The ‘City of Nizams’ Hyderabad stands out in every sense, with remnants of grand old structures merging with modernized infrastructure. Several attractions dot the city, which deserve to be on your list of things to do when you are visiting Hyderabad. To help you plan better, know more about the top attractions in Hyderabad.
When it comes to the Islamic beauty, Hyderabad has a lot to flaunt and when it comes to technology the city has the lead. Along with Islam, existence of South Indian ethnicity makes it a unique place.
There is no wonder why Hyderabad also emerged as one of the top tourist destinations of India; its monuments, parks, lake, malls and everything have contributed to the success. In the olden days, Hyderabad gained fame for being the trading center of pearls and diamonds; and so it continues to be called the City of Pearls, even today. There are a million aspects that make Hyderabad a happening city, but let us zoom into some of those best things now.
Here is the list of top attractions in Hyderabad
The icon of Hyderabad, Charminar is a mosque that emerged as a monument as well and arguably the top attraction in Hyderabad. Charminar was established in 1591 CE and the minarets are 48.7 meters tall, today Archeological Survey of India has it in its undertaking. The monument is located on the eastern bank of glistening Musi River, and to the west of Laad Bazaar.
Laad Market is popular for special bangles studded with diamonds. Immense variety of saris, jewelry and wedding related items are available in this one-kilometer long stretch of shops. On the southwest of Charminar is Makkah Masjid that is heavily ornamented and is mainly built from granite. Charminar means four poles, and these four poles of the structures have huge and regal doors arched with grace.
Overlooking Hyderabad’s landscape, this ruin is a treasure. Treasure!? Because world’s most popular gems like Hope Diamond and Nassak Diamond were extracted from the mine that is located here. The fort was built by Kakatiya, for the purpose of defense and to tackle the attacks coming from west. But Musunuri Nayaks overthrew Tughlak army, invaded it and put it into further renovation.
The fort has 10 km long outer wall and 87 semi-circular bastions; it covers an area of 11km. Temples, mosques, royal apartments, falls, stables etc are located inside the fort. There are eight gateways in total, and Fateh Darwaza is the lowest of all enclosures; it is studded with giant spikes and was named after the triumph (fateh) of Aurangzeb’s Army. Bala Hissar is the main entrance of the fort located on the eastern side. Peacocks are carved above the door with ornate tails. The mesh of Hindu and Muslim architecture is exhibited through the sculptures of lions and peacocks.
Salar Jung Museum
Salar Jung Museum is one of the top attractions in Hyderabad. This is one of the largest one-man collections of the world and dates back to 1951. An act of parliament announced Salar jung Museum to be an “Institute of National Importance”, and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru himself inaugurated the museum. Inside the Salar Jung Musuem are 9000 holographs, 47000 printed books and 43000 paintings put into exhibition.
Indian Art’s section exhibits sculptures of stone, bronze idols, cutting of jade, wood carvings, painted textiles, smalls paintings, carvings of ivory and other war shields. There are about 300 antique clocks in Clock Room. Some of the prime attractions inside the museum are ammunitions used by Shah Jahan, Noor Jahan, and Aurangzeb; Lady With The Lamp and Veiled Rebecca.
Hussain Sagar Lake
Covering an area of 5.7 km sq, Hussain Sagar Lake dates back to 1563 and was built by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali. The lake has monolithic statue of Gautama Buddha as one of its highlights, but what else captivates is the tranquility around it.
Birla Mandir, Prasad’s IMAX, NTR Gardens and Tomb of Saidana Maa Saheba are some of the most alluring spots adjacent to the lake. The lake connects Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It is engirdled by four green belts, namely Indira Gandhi Park, Lumbini Park, Sanjeevaiah Park and Raj Bhavan Road.
This prominent picnic and recreation spot proffers water-sports activities like boating, yachting and sailing. Regatta competition that is held annually charges the vicinity with zeal. Many private parties and candle light dinner are also arranged beside the lake.
Oriya community of Hyderabad built the Jagannath Temple here, which is dedicated to Hindu God Jagannath (The lord of the universe). The temple was built in 2009 and lies at the center of the city. The temple is the replica of Jagannath Temple of Puri in Odisha (famed for its rath yatra) and is majorly made from sandstone. It is adorned with unique carvings and sculptures.
Inside the temple are the shrines of Navagrahas, Hanuman, Ganesh, Shiva and Lakshmi. The main sanctum of Lord Jagannath is placed with his siblings Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra. Shikhra is its longest structure and in one of the main attraction of the complex; one can get inside the temple following a flight of stairs. There are three entranceways for the complex and the one in front of the main temple is the main gate. The carvings of this temple make it look even more beautiful.
Nehru Zoological Park
Covering 380 acres of area, the park is opened for public since 1963 and is named after India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The park is one of the most visited spots of Hyderabad. People come here to behold the sight of Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, gaur, Asiatic Lion, panther, python, and a wide variety of species of mammal and bird.
The park becomes a sojourn of hundreds of migratory birds, especially near Mil Alam Tank. Authorities artificially convert night into day, so that the nocturnal animals become active and visitors can experience it. Nehru Zoological Park’s Aquarium, Dino Park, Butterfly Park and Tortoise House are some of the other reasons to make this park a part of your itinerary while you are planning to visit Hyderabad.
An art and crafts village located in Madhapur, Shilparamam was founded in 1992 sprawling over 65 acres of land. To get in acquaintance with a beautiful ethnicity, a visit to Shilparamam is an ideal move. The village has a beautiful lake where visitors can enjoy boating. There are hundreds of stalls that sell sarees and textiles of different states like Kanjeevara, Dharmavaram, Tanjavur, Madurai, Kashmir etc. The art forms are sold directly by the artisans.
