Hyderabad , More than just Nizams…
I travel to Hyderabad quiet frequently and the beauty of it is that there is always something new to see. Believe it or not but there are so many things no matter what kind of personality you bear.
How to Get there ?
Well you can take the train , airplane or the very many buses that connect it to almost all major cities. Travel time for buses range from 15hrs from Mumbai to around 8 hours from Bangalore and there are very many private tour operators that will charge you around a thousand rupees for a comfortable sleeper seat. If you are looking to save time then spending around two-three thousand will get you a seat on one of very many flights that get you there.
Once at the airport best way would be to take the bus if not carrying too much luggage (travel light silly !) . Not only is the bus ride cheap but will get you right to the heart of the city in no time. Or for a luxury experience you could take airport cab or hail an Uber / Ola which , though costly , can be convenient.
Where to Stay ?
There are very many hotel options that cost from around five hundered rupees to a whopping thirty thousand rupees per night !. Yes ! thirty grand! Taj Falaknuma one of the ultra luxurious stay option is for those who are looking to make their stay extra special and memorable. If you are more conservative a good 4 star hotel will cost you around three thousand if you book in advance or if you are lucky. Online booking apps like Goibibo / makemytrip or booking.com can come handy when deciding.
Best place to stay location wise would be around the famous Hussain Sagar Lake. It is right in the city’s heart and you can get to almost all the touristy places very easily and in a short time. The Park which is right across from the lake can be a good option.
How to get around ?
Well this one really depends on how you want to travel. Taking a bus could be arduous and the level of comfort will depend on the time you are traveling additionally the buses are not well marked , routes are difficult to find and ride takes too much time.But you can definitely give it a try. Other option is to take an Uber around and since fares vary dramatically through the day and surcharge is a damnation , you would be better off booking Uber for the entire day to all the places that you want to see. At most it should cost around a thousand bucks. There is also a train network and though trains are frequent but they take anywhere in between forty minutes to one hour to get you far enough. But it could be a good experience if you want to soak up the surrounding lying back in a comfortable train seat while you plan ahead or look back.
Places to see!
Must visits — Chowmahalla palace during the day , Golconda fort at sunset , Charminar after sunset. If you are into history and artifacts then this is the city for you. Chowmahalla palace with its plaintive white walls and huge courtyards will give you the right dose of history as it houses some unique artifacts including the prestigious rolls royce of the Nizams.
Golconda fort is my personal favorite as the views from the top are breathtaking specially at sunset. A guided tour is offered at a reasonable fee and would take you through all of fortifications , the gardens and temples in no time. Out on the top you can wander away from the trodden paths onto the huge boulders and sit and lazy off your evening. The weather atop is pleasant depending on the month of the year but its worth it.
Charminar comes a little down in my list as it is just too crowded no matter what time of the day. The lanes leading to the monument are noodely and narrow and crowded at all times. And the famous jaywalkers. Market on either side of the road is famous for bangles and pearls. So the best thing to do is to get off your vehicle and take a walk. Walk around the market and buy some pearls or perhaps some Ittar. Once you get to the minar you can take a step back and take a moment to realize the beauty of it. Built by Qutub Shah in 1591 it marks the end of wide spread cholera that had ravaged the city at that time. As its name suggests it has four minarets and a mosque on the second floor. The structure is made of granite, limestone, mortar and pulverized marble and it weighs approximately 14000 tones. And guess what there is also a legend of an underground tunnel connecting the Golconda fort to Charminar. Maybe while you are in Golconda you can try and find it!
Ramoji Film City is about an hours drive from the city and spanning around 2000 acres it is one of the largest film city in India. One can easily get there using the connecting bus service that provides an economical option. Here you can experience film making, the colorful film sets , all sorts of props and entertainments. They even have their own mini zoo , aviary , adventure rides and bus tours that will leave you feeling exhausted yet jubilant by the end of the day.
Other places to visit include Salar jung Museum , Boat ride at Hussain Sagar , Birla Mandir . If you quite some time on your plate you can also visit the city zoo , enjoy the public NTR or Lumbini gardens or go visit Osman Sagar lake which is at the out skirts and provides quick escape from the city.
Good Food ?
Well there are very many places to quench your thirst and fill those tummies with some delicious food. One of the best is Flying Spaghetti Monster. Though definitely on the expensive side, the food is amazing. Pizzas and Pastas are mouth watering and the mocktails are concoction of some vibrant flavors. For Indian flavours you can go to Ohris Tansen near Hussain Sagar where you will find impeccable service and some really tasty Indian food.Other options include Johnathan’s Kitchen , GT Road and The Dhaba 1986. If you do go to The Dhaba do try the Tandoori Ananas. It is just inexplicable. All the right chutneys and spices with grilled pineapple. Perfect!
Well this is it i guess , let me leave you with some of my memories….