Hyderabad is a beautiful demonstration of the modern and traditional living side-by-side in sweet harmony; this Hyderabad Tourism Guide will take you through all you need to know for a trip to the city.
Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana, also known as the Pearl City of India owing to its reputation of once being the hub the diamond and pearl trading in India. It is the location of the mines that have produced some of the world’s most amazing diamonds, including the Nassak Diamond, Koh-i-Noor and the famously cursed Hope Diamond. Its reputation has developed since then and it is now known as one of the most important Information Technology hubs in India; HITEC City or Cyderabad is Hyderabad’s centre of modernity. There are glittering malls, sophisticated restaurants and desirable clubs located in this area that are definitely worth visiting on your trip.
The Old City is the origin of two rich Muslim Royal Houses: Qutb Shahs and Asaf Jahs whose legacy can be felt all around you as you visit Hyderabad. This area is equally as beautiful as its modern counterpart, but in a more rustic way; there are so many signs of the past, including its markets, auto rickshaws, vibrant colours, religious structures, palaces, tombs and the occasional goat wandering around.
Talk about Hyderabad and Charminar is the first thing that your lips utter. It can well be called the icon of this wonderful city. Constructed in 1591 CE by the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, this Indo Islamic monument depicts streaks of Persian architecture. Its name is derived from two words, ‘char’ and ‘minar’, meaning ‘four minarets’. This historical landmark stands high in the sky and every minaret has four stories with a carved ring. There are some really beautiful balconies on the first floor to the delight of a number of tourists.
At the top of the building lie 45 prayer spaces for devotees. One of the oldest mosques of South India known as Mecca Masjid is situated towards the west end of the Charminar and draws a number of pilgrims from all across the country. On the east of it lies the famous Laadi Bazaar known for its pearls, bridal wear and traditional glass bangles of Hyderabad. Street foods including the famous Hyderabadi biryani and Mirchi ka salan are easily available outside Charminar.
The aura and sanctity that one gets to feel near Mecca Masjid Hyderabad is simply incomparable. Founded by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth ruler of Qutub Shahi dynasty, it is one of the biggest and the oldest mosques in South India. It is said that he himself laid the foundation stone and the bricks used to construct the central arch of the mosque have been made from soil sourced from Mecca. This is the reason behind the mosque getting its name as Mecca Masjid.
Chowmahalla Palace or Chowmahallatuu (4 Palaces), is a palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad state. It was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty and was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad while they ruled their state. The palace remains the property of Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah, heir of the Nizams.
In Urdu, Hindi Char means four, and even in Persian, Chahar means four and in Urdu and Hindi Mahal means palaces, hence the name Chowmahalla/four palaces.
The palace is located in the old city in Hyderabad near the Charminar.All ceremonial functions including the accession of the Nizams and receptions for the Governor-General were held at this palace.
The prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage conservation was presented to Chowmahalla Palace on 15 March 2010.