Specialty Detours

These tours are for the adventurous and intrepid traveller; for those who want more out of a city tour than the usual sights. 

These specialty tours will be led by one of the Detours team members and will give you an in-depth understanding of the city’s history, cuisine, and culture.

Given the nature of these tours, the group size for each will be restricted to five to ten persons.

4. The White Mughals Detour    

Sites Covered: British Residency |Mah Laqa Bai’s Tombs | Secunderabad Club    

This detour traces the late 18th century tragic love story of James Kirkpatrick, the British Resident and Khair-un-Nissa, a Muslim noblewoman that was immortalized in the historical novel “White Mughals” by William Dalrymple.

British Residency

We will walk through the gardens of the British Residency, which was one of the most impressive British buildings in the country at the time; and weave our way past the old graveyard to end up next to the ruined Residency model that Kirkpatrick built for his wife. 

We then drive to Mah Laqa Bai’s tombs where the famous poet and courtesan, Chand-a-Bibi is buried. She is mentioned in detail in Dalyrymple’s novel and is known to have played a major role in the politics of those times. Her tombs were recently restored with the help of the US Consulate, and lies at the base of the sacred hill of Moula Ali, which in the late 18th century was used even by the British Residents for some R&R.

We end the tour with lunch at the Secunderabad Club- a symbol of the British influence in the city.   

FIVE HOUR TOUR (includes lunch at the Secunderabad Club)  

Price: INR 4000/- per person (including    taxes)    

Min-Max Group Size: 5 to 10 persons    

Travel: in AC Toyota Innova (6-seater)

Dates & Timings:    

  • Sunday, 21 September 2014 – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM    
  • Thursday, 25 September 2014 –10:00 AM to 3:00 PM  

To book: email: cochrane2014tours@detoursindia.com  

5. The Andhra Crafts Detour       

Crafts Covered: Persian Weaves |Kalamkari|Bidri   

Andhra, like so much of India, has had multiple influences in the arts and crafts; be it handloom weaving techniques or metal crafts, paintings or toy making. The materials available have influenced these crafts locally and some of the skills have been learned from traders or visitors to the area. Most of them flourished under the patronage of the kings and noblemen of the time.   This Detour will give us a glimpse of some of the main crafts of the region.

Handloom weaving

Traditional weaves: Andhra has been home to the most famous weaving techniques in silk and cotton: Pochampally, Magalgiri, Gadwal, and so on.  These colourful weaves are used on saris, fabric, and home linen. There are other lesser known techniques that are far more complex and intricate. These are the Himroo, Mushoo, and Paithani- so intricate that two persons working in tandem all day will produce, at best, an inch or two of fabric!  These fine fabrics are used mainly for high-end furnishing and for traditional Indian wedding wear.

The Kalamkari technique, unique to this region came to Andhra in the 13th century through the trading route. The word is derived from the Persian words kalam (pen) and kari (craftsmanship), meaning drawing with a pen.

Kalmkari uses natural dyes on cloth, either by using patterned blocks or by painting the pattern with a bamboo brush.

This technique uses a process of washing away the excess dyes after each colour is applied, giving the fabric its distinctive look. This technique is used on cotton fabric, rugs and home linen.

Cherial paintings

Cherial paintings are based on the themes from the great Indian epics, employing traditional techniques that use vibrant colours. These paintings are created on cloth that might run to meters in length. Traditionally used as a backdrop for story-telling, they make brilliant colourful pieces to add a splash of colour to a plain wall.

Other crafts special to the region that you will see will be the wooden toys and other articles from Etikopakka and Kondappali; and coconut shell masks from Warangal. 


 Bidri Ware

The patronage of this craft, which uses fine silver wires inlaid on black metal started with the Bahamani rulers in the 14th century, and was continued by the subsequent rulers. The artisan with a kalam (needle) etches out motifs of flowers, creepers, birds, or geometric shapes on metal pieces that are made of an alloy of copper and zinc. Fine silver and gold wires are delicately inlaid on the metal surface with a hammer and chisel,

This detour will take us to the homes of these craftsmen where you will appreciate the finesse and intricate skills that are required to create these masterpieces. You will understand the deep involvement and passion of these craftsmen that helps to keep these traditional crafts, and skills, alive, despite the numerous challenges faced by them. 

Price: INR 2500/-per person (including taxes).

FOUR HOUR TOUR (includes vegetarian thaali (lunch) in a local restaurant)    

Min-Max Group Size: 10 to 20 persons

Travel: In AC Coaches

Dates & Timings:    

  • Monday, 22 September 2014 – 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Wednesday, 24 September 2014 – 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Friday, 26 September 2014 – 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM    

To book: e-mail: cochrane2014tours@detoursindia.com  

6.  The Royal Retreat–With High Tea / Dinner at Falaknuma Palace    

Sites Covered: Paigah Tombs| Falaknuma Palace

On this detour, you can pretend to be a Nizam of Hyderabad! Get to experience a slice of their lives through the magnificent Palace that is now a luxury palace-hotel run by the Taj group. Wander through the lesser-known tombs of the Nizam’s noblemen; and end the tour over high tea /dinner at the Falaknuma Palace. 

