderabad Botanical Garden
Situated in the Hi-Tech city, around 16 kms from the city centre of Hyderabad, Hyderabad Botanical Garden is a major attraction of the city. The park boasts of a rich variety of plants, shrubs, trees, flowering plants and medicinal herbs. In addition to that, several meandering water ways and fountains add to the charm of the place.
21. Taj Falaknuma Palace
Taj Falaknuma Palace is perched around 2000 metres above the city of Hyderabad. Once the royal residence of Nizam- probably the richest man in the world, the palace has now been converted into a five-star luxury heritage hotel.
22. Necklace Road
Necklace Road is a long boulevard that encircles Hyderabad’s Tank Bund, resembling a glittering necklace. Tank Bund consists of the beautiful Hussain Sagar Lake with a giant monolithic statue of Gautama Buddha. Lined with beautiful green gardens, eat streets and local shopping, it is a popular picnic spot.
23. Chilkur Balaji Temple
Chilkur Balaji Temple is situated in the picturesque village of Chilkur, about 30kms from Hyderabad. It is also called the VISA Temple because it is believed that paying your obeisance to the presiding deity, Lord Balaji Venkateswara, along with Sridevi and Bhoodev can grant your wishes of gaining a USA Visa!
24. Iskcon temple
ISKON temple of Hyderabad is located in the Nampally region. The main deity in the temple is Lord Krishna. One can also see idols of Sri Gaura-Nitai, Sri Jagannatha Baladeva-Subhadra and Sri Radha Madana-Mohana.
25. Mecca Masjid
Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad is one of the oldest and largest mosques in the city. The bricks used here are believed to be from Mecca, and hence the name. Its interiors are a testament to the grandeur of the rulers of the Quli dynasty.
It is famous for its Amareswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the famous Pancharamas.
27. Durgam Cheruvu
Durgam Cheruvu is a serene and picturesque lake which once served as a water source for the Golconda fort. It is a lively and vibrant spot for pedal boating, camping, and trekking. The historical lake is also popular for its sunrise and sunset views.
28. Paigah Tombs
Located in the suburbs of Pisal Banda in Hyderabad, Paigah Tombs are a group of tombs of the Paigah royal family. Although now in a derelict and dilapidated state, the Paigah Tombs still boast of striking architecture and marvellously carved marble panels.
29. Sanghi Temple
Said to be a replica of the Tirumala Temple, the Sanghi Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Venkateswara. It situated about 35 kms from Hyderabad in Sanghi Nagar. Perched atop the Parmanand Giri Hill, it has a magnificent gopuram and boasts of marvellous architecture.
30. Buddha Statue Hyderabad
Hyderabad is home to the world’s tallest Buddha Monolith erected on Gibraltar Rock in the middle of Lake Hussain Sagar. It is made of solid granite rock found in the nearby mountains and was sanctified by the Dalai Lama in 2006. It is close to the Lakdi Ka Pul metro station and the best time to visit is in the evening when the statue is lit up in beautiful colours. Boating and other water-based activities like jet skiing and parasailing are also available.
31. Ratnalyam Temple
Located on the outskirts of Hyderabad, the Ratnalayam Temple is the seat of Lord Venkatesha and his consorts, Goddess Padmavati and Goddess Andal. It also contains temples devoted to Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Vasavi Kanyaka Parameshwari Devi. It is famous for the fountains devoted to scenes from mythology such as the one of Lord Vishnu resting on adhishesha along with his wives. You can take a taxi, Ola or Uber from any part of the city to this temple.
32. Himayat Sagar Lake
Himayat Sagar Lake is named after one of the last Princes of Hyderabad, Himayat Ali Khan. It is an artificial lake and lies parallel to Osman Sagar Lake. The scenic beauty of the lake cannot be overstated. Along with people, it also attracts a wide variety of birds. It is a perfect location to hike and explore nature. The road encircling the lake is perfect for a drive with a view of the sunrise or the sunset.
33. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
Somewhere between the city of Hyderabad and a district called Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, is one of India's earliest and largest dams.
34. Osman Sagar Lake
On the outskirts of Hyderabad, also known as Gandipet is the Osman Sagar lake. Elless world, Ocean park and Treasure island surround this lake, making it a famous tourist destination. Spend some relaxed and enjoyable time here, with gardens and a pool, all making it an ideal spot for picnics.
