Charminar was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shahi in the year 1591 and to this day it is a prominent feature of the city of Hyderabad. This historical structure is now associated with Hyderabad in a big way and has even gained global recognition.
Charminar gets its name from two Urdu words, 'char' and 'minar', the combination of which literally means “four towers”. The structure of the tower spells magnificence and radiates the architectural grandeur of ancient times. The tower has four baroque and resplendent minarets that are annexed to four arches. The arches also support the minarets. The construction of Charminar was done after Quli Qutb Shahi moved from Golconda, to make Hyderabad his new capital.
The monument was built to thank divine powers for eradicating plague (of epidemic dimension) from the city. The Charminar attracts thousands of tourists every year not only because of its majestic presence, but also because of the old-world charm that can be still seen in this part of the city.
Golconda Fort or Golla Konda Fort means the “shepherd’s hill” and is a fort built 11 km from the city of Hyderabad. During the 15th century, Golconda was a flourishing city, but now one can only see the ruins of its bygone splendour. The fort at Golconda was built by the rulers of Qutub Shahi dynasty who reigned over the city starting from 1512. The major contribution to the fort came from Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah Wali. The fort was built in order to defend the city from Mughal attacks from the north. An interesting feature of the fort is its acoustics.
If you stand in the patio of the fort and clap your hands, the voice can be heard at the topmost point of the fort that is situated at a height of 91 m from the main gate. It is also believed that a secret tunnel connects the Golconda Fort with Charminar though no evidence has been found of this passage.
Ramoji Film City, located on the outskirts of Hyderabad, is not just a place for shooting films and serials, but an ideal destination for picnickers, theme-based parties, corporate events, grand weddings, adventure camps, conferences as well as for honeymooners.
This film centre has the distinction of being the world's largest film city. This studio centre has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Record.
Ramoji Film City is equipped with the latest techniques as well as machinery to provide any film-maker with a wholesome experience. It is believed that a film-maker can walk into the film centre with simply a script in hands and walk out with a completely finished film.
Apart from the film-making, the place offers plenty of options as entertainment for the visitors. There are joy rides, fun events, music-based programs, games shows as well as dances that are organised on a regular basis for complete family entertainment. You can also shop and eat in the film centre at your own leisure.
Some of the extreme sports activities that the film city offers include high rope course, net course, paintball, zorbing, mountain biking, archery and shooting, inflatables (human foosball, