Hyderabad is a city in and the official capital of Telangana state in southern India. It is a major urban centre (metropolitan) and one the largest cities in South India by area as well as by population. Hyderabad, Telangana occupies 650 square kilometers of area on the Deccan Plateau and is located on the northern part of South India.
Until 2014 Hyderabad was the capital of the (earlier) Andhra Pradesh state, which included the regions of the current Telangana state as well. In 2014, with the separation of Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh in 2014, Hyderabad was redesignated as the official capital of the new Telangana state, as it falls under that region. The city is a combination of Old city Hyderabad and Secunderabad – which are also known together as “twin cities”.
Hyderabad is also known as the City of Nizams (as it was ruled by the Nizams and their culture is still prevalent here) and the city of pearls as it is famous for pearls and pearl jewelry.
Hyderabad has the longest flyover in India, that is, the P. V. Narasimha Rao Elevated Expressway Corridor which connects Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International airport to the rest of the city, and highways leading to some neighboring cities. Hyderabad is the fourth-most populous city in India and fifth-largest urban economy in India.
Hyderabad Language and Population
Telugu and Urdu are the official languages of Hyderabad. Hindi is also spoken and taught in schools too, along with English. Urdu is mostly spoken in the old city side, while Telugu is spoken more on the other parts of the city. But Telugu and Hindi are understood mostly across the city and one can get by in the city with a fair knowledge of any of these languages.
Currently, the population of Hyderabad, Telangana is estimated to be 92, 83,000, which is the total population residing within and outskirts of the city.
Tourist Places in Hyderabad
The city of Hyderabad in South India is a scintillating blend of ancient Nizam culture, local Telegu traditions and modernity of the contemporary world. It manifests a scene of historic architecture and monuments intermingled with contemporary buildings and elements.
Hyderabad has many tourist attractions (historic as well as architectural), multi-cuisine restaurants and pubs, luxury hotels for a comfortable stay, museums that help explore the Nizam culture of the city more deeply and colorful street markets to shop for souvenirs such as pearl jewelry, lac bangles, Kondapalli toys and fancy footwear and bags. Some of the best places to visit in Hyderabad include:
- Charminar - A massive square-shaped granite arch with 4 minarets (“Char” means 4 and “Minar” means minarets) situated in old city Hyderabad – it was built in the 16th century and is a popular tourist spot in the city. It is the symbol of Hyderabad – and is also used in the city’s logo.
- Monolithic Buddha statue and Hussain Sagar Lake - The lake connecting old city Hyderabad and Secunderabad, and the statue in the middle of it have become the city’s identity.
- Birla Mandir - A temple built on a hill called Naubath Pahad, in marble, Birla temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara. It also offers a beautiful view of the city from an altitude of 280 feet on which the hill stands!
- Ramoji Film city - A place where movies are shot – with intriguing fake sets and make-believe elements.
- Rashtrapati Nilayam - An official retreat for the (incumbent) President of India – when they usually stay for a few days during winter and conduct official business from; also used as a guest house for dignitaries and important guests in the city.
- Chowmahalla Palace - Former residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad, the palace still retains its glory and visitors can go and see the place and see the lavish lifestyle of the Nizams back in the days.
- Golkonda Fort - A massive fortress which is half in ruins now and is known for the place where the invaluable Kohinoor diamond was found.
- The Statue of Equality - It is the second tallest sitting statue in the world with a height of 216 feet and dedicated to Sri Bhagavad Ramanujacharya who worked tirelessly to promote equality.
- Snow World - It is the first snow themed park to be made in India and the world’s biggest as well.
- Qutub Shahi Tombs - A group of small and big mosques and tombs built by rulers of Qutub Shahi dynasty.
- Salar Jung Museum - Home to a collection of various historical things like paintings, sculptures, textiles, artefacts, carvings, etc.
From lavish diners to traditional cafes, from bakeries to barbeque and biriyani houses, Hyderabad is a foodie’s extravaganza and a delight for people who love to try out new dishes. These are some of the best places to eat in Hyderabad:
- AB’s Absolute Barbecue (Serves European, Mediterranean, North Indian)
- Almond House (Serves Mithai, Street Food)
- Punjab Grill (Serves North Indian, Mughlai)
- TGI Fridays (Serves American, Mexican)
- Tatva (Serves Continental, Italian, North Indian, Chinese)
- Cafe Bahar (Serves Biryani, North Indian, Chinese)
- Cowboys And Angels (Serves Continental, North Indian, Chinese)
- Mandil (Serves North Indian and Mughlai)
- Smokey Pitara (Knows for its quirky interior, veg buffet and Mexican sizzler)
After the long work hours or in the weekend, people look to have some devilish fun at night and there are several businesses in Hyderabad specially catering to this nocturnal section of the people who are the night owls. These are some of the things to do at night in Hyderabad:
- Enjoy the light and sound show at the Golkonda Fort and Warangal Fort that starts after sunset.
- Part hard at the Hard Rock Café with amazing drinks and food and enjoy the lake view at Altitude Lounge Bar while sipping a mocktail.
- Go and do Go-Karting in a 600 meters long track till 4am.
- Indulge in a flavored hookah at the Café Abbott along with some snacks.
- Have a late-night coffee at the Moonshine project resto-pub lounge café.
- Grab a delicious dosa at Ram Ki Bandi with numerous fillings of dosa which opens after sunset till the wee hours of morning.
- Taste the delicious biriyani at Allamdulliah Hotel which is open till 1 am.
Hyderabad celebrates a wide spectrum of festivals that people from different communities come together to enjoy. Some of the famous festivals in Hyderabad are:
- Diwali – A major Hindu festival celebrated in most states in India.
- Muharram – A Muslim ritual
- The Deccan Festival (It is organized by the Department of Tourism, Andhra Pradesh)
- Sankranti – A Hindu festival celebrated during Spring as a Hindu new year and to pray for good harvest.
- Lumbini Festival (The festival is celebrated for 3 days to honor the Buddhist legacy of Andhra Pradesh)
Hyderabad’s cuisine is a blend of Mughal, Nawab, Arabic inspired dishes and the local Telugu dishes and cooking techniques. Some popular dishes of Hyderabad are:
- Hyderabad’s Dum biryani (also known as Hyderabadi Biryani) -A variety of the Persian-inspired Biryani (a long-grained rice dish) is popular across the country and is a must-try! It has alternate layers of rice and marinated vegetables or meat and topped with saffron milk and fried onions, cooked in Dum Pukht (a slow oven cooking technique) and is available in the city in vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian variants. It is usually enjoyed with a side of Mirchi Salan (a curry of local variety of chilly/peppers in peanut-sesame gravy) and Raita.
- Mirapakaya Bajji - Large local chili peppers dipped in chickpea flour batter and deep fried, and then stuffed with chopped raw onions, and tamarind chutney – this is a street delicacy enjoyed in the city especially during monsoons!
- Qubani ka Meetha - Qubani means “Apricot”, and “Meetha” means sweet. This is a sweet dish made of dried apricots in sweet saffron flavoured sugar syrup, often with heavy cream or custard. It is also enjoyed with ice-cream.
- Double ka Meetha - It is a kind of bread pudding made in the Hyderabadi way – with bread slices deep fried in ghee and then dipped in sweetened hot full fat milk with lots of nuts (like pistachios, almond and raisins).
Hotels in Hyderabad
Hyderabad has a mix of several budget friendly, high-end, and luxurious hotels to suit the needs, budget, and lifestyle of every visitor. Here is a list of some famous hotels in Hyderabad from budget-friendly to luxurious hotels.
These hotels offer 5-star or above luxury accommodation in Hyderabad city’s diplomatic enclave and features chic décor, modern infrastructure, lavish rooms with modern facilities, fine dining restaurants, VIP Lounge, swimming pools, spas, and other luxury services. Some of the best luxury and 5-star hotels in Hyderabad are:
- Taj Falaknuma Palace
- Novotel Hyderabad Convention Center
- ITC Kohenur
- Taj Krishna
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel
- Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel
- Marriott Executive Apartments
- Taj Deccan
- The Westin Mindspace
These are 3-star or 4-star hotels and offer great quality service at mid-range prices. With contemporary or modern décor, dining facility, care and wellness facility, television, and fridge, and in some cases a swimming pool as well, all in a reasonable price. Some of the best mid-range hotels in Hyderabad are:
- Aranya Resort by Mrugavani
- Golkonda Resort and Spa
- Avasa Hotel
- Hyatt Hyderabad
- Teen Duari Farmhouse
- Novotel Hyderabad Airport
Budget Friendly Hotels:
These hotels are less than 3-star and offer all the basic facilities like good and clean accommodation, modern décor, dining place, AC, etc., and that too in a pocket-friendly way. Some of the best budget friendly hotels in Delhi are:
- Ella Hotel Gachibowli
- Treebo Trend Address Inn
- FabHotel Royal Residency
- Hotel Oak by Signature Airport Zone
- FabHotel Pearl City
- Aditya Park-A Sarovar Portico Hotel
- Taj Tristar
District Zones in Hyderabad and Pin codes
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation divided Hyderabad into corporation zones, circles, and wards for better planning and development of the city. The city of Hyderabad is divided into six zones – Charminar, L. B. Nagar, Serilingampally, Kukatpally, Secunderabad, and Khairatabad which are then divided into circles that are total thirty. The circles are further divided into wards each containing 40,000 to 50,000 people. Pin codes of the six zones of Hyderabad are:
- Secunderabad – 500003
- L B Nagar – 500074
- Serilingampally – 500019
- Charminar – 500002
- Kukatpally – 500072, 500085
- Khairatabad – 500004
How to Reach
- By Air: The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad is connected to all major cities in India and countries abroad as well. The airport also has a domestic terminal known as NT Rama Rao which boards flights from most Indian cities. There are many private cabs and taxis available from outside the airport.
- By Train: Hyderabad Railway Station, Secunderabad Railway Station, and Kachiguda Railway Station are three main train stations in Hyderabad which connect major Indian cities to it. Trains run everyday and in different times to and from Hyderabad and buses and cabs are available from the station to reach different places in the city.
- By Bus: There is a huge bus terminal which connects Hyderabad from its neighboring cities and states as well localities within it.