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Things to do in Hyderabad

Discussion in 'South India' started by Rais, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Rais

    Rais New Member

    My friend and I are going to Hyderabad for a short course which would last about two months. During our time there we would have days off which we would like to spend having some fun.

    The only place I have heard about in Hyderabad is Char Minar, other than that what are the things to do in Hyderabad?

    In total we would have about eight weekends free, and sometimes days off during the week as well.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Rais! Welcome to the forum!

    Hyderabad is the capital of the state of Telangana. The city is about 542 metres above sea level. Historically, Hyderabad was known as the diamond and pearl trading centre of the country. Hence, it is also known as the City of Pearls. Many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have setup their offices here, thereby giving Hyderabad the notion as the Genome Valley of India. Here are the main attractions of the city:

    • Golconda Fort - Golconda means Shepherd's Hill. It is sometimes referred to as Golla Konda, which means Round Shaped Hill. This is a fortification which was the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. Originally, the fort was built by the Kakatiya dynasty which was later strengthened by Rani Rudrama Devi and Prataparudra. When Sultan Quli became independent, he established the Qutb Shahi dynasty. This dynasty made Golconda their capital. For over 60 years, the fort was renovated by the Qutb Shahi rulers and renovated it into granite. In 1687, the fort fell into ruins after Aurangzeb conquered it. The fort was once the place where the famous diamonds Koh-I-Noor and Hope were kept. This is because the mines in Golconda were the only ones that yielded diamonds at that time. The Golconda Fort itself consists of four forts, with a 10 kilometre long wall and 87 bastions. There were many structures inside it like temples, houses, stables and halls. One of the eight gates, called the Fateh Darwaza, has a unique phenomenon that can be experienced. A hand clap at this entrance can be clearly heard at the Bala Hisar pavilion, which is the highest point of the fort. Thus, in times of trouble, the royal family can be warned by this unusual but helpful engineering phenomenon.
    • Char Minar - This is located on the east bank of the Musi River. Char Minar simply means Four Towers. It is not clear though what is the real purpose of the monument. It was Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah who built the monument in 1591, although it was formally opened to the public in 1594. The ASI suggests that the monument was built to commemorate the eradication of a deadly disease that once took many lives in the city. Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah prayed for the eradication of the disease and vowed to create a mosque in that place where he prayed. Some other scholars believe that the monument was built to commemorate the second Islamic millennium year. The Char Minar has four minarets, about 184 feet in height. Each minaret has a double balcony. There's also a mosque within the structure, located in its fourth floor.
    • Qutb Shahi Tombs - This is located just north of the Golconda Fort and it houses the remains of the seven Qutb Shahi rulers. For a long time, these tombs were neglected. It was only Sir Salar Jung III who ordered their restoration in the 19th century. A garden was added and a wall was built. These tombs are comprised of the tombs of Sutlan Quli Qutb Ul Mulk, Jamsheed, Subhan Quli Qutb Shah, Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah, Sultan Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah, Muhammed Qutb Shah and Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah. Of these tombs, the grandest is of Sultan Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah's which was built in 1602 AD. The tomb is located on a terrace and you need to climb the stairs to reach it. There are decorations of Persian and Naskh scripts within the tomb. Aside from the tombs of the seven Qutb Shahi rulers, you can also find the graves of other family members. There's the tomb of Fatima Sultan, the sister of Muhammed Qutb Shah and Kulthoom, granddaughter of Muhammed Qutb Shahi. There are also tombs dedicated to non-family members like the physicians and a soldier, who served the family as well.
    • Falaknuma Palace - This palace was built by Sir Viqar Ul Umara in 1884. It was completed in 1893 as a palace. Sir Viqar made the palace his home until 1897, when it was handed over to the 6th Nizam of Hyderabad. During the 1950s, the palace fell into silence and was abandoned. After which, in 2000, the palace was turned into a heritage hotel by the Taj Group of Hotels which was opened to the public in 2010. The main attraction of the palace is the Reception Room, where its ceilings and frescoes are decorated quite exquisitely. The library of the palace houses a huge number of Qurans.
    • Taramati Baradari - This is located on the banks of the Musi River. This was built during the reign of the Qutb Shahi ruler, Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah. It is a sarai, meaning an inn or a place where travellers can rest. Legend has it that there was once a woman named Taramati who sang for the travellers dwelling in the sarai. The then ruler, Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah, would hear her voice and would be mesmerised by it. There are no evidences supporting this story though. The pavilion has 12 doorways which allows cross ventilation. Also present are a theatre, auditorium and a banquet hall.
