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Andhra Pradesh’s capital city, Hyderabad has the atmosphere of an Arabian Nights fairy tale. Whimsical palaces, erstwhile stately homes and crowded bazaars filled with shops selling Hyderabadi pearls, incense and copper utensils characterise the city, while in the distance looms Golconda Fort.
The city’s historical connection traces itself to the rulers or Nizams whose wealth was legendary. Rooms full of jewels and currency notes, a garage full of gleaming Rolls Royce’s are all now part of history, but a unique culture lives on, colouring the city with its distinctive charm.
The Epicurean tastes of this most exalted royal house of princely India gave rise to a fabled cuisine based on painstaking preparations and slow cooking.
The capital city with its domes and minarets, palaces and colourful bazaars spilling over with silks, pearls, perfumes, antiques and glittering glass bangles never fails to attract attention. The imposing Char Minar and the Golconda Fort looming in the distance are two well known landmarks. The unusual museum at Nagarjunakonda where an ancient Buddhist site has been relocated on an island in the reservoir of the Nagarjunakonda Dam is equally interesting.
Places To See:
Much of Hyderabad’s old town can be covered on foot. The city’s important landmarks include Charminar, a 16th century gateway, the Salar Jung Museum which exhibits priceless treasures alongside trivia that made up the personal collection of the owner, Mecca Mosque and Golconda Fort. Nagarjunakonda is the site of ongoing excavations which have revealed Buddhist temples, stupas and monasteries
While Charminar, the palaces and the mosques depict historical elegance of Hyderabad, the city has a balance between technology and traditions that is revealed by numerous places of tourist interest and the IT revolution.
The Charminar, Galleries Of Charminar, Arches Of Charminar, The Mecca Masjid, Jami Masjid, Toli Masjid, Badshahi Ashur Khana, Darul Shifa, Falakuma palace, Chowmukha palace, Husain Sagar Lake, Osmani University, High Court, Osmania General Hospital, Osman Sagar, Himayat Sagar, Nehru Zoological Park, Salar Jung Museum, Qutub Shahi Tombs & Golconda Fort, Tank Bund, Asmongarh,Khajana Museum, Planetarium and Birla Temple
The Charminar is as much the signature of Hyderabad as the Taj Mahal is of Agra or the Eiffel Tower is of Paris.
It is a magnificent square edifice of granite, built upon four grand arches facing North, South, East and West. These arches support two floors of rooms and gallery of archways. At each corner of the square structure is a minaret rising to a height of 24 meters, making the building nearly 54 meters tall. It is these four (char) minarets (minar) that give the building, its name Charminar. Each minar stands on a lotus-leaf base, a special recurrent motif in Qutub Shahi buildings
It is the largest mosque situated close to Charminar. It was begun by Qutb Shah in 1614 A.D., but was completed only in1687 A.D. by the Moghul Emperor - Aurangazeb. Granite has been used in the construction of colonnades and door arches.
Falaknuma Palace is situated in Falaknuma, about 4 km South of Charminar. It stands on a hill overlooking the city of Hyderabad. It is a magnificent palace. The edifice had the same importance in Hyderabad in the near past as the Palace of Kremlin had in Moscow.
Falaknuma served as the royal guest house for the rulers of Hyderabad, King George and Queen Mary, king Edward-VIII, then Prince of Wale. Falaknuma palace is a masterpiece designed by an Italian architect. The marble used was specially imported from Italy.
Golconda is one of the famous forts of India. The name originates from the Telugu words "Golla Konda" meaning "Shepherd's Hill". The origins of the fort can be traced back to the Kakatiyas period Golconda was originally a mud fort, which passed to the Bahmani dynasty and later to the Qutb Shahis, who held it from 1518 to 1687 A.D. The first three Qutb Shahi kings rebuilt Golconda, over a span of 62 years.
The fort is famous for its acoustics, palaces, factories, 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.
English Show timings(All days)
Nov-Feb 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm
Mar-Oct 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm
This museum houses one of the biggest one-man collections of antiques of the world by Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III. The objets d'art include Persian carpets, Moghal miniatures, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquerware, famous sculptures including the Veiled Rebecca and Marguerite and Mephistopheles, a superb collection of jade, daggers belonging to Queen Noor Jahan and the Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb's sword and many other fabulous items.
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm(except on friday)
Established in 1918, it is one of the oldest universities in India. Named after Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, the university buildings are splendid, especially the Arts College building which is a perfect example of Indo-Saracenic architecture
Purani Haveli is situated to the South east of Afzal Gunj Bridge near Dewandevdi. This is also a building based on Western architecture and noted for its cultural and historical background. When the layout of the city of Hyderabad was being planned, the ruler of the kingdom, Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah earmarked a large estate for the residence of Hazrat Mir Momin, his Chief Adviser and peshwa (Prime Minister), who widely emerged as a saint and as a statesman.
The main building is reminiscent of the 18th Century European architecture. Although the buildings in the complex were constructed in the second half of the 19th Century during the reign of the sixth Nizam, Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Bahadur, the seventh Nizam, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur added the auxiliary buildings with spacious court yards.
There are many tombs of several generations of the Paigah nobles including Asman Jah, Viqar-ul-Umara and Shams-ul-Umara. The tombs are magnificent structures, decorated in stuccowork, and represent the Asaf Jahi and Rajasthani styles. The geometrical designs in the Paigah Tombs are unique and perforated with screens. This style is unique to the Paigah tombs and is not found elsewhere in the world.
The palace was designed and built by Sir Osman Jah, a noble belonging to the Paigah family and one time Prime Minister of Hyderabad State.
The granite turrets and arched windows of Asman Garh stand atop a hill some distance ahead of the Hyderabad TV tower. The palace now houses an archaeological museum.
Popularly called Birla Mandir this temple built of pure white marble atop a hill and dedicated to Lord Balaji is a very popular tourist attraction. One can get an excellent view of the twin cities and the lake joining them.
18 Km west of Hyderabad is a dam named `Osmansagar dam' constructed on the river Musi to control floods, some five and a half decades ago. It is now the source of drinking water to the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The pleasant and beautiful gardens, comfortable rest-houses and placid expanses of water have made this place a tourist attraction and a picnic spot.
Situated in Medak town (96km from Hyderabad), originally built by Kakatiya kings and rebuilt by Qutb-Shahi kings, this fort is one of the important hill forts of Deccan.
Medak St. Mary's Church
is the largest diocese in India. The church has a beautiful cathedral, one of the three biggest in South India. It has large stained glass windows telling the stories from the Bible. The cathedral can accommodate 5000 people and stands as a fine example of Gothic architecture in India.
Nagarjunakonda(see in respective cities)
Places of Interest
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