Updated: Aug 7, 2020
"Dil se Hyderabadi" isn't just a phrase, it's a feeling. I couldn't fathom this statement until I visited the city. A land that beholds the beautiful amalgamation of various heritages daily deserves a place on everyone's bucket list. Here are a few reasons why!
The Nizam Influence
No other city in India witnesses such a beautiful blend of old Indo-Islamic architecture and modern contemporary influence. Be it the iconic Charminar or multiple picturesque palaces which include the Chowmahalla Palace, Taj Falaknuma, Purani Haveli, and many more, the union of cultures is quite striking!
The Charminar was built on the convergence of the historical trade route that connects the city to international markets via the port of Machilipatnam. The old town of Hyderabad had been planned and constructed keeping this as the central structure. There exist famous folklore among the locals. It is believed that Qutub Shah created Charminar at the very spot where he met Queen Bhagmati. It was after her conversion to Islam that he renamed the city as 'Hyderabad'.
Palaces aren't just majestic exuberant structures. Every part of a castle speaks a million tales,
some hushed owing to political agenda. The Chowmahalla Palace was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad during their rule. Its Southern Courtyard has four palaces.
Hence the name 'Chowmahalla' which literally translates to Four Palaces. A few kilometers from Charminar, situated on a hillock is the Falaknuma Palace. Falak-Numa is the Urdu alternative for 'Mirror of the Sky'. The palace has been renovated by the Taj Group and is now a luxury hotel.
Each of these structures has lived through numerous historical changes. As a result, they have a mix of Persian, European, Indo-Saracenic and Rajasthani styles.
Necklace Road Diaries
One of the noteworthy tourist attractions of the city is the Necklace Road, which has been built the same way as the Queen's Necklace of Mumbai. The Necklace Road is a boulevard adjoined the Hussain Sagar which connects the NTR Gardens and Sanjeevaiah Park.
The Hussain Sagar is a heart-shaped lake fed by River Musi. It is surrounded by NTR Gardens, Sanjeevaiah Park, Lumbini Park, Prasad's IMAX, and a couple of other sites. The lake is also well-known for a giant monolithic statue of Gauthama Buddha, erected in the middle of the lake.
The locals love to take an evening walk or a morning jog along the necklace road. One must watch out for the view of the lake from the way on a moon-lit night.
Iconic Shooting Spots!
Birla Mandir is a Hindu temple built on a hillock. The temple has no traditional bells to make the temple atmosphere appropriate for meditation. The dominating white marble of the construction makes the structure take the color of the LED lights, and this sight looks stunning when viewed from afar.
The Ruins of Golkonda: Golkonda was originally called Mankal and was built on a hilltop. The fort gets its name from 'Golla Konda' which translates to 'Shepard's Hills'. With mounted cannons, eight gateways, and grand hallways, Golkonda Fort is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent fortresses in India and stands as a testimony to Hyderabad's glorious past.
It is a matter of pride that the world's largest integrated film city is located at Hyderabad. Ramoji Film City is an integrated film studio complex and is often described as 'a city within a city'. In addition to the many Bollywood and Tollywood films shot here, the film city also houses the Baahubali set.
Sudha car museum: Being a handmade car museum, Sudha car museum is quite an idiosyncratic place to visit. This museum has its theme revolving around vintage cars and creative vehicles. There is a wide range of vehicles of unique designs, peculiar shapes and structures, and donning bright, attractive colors. The cars and bikes displayed aren't just for show, they are actually working models.
Taramati Baradari: Situated on a hill, Taramati Baradari is a music hall with twelve entrances. It gets its name from Taramati, one of the prominent dancers of Qutub Shah's court. The place has excellent acoustics and owing to its association with Taramati, who had dedicated her entire life to dance and music, it is now used for performances on classical music and other folk art forms.