Hyderabad is a city in, and also 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.
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 also highways leading to some neighboring cities.
Telugu and Urdu are the official languages of Hyderabad. Hindi is also largely 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 all across the city and one can get by in the city with a fair knowledge of any of these languages.
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 (diluted curd mixed with onions, tomatoes, cucumbers etc. along with salt and pepper).
- Mirapakaya Bajji – Large local chilly 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).
The city of Hyderabad 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 (a handmade local variety of toys that are great for home décor) and fancy footwear and bags!
Some of the city’s best tourist attractions 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.
- Hyderabad also offers many adventurous activities for adults as well as kids, such as: Go Karting, Rock climbing, Laser Tag, paintball, Zorbing, and Bungee jumping!
Hyderabad celebrates a wide spectrum of festivals that people from different communities come together to enjoy. Some of the famous festivals are:
- The Deccan Festival (It is organized by the Department of Tourism, Andhra Pradesh)
- Lumbini Festival (The festival is celebrated for 3 days to honor the Buddhist legacy of Andhra Pradesh)
The museums in Hyderabad showcases a great collection of arts and antiquities of the yesteryear culture and civilization. Some of the museums that are very famous among tourists are:
- Salar Jung Museum (Home to a collection of various historical things like paintings, sculptures, textiles, artefacts, carvings, etc.)
- The Nizam’s Museum (Showcases a collection of memoirs, gifts from all across the world)
- Natural History Museum
- Sudha Car Museum (Showcases various cars, automobiles and spare parts)
- The State Museum
The city offers a large number of shopping hubs. From Iconic stores, street shops to shopping malls, Hyderabad has something for everybody. Below is a list of some of the famous shopping spots:
- Laad Bazaar (Known for the huge collection of bangles)
- Manjeera Mall
- GVK One Mall
- Shahran Market
- Perfume Market
- Hyderabad Central
- Char Minar Bazaar (The Market is famous worldwide for the pearls)
- Inorbit Mall
- Koti Sultan Bazar
While visiting this beautiful city, do not forget to check out below listed restaurants that can turn someone into a foodie:
- 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)
The Nightlife In Hyderabad is pretty amazing as the bars and pubs remain open till the wee hours of the morning. Visiting these below listed famous nightclubs will offer you a lifetime experience:
- Bottles And Chimney
- 10 Downing Street (Known for Indian and Continental cuisines)
- Altitude (Known for Cocktails)
- Coco’s Bar and Grill (Known for Martinis)
- H2 The Pub
Some of the hotels that are known for their top-notch services and most booked by the visitors are listed below:
- Oakwood Residence Kapil Hyderabad (From INR 2000 Onwards)
- Trident Hyderabad (From INR 3500 Onwards)
- Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel (From INR 3000 Onwards)
- Park Hyatt Hyderabad (From INR 4000 Onwards)
- Avasa Hotels (From INR 3000 Onwards)
- Marigold by Greenpark (From INR 3000 Onwards)
The Hyderabad Metro is a rapid transit system. It is the second largest metro network in India with 57 stations after the Delhi Metro (285 stations) and the lines are arranged in a secant model.
- Police - 100
- Fire - 101
- Ambulance - 102, 108
- Women Helpline Number - 181
- Cyber Crime Police Station - 040-27852412
- Child helpline – 1098
Urdu & Telugu are the official languages of Hyderabad but languages like English and Hindi are spoken as well.
- Welcome - Susvaagatam
- How are you? - Meeru aelaa unnaaru?
- What's your name? - Mee paeraemandi?
- Where are you from? - Meeday vooru?
- Good morning - Shubhodayam
- Good afternoon - Shubha dhinaṅ
- Welcome - Svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad
- Hello - Asalam u alaikum
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- Goodbye - khuda hafiz
- How old are you? – Aap ki umr kya hai?
- Congratulations - Mubarak ho
- What is this? - Yeh kya hai?