What to do on a trip to Hyderabad

25th May 2017
Photo of What to do on a trip to Hyderabad by Abhijit

When we plan for a trip, we go on one long course on knowing the city. Starting from where to stay to where to go and importantly, where to eat. It is sort of a love affair with the city in question. As the trip comes closer, the excitement peaks, the images that we've have built up in our minds about to come to fruition.

The thrill of discovery, the love of travel and everything wonderful about it, soon comes to an end. And with it, our plans. They become just another piece of useless information in our minds. Like our deep understanding of Algebra. Let’s not do that here. So, right here, is a travel plan of Hyderabad, curated for you.

Day 1

We arrived in Hyderabad on Thursday. We stayed at a hotel near Nampally Railway station as it was centrally located and in close proximity to many of the places we wanted to visit. After having a filling lunch at Cafe Bahar Restaurant, we set out as per our itinerary for the first day.

The Salar Jung Museum

Photo of Salarjung Museum, Darulshifa, Hyderabad, Telangana, India by Abhijit

The Salar Jung Museum houses the personal artifacts, counting over 10 lakh items, of Salar Jung III spanning several centuries. It is one of the largest one-man museums in the world and India’s largest by area. I was personally impressed by the size of the daggers the historical figures wielded.

Chowmahalla Palace

Photo of What to do on a trip to Hyderabad by Abhijit

Chowmahalla Palace is one of two most well known palaces in Hyderabad, the other being the Falaknuma Palace. Chowmahalla has a regal touch even today, which is probably due to being maintained by the Nizams.

Mecca Masjid is one of the prolific 4 attractions in that area, it being one of the oldest mosques in Hyderabad. The main hall of the masjid is supposed to be huge and able to accommodate thousands of worshippers at one time. However, due to the paucity of time and in our excitement to rush to the Charminar, we only saw it from the outside.

The Charminar by late evening

Photo of What to do on a trip to Hyderabad by Abhijit

Charminar, or literally 4 minarets, is a mosque and one of the most famous monuments in Hyderabad. Built by Qutub Shah, it is a symmetrical square structure with minarets on each side with 4 grand arches connecting them. It is best visited late in the evenings and at night as it is lit up by the lights of the Saad bazaar around it. We went there in the evening but ended up spending more time at the bazaar.

Jhumkas as the bazaar

Photo of What to do on a trip to Hyderabad by Abhijit

More trinkets and bangles at the bazaar

Photo of What to do on a trip to Hyderabad by Abhijit

We (mostly the girls) spent much time at the bazaar looking at collectibles and knick knacks. From their extensive shopping, I can say with much certainty that it was a worthwhile trip.

Day 2

We had an exhaustive schedule (literally!) for Friday but as it is with groups we managed to cover only in part. Despite having planned the Nehru Zoological Park and the Falaknuma Palace in the first half of the day, we awoke only by 10, courtesy the late night partying and staying up routine.

Let me take you through our itinerary anyway. We had planned on going to the Nehru Zoological park first thing in the morning. The park has a large collection of indigenous specie of animals and birds. I was more interested in the animals (specifically the white tiger) than the birds since we were going to visit a specialised bird park inside Ramoji the following day. We were to follow it up with the Palace, now the Taj Falaknuma palace, a palace hotel. A pity that we didn't make it though.

The Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel

Photo of Taj Falaknuma Palace, Falaknuma, Hyderabad, Telangana, India by Abhijit

The next part of our itinerary, we followed it to a T. And trust me, it was glorious. We first had lunch at the Paradise Hotel (yes, yes, THE Paradise). A trip to Hyderabad is incomplete without having biryani at the Paradise Hotel. We especially went to Secunderabad for that. After a super-heavy meal, we set off to visit Golconda Fort.

Golconda is some 15 kilometres from Secunderabad, but it took us slightly over an hour to reach there with the notorious Hyderabad traffic. The Golkonda fort is one of the more renowned forts in Hyderabad. In earlier times it was an administrative division of Hyderabad, now Telangana. The Golkonda region is very well known for having mines that have produced the legendary Kohinoor diamond and the Hope diamond. The architectural finesse of the fort can be judged from the fact that design allows a person to communicate from the entrance to a mile away at the Bala Hisar pavilion.

While the fort was amazing in itself the evening light and sound show was a spectacle to behold. The Qutub Shahi tombs are located pretty close to the Golkonda, while not extraordinary, they are of historic importance.

Day 3

After the light and sound show we went back and had dinner at Tolichowki at Four Seasons restaurant followed by amazing array of desserts at nice Juice Centre. This pretty much sums up Day 2.

We slept in the early as we had a visit to Ramoji Film City planned the following morning. You can read all about it here.

Day 4

Sunday was the last day we had at Hyderabad. Though we had the entire day to ourselves, we did not plan much for the last day. Early in the morning we visited the famous Birla temple. And to wrap up an almost perfect trip we visited the Buddha statue in Hussain Sagar lake. It is the world's tallest monolith of Gautam Buddha and stands at a serious 58 feet. Interestingly it was the Dalai Lama who consecrated the statue some 10 years back.

Of course a trip to Karachi Bakery was kept for last. Although one can now find Karachi Biscuits online, one has to visit the store to know the sheer variety of the biscuits on offer. Needless to say, we all packed heavy.

We had a quick lunch at a nearby restaurant and went back to the hotel to pack for the return journey. The trip to Hyderabad is one of my most cherished trips in recent times. While my only qualm was not being able to stick completely to my itinerary, it is only a small sore point at that. Perhaps my planning and the complete itinerary should help you plan your own trip.

Happy travelling!

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