Ethnic motifs and terracotta sculptures are placed to adorn the recreational area of the village; a lush green lawn which is located in the entranceway. There are two museums inside the village, Rock Museum and Rural Museum. Rural museum has sculptures and life-size models depicting the lifestyle of local artists. There are 15 huts constructed form baked clay and thatch to create a rural ambience. The Rock Museum on the other hand houses different natural formations of rocks.
The official residence of Nizams of Hyderabad, this regal palace is a property of Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah. The name Chowmahalla is taken from Persian word Chahar (four) and Arabic word Mahalat (plural of Mahal). The construction of the palace initiated in 1750 and completed by 1857 and 1869; it is believed that the palace is inspired from Shah of Iran’s Palace in Tehran.
There are two courtyards, southern and eastern; adorned with palaces, Grand Khilwat (the Darbar Hall), fountains and gardens. The Southern Courtyard is the oldest part of the palace and has four palaces named Afzal Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal, Mahtab Mahal and Aftab Mahal. While on the North Courtyard Bara Imam is placed. The Mughal domes and arches reflect Persian elements as well. Originally it covered 45 acres, but only 12 acres remain today. The Palace is an ideal specimen of a brilliant architecture carved with perfection.
Built upon a hillock called Naubath Pahad, sprawling over 13 acres of land, Birla Temple is one of the most important Hindu temples of India. It was constructed in 1976 by Swami Ranganathananda of Ramakrishna Mission.
This Birla temple of Hyderabad is a beautiful mesh of Utkala, Rajasthani and Dravidian architecture; 2000 tons of pure white marble was used to build this temple. The main deity is of Lord Venkateshwara is 11ft tall with a carved lotus that forms an umbrella for the deity. Bells were not added here, as Swami Ranganathananda wanted the ambience to be conducive for meditation.
Hyderabad is one such city that reflects Islam with abundant beauty and its Makkah Masjid is the nerve-center. This is one of the oldest mosques of Hyderabad and is the holiest site for the Muslims. Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah commissioned the mosque in 1694.
The three arched façades have been carved out from a single piece of granite and more than 8000 workers were employed to build the mosque. The mosque is 75 feet tall with a width of 220 feet. The roof of the main hall is supported by fifteen arches, five on each of the three sides.
Many arches and doors have inspiring inscriptions from holy Qur’an. The best part of the mosque is its entrance courtyard that has canopied, arched and rectangular building; housing marble graves of Asaf Jahi rulers. Legend has it that whoever sits on the two stone and slab benches beside the pond, returns to sit here again.
Quli Qutb Shah Tombs
Close to the popular Golconda Fort lays the tomb of seven Qutub Shahi rulers in the Ibrahim Bagh. Qutub Shahi Tomb’s dome had blue and green tiles, of which only a few pieces remain today. Also, the tomb was earlier adorned by chandeliers, velvet canopies and carpets and carpets. The entire archaeological park along with several tomb is considered one of the top attractions in Hyderabad.
Copies of Qur’an were also placed in the pedestals for the readers to recite it at regular intervals. Smaller tombs have single-storied gallery, while the larger ones are two-storied. The tombs are built upon a square base surrounded by pointed arches, and this reflects the beautiful blend of Persian, Hindu and Pashtun forms. The domes are encircled with gardens and intricate carved stonework adds on to the further charm.
Taj Falaknuma Palace
Acclaimed as one of the finest palaces of Hyderabad, Taj Falaknuma has its history dating back to 1884. Falaknuma means “like the sky”, and today this beauty is under Taj Group of Hotels. The palace is the former residence of Prime Minister of Hyderabad and Berar, Sir Vicar and was handed over to the Nizam of Hyderabad somewhere between 1897 and 1898. And as the Nizam moved out of the palace in 1950s, Falaknuma was abandoned.
After 30 years, Taj Hotels bought it on lease and renovated each of its corners. Every inch of the palace today is embellished with sheer precision. Ceilings are decorated with frescoes and gilded reliefs. There are 60 spacious rooms with 22 halls, equipped with some of the best collections of the Nizams. The palace has a library that looks like the one at Windsor Castle, Billiards Room with a table similar to the one in Bukhingham Palace and 101-seat dining hall. Largest collection of Venetian chandeliers can be found here, with forty 138 arm Osler chandeliers in the halls.
And when scorching heat bugs you, head straight up to Snow World. Covering an area of about 2 acres, this is the third oldest snow park in the world after Malaysia and Singapore; and the first and biggest in India. Snow World is adjacent to Indira Park and Hussain Sagar Lake and has 200 tones of snow carpeted over the flooring built to tackle seepage.
Every day the topmost layer is cleaned and further layers are added. The water used to create snow is filtered, so even if it accidentally enters your mouth, you have nothing to frown about. The park can accommodate about 2400 visitors per day and they get acclimatized to lower temperature gradually.
You are also offered warm clothes and cup of soup to adapt yourself to sub-zero temperature. Indoors are uniquely designed with plaster of Paris with exhaust system. Snowfall feature too was added shortly after its inauguration. So, this is a one stop amusement park that gives you snowy experience in a hot day.
With Hussain Sagar Lake on its side, this public park is one favorite picnic spot of Hyderabad. Having a central location, reaching other attractions like Birla Mandir and Necklace Road is an easy affair.
The Laser Auditorium inside the park is one of its kinds in India and accommodates about 2000 people in one show. The 3D laser show and musical fountain are the highlights of this park. The park was constructed in 1994 and covers an area of 7.5 acres. There is no better way to behold the sunset view other than being seated on a boat, and Lumbini park has that too for you!
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