Hyderabad General Information
- Population 3,058,093 (1991)
- Altitude 537 metres above the sea level
- Languages Telugu, Urdu and English
- Best time to visit October to February
- STD code 040
Hyderabad – An Introduction
Quli Qutab Shah founded Hyderabad, the city of Charminar. Legends say that the foundation of the city is the result of a love story between the prince and a village belle. To appease his beloved, Bhagmati, he named the city Bhagnagar (the city of good fortune) which later changed to this city. Modelled after Isfaan in Iran, the city was meant to be a symbol of the might of the Qutab Shahi rulers. When it was completed in 1592, the city received lavish praises from many visitors including Tavernier and Abbe Carr. Hyderabad, the capital of the state of Andra Pradesh is the fifth largest city of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Hyderabad is known for its bizarre way of adaab as acknowledgement even in 21st century. It is renowned for its rich history of tradition and culture with monuments, mosques, temples, hyderabadi cuisine etc. Hyderabad is among the few Indian cities which has a well preserved cultural heritage. Before being incorporated into the Indian nation, Hyderabad had its own flag, currency, railway and postal system. Hyderabad boasted up with Qutub Shahi Masterpiece – the Charminar, jami masjid, the Mecca masjid and toli masjid are the impressible symbols of society. The major language spoken by the people in Hyderabad is Urdu. Hyderabad is also a home for famous folk arts like shadow puppetry and kuchipudi.
Places of Interest:
Situated in the heart of Hyderabad, the grand Charminar has four wide roads radiating in the four cardinal directions. You can see the four minarets from miles. It is a square structure, each measuring 100 feet and a high central pointed arch. There are numerous small decorative arches arranged vertically as well as horizontally on the whole edifice. The structure has been made elegant by adding the projected canopy, ornamental brackets and decoration in stucco plaster. The Charminar has two galleries, one over other. The exterior of the Charminar is its most beautiful part, surrounded by a thriving market. There are four magnificent arches known as Char Kaman situated near Charminar. They were the gateway to Zilu Khana or antechamber of the royal palace. The arches have been named Machli Kaman, Kali Kaman, Sher Gil Ki Kaman, and Charminar Ki Kaman.
Salar Jung Museum
Salarjung Museum is the third largest museum in India situated on the southern bank of river Musi. Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III, former Prime Minister of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, spent a substantial amount of his income over thirty five years to make this priceless collection in India. It includes sculptures, illuminated manuscripts. The museum building contains collection of sculptures, rare manuscripts, momentos and wooden carvings etc. It also contains reading room, publication and cafeteria etc. The museum is open every day except Friday. Guides are available at free of charge.
Mecca Masjid is One of the world largest and oldest masjid in hyderabad. Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah started construction of the structure in 1617 but it was completed by the mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the year 1694. It can accommodate about 10,000 people at a time during the prayer. All Enormous arches and pillars are made from single slabs of black granite One of the rooms in the courtyard of Mecca Masjid is presumed to house the hair of Prophet Mohammed. It took about 8000 Masons and was completed in 77 years.
Nehru Zoological Park
One of the largest and the best zoos in Asia, the Nehru Zoological Park has nearly 1500 species of animals, birds and reptiles .Inside the zoo grounds is a Natural History Museum. The zoo is the first in India to have lion safari and tiger safari.
The Birla Mandir (Naubat Prahad)
Birla mandir, an enchanting temple dedicated to lord Venkateshware displays a mixture of architectural styles. It is made up of pure white marble from Rajasthan. All beautiful scenes are finely sculpted with marble on the walls of temple.
Golconda fort is one of the magnificent fortress complexes in India, lies on the western outskirts around 11 km from Hyderabad. The awesome Golconda Fort is marvelous for its military architecture. The fortress is built on a granite hill 120 meters high, surrounded by massive crenellated ramparts. It consists of four distinct forts with a 10km long outer wall having 87 semi circular bastions, eight gateways, four drawbridges and number of royal apartments & halls, temples, mosques, magazines, stables etc from inside
Located about 160 km from Hyderabad, Nagarjunsagar is perhaps India/’s first island-museum. The place presents a panorama of human evolution in the lower Krishna river valley from the prehistoric age to medieval times. The main attractions here include Simhala Vihara (monastery for Ceylonese monks), Mahastupa (considered the oldest structure on the island containing some corporal relics of Lord Buddha), and a Ashwamedh site. There is an architectural museum here containing mithuna couples in varying moods, a collection of antiquities ranging from the bust of a Gandharv to figures of dwarfs, yakshis, coins, pottery, a model of the submerged valley, and exhibits of some Stone Age implements such as wedges, axes, arrowheads, spearheads and some broken pottery.
Famous for its thousand-pillared temple-a famous specimen of the Chalukya architecture-Warangal is situated 157 km north-east. The fort of Warangal was constructed by the Kakatiyas between the 12th and 14th centuries. You can see the ruins of the mud-brick fort that still survive in certain portions. The great temple at Harnamkonda was built by king Rudra Deva on the slopes of the hill in 1163. The temple has exquisitely carved pillars. The entrance to the temple has a monolithic structure of Nandi sitting on guard at the entrance along with rock-cut statues of elephants on either side. The fort suffered much destruction in the 14th century after it was conquered by Muhammad Tughlaq.
Lying 110 km northwest of Hyderabad, Bidar was the consecutive capitals to the mighty Bahamanis and Barid Shahi dynasty. Within the fortified area there is a vast range of palaces, mosques, baths, schools and tombs. The major attractions are the tombs at Ashtur and Gawan/’s Madarsa.