Hyderabad, a city that can make you smile with its unique language, a city that takes you back to the pages of history, a city that can tickle your taste buds with its delicious cuisines! Blended with the quaint shades of the past and all the glitz of the present, the city of the ‘Charminar’ plays a perfect host for tourist from across the globe.
Having a tough time sorting a list of the best places to visit in Hyderabad because there are just too many options available? Well, Hyderabad is, indeed, one of those cities of India that does not allow you to keep the list of places to visit short. The capital city of the Indian state, Telangana, Hyderabad is a popular choice among Indian and foreign tourists. It is also very popular among foodies for its world famous Biryani. It is replete with beautiful monuments with historical significance that serve as the major factor attracting tourists from in and outside India.
Apart from some exceptional tourist spots, there are some interesting places imparting a peek into the history, to visit at short distances from Hyderabad.
A medieval fort now overlooking the city, Golconda is one of the historical places to visit in Hyderabad. Originally built in mud on a 400 ft hill, the fort ruins have seen the reign of several dynasties. Situated 11 km away from the bustling urbanism of Hyderabad, it derives its name from a Telugu word meaning Shepherd’s Hill. The remains of multiple fortification layers, armories, magazines, mosques, granaries, reservoirs, audience chambers and royal dwellings complement the striking appearance of the fort. Famous for its acoustics, a unique signalling device that was incorporated in its construction, the structure is known for its palaces, ingenious water supply system and the famous Fateh Rahben, one of the cannons used in the last siege of Golconda by Aurangzeb. The sound and light show brings alive the grandeur of one of India’s famous forts.
The epic signature of the city, Char Minar makes for a wonderful sight. Located in the heart of Hyderabad’s old city, surrounded by Mecca Masjid, built using bricks from Mecca and Laad Bazaar – a boisterous shopping street, this landmark is laced in history. Built in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, it was constructed to commemorate the founding of Hyderabad and also to ward of a deadly epidemic that was rampant then in the Golconda region. Graced by four minarets soaring almost 50 ft in height, it has a mosque and 45 prayer spaces is amongst the famous places in Hyderabad.
HUSSAIN SAGAR LAKE
One of the largest man-made lakes in India, Hussain Sagar Lake has been adorning the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad since 1562. A tourist destination that cannot be missed as places to visit in Hyderabad with family, the lake is best to spend time around dusk with pleasant air filling the surroundings. Adding to its charm is the monolithic statue of the Buddha installed in the heart of the lake. Several facilities around the lake periphery such as boating and water sports, and the neighbourhood Lumbini Park, an amusement park are add-on attractions.
Located on the south end of Hussain Sagar Lake, the Birla Mandir is an enchanting modern temple built atop the Kala Pahad, the twin hillock of the Naubat Pahad. With mixed architectural styles from Odhisha and South Indian, the place of worship is embellished with exotic epic scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata that are finely sculpted in marble. The inner shrine of the temple has an 11ft tall replica of Tirupati Venkateswara. Revel in several marble carvings depicting Indian mythology in the adjoining ‘Mukha Mandapam’. The temple also houses consorts of Venkateswara, Padmavati and Andal as well as has a separate shrine dedicated to Buddha.
MECCA MASJID, OLD HYDERABAD
Listed among heritage monuments in Hyderabad, Mecca Masjid holds a distinct position of not just being the oldest mosques in the city but is also one of India’s biggest. This 400 year old monument was constructed using the soil from Mecca. Hence, got this name. Adding more to the erstwhile era around the Char Minar and old Hyderabad city, the mosque’s imposing structure and splendid architecture are visible in its three-arched façade carved from single granite, minarets, and balconies.
RAMOJI FILM CITY
Certainly one of the best places to visit in Hyderabad with family, Ramoji Film City makes its way to every traveller’s list because of its magical theme around cinema, which is the most common love of every Indian. The world’s largest integrated film city, spread across 2,000 acres ensures that every visitor makes most from the day spent here, which include well-defined categories of entertainment suited for different ages from Eureka, the performance arena modelled on the lines of royal forts hosting live shows, to getting a tour of a typical film studio, multi-cuisine restaurants, shopping venues, kids’ park, and even a bird park. This destination can be enjoyed over a one day trip or one could stay back at this holiday destination.
SALAR JUNG MUSEUM
Located in the prime venue of old Hyderabad city, the Salar Jung Museum has illustrious neighbours such as the Char Minar, Mecca Masjid and State Central Library and you can see all of them in a small walk tour. One of the must see places to visit in Hyderabad with family, this is among India’s premier museums with 38 galleries spread over three buildings. Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, who also lent his name to the museum, acquired a rich repository of artistic achievements of diverse European, Asian and Far Eastern countries of the world; a major chunk of the collection is on display. Check out artifacts mirroring the human evolution from second century BC to early 20th century AD.
An indoor wonder world of snow and chill, Snow World is among the must experience places to visit in Hyderabad with family and kids. With one of the largest snow areas spread over 17,000 sq ft, the engaging place is built with state-of-the-art technology producing snow as close to the real one as possible. With temperature freezing up to -5 degree Celsius, the created ambience has a thrilling environment with polar bears, penguins, alpine trees, and snow all the way. A complete arena with kids snow play area, snow slide, snow merrygo- round, sculptures, snow basketball, snow mountain, volley ball, dancing, and an ice hotel make Snow World a family destination.
Owing to two rich traditions, the cuisine in Hyderabad is a beautiful combination of Spicy Andhra style on one side and Nizam’s Deccani cuisine on the other side. You can’t talk about biryanis without mentioning Hyderabad. Cooked with either mutton or chicken, and laced with rich ingredients, this recipe is the stairway to heaven. The best place to try it in Hyderabad is Paradise Restaurant. Pathar ka Gosht or marinated meat cubes cooked on hot stone is another delicacy of Hyderabad. Gachibowli is one of the IT hubs of Hyderabad, which is famous for its sumptuous street food. When it comes to sweet then the list is unlimited but my favorites are Qubani ka Meetha, Double ka Meetha and Kheer.
To fulfil your shopping spree, Hyderabad has number of places in store for you! The most popular among them is the Laad bazaar which is best known for bangles. Close to the Charminar and Chowmahalla Palace, this place is also called the ‘Choodi Bazaar’ as the entire market place is known for selling bangles. Operating since the times of Nizams and Qtub Shahi’s, this bustling market is known for the authentic bangles and other traditional jewellery. If you walk around the lanes near Charminar or area around Char Kaman, you can see many pearl shops. Also, one can buy from some of the leading jewellery houses, who have latest variety. Koti Bazaar and Begum Bazaar are the other places to be explored.