35. Peddamma Temple
Situated in Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad, Peddamma Temple is a Hindu temple enshrine by the supreme mother. She is the most supreme of the 11 forms of village deities. Besides the main shrines, the temple has idols of Lakshmi, Ganpathy and Saraswati.
36. Sri Jagannath Temple
Located in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Jagannath Temple is a modern Hindu temple built by the Odia community dedicated to Hindu God Jagannath- God of the Universe.
37. Spanish Mosque
Located within the Paigah Palace Begumpet, Hyderabad; Spanish Mosque is a massive Muslim mosque that can accommodate around 3000 people at once.
38. Toli Masjid
The Toli Masjid is a flamboyant mosque, situated in the suburban area of Karvan, located nearly 2 km away from the Golconda fort. The masjid is one of the many gorgeous memorials in Hyderabad.
39. AP State Archaeology Museum
AP State Archeology Museum aka Hyderabad Museum is a museum located in Hyderabad, India. It is the oldest museum in Hyderabad state. Archeologist Henry Cousens first explored the site in the beginning of the 19th century, and around 1940 the mound was excavated under the supervision of Nizam of Hyderabad. The excavated items were placed in a museum built on the ancient site. In 1952, the museum's contents were moved to the current location, under the guidance of Archaeological Survey of India.
Located at a distance of around 107 km from the city of Hyderabad, this town has been around for many centuries and is a great evidence of Paleolithic and Neolithic sites around the area.
41. Mallela Theertham
Imagine yourself in front of a meandering and brimming waterfall surrounded by lush green trees which are adorned with blooming flowers. The sweet fragrance of the water and flowers in the air making the place heavenly and magical. If you think such a place only exists in imagination, Mallela Theethram will prove you wrong. Nestled in the state of Telangana, Mallela Theertham is a hidden gem untouched by industrialization and bountiful in scenic beauty. Falling from a height of about 150 feet, this waterfall is quite a sight to see. The serene and pristine water of the fall will rejuvenate your body and soul.
42. Indira Park
Spread over an area of 76 acres, Indira Park is believed to have been built in the year 1975. Named after the former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, the park houses tall towering trees and plenty of shrubs and flowering place. The park is a popular tourist spot in the city.
43. Krishna Kanth Park
Located in Jawahar Nagar in Hyderabad, Krishna Kanth Park is a popular hangout place among both the adults and the kids. Dotted with swings and sprinkled with benches for the elders to relax, the park is a common favourite among the city folks to relax and rewind amidst nature.
What is the best time to visit Hyderabad?
While planning a trip to Hyderabad, make sure to keep the weather conditions in mind. Late summers in Hyderabad begin from May and last until July. Try to avoid these months since Hyderabad is scorching and humid in Summer. The months between August and October bring in moderate to heavy rainfall, and even though the weather is quite pleasant, you may be on the receiving side of some heavy downpour, thus bringing an end to the outdoor activities. Winters in Hyderabad, which start from November and last till February, are the best time to plan your trip to this place. Characterised by a cold climate, it is ideal for sightseeing and city shopping. Hence, Hyderabad is best visited from October to March.
Food of Hyderabad
Hyderabad is known for the grandeur, richness and flavours of the Mughal and Nawabi cuisines fund here. The city also fosters traditional and staple South-Indian preparations. The Hyderabadi Biryani is the highlight and the centre of the cuisine here with rich, colourful garnishing and an elaborate method of preparation. The cuisine of the city, though houses much more, is almost synonymous to this dish.
Other than these the other local specialities include Pathar ka Ghosht, Nahari, Haleem, Double ka Meetha, Kheer, Mirchi ka Salan, Falooda, Irani Chai and more. Equally sparkling is the street food culture here with the lip-smacking Kachori, Samosa, Aloo Mirchi, Dahi Puri, Pani Puri and Sev Puri.
How to Reach Hyderabad
Hyderabad is well connected to the rest of India via all mediums. It has its own airport with frequent flights coming from all major cities. Its railway station is a junction and trains are connected to all the parts of the country. Road is also excellent and one can take bus or taxis from nearby places and also from places like Bangalore, Mysore, Pune and Mumbai.