A veritable melting pot of the old and the new, Hyderabad, also known as the City of the Nawabs, is a city that exudes an old-world charm of its own while still coexisting with the rapidly growing onslaught of commercialization in perfect harmony. Steeped in history, Hyderabad is home to old mosques and 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 – this is what exactly makes Hyderabad a city worth visiting. Maybe even more than once.
The most iconic landmark of Hyderabad is the Charminar, which is a distinguished monument that clearly exhibits the Indo-Islamic architecture of its times. Charminar, which literally translates to four minarets, is built entirely out of limestone and granite, with four minarets on four sides, each of them facing a different street. The Charminar is the oldest mosque in Hyderabad, and it has stairs leading to the second level, which is open for devotees to come and pray in. The entire stretch outside the monument is lined with little stalls selling pearls, bangles, and other jewellery, and this bazaar is bustling with both tourists and locals at any given hour of the day.
Another impressive tourist attraction in Hyderabad is the Golconda Fort, which was considered as nothing less than an architectural marvel during its times. The entire fort is bordered by a 10-kilometre long wall, and with over 80 bastions, four drawbridges, and several mosques, halls and royal residences, the fort is nothing short of imperial. Today, while most of the fort is in ruins, hints of its regal ambience and its past grandiose still linger on.
Hyderabad is very famous for being home to the Ramoji Film City, which is the largest film studio complex in the entire world. Built across a sprawling 2000 acres, the Ramoji Film City has seen a huge number of regional language, Hindi, and even some international films being shot here. Apart from offering studio tours, it even provides options for quite a number of sports and adventure activities, making it a very popular hangout for the younger generation. Who knows, you might even get to meet an actor there!
An oasis in the midst of an otherwise landlocked city, Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad is an entirely manmade lake which boasts of a 450-tonne statue of Buddha in the middle of the lake. Carved entirely out of white granite, the monolith shines brightly under the moonlight and is a beautiful place to sit and spend an evening under the stars.
Hyderabad is famous for its food, and be it street food to casual dining to high-class fancy dining – you name it, and Hyderabad has it. Old City is teeming with dozens of roadside eateries where you can have your fill of lip-smacking biryani and kebabs. The most popular local dishes you should try out include the famous Hyderabadi biryani and Haleem.