The twin city of Hyderabad-Secunderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, is a mixture of Muslim and Hindu cultures.
Its history as the centre of Muslim India from the 16h century onwards can best be appreciated at the massive Golconda Fort. This mighty hilltop fortress saw frequent battles and remains one of the most impressive in India. The old city is found around the famous Charminar gate, and this predominantly Muslim area is fascinating to explore.
More recently Hyderabad has begun to rival Bangalore as a centre for new hi tech industries such as computing and as a result the city is expanding and modernising fast, and finding new prosperity.
What to see
Birla Mandir: A beautiful white marble temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara or Balaji.
Charminar: Built by Muhammed Quli Qutab Shah to Commemorate the eradication of plague.
Hussain Sagar: There are 33 statues of historical parsonages of andhra Pradesh placed along the bund of the lak. Another attraction is the 18 meter high monolithic statue of Lord Buddha in the middle of the lake. Boating, Yachting and canoeing facilities are available.
Indira Park: The 80 acre park on the lower boulevard of the tank bund is criss crossed wiith ponds, flower beds, channels, paathways and shelter houses.
Jawahar Bal Bhawan: A recreational centre for children.
Mahakali Temple: This temple in Secunderabad is dedicated to Mahakali.
Mecca Masjid: Situated near Charminar, it is the most impressive mosque in south India. The mosque is said to have bricks from Mecca.
Mir Alam Tank: An artificial lake and apopular picnic spot.
Naubat Pahar and Kala Pahad: These are two hillochs opposite the public gardens. A ahnging garden has been laid out on Naubat Pahad and a marble temple to lord Sri Venkateshwara has been built on Kala Pahad.
Nehru Zoological Park: A Prehistoric Animal Park, Ancient Life Museum, Museum of Natural History, Lion Safari and a mini train are other attractions here (Timings: 0700 hrs to 1700 hrs (Closed on Monday).
Osmania Univesity: It was built by the late Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan of Hyderabad.
Public Gardens: It houses the State Legislature, State Archaeological Museum, Jubilee Hall, Jawaher Bal Bbavan and the Telugu Lalit Kala Thoranam, an open sir theatre.
Purani Haveli: A spendid palatial mansion. Prior permission is required for a visit.
Race Course: Malakpet Race Course, one of teh most modern race cources in India.
Tank Bund Road: This road running along the banks of the Hussain Sagar Lake is known for it’s natural beauty.
MUSEUMS, ART GALLLARIES
State Archaeological Museum: A state museum in the Public gardens is housed in a building converted from one of Nizam’s mansions (Timings: 1030 hrs to 1700 hrs hrs (closed on Monday and Government holidays).
Salar JUng Museum: Reputed to be the largest one man collection, the famous Salar Jung Museum houses around 35,000 antiques and art objects colle\cted by Mir Yusuf Ali Salar Jung III, Prime Minister to the Nizam of Hyderabad. (Timings: 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs, closed on Friday and government holidays.
Birla Planetarium: The most modern planetarium and the first of its kind in the country (Timing: 1130 hrs, 1600 hrs and 1800 hrs (English)1930 hrs (Hindi), 1215 hrs, 1500 hrs and 2015 hrs (Telegu).
Air: Hyderabad is well connected by Indian Airlines and private airlines with major cities and towns in India.
Rail: Hyderabad is well connected with major towns and cities in India.
Road: Hyderabad is connected by motorable roads with Amrawati 331 Km, Aurangabad 545 Km, Badami 567 Km, Bangalore 570 Km, Bhadrachalam 320 Km, Bidar 130 Km, Bujapur 404 km, Calcutta 1588 Km, Chennai 704 Km, Horsley Hills 557 Km, Lepakshi 479 Km, Mumbai 735 Km, Sri Sailam 232 Km, Tirupati 651 Km, Tirupati 651 Km, Vijayavada 274 Km, Vishakha patnam 637 Km and Warangal 141 Km.
Area: 259 Sq.Km. Temperature: Summer - Max: 40 Deg.C Min: 22.0 Deg.C Winter - Max: 22 Deg.C Min: 13.8 Deg.C Altitude: 536 Metres. Rainfall: 89 cm (June to September) STD Code: 040
Falakumana Palace (12 Km): One of the major palaces of the old city, Falkunama is a private palace of the Nizam. Prior permission is required for a visit to the Palace.
Raymond’s Tomb (14 Km): A simple tomb of a French soldier.
Golconda Fort (13 Km): This legendary fort was the capital of the Qutub Shahi Kings. The most remarkable feature of the fort are it’s acoustics, whereby a clapping oh hands at the entry gate can be heard at the top of the fort some 61 mts high. A sound and light show, organized by the APTDC is held here every evening (Timing: 1900 hrs to 1955 hrs: Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday (English); Tuesday & Friday (Hindi); Thursday (Telegu). (Closed on Monday).
Qutah Shahi Tombs (14 Km): Close to Golconda Fort are the tombs of the Qutub Shahi rulers, surrounded by gardens and Orchards. (Timing: 0930 hrs to 1630 hrs (closed on Friday).
Vanasthalipuram Deer Park (17 Km): A 300 acre Deed Park, it shelters wildlife such as the Spotted Deer, Black Buck, Chinkara, Wild Boad, Python and a large variety of Birds.
Osmansagar (22.5 Km): A beautiful lake formed by damming the river Musi. Popularly known as Gandipet, it is an excellent picnic spot.
Himayat Sagar (23.5 Km): Named after the eldest son of the Nizam, this is a large lake covering an area of 85 Sq. Km and is now a lovely picnic spot.
Pochampalli (45 Km): Famous for its ‘Ikat’ fabrics and handwoven printed sarees.
Kolanupak (60 Km): A Jain shrine with statues of ten Jain Tirthankaras, all seated in yogic postures. The statue of Mahavira in blue green Jade, is especially beautiful.
Ananthagiri Hills (64 Km): A tiny hill resort with a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients.
Yadagidgutta (69 Km): It is the state’s second most famous Vaishnevaite shrine. Here, three of the nine forms of Lord Narasimha (Vishnu) are manifested.
Medak (77 Km): Medak is well known for its church, one of the largest in the country. It is built in Gothic style with gloriously coloured stained glass windows.
Bidar (130 Km): Ancient fort town with excellent tombs of Bahmani & Barid Shahi Kings.
Nagarjunakonda (146 Km): Nagarjunakonda or Nagarjuna Hill is situated in the midst of the Nagarjunasagar reservoir. Excavations carried out in this valley have unearthed the Maha Chaitya, Viharas and Monasteries on one side and Hindu temples and an Ashwamedha sacrificial alter on the other side.