    • Paigah Tombs - These tombs are also known as the Maqhbara Shams Al Umara. These tombs belong to the Paigahs, who were noble men who served the Nizams. You can find these tombs 4 kilometres southeast of Hyderabad. The first Paigah to be laid here is Abdul Fateh Khan Tegh Jung, who died in 1786. The main attraction of these tombs are their exemplary craftsmanship, visible upon the marble inlaid floral designs and exquisitely carved canopies. All of these designs are unique and no two resemble each other. The Tomb of Asman Jah is one of the most intricately designed tombs. The tomb is enclosed by a wall, which is also designed with floral and geometric art works. Then, the tomb itself is made of marble and were once adorned with semi-precious and precious stones.
    • Mouli Ali Dargah - This dargah is located on top of a hill. It is dedicated to Hazrat Ali, the son in law of Prophet Muhammad, which is also the fourth Caliph. The dargah was constructed by Ibrahim Qutb Shah. To reach the hill, you need to climb about 484 steps. The dargah, located in the peak of the hill, is decorated with thousands of mirrors, which add to the beauty of the place.
    • Purani Haveli - This was the official residence of the Nizams. Another name for it is Haveli Khadeem, which means Old Mansion. It was built by Nawab Mir Nizam Ali Khan Siddiqi Bayafandi Bahadur Asaf Jah II. The palace was dedicated to his son, Sikander Jah, Asaf Jah III. The main attraction in the palace is the world's longest wardrobe, which occupies an entire wing of the complex. It has two levels and even has an elevator within it. You can also find the Nizam Museum within the palace complex. Other structures here are the Mirror House and the Chinese Glass House.
    • Shri Jagannath Temple - This is a modern temple which was built in 2009 by the Odia Community of Hyderabad. The temple is dedicated to the Lord Jagannath. Some believe that the temple is a replica of the original Jagannath Temple in Puri. The shikhara of the temple is about 70 feet in height. The main sanctum houses an idol of the Lord Jagannath, along with his siblings, Balabhadra and Subhadra. There are also shrines dedicated to Lakshmi, Shiva and Ganesh.
    • Chilkur Balaji Temple - This is also known as the Visa Balaji Temple. You can find the temple in the banks of the Osman Sagar in Hyderabad. The temple was built during the times of Akkanna and Madanna, during the 14th century. According to legends, a devotee wasn't able to go to Tirupati due to his condition. Lord Venkateswara appeared in his dream and told him that he is just there with him on a nearby forest. The devotee then moved to the forest and saw a molehill which he dug up. His axe accidentally struck the idol of Lord Balaji and it started flowing blood everywhere. A voice told him to flood the molehill with milk and so he did that. After doing so, an idol of Lord Balaji with Sridevi and Bhoodevi appeared. Thus, a temple was installed in the spot. Most of the requests and wishes done here are related to visa, thus owing the deity the name Visa Balaji here.
    • Mecca Masjid - This was constructed by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. The bricks of the mosque were made using soils from Mecca, thus the name was given. After Aurangzeb conquered Hyderabad, he finished the construction of the mosque. It was finally completed in 1694. The main hall is about 220 feet wide and 180 feet long, which can accommodate up to 10,000 people at one time. Many of the doors and arches have inscriptions relating to the Quran.
    • Toli Masjid - This is also known as the Damri Masjid. It was built by Mir Musa Khan Mahalda in 1671 AD. You can find it about 2 kilometres away from the Golconda Fort. The story goes that when Mir Musa Khan Mahalda was building the Mecca Masjid, since he was the architect, he was given one damri out of every rupee spent on it. Thus, he used this money to create the Toli Masjid which is also called the Damri Masjid. The mosque is built on a higher platform which is divided into two halls. The upper half of the mosque is the most striking, with its arched jail screens and elaborately designed minarets.
    • Birla Mandir - This temple took over 10 years to complete. In 1976, it was finally inaugurated under Swami Ranganathananda, but with the financial assistance of the Birla Foundation. About 2,000 tons of pure marble were used for the temple. The main sanctum houses the idol of Lord Venkateswara. The consorts of the Lord Venkateswara, namely Padmavati and Andal, are also located within the sanctum. There are other shrines for Shiva, Shakti, Hanuman, Ganesh and Lakshmi as well.
    • Ashtalakshmi Temple - This temple was built by Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in 1996. The temple bears some resemblance to the Ashtalakshmi Temple in Chennai. The temple is one of the few temples who has Goddess Lakshmi in her eight forms. These eight forms are within the temple, namely: Adilakshmi, Aishwaryalakshmi, Santanalakshmi, Dhanalakshmi, Dhanyalakshmi, Gajalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi and Varalakshmi. These idols are adorned with gold and other accessories.
