A melting pot of computer geeks, religious zealots and lushes, Hyderabad in India combines techno savvy with ancient tradition in a seemingly effortless hybrid. A wealthy city also known as ‘Cyberabad’ due to its powerful IT industry and ‘City of Pearls’ due to its love of exquisite jewellery, Hyderabad is also home to the diamond mine that produced the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond now gracing the Queen of England’s shiny crown.
So you’re after something more tangible? Hyderabad is still strewn with ancient Islamic buildings and ornate monuments hinting at its former splendour, particularly in the Muslim Quarter.A giant Buddha also adorns the city. Besides these shiny flourishes, Hyderabad boasts the world’s biggest souvenir stores in the form of sprawling bazaars. So to find the ‘real’ Hyderabad, all it takes is a bit of rummaging…
Hyderabad’s Top 10
10. Society to Save Rocks Well, someone’s gotta do it! These guys hold monthly walking tours to view the boulders of Andhra.
5. HEH The Nizam’s Museum Narcissism wasn’t just for the Greeks – the home of the sixth Nizam features a 72m-long, two-storey wardrobe to store all the clothes he only wore once!
9. Vipassana International Meditation Centre You can’t travel to India and not try some form of meditation. If you’ve got a spare 10 days, this is the place to spend them.
4. Ramoji Film City A four-hour tour of the studios where Bollywood films are made. Cruise the films sets and enjoy dance routines amongst the wannabe stars.
8. Chowmahalla Palace An eclectic 1750 palace recently restored to its former glory, it has collected different architectural styles with each facelift.
3. Birla Mandir This marble temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Venkateshwara draws pilgrimage crowds, but for tourists it offers great views over the city.
7. Paigah Tombs A family of aristocrats said to be descendants of the second Caliph of Islam are buried in a cluster of marble and stucco mausoleums of exquisite design.
2. Golconda Fort This fortress hails mainly from the rule of the Qutb Shahi kings, but has earlier humble origins as a mud fort.
6. Nehru Centenary Tribal Museum Journey into the lives of the 33 tribal groups in Andhra Pradesh through photographs, masks and musical instruments.
1. Charminar Built to fulfil a secret promise to honour Allah, the four minarets are for the first four Khalifahs. An iconic Hyderabad monument.
- Sri Venkateshwara Temple – Dedicated to a Hindu god, this temple is open to visitors mornings and evenings every day of the week.
- Golkonda Fort – Located just 11km west of Hyderabad, this is actually four ancient forts that still have some of their cannons.
- Chowmahalla Palace - Reduced to 12 acres now, this palace once covered almost four times as much land.
- Mecca Masjid – This mosque began construction in 1617 but was not completed until 1694.
- Salar Jung Museum – Here several priceless artifacts of former dynasties and times in Hyderabad are housed.
Hyderabad Art & Culture
- Osmania University – The first institution of higher education ever established in the Hyderabad region.
- St. George’s Church – This church was built to service the Anglo-Indian community in the 19th century.
- Shilparamam – A historic village that preserves and displays the arts and crafts of previous generations.
- Qutub Shahi Tombs – The bodies of the sultans are laid to rest there.
- Ramoji Film City – Occupying more than 2,000 acres, this is a center of India’s homegrown film industry.
- Bidri Art – This store specializes in works of gold and silver inlaid on black metal.
- Folk Painting – The folk paintings sold here are perfect as wall hangings.
- The Great Mall of Hyderabad – This huge mall, located on Punjagutta Road, contains its own cinema.
- Laad Bazaar – A collection of stores and shops dealing in traditional and non-traditional wares.
- Deccan Achar – They turn vegetables, especially pickles, into extra-spicy treats.
Gay & Lesbian Hyderabad
- The ISTA – TG Rainbow Tourism gives this hotel in the new financial hub of the city five stars.
- The Parade Ground Secunderabad – This open area has some dark spots that are perfect for low-profile cruising.
- Aks – A gay, lesbian and transgender association organized by university students and professors.
- Cyber Service Apartments – A gay-tolerant location for long-term visits to this city.
- Chat Hour – This site has a chat room for gays in the Hyderabad area.
- Hussain Sagar Lake – A number of beautiful and scenic locations surround this manmade lake.
- Jalavihar – This water park has numerous water slides and a wave pool.
- Nehru Zoological Park – More than 100 species of animals inhabit 380 acres of this mammoth zoo.
- Lumbini Park – Located in downtown Hyderabad, tourists can enjoy a laser show or go boating.
- NTR Park – Visitors can tour the park quickly in a monorail or have a meal at its own restaurant.
- Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium – They play cricket in this stadium near the Public Gardens downtown.
- Kotla Vijay Bhaskar Reddy Stadium – Seating up to 2,000 spectators and hosting diverse and traditional events.
- Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium – Another stadium devoted to cricket.
- Signal Sports – A sport supply store located in the Abids Circle area.
- S.A. Sports – Located in the Koti suburb, this store sells sporting goods.
Short of cash and a good husband? Join the celebrations of Bathukamma in October, a ceremony worshipping the goddess with elaborate floral arrangements.
December’s All India Crafts Mela transforms the village of Shilparamam. Artisans from all over India arrive to sell traditional goods.
Ghazal poetry, classical dance and Qawwali devotional music is performed at the Deccan Festival in February.
In July, religious devotees gather and dancing men and women with decorated pot hats pay homage to the goddess Mahankali at Bonalu.
Explore educational opportunities at December’s India International Education Fair, held at the Hotel Fortune Katrya.
When To Go
The winter months are moderate with temperatures hovering around 22 to 25ºC (72-77ºF).
June to September is the monsoon season, with unpredictable downpours.
With temperatures reaching 45ºC (113ºF), to say summers are hot and uncomfortable would be an understatement!
Bus services are very efficient and long-distance bus stations can be found at Mahatma Ghandi Bus Station.
There are three major train stations, two of them with tourist counters that offer a convenient way around the city.
Another option is to rent a car (and a driver) from nearby Nampally Station.
37 hotels in Hyderabad, IN
Hyatt Hyderabad Gachibowli Hotel provides stylish accommodations for tourists visiting the new financial district of Hyderabad. Visitors at this contemporary Gachibowli hotel can stop by at... More
Hide away from the bustle of city life without moving far from area attractions, businesses and recreation sites by booking a stay in the luxurious accommodations of Taj Deccan Hyderabad Hotel,... More
3/1 & 3/2 Reddy Hostel Lane, Hanuman Tekdi,Abids Map
Situated right in the market area of Abids, Hotel Mandakini Jaya International Hyderabad is ideal for corporate travellers and holidaymakers. Its direct connection to the commercial and... More
Offering modern accommodations set in a tranquil and verdant area in the city, Green Park Hotel Hyderabad makes for an ideal urban retreat for plush travellers visiting Hyderabad. While in this... More
The Manohar offers luxurious accommodations for discerning travellers while visiting this part of India. Visitors at this deluxe hotel in Hyderabad should not miss exploring well-known city... More
Business and leisure travellers visiting Hyderabad find ideal base in the stylish accommodations and sophisticated surroundings of Marigold By Greenpark Hyderabad Hotel. This deluxe hotel is within... More
Best Western Ashoka Hotel offers spacious event spaces and relaxing accommodations for business and leisure travellers visiting the lively city of Hyderabad. Patrons at this city-centre hotel snap... More
Offering views of the famous Hussain Sagar Lake, Courtyard By Marriott Hyderabad Hotel offers facilities such as concierge, safe deposit box and currency exchange for guests convenience. Popular... More
Close to Hyderabad central business district and key destinations in the area and housing fully furnished conference facilities, the luxurious Vivanta By Taj Hotel Begumpet makes for a suitable... More