Hyderabad: The City of Pearls

hyderabad-facts

Hyderabad, the ‘city of Nizams’ has a long and varied history spanning hundreds of years with a number of beautiful monuments, palaces and forts to show for it. It is also a city that is incredibly youthful and energetic with malls, pubs and excellent food. 

Table of Contents

Introduction

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Hyderabad, the capital city of the state of Telangana is spread across an area of around 650 square kilometers along the banks of the River Musi. The city has an average altitude of nearly 1800 feet since most of Hyderabad is situated on hilly terrain. The city has numerous artificial lakes and water tanks.

Hyderabad History

Hyderabad was established in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. It was subsequently annexed by the Mughals, Nizams, and was also the capital of the princely State of Hyderabad. Currently, it is the capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh until 2024.

Known Facts of Hyderabad

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Here are some interesting facts about Hyderabad:

  • Hyderabad is known as the City of Pearls since it is one of the major producers of natural pearls in India.
  • Hyderabad has a rich Mughal history and has several Islamic monuments spread across the city.
  • There are some famous places in Hyderabad like the Charminar and Golconda Fort.
  • The Hyderabadi Biryani is one of the most famous things in Hyderabad.
  • The Ramoji Film City of Hyderabad is the world’s biggest film studio complex.

Places to visit in Hyderabad

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Ramoji Film City


Here is a quick list of things to see in Hyderabad:

  • Charminar – This is one of the most famous monuments in Hyderabad. Once you walk up the steps, you can get some amazing views of the city. There are many markets around the area selling handcrafted jewelry and keepsakes.
  • Golconda Fort – Built on a granite hill that is around 400 feet high, the Golconda Fort dates back to the 12th century. Since there were many diamond mines in the region, Golconda was a center for diamond trade. In fact, the region has produced some of the world’s most famous diamonds including the Kohinoor.
  • Chowmahalla Palace – This was the palace of Nizams of the State of Hyderabad and the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. It was built by Nizam Salabat Jung and is one of the popular Hyderabad attractions.
  • Makkah Masjid – This is one of the largest mosques in the world. The Makkah Masjid took 77 years to be fully constructed. The bricks of the mosque are made from the soil brought from the holy city of Mecca. It can hold up to 10,000 people. It also houses a strand of Prophet Mohammed’s hair.
  • Hussain Sagar – This is a heart-shaped lake built by Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah in 1563. In the middle of the lake, a large monolithic statue of Gautam Buddha stands on Gibraltar rock. It finds its place in the list of Hyderabad’s famous places and many people go here for boating and sightseeing.
  • Salar Jung Museum – This is one of India’s three National Museums. The entire collection was collected by Nawab Mir Yusuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III. This is the world’s largest antique collection owned by a single man. The most famous exhibit is a sculpture by the Italian artist Benzoni called the Veiled Rebecca.
  • Qutub Shahi Tombs – These are a series of tombs built by different kings of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. There is a sarcophagus in each tomb above the burial vault in a crypt below. The smaller tombs are single-storied while the larger ones are two-storied.
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Hussain Sagar Lake

Best time to Visit Hyderabad

Winter is the best time to visit the wonderful city since the Hyderabad weather is pleasant allowing travelers to move around during the day without worrying about the sun. The temperature ranges from 13 to 25 degrees C during the winter months of November to February. Summers are usually hot with the Hyderabad temperature ranging from 21 to 40 degrees C. Add high levels of humidity and it can get very difficult to move around during the day. Evenings can be pleasant though. Monsoon can be a great time to visit the city if you like rains.

How to reach Hyderabad

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Hyderabad is connected to all important cities via a network of highways and well-maintained roads. Here are some ways to travel to Hyderabad:

By Train

Hyderabad has a railway station. Some major train routes include New Delhi, Howrah, and Allahabad. You can take a train from almost all corners of the country to reach Hyderabad. You can avail a taxi in Hyderabad to go around the city with ease.

By Road

Hyderabad is well-connected with most cities in the region. You can reach Hyderabad from the following cities with ease:

  • Nagpur to Hyderabad – 500 km (via NH44)
  • Pune to Hyderabad – 562 km (via Pune Solapur Road)
  • Mumbai to Hyderabad – 710 km (via Pune Solapur Road)
  • Bangalore to Hyderabad – 569 km (via Bangalore Hyderabad highway)

By Flight

Hyderabad has an airport. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is an international airport that serves Hyderabad. There are flights from around the country and major parts of the world to Hyderabad. You can book a Hyderabad airport taxi to take a convenient ride to your hotel in the city.

