Places to Visit in Hyderabad


The CharminarThe Charminar
The charminar Hyderabad's best known landmark was built 1591 by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah to appease the force of evil savaging his new city with epidemic and plague. Standing in the heart of the old walled city and surround by lively bazaars, the charminar ('four tower') is a 56m high triumphal arch. The arch is notable for its elegant balconies, stucco decorations and the small mosque, Hyderabad's oldest, on the 2nd floor. An image of the grace every packet of charminar cigarettes, one of India's most popular brand. There are good views over the old city from the top of the minarets. Charminar, the hub of the city, has four wide roads radiating in the four cardinal directions. The four minarets command the landscape for miles. The structure is square, each side measuring 100 feet, with a central pointed high arch at the center. The whole edifice contains numerous small decorative arches arranged both vertically and horizontally. The prominently projected cornice on the first floor upholds a series of six arches and capitals on each façade, rising to the double-story gallery of the minarets. The projected canopy, ornamental brackets and decoration in stucco plaster add graceful elegance to the structure. On the upper courtyard, a screen of arches topped by a row of square jall or water screens lends a fragile charm to the sturdy appearance of charminar. This courtyard was used as a school and for prayers at the mosque. An underground path is believed to connect armine with the Golconda fort. The minarets, their domed finials rising from their lotus-leaves cushion, rise to 180 feet from the ground. An interesting 17th-century description of the monument comes from Thevenot: “That which is called the four towers, is a square building, of which each face is ten fathom broad and about seven high. It is opened on the four sides by four arches…”. Often called "The Arc de triomphe of the East", Charminar was built in 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah and is a beautiful structure with four intricately carved minarets. Enormous in its size, this imposing monument exudes a charm that is more than 400 years old!".
Charminar is surrounded by markets and many other structures which adds to its grace. Shahali Banda, Laad Bazar, Kali Kaman and Patthar Gatti flank charminar on its four sides. The structure here show mixed Indian and Mughal architectural styles.


Laad Bazaar  Laad Bazaar  
From glass bangles to pure pearls, and from handicrafts to gun metal showpieces the City offers a host of articles to the tourist.  The favourite place for almost every tourist is Laad Bazar, a famous bazar adjacent to the historical Charminar. The accent here is on color, glitter and sheen. This is true of not only bangles but everything at Laad Bazaar. The Mehboob Chowk, a torpid looking quadrangle with an imposing tower in the middle marks the end of the Bazaar. Situated at an altitude of 1722 ft; Hyderabad has salubrious climate with low humidity during the greater part of the year. In April and May temperatures may go up to 40 degree centigrades but during the rest of the year the climate is temperate and during December and January it is cool.


The Mecca MasjidThe Mecca Masjid
Adjacent to charminar is the Mecca Masjid, one of the largest mosque in the  world (accommodating up to 10,000 worshippers) Construction began in 1614, during the reign of Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, but wasn't finished until 1687, by which Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had annexed the Golconda kingdom and completed this Masjid in 1693. It is a grand edifice with a huge courtyard which can accommodate nearly ten thousand men at prayer. Tavernier has provided a graphic description of the mammoth boulders cut to size and carted for use in the building of the mosque. The minarets look rather stunted in comparison with the grandeur of the whole massive structure. But it looks more Mughal then Qutub Shah in its perfect granite finish and vast courtyard. A particular stone brick in the mihrab is believed to have been brought from Mecca. The name is derived from the Grand Mosque at Mecca on which it is patterned. The hall measures 67 mt. by 54 mt. and is 23 mt. in height. Fifteen arches, five on each of the three sides, support the roof. A high wall to provide the Mehrab blocks the western side. Each of the two octagonal columns on either side are made out of a single piece of granite, It took about 8000 Masons and laborers and 77 years to complete. At each end are two huge octagonal columns made out of a single piece of granite each topped by an arched gallery that is crowned by a dome.


