When I reached Hyderabad years back in 2009, the two things I kept in my mind was to visit the famous Charminar and to watch the Avatar movie at Prasad’s IMAX. During two months stay, I visited Charminar numerous time and also watched the Avatar at Prasads. But, while exploring Hyderabad, I found that there are much more to visit in Hyderabad. Grand Palaces carrying the legacy of Nizams and his office-bearers, Museums showing the prosperity of its old residents, a mud fort with its glorious past, amazing lakes, incredible temples, big mosques, tombs, film city, cyber city, outstanding colleges, shopping malls, street shops, world famous pearls, mouth-watering biryani..Hyderabad has a glorious past to discover and incredible present to experience. Club all these with the nearby attractions of Sri Sailam Tiger Reserve, Beaches of Vishakhapattanam, Beauty of Ajanta and Ellora , Ruins of Hampi and Pattadakal (All are at overnight journey distance from Hyderabad), this part of India is the home to the every fantasy of a traveller’s dream.
I compiled this list to give you a brief idea about the must visit places in Hyderabad. Some places like Falaknuma Palace, Shilparamam, Taramati Baradari, Chilkur Balaji Temple etc. are not included in this list, because I was not able to visit those places. You require at least a week to experience the life in Hyderabad. Luckily, hotels in Hyderabad are available in plenty and they provide a pleasant stay to its customers.
1. Charminar and Mucca Masjid: Built by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah in 1591 AD, this structure is the global icon of Hyderabad. Situated in the old city of Hyderabad, it is a massive and impressive structure with four minarets. This two-stories square structure of granite, mortar and marble is a signature style of Islamic Architecture.
Just 100 meters away from Charminar, Mecca Mosque was also built by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah. It is one of the largest mosque in India. Its central arch is believed to be built using the bricks made from the soil brought from the Mecca, the holiest site of Islam, thus giving the mosque its name.
2. Salarjung Museum: This museum is considered as world’s largest one man art collection. Located at the southern bank of Musi River, it is one of the three National Museums of India. It includes over 43,000 art objects, 9,000 manuscripts and 47,000 printed books from India, the Middle East, Europe and the Far East.
It has 38 galleries spread over two floors. There are further coordinating sections such as the Education Wing, Photo Section, Chemical Conservation Laboratory and a Display Section.
3. Chowmohalla Palaces: This official residence of Nizam is unique in style and elegance. From the date of its construction in 1751, it was one of the finest royal residences in India. The palace consists two courtyard, a Durbar Hall decorated by the chandeliers, beautiful gardens and fountains.
4. Golconda Fort: Located 11 kms west of the city of Hyderabad, Golconda is a Telugu term for Shepherd’s Hill. It is believed that a shepherd boy came across an idol on the hill. This led to the construction of a mud fort by the then Kakatiya dynasty ruler of the kingdom around the site.It is considered as the largest mud fort in India. It also served as a vault for the world-famous diamonds mainly Kohinoor and Hope. You can also watch an excellent sound and light show in the evening.
5. Qutub Shahi Tombs: These are tombs of the seven Qutub Shahi rulers and located about 2 kms away from Golconda Fort. These tombs stand on a raised platform and display a distinctive style, a mixture of Persian, Pashtun and Hindu forms. The tombs are graceful structures with intricately carved stonework and are surrounded by landscaped gardens.
6. Birla Temple: It is made of 2000 tons of pure Rajsthani marble on a high hillock. The chief deity of this temple is Lord Venkateshwara. The temple complex overlooking the southern side of Hussain Sagar offers a magnificent panoramic view of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. In the evening, you can watch a beautiful sunset behind the hills from the temple. It presents a colorful and spectacular sight when illuminated at night.
7. Parks in Hyderabad: Hyderabad is the home of the many beautiful parks with some special attractions.
Lumbini Park is located on the bank of Hussain Sagar. In the evening, a beautiful laser show is organised here everyday. Boat ride to monolithic Buddha Statue in Hussain Sagar is also available from this park.
NTR Garden is located at the walkable distance of 1.5 kms from Lumbini Park, along the road passing through the secretariat building. It is famous for its beautiful fountain, floral garden and bonsai garden.
Public Gardens is also a beautiful park near State Assembly and A.P.State Museum. Boat-rides are also available in a large lake inside public gardens.
8. Hussain Sagar: This lake is a wonderful place to hangout in Hyderabad, specially in the evening. Many landmarks of Hyderabad like Birla Temple, Lumbini Park, NTR Garden are located on the different corner of this lake. Walking along the Necklace road on the bank of this lake is one of the best memorable experience of Hyderabad, and if you go to visit Lumbini Park, don’t forget to take a boat-ride from there to the monolithic Buddha Statue in the middle of the lake.
9. Ramoji Film City: It is one of the largest integrated film city in India. The large area of film city consists many hotels, restaurants, parks and recreation centers. For the purpose of film shoots, it houses the settings of Hawa Mahal, Gateway of India, Golconda Fort, A Railway Station, An Airport, and even you can see the letter HOLLYWOOD on a hilltop, just like the original Hollywood.The ticket cost of a general visit for an adult in Rs.600 a day and for a child it is Rs.500 a day.
10. Malls, Multiplexes and the Paradise: There are lot malls, outlets, departmental stores and multiplexes available across the Hyderabad from Jublee Hills to Begumpet. Major shopping malls are Hyderabad Central and GVK One Mall.Prasads IMAX 3-D is one of the best cine-plex to watch 3-D movies in India. Apart from that, Hyderabad is also famous for its mouth-watering Hyderabadi Biryani. Paradise in Ambedkar Nagar is one of the best place to try the both, veg. and non-veg. Biryani. It also offers take-away facilities.
Despite of all these attractions and its popularity in the tourist circuit as a Heritage City, Hyderabad lacks a fast and efficient public transport systems. Massive jams are very common in the most part of the city. But, after all this state of Nizams is a very good place to visit and spend few days in the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan. You can book any of the Hyderabad-Hotels to enjoy your journey to the pearl city. Before your visit, just make an idea of all the places you wish to visit, because Hyderabad is so vast and so incredible, that sometimes you may feel your 2-3 days stay are not sufficient to explore it properly.