Paigah Tombs

Paigah TombsDuring the rule of the Nizams the family next in nobility to the rulers, was the Paigah Family.

Apart from playing an important role in the politics of the region, they also left their mark in the palaces and buildings they built for themselves. Some of them have been converted into clubs and resorts; others were converted to important official buildings. In the late 18th century, and early 19th century, they also built some magnificent tombs.

The Paigah tombs have a unique architectural style, combining Turkish, Mughal, Persian, and Rajasthani styles. In a small corridor, there is a simple tomb of Sir Vicar-ul-Umra, who built the Falaknuma Palace and gifted it to his brother: the Sixth Nizam of Hyderabad.     

Falaknuma Palace

Falaknuma Palace

We will end this Royal Detour at the recently restored Falaknuma Palace that opened after nearly a decade, and is now one of the most elegant Palace properties run by the Taj group of hotels. The Palace was built in the late 19th century in the shape of a scorpion. It is built in an eclectic mix of Western and Indian architectural styles and reflects the grandeur of the era associated with the Nizams.

Peacock featherAfter a tour of the Palace with breath-taking magnificent views in the form of Venetian glass chandeliers, and the sprawling gardens where peacocks roam; we will end this lovely detour over high tea/ dinner and taste the delicacies from the Nizam’s kitchens, transformed by gourmet chefs into feasts fit for royalty. Enjoy the views of the city of pearls laid out below, reminiscent of an iridescent necklace adorning the graceful neck of a Deccan Princess. 

Price: INR 5000/- per person (including taxes: On Monday 22 September); INR 6500/- per person (including taxes: On Thursday 25 September).

FOUR AND HALF HOUR TOUR: Includes high tea/ dinner at the Falaknuma Palace

Min-Max Group Size: 15 to 20 persons

Travel: In AC coach (22 seater)

Dates & Times: 

  • Monday 22 September: 2:00 PM to 6:30 PM (High tea included)
  • Thursday 25 September: 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM (Dinner included)

To book: e-mail: cochrane2014tours@detoursindia.com  

 7. The Hyderabadi Biryani Tour

Hyderabadi Cuisine is synonymous with Biryani for many people in India. It is a blend of Mughal influences, local ingredients and spices that creates a distinctive cuisine. Technically speaking, it is merely a dish of rice and meat cooked in spices, but it evokes the most passionate discussions and debates and raises emotions among Biryani aficionados. A good part of the many lifetimes of Indians is spent hotly debating the relative merits of Biryanis from among around the country: Arcot, Ambur, Kashmiri, Lucknowi, Malabar,  Hyderabadi, and many more, of the 100-odd types of Biryanis currently popular in Indian homes, hotels, and roadside Dhabas.   

 You will learn some secret recipes of the famous Hyderabadi Biryani on this gourmet tour, from traditional home cooks whose families have perfected this dish over centuries.

Watch large pots of aromatic rice being cooked with meat and spices and enjoy a meal of local delicacies after this culinary demonstration.                


Price: INR 5000/-per person (including taxes

THREE AND A HOUR TOUR: includes lunch / dinner

Min-Max Group Size: 10 to 15 persons

Travel: In AC Coach

Dates & Times:

  • Sunday 21 September: 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Friday 26 September :10:00 AM to 1:30 PM
  • Saturday 27 September: 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM

To book: e-mail: cochrane2014tours@detoursindia.com  

8. The Old City Food Walk

For a true Hyderabadi, good cuisine goes beyond the common obsession with Biryani. A typical Hyderabadi will spend hours debating the best place to have a cup of Irani tea; and friendships have been threatened over arguments about the best Haleem joints in town. The cuisine of Hyderabad is a result of a journey of over 400 years and for many is seen as a tryst with destiny. The right to good food transcends every other right, and is often taken for granted by the good people of this ancient city.  

On this food-walk through the busy markets and by‐lanes of the old city, you will get a glimpse into the food-ethos of this region, as well as first-hand experiences of the Hyderabadi passion for good food!       


On the walk, we will explore one of the oldest vegetable markets, make our way through some of the best breakfast snacks in town, participate in the Hyderabadi pastime of sipping cups of Irani tea with Osmania biscuits, bite into warm, just-baked local bread and watch the efforts that go into preparing some of the best delicacies this region has to offer.   

Price: INR 2800/- per person (including taxes)

FOUR HOUR TOUR (including food tasting)

Min-Max Group Size: 4 to 10 persons

Travel: In AC Toyota Innova (6-seater) 

Dates & Times: 

  • Monday 22 September: 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Wednesday 24 September: 7:00 Am to 11:AM

To book: e-mail: cochrane2014tours@detoursindia.com  

9. The Shopper's Delight 

Stores Covered: Fabrics| Clothing| Jewellery| Local Handicrafts| Spices

Price: INR 2500/- per person (Including taxes)

FIVE HOUR TOUR: (Including a vegetarian thaali in a local restaurant)

Min-Max Group Size: 10 to 15 persons

Travel: In AC Toyota Innova (6-seater)

Dates & Times:

  • Tuesday 23 September: 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Wednesday 24 September: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Thursday 25 September: 3:30 PM to 8:30 PM
  • Friday 26 September: 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM

To book: e-mail: cochrane2014tours@detoursindia.com