Hyderabad can be termed as the 'Delhi Of The South'. Well, that's entirely my interpretation, or you may say that's what made me love the city more.The capital of Telangana, once the capital of the Nizams, still holds the royal charm.
Here's a list of things that you must see and do if you are in Hyderabad:
1. Charminar: Of course, Charminar is the most famous place in the city, and you just can't miss this. Located amidst the most crowded part of the city, the neighbourhood would give you an essence of Delhi's Chandni Chowk. Surrounded by Mecca Masjid, built using bricks from Mecca and Laad Bazaar - a boisterous shopping street, this landmark is laced in history.Built in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, it was constructed to commemorate the founding of Hyderabad and also to ward of a deadly epidemic that was rampant then in the Golconda region. Graced by 4 minarets soaring almost 50ft in height, it has a mosque and 45 prayer spaces.2. Golconda Fort: Located in the outskirts of the city, this is one of the best works of architecture from the medieval period.
The remains of multiple fortification layers, armouries, magazines, mosques, granaries, reservoirs, audience chambers and royal dwellings complement the striking appearance of the fort.
Famous for its acoustics, a unique signalling device that was incorporated in its construction, the structure is known for its palaces, ingenious water supply system and the famous Fateh Rahben, one of the cannons used in the last siege of Golconda by Aurangzeb. The Sound & Light show brings alive the grandeur of one of India’s famous forts.
PS- Bargain with the guides, who would finally settle for Rs 200, but make sure you take a guide because the way they'll explain the history to you, is absolute 'Paisa-Wasool' entertainment.
3. Qutub Shahi Tomb: One of the historical places to visit in Hyderabad is the set of absolutely beautiful Qutub Shahi Tombs ensconced against the lovely backdrop of the picturesque Ibrahim Bagh. These represent the final resting ground of rulers of the founding dynasty of Hyderabad.
The most authentic and majestic display of Persian, Hindu, and Pathan architectural designs dedicated to the seven kings who ruled Golconda for nearly 170years, the rulers themselves built these tombs.
4. Ramoji Film City: You need to keep an entire day for this, and this is nothing less than Disneyland!
Ramoji Film City makes its way to every traveller’s list because of its magical theme around cinema, which is the most common love of every Indian.
The world’s largest integrated film city, spread across 2,000acres ensures that every visitor makes most from the day spent here. Features include well-defined categories of entertainment suited for different ages from Eureka, the performance arena modelled on the lines of royal forts hosting live shows, to getting a tour of a typical film studio, multi-cuisine restaurants, shopping venues, kids’ park, and even a bird park.
5. Hussain Sagar Lake: One of the largest man-made lakes in India, Hussain Sagar Lake has been adorning the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad since 1562.
Adding to its charm is the monolithic statue of the Buddha installed in the heart of the lake. Several facilities around the lake periphery such as boating and water sports, and the neighbourhood Lumbini Park, an amusement park are add-on attractions.
There's a food street next to the Lake, where you can spend a lovely evening, munching some delicious chaats!
6. Paradise Biriyani: When in Hyderabad, you just can't afford to miss Paradise biriyani - well, to be more specific, World's Best Biriyani. The restaurant is 4-storeyed and the locals said that as you climb up, the richness of the biriyani increases! Of course, the ground floor sells biriyani for Rs 80, while the top floor sells for Rs 600, per plate. This biriyani is definitely going to make you drool, and long for more. Don't miss out their kabab platter.
7. Shilparammam: It's the shopper's paradise in Hyderabad. Selling all sorts of antique goods, old wall clocks, and handicrafts, Shilparammam is the place from where you can pick up souvenirs.
After all these, if you have time left, then you can catch a movie at Imax theatre, and enjoy the big screen experience. Just make sure it's a good movie because the tickets will cost much!
Another thing that I personally liked in Hyderabad is this restaurant called 'Dialogue In The Dark', in Inorbit Mall. This restaurant might not serve the best food but will surely give you an experience of a lifetime. Managed and run by blind people, this restaurant serves food in the darkness... yes! You read it right. You have to pay your bill first, and then enter the restaurant, which is pitch-dark and the food is served which you have to guess and eat. We often tend to ignore little things that people born with disabilities has to pass through, and this restaurant just lets you feel that, for an hour. You'll definitely leave the place with a smile.
Hyderabad can be easily covered in 4 days, and if you have more time, then the best option would be to take a bus and make a move towards Bangalore!