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Chowmahalla Palace

Things to Do in Hyderabad

Hyderabad has something to offer to all kinds of travelers. Here are some things that you can do while in Hyderabad.

Shopping in Hyderabad

Hyderabad is a shoppers’ paradise. It has bazaars that have been there for centuries as well as modern shopping malls. You can buy handicrafts made using ancient techniques and international brands too. There are numerous options when it comes to shopping in Hyderabad. Some popular ones are Charminar bazaar, Mozzam Jahi Market, Sultan Bazar, Perfume market, or any of the mega malls spread across the city.

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Perfume Shopping

Nightlife in Hyderabad

In Hyderabad, nightlife can be exciting and fun with a wide range of options to choose from. While you can go to the Altitude Lounge Bar, Kismet, or MOB for a lavish night out, you can also head to Aqua at the Park Hyderabad to be at the most buzzing nightspots in town.

Places to eat in Hyderabad

Hyderabad is synonymous with lip-smacking food. Here are some places that you can try when you visit this city of culinary delight.

  • Street Food
    • Lakshman ki Bandi, Begum Bazaar – for lip-smacking South Indian breakfast
    • Munshi Naan, Purani Haveli – a family-run eatery since 1851
    • Café Niloufer, Red Hills Road – experience the charm of the old-world Hyderabad’s Irani Cafés
    • Gokul Chat, Women’s College Road – savory chats at their best
  • Restaurants
    • Deccan Pavilion, Begumpet Road – Indian, Asian, and International cuisines
    • Yi Jing, Knowledge City – Chinese and Indian food
    • Ottimo Cucina Italiana, Knowledge City – Italian and European cuisines
    • Bidri, Opposite Hussain Sagar – Indian cuisines from Andhra, Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Lucknow
    • Zega, Nanakramguda Financial District – Chinese and Japanese food

If you are traveling with children, you can also opt to visit one of the water amusement parks in Hyderabad.

[Also read: Short Road Trips from Hyderabad]

Hyderabad is well-connected to surrounding cities and states making it a good starting point for many interesting locations.

Weekend getaways from Hyderabad

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Kurnool

Here are some tourist places near Hyderabad for quick reference.

Kurnool

Located at a distance of around 215 km, Kurnool has a range of attractions for travelers like a wildlife sanctuary, limestone caves, and a rock garden. You can hire a Hyderabad to Kurnool cab and reach there within four hours.

Karimnagar

Located at a distance of around 165 km, Karimnagar is famous for its ancient temples and excavations. It is also known as the birthplace of the silver filigree craft. Ensure that you buy a keepsake while there.

Gulbarga (Karnataka)

Located at a distance of around 215 km, Gulbarga is famous for its several ancient forts, grand tombs, and shrines. It is one of the perfect getaways near Hyderabad for history buffs.

Medak

The town of Medak in Telangana is rich with cultural history, monuments and food. Medak has one of the largest dioceses in Asia, and the Medak Cathedral is a gorgeous Gothic Revival style church that is a must-visit for tourists. Built by Kakatiya rulers in the 12th century, Medak Fort is another popular spot that you should visit. For wildlife enthusiasts, Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary is a short distance from Medak and has a gorgeous lake from where you can watch herons, egrets and openbill storks.

Anantagiri Hills

Boasting of lush green forests, magnificent views and various trekking points, Anantagiri hills provide a beautiful getaway from Hyderabad. These hills are located at Vikarabad in Ranga Reddy district of Telangana. This area is most famous as the birthplace of Musi river, which flows through Hyderabad. In addition to its flora and fauna, the forests in Ananthagiri have also been explored for medicinal herbs.For the trekking enthusiasts, there are two well-known trails through the forests, one of which starts from the temple. Ananthagiri Hills are located about 80km from Hyderabad and the distance can be covered in a little over 2 hours by booking a cab in Hyderabad.

Places To Stay In Hyderabad

  • Trident Hyderabad, Hitech City Main Road
  • Taj Falaknuma Palace, Fatima Nagar
  • Masqati Furnished Apartment, Etebar Chowk
  • BigSon Service Apartment, Madhava Reddy Colony, Gachibowli
  • Beehive Commune (Hostel), Banjara Hills
  • Habeeb Villa, Netaji Nagar

Share this travel guide with your travel buddy to get started on your journey to Hyderabad! What are your fondest memories from a trip? Let us know in the comments below.

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Reading between lines - the ones that rhyme, on a journey with no stop sign.

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