The Iconic symbol of Hyderabad, Charminar is almost synonymous with the name of the city. It was built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad, in 1591, and is situated at the centre of the original city. Today, it sits in all its splendour amidst the bustling Laad Bazaar, the "Bangle Destination," that also boasts an intriguing array of shops and vendors selling a bewildering variety of traditional clothing accessories and other knick-knacks. Charminar is illuminated in the evenings.
The name Golconda comes from the Telugu words “Golla Konda” meaning “Shepherd’s Hill”. Golconda was originally a mud fort, which was rebuilt by the first three Qutub Shahi kings over a period of 62 years. Remarkable features of this fort are its ingenious water supply system and acoustics, and its palaces.
Ko-hi-noor, the most famous diamond in the world, is reputed to have been found here, as were other diamonds such as the Hope Diamond, and Darya-i-Noor, the double to the Ko-hi-noor; (though both were believed to have been mined in the Kollur mines in the Guntur district of the state).
Tombs of the legendary Qutb Shahi kings and the oldest historical monuments in Hyderabad, these tombs are about one kilometre from the Banjara Darwaza of the Golconda Fort. They are reputedly the only tombs in the world where the rulers of an entire dynasty are buried at one place.
Magnificent palace where the Nizams, former monarchs of Hyderabad State, entertained their guests. This heritage complex comprises four palaces in Moghul and European styles – hence the Chow Mahalla.
Falaknuma Palace is one of the finest palaces in Hyderabad, and was the former residence of the Nizams. It was built on a 32-acre area in Falaknuma, 5 km from Charminar. Falak-numa means “Like the Sky” or “Mirror of the Sky” in Urdu. It is now a heritage hotel of the Taj Group.
The Paigah tombs were built by the aristocratic Paigah family, loyalists of the Nizams, who are believed to be descendants of the second Caliph of Islam. These tombs are situated in a quiet neighbourhood, 4 km southeast of Charminar. The small complex contains exquisite mausoleums made of marble and lime stucco; with intricate inlay work, surrounded by delicately carved walls and canopies, filigree screens with geometric patterning and graceful turrets.
PLACES OF WORSHIP
One of the oldest as well as the biggest mosque in Hyderabad city. Mecca Masjid is located a stone’s throw from the Charminar. The Masjid is named after the building blocks that were brought from Mecca to build the central arch. The Qutb Shahi kings started building the mosque, which was completed later by Aurangzeb in 1694.
A beautiful Hindu temple built out of 2000 tons of pure white marble.
Tirupati Temple (340 miles from Hyderabad)
Most visited place of worship and the second richest pilgrimage centre in the world.
PLACES OF NATURAL BEAUTY
This lake in the heart of the city was built by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali in 1562, during the rule of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah. The lake occupies an area of 5.7 square km and has a maximum depth of 32 feet. It is fed by the River Musi. A large 18-meter high monolithic granite statue of the Gautam Buddha, erected in 1992 stands on an island in the middle of the lake. The lake separates the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad that together forms the sixth largest metropolis in India.
For information about yachting on the lake contact the Yacht Club Of Hyderabad.
This museum houses one of the largest collections of antiques by one man – Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III. The display includes Persian carpets, Moghul miniatures, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquerware, famous statues like the Veiled Rebecca and Marguerite and Mephistopheles, a superb collection of jade, daggers belonging to Queen Noor Jahan and the Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb’s sword and many other fabulous items.
This museum showcases the extravagant gifts that the last Nizam of Hyderabad, ruler of the most opulent erstwhile 'princely state', received on his silver jubilee celebrations.
Arts & Crafts Village in Hyderabad's Hi-tech City. situated near the Colloquium Hotels. The village was conceived to preserve traditional crafts, and there are ethnic festivals round the year. It has a rural museum that is a miniature depiction of a typical Indian village; a rock museum, waterfalls, boating facilities and a recreational area. Shilparamam also has hundreds of stalls, with a wide range of handicrafts from toys to carpets, and hand made sarees, textiles, and clothes from different states of India. It has a special Artisan Bazar providing original art forms for direct purchase.
Pochampally Handloom Park Ltd. (PHPL) (40 km from Hyderabad)
Pochampally Handloom Park Ltd is an integrated textile park that houses designing, dyeing and weaving facility for textiles under a single roof. Pochampally sarees and dress material are famous for their traditional and intricate geometric patterns in the Ikat style of dyeing.
Nagarjunakonda Island (150 km south-east of Hyderabad)
One of India's richest Buddhist sites, now housed in a museum.
World's largest integrated film studio complex. Hyderabad is also home to the Telugu Film Industry known popularly as Tollywood
This zoological park covers 300 acres and is home to over 100 species of birds, animals, and reptiles.
For Information about adventure and outdoor activities, click here.
For more information, see the official site of Andhra Pradesh Tourism.