    • Karmanghat Hanuman Temple - This temple was built in 1143 by a Kakatiya king. Legend has it that the Kakatiya king was hunting one day when he heard someone chanting the name of Lord Rama. He found an idol of Lord Hanuman in seated posture and the voice was coming from the vigraha of the idol. Later that night, the Lord appeared in his dream and asked him to build a temple in the place. The king did so and this is the Karmangaht Hanuman Temple we now see. The story even goes that Aurangzeb was supposed to expand his empire and wanted to destroy the temple. A voice stopped him, saying, 'Mandir todna hai rajan, to kar man ghat.' This can be translated to, 'If you want to break down the temple king, then make your heart stronger.' That is how the temple got its name of Karmanghat.
    • Lumbini Park - This is just adjacent to the Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad. The park was constructed in 1994 and is under the management of the Buddha Purnima Project Authority. The park has musical fountains, boating facilities, laser auditorium and sprawling gardens. The fountain show is the main attraction of the park. The show features the story of Hyderabad, from its past, present and even to its future. The show features stunning multi-media presentation, coupled with music and the beams of the fountains. This show is held once everyday and twice during the weekends.
    • Indira Park - This foundation for this park was laid in 1975 by Faqruddin Ahmed, former president of India. It was opened in 1978 to the public. The park has sandalwood trees all around which add to the relaxing vibe of the place. In 2002, the government added a rock garden into the park. This rock garden was planned and executed by Subratu Basu, which was later given an award for his contribution to the park.
    • Sanjivaiah Park - This park was named after a former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Damodaram Sanjivayya. The public park is an important place since it is home to many species of birds, insects and butterflies. There are about 100 species of resident birds alone in the park. Migratory birds like the pied-crested cuckoos, are indicators of the upcoming monsoon rains. Sadly, typical species of birds like spoonbills, cranes and purple herons weren't spotted in the park in 2010.
    • Priyadarshini Park - This is located near the Saroor Nagar Lake. The park is fairly simple, with well-maintained gardens and some seating areas. There are also some sculptures but not that elaborate nor many. The park has some boating facilities such as pedal boats and motor boats as well. For the children, there's a separate play area with swings, slides and merry-go-round.
    • Jalagam Vengal Rao Park - This is simply known as JVR Park. It was named after the 5th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Jalagam Vengal Rao. It is located in the Banjara Hills in Hyderabad. There's a small pond within the park which adds some serenity to it. The park also has some of the most beautiful flowers in the area. There's also a small children's play area along with a cafeteria within the park premises.
    • Botanical Gardens - This is located in Madhapur, near the Hi-Tech City of Hyderabad. The park will have about 19 sections, each with different features. Right now, about 5 of these 19 sections are open to the public. These five sections have the following: medicinal plants, timber trees, fruit trees, ornamental plants, bamboo and aquatic plants. The main attraction is the bamboo section, which has different varieties of bamboos. You can also find many species of flowers within the garden. When completed, the gardens are supposed to have elaborate water canals and more sections.
    • Public Garden - This is the oldest park in Hyderabad, built in 1846 by Osman Ali Khan. It is also known as Bagham, bagh meaning garden and am meaning public. The Telangana State Archeological Museum is located within the garden. Other buildings within the garden are the State Legislative Assembly, Indira Gandhi Auditorium and Health Museum. The garden also has a mini-train which can take visitors on a tour around it. There's also boating facilities within the garden.
    • KBR National Park - This is also known as the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park. It is located in the Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad. Initially, the national park included the Chiran Palace, which was built in 1940. The area surrounding the palace was the park. However, the prince and his family requested for a place in the northern part of the park, in exchange of their properties within the central part of the park. Their request was approved and now the family lives outside the central part of the park. The Chiran Palace is now part of the property of the government. The park is home to many species of birds, animals and insects. You can spot animals like the pangolin, small Indian civet and jungle cat here.
    • Mahavir Harina Vanasthali Wildlife Park - This park was established in 1975 as a deer park. The park was named after Mahavir, which is a Jain saint. The location was once a hunting reserve for the Nizams. There are many blackbucks within the park, their number going to the hundreds. Other animals you can spot here are panthers, chitals, wild boars and porcupines. There are also bird species like egrets, kingfishers and Indian pond herons.
    • Nehru Zoological Park - This park was established in 1959 but was only opened to the public in 1963. It is just adjacent to the Mir Alam Tank in Hyderabad. The zoo has about 100 species of animals like birds, mammals and reptiles. Mammals in the zoo include Indian rhinoceros, Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, panther and gaur. The park also has an aquarium, butterfly house, dino park and tortoise house.
    Bodies of Water