Other Mosques - The other two mosques—-the Jami Masjid and the Toli Masjid—are small and modest structures. Muhammad Quli Shah built the Jami Masjid in 1592, after founding Hyderabad. ]Muse Khan, a supervisor of works at the Mecca Masjid, levied a damri for every rupee spent on the building of the Mecca Masjid. With these collections he built the Toli Masjid, near the Purana Pul. Two buildings, the Badshahi Ashur Khana and Darul Shifa—built in 1594—are much dilapidated and in need of large scale repair.

The city straddles the Musi river which, in 1908, had caused much destruction by flooding the city. Under the supervision of India’s greatest engineer Sir M.Vishweshvarayya, two large reservoirs, Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar were constructed to save the city from devastation by floods in the future. If there is some time left, a visit to the Nehru Zoological Park is recommended for a short lion safari and observing the wild beasts moving about freely in their expansive compounds. The crocodile hatchery is very informative for the young and the curious. One of the most visited places in the city is the Salar Jung museum.


Salarjung MuseumSalarjung Museum

The collection at this unique museum was put together by Mir Yusaf Ali Khan (Salar Jung III), the Prime Minister of the Nizam. It contains about 43,000 art exhibits and 50,000 books. Some of these have been collected from all over the world. The sculptures, wood carvings, miniature paintings armor, and weaponary, precious stones and jewels displayed here leave visitors spellbound. Two of the best pieces at the museum are the "Veiled Rebecca", a delicated marble statue of a woman seen through a veil and "Marguerite and Mephistopheles", a double figure wood carving. The ivory chairs and turbans of Tippu Sultan and the swords

Reputed to be the world's largest one-man collection, the famous Salar Jung Museum houses around 35,000 antiques and art objects collected by Salar JungIII, a former Prime-Minister of, the Nizam. The museum's 36 halls display an intriguing array of treasures, the finest crystals and porcelain, an assemblage of statues that includes the veiled Rebecca & Margarita-Mephistopheles, miniature paintings, illuminated, manuscripts, fabulous jewelled weapons, including the Empress Noorjahan's dagger and the Nawab's own diamond-encrusted sword, priceless collections of jade, ivory and bronzes and a fascinating variety of clocks. The most important historical exhibits are the turban and ivory chairs of Tipu Sultan of Mysore


Golconda FortGolconda Fort

The name originates from the Telgu words "Golla and Konda" or "Shepherd's Hill" after neighbourings Warangal. A clap under the canopy of the Fateh Darwaza can be heared at the far summit palace. Famous KOHINOOR DIAMOND of the British Crown was mined from this area. This legendary citadel built on a 120 meter high granite hill is surrounded by battlemented ramparts. Once the capital of the Qutub Shahis, the fort is enclosed within eight massive gates studded with large pointed iron spikes. One of the most remarkable features of this fort is its advanced acoustics. The fort’s acoustics are remarkable: sound of hands clapping in the Grand Portico can be heard in the Durbar hall at the top of the hill. Also, the design of the ventilation reveals the brilliant planning of the architects. The ventilation is designed to let in a flow of fresh cool breeze which is a respite from the heat of summer. An hour-long light-and-sound show is held daily except Mondays. This massive fort is 11 km in perimeter and its walls are 15 to 18 ft high. The whole fort is built in granite and is flanked by 70 ramparts and 8 huge gates. Previously the whole fort was surrounded by a deep gorge but slowly this was filled up. While entering from the main gate of the fort, if one claps below the dome, echoes are heard in a Darbar hall some 128 meter away.
The majestic and imposing monument which lies on the Western outskirts of Hyderabad city - Golconda Fort, unravels with it the 400 years of the rich cultural heritage of this city. Outside the Fort are two separate pavilions built on a rocky eminence - the Taramathi Gana Mandir and the Premathi Nritya Mandir from where the legendary sisters Taramathi and Premamathi resided. They gave their performance on a circular dais atop a two-storied structure, the Kala Mandir, which was visible from the king's durbar (king's court) on top of the Golconda Fort. Although in a dilapidated condition, efforts are on to revive the glory of the Kala 'Mender by organizing the Deccan art festival annually. Close to the fort are the beautiful domed monuments, the Qutb Shahi Tombs built with Islamic architecture.


Qutub Shahi Tombs
These graceful domed tombs are a stone’s throw from Golconda’s Balasihar Gate. Surrounded by landscaped gardens, many of them have beautifully carved stonework. The tombs erected in the memory of the founding rulers of Hyderabad are truly magnificent monuments that have stood the test of time and braved the elements. They lie about a kilometerQutub Shahi Tombs north of the outer perimeter wall of Golconda Fort's Banjara Darwaza. They lie about a kilometer north of the outer perimeter wall of Golconda Fort's Banjara Darwaza. There are the tombs of the six Qutb Shahi Kings. Noteworthy among these is the tomb of the fifth king of the Qutb Shahi dynasty and founder of Hyderabad - Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah. The domed mausolea lie, silent and nostalgic, in what used to be the old rose gardens where fountains played and sparrow (koyal) birds sang. The galleries of the smaller tombs are of a single storey while the larger ones are usually two-storied. In the centre of each tomb is a sacro-phagus which overlies the actual burial vault in a crypt below. The domes were originally overlaid with blue and green tiles of which now only a few pieces remain. These tombs are built in a unique architectural style which is a mixture of Persian, Pathan and Hindu forms. The material used was grey granite, embellished with stucco ornamentation. Each tomb stands on a wide quadrangular terrace approached on all sides by flights of steps. The surrounding arcades and painted arches enhance the beauty of the monuments. The main body of the edifice is broad, rising 9 to 15 meters above the terrace. It is surrounded by balustrades with beautiful minarets at the corners. 
Timings:9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Closed on Fridays


Purani Haveli

The origins of Purani Haveli go as far back as  Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad. When planning the new city of Hyderabad, Mohammad Quli had allotted the site where Purani Haveli now stands for the mansion of his Peshwa, Mir Momin. Mir Nizam Ali Khan, the second Nizam acquired the existing area of the Purani Haveli and Purani Haveli constructed upon it for his son Sikander Jah in 1777. Purani Haveli, (meaning Old Palace in Urdu) but when Sikandar became the Nizam, he chose Moti Galli near Charminar for his residence. The Purani Haveli was thus unoccupied for most of the time and hence lost its earlier glory, charm and importance. It also came to be called Haveli Khadeem. Purani Haveli is a replica of the 18th century European style of architecture. Its main building, even today, has several interesting pieces of antique furniture. Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam, also contributed to the glory of this building when he build the exquisite 240-feet long wooden wardrobe, the longest in the world, that never fails to amaze the visitors.

In 1971, the eighth Nizam donated the Purani Haveli complex to the Mukarram Jah Trust, an organisation dedicated to education. Part of the complex houses a library, the other the Mukarram Jah Technical Institute. One wing is now a museum housing the seventh Nizam's collection of gifts made to him on the occasion  of his Silver Jubilee on the throne, articles which form the exhibits in the Nizam's Museum, Hyderabad
Timings - 10.30 a.m. to 5.00p.m. Entry Fee - Rs. 50/- Closed on Friday.


Birla Mandir

Hyderabad reflects a synthesis of varied cultures. It presents a beautiful blend of the northern anBirla Mandird southern styles of architecture. This stunningly beautiful modern Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara and built out of white marble. Made of pure white marble from Rajasthan, the Birla Mandir overlooks the serene and placid waters of the Hussain Sagar lake. The magnificent shrine offers a fantastic panoramic view of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The intricate carvings of the temple, the ceiling and the mythological figures are a standing testimony to the dexterity and sculptural excellence of the craftsmen. Beautiful scenes from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are finely sculpted in marble. The Birla Mandir presents a colorful spectacular sight when illuminated at night. It graces the rocky hill overlooking the Hussain Sagar. Also, the Birla Science Museum and Planetarium are next to this. The temple is open for visitors from 7 a.m. to 12 noon and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. all days of the week. (The timings could have changed hence one would have to check with the local A.P.T.D.C. offices for the changes if any.)


Hussain Sagar
Hussain Sagar has other attractions for lovers of water sports. The yatching and sailing clubs at the lake are active and the annual regatta draws a good number of sportspersons and lay people alike from all around the country. During the regatta competitions, the lake looks picturesque and colorful with the yatches sailing on the shimmering waters. Indeed the Hussain Sagar is a haven for young and old hearts, a thrill for yatchers and above all an ideal place for relaxation and recreation. This centuries old lake effectively divides the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. An 18 meter high, 350 ton monolithic status of Lord Buddha towers over the lake from atop the Rock of Gibraltar. The road on the Tank-Bund which originally was very narrow was widened in 1946 when Sir Mirza Ismail was the Prime Minister of Hyderabad. Further widening and beautification of the Tank-Bund took place during 1987-88 with the addition of fountains with dancing waters, tantalising coloured lighting during nights, and the installation of nearly thirty three (33) well sculptured bronze statues mounted on high platforms, in the memory of historical and eminent personalities of Andhra Pradesh. The lake is encompassed on one side by the beautiful Lumbini Park, an amusement park for the young and old alike. Then there is the enchanting Birla Mandir hewn on a hillock nearby. Standing on the Tank Bund at night, one is awe-struck to see the glimmering row of lights outlining the lake that look like " a diamond studded necklace". This is the necklace road being readied to enhance the beauty of Hussain Sagar.  It is named after Hussain Shah Wali who helped the Qutub Shahi King-Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah, recover from a serious illness.


Lumbini Park

A beautiful landscaped park on the banks of the placid Hussain Sagar lake is the Lumbini Park. An ideal meeting place for young lovers, evening strollers and fun loving children, Lumbini park offers a lot of amusement. Located on the banks of the Hussain Sagar Lake, this Hyderabad Urban Development authority (HUDA) park has the biggest musical fountain in Asia. The park is the only one of its kind in India.Located on the banks of the Hussain Sagar Lake, thisLumbini Park Hyderabad Urban Development authority (HUDA) park has the biggest musical fountain in Asia. The park is the only one of its kind in India. One of the largest in India, and one of the 10 largest in the world, the zoo is spread over 120 hectares of landscaped gardens. The animals are in enclosures that simulate their natural habitat. Rare species of animals are found here. The newly added nocturnal den and tiger safari are the ones that are worth a special mention. The Lumbini park is a part of the Buddha Poornima project. It is located a few yards from the monolithic Buddha statue on the Rock of Gibraltar in the Hussain Sagar. The park has been named after the garden that was the birth place of Siddharth, the later day Buddha. The Lumbini park is surrounded by the state Secretariat, the tranquility of the Hussain Sagar lake and the exotic Birla Mandir standing majestically atop a hillock.  At the main entrance of the park, a large floral clock allures the visitors. The clock is rich with brightly colored flowers of different shades. The park offers a lot of entertainment for children. Scores of little kids can be seen around the swings and slides. The park is also provided with a foyer for waiting passengers who wish to enjoy a boat ride in the Hussain Sagar. Boat riders can have a wonderful view of the giant monolithic Buddha in granite and also the sculptured life story of the "Prince of Peace". The highlight of the Lumbini park is the spectacular Musical dancing fountain and water cascading provided with colorful lights. Every evening at 6.30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Musical Fountain shows enthrall the visitors. The fountains dance to the tunes of popular numbers from Hindi and Telugu film songs. The Lumbini park comes alive in all its splendor at night with glowing sodium vapor lamps and the kiss of the cool breeze ! 

 Timings:9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays.




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