Hyderabad is the image of what most what dream about an old Indian city as being – full of narrow lanes packed with chai shops, markets, wandering animals, a huge array of colour, religions and languages along with beautiful old architecture that’s in differing states of repair. It is also home to two incredibly wealthy Muslim royal houses, the Asaf Jahs and the Qutb Shahs. This city of beautiful diamonds and pearls has left us a legacy of awe inspiring tombs, mosques and palaces.
The other side of Hyderabad is a lot younger – it’s hi-tech central and is found out towards the west, a location that’s pushed the city into the modern world since the 1990s. It’s filled to the brim with sleek restaurants, pubs, clubs, multiplexes and malls that are alongside the more traditional places such as teahouses and biryani joints.
Top 3 Places To Visit In Hyderabad:
1: Qutub Shahi Tombs
Currently one of the most visited historical sites in Hyderabad, the Qutub Shahi Tombs act as a resting ground for Hyderabad’s founding rulers. It’s the most majestic and authentic display of Pathan, Hindu and Persian architectural designs that’s loyal to the seven, 170-year rulers of Golconda. The tombs were built by the rulers themselves and are incredibly grandiose.
2: Shri Jagannath Temple
This is a modern day temple that’s been constructed by the local Oriya community. It’s a replica of Puri’s original temple with its housing of Lord Jagannath statues and statues for his siblings, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra.
3: Nehru Zoological Park
A 50-year-old zoo that’s spread across around 380 acres, the Nehru Zoological Park ensures that Hyderabad offers families and even solo travellers an exciting trip. It is home to a wide range of research facilities, animal habitats, ecological programmes and many, many more. You can find almost 1,500 specimens of reptiles, animals and birds here.
In between the new and old are leafy middle-class areas such as the Banjara and Jubilee Hills, and locations like Abids, a dense inner city area that’s situated north of the Old City. Towards the northeast you can find the home of one of the three primary train stations within Hyderabad, which is called Secunderabad – once a British military station and it’s still sometimes referred to as Hyderabad’s “twin city”.
The Muslim population of Hyderabad are found, for the most part, within the Old City and the areas nearby that are north of the Musi River. Telugu-speaking Hindus make up the majority of the population and there’s also an ever increasing number of migrants from India’s other areas attracted by the IT boom.
If you do choose to explore Hyderabad then remember to dress conservatively when you’re going to religious sights, and always take your shoes off before you go into a place of worship or into somebody’s home.