    • Hussain Sagar - This is a heart shaped artificial lake in Hyderabad. It was built by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali during 1563, under the rule of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah. The lake is fed by the Musi River and also separates Hyderabad from Secunderabad. There's a statue of Buddha, over 18-metre high, standing on top of the Rock of Gibraltar, in the middle of the lake. The Lumbini Park and the Sanjivaiah Park are also located close to the lake.
    • Osman Sagar Lake - This is also known as Gandipet. This lake was created by damming the Musi River. The lake was created in 1920, after the reign of the last Nizam, which was Osman Ali Khan, hence the name of the lake. The Sagar Mahal, originally built as a summer resort of the last Nizam, is located within the banks of the lake. Now, it's managed by the government and provides a commanding view of the lake.
    • Durgam Cheruvu Lake - This is a freshwater lake in the Rangareddy district in Hyderabad. It is locally known as the Secret Lake, because it's hidden between Jubilee Hills and Madhapur. The unique rock formations of the lake provide the main attraction for tourists. There are additions of an amphitheatre and even a cafeteria within the area as well. There are also boating facilities within the lake.
    • Saroornagar Lake - This is an artificial lake created in 1626. The lake remained clean until 1956, when Hyderabad became a full-pledged city and expanded its area. Thankfully, the government has undertaken measures to clean and protect the lake. After the sewage treatment and protection, the lake is now clean again and is home to many species of birds. There are also boating facilities available here. The lake premises also has beautiful sculptures and ornaments. In 2009, the sewage plant has malfunctioned though and the lake is in danger of being polluted again.
    • Shamirpet Lake - This is an artificial lake created during the Nizam period. The lake is home to many species of birds, which is why it's a birdwatcher's haven. There are also plenty of resorts within the lake so you can opt to stay the night here. The lake is also surrounded by many campuses and educational institutions.
    Amusement Parks
    • Ramoji Film City Entry Fee - This is about 30 kilometres away from the city centre of Hyderabad. The film city has even earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest of its kind in the world. It can accommodate up to 50 film units in a single time. It is even said that you can complete one movie out of the settings in the film city. You can take guided tours to be able to explore the film city. There are even some hotels located within the location. Otherwise, there are also hotels located outside which have more affordable prices.
    • Snow World - This is just beside the Indira Park in Hyderabad. It was opened in 2004 and operates all year round. About 200 tons of artificial snow is made everyday for the park. This snow is even filtered so that even if the kids ingest it, it won't harm them. There are different areas within the park like snow wars, snow tube slide, sleigh slide, ice bump cars, skating rink and even a little children's play area. Recently, a snowfall machine was added where tourists can enjoy snowfall for 10 minutes on their visit to the park.
    • Jalavihar - This is located on the Necklace Road in Hyderabad. The park has water rides and dry rides that both adults and kids can enjoy. Other water features include a wave pool and a rain dance section. Dry rides include mini-train, battery cars, trampoline and mini-rainbow wheel. The park also has a food court to suit the food needs of the guests. They also have an amphitheatre which have a capacity of about 2,000 people at a time.
    • Wonderla Hyderabad - This theme park has about 25 dry rides and about 18 water rides. They have different branches in India and is one of the most well-known theme parks in the country. They have rides suitable for kids and families. For the adventurers, they can try out the high thrill rides. The water rides include slides, wave pool, rain dance and tube slides. For food, the park has a number of restaurants and even has a food court.
    • Salar Jung Museum - This is located on the southern bank of the Musi River. It is one of the three national museums in India. The museum has many exhibits. One of which is the Indian historical section which has the weaponries of Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan, Noor Jahan and Jehangir. It also houses the wardrobes and even the chair of Tipu Sultan. The museum also has a wide collection of the Quran in its library. A quirky collection is that of the different clocks in the clock room. There are ancient sundials, to miniature clocks that need magnifying glasses before they can be read and grandfather clocks from different countries.
    • Sudha Cars Museum - This is a unique museum established by K. Sudhakar. There are creative cars here, those you wouldn't have imagined can exist. Like the ladies collection of cars, in the form of lipstick, handbag and stiletto. Or replicas of the London buses we most commonly see in movies. The museum also has vintage cars on display. Many of the cars here do work and they are not just for show.
    • Telangana State Archeological Museum - This is the oldest museum in Hyderabad. It was established in 1930 by VII Mir Osman Ail Khan, although it was named as Hyderabad Museum then. The prized possession of the museum is the Egyptian mummy, brought to Hyderabad by the son in law of Mahbub Ali Khan. They then donated it to the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. The museum also has an exhibit about the Kakatiya dynasty. There's also a separate hall for Buddha and the artefacts relating to him.
    There you go. I hope this helps!