The city of Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh, the largest state of southern India. Hyderabad served as a sovereign state during the time of Mughals under the Nizams. Hyderabad has a rich cultural history and was a hub for the arts and aesthetics in southern India. The city is studded with relics of ancient history and culture. At present Hyderabad is a growing IT hub and has offices of all major IT corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, and Infosys etc. Apart from that it is also one of the foremost education centres in the country with institutes such as IIT, IIIT, NIFT, NALSAR, International School of Business and BITS Pilani. Business and trades have also got their roots fixed firm in this city especially the trade of pearl. Hyderabad is sometimes referred to as the City of Pearls.
Hyderabad is located around hills and artificial lakes such as Hussainsagar. The twin cities Hyderabad and Secunderabad comprise of the metropolitan suburbs. This city has the most beautiful weather during autumn where you get brief spells of rain now and then with a cool breeze comforting you throughout the day making it the prime time for tourist visits.
However if you were to have a single day and a single night to savour the beauty of the city, a particular itinerary might be helpful.
The day should be begun at the majestic Golconda Fort. The Fort actually comprises of four different forts outlined by a 10 km wall, eight gateways and consists of a number of royal apartments, temples, mosques etc. The main entrance is referred to as ‘Fateh Darwaza,’ Fateh meaning victory. It was named after Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb took over the fort. It is quite a herculean task to visit each and every nook of the fort so it is advisable to follow the main trail if you are short on time. The fort houses a room where once the world-famous diamonds such as Kohinoor was stored. There are two pavilions located outside the fort are peculiarly attractive. As you travel your way up the fort you can see the entire city spread across like a painting. The weather also starts to please you as you move up the fort; it gets windy as you go up. It is also believed that there is a secret tunnel to the Charminar. The Golconda Fort is a beautiful example of the architecture predating the advent of Islam in India. This visit will take you over three hours.
The next stop is Snow World. It is an amusement park of its own kind. Imagine freezing temperatures, artificial snowfall, a DJ, a dance floor, a giant ice-slide and a small beverage joint located in the same hall. The Snow World is beside the Indira Park. The place promises you tonnes of snow, a chilling experience where the temperature falls gradually to sub-zero temperatures and a hot cup of soup so that you can accustom your body temperature to the freezing environment. You can play snow wars, go down the sleigh slide and groove to the music.
Sure you are starved by now and the right fuel for your body will be the classic ‘Hyderabadi’ Biryani by Paradise. Paradise is the name synonymous to Biryani in Hyderabad. The first restaurant established in 1953 has flourished since then owing to their special preparation and the diversity of dishes offered. You can’t leave Hyderabad without a mouthful of a Biryani from Paradise.
The next stop is the Birla Temple built on an 85m hillock at the ‘Naubath Pahad.’ This Hindu temple took 10 years of construction. The architecture of the temple comprises the Dravidian, Rajasthani and Utkala styles. The presiding deity Lord Venkateshwara’s statue is about 3.4 metres and has a carved lotus umbrella on top. There are no bells inside the temple to create a conducive environment for meditation. Apart from the main shrine there are other shrines of various Hindu gods. The trip is not just about witnessing the shrine but the journey to it. You climb the hill which will take you a long time and then walk your way to the various levels of the temple pondering over the beauty of the temple until you reach to the topmost where the main shrine is placed.
Near the Birla Temple are two parks namely Lumbini Park and NTR Park. The Lumbini Park provides boat rides to the statue of Buddha located in the Hussainsagar Lake. A casual stroll along the necklace road is refreshing. The street is studded with various eating joints on one side and the lake on the other. A short walk will take you to the Eat Street, a food-court comprising of all the major chains.
For our final visit we will discover the interiors of the old city of Hyderabad. We get to the global identity of the Hyderabad-The Charminar. It is structured like a square with four arches acting as gateways to four-streets. At each corner there is a minaret with steps leading the way to a double balcony. There are other monuments nearby such as the Makkah Masjid. The Charminar has an eccentric market where you could buy artificial jewellery specially bangles. The aroma of delicious street-food will strike your nostrils from all directions. One must have the famous Irani Tea while one is in Charminar.
This would be a perfect way to end a one long day marvelling at the beauty of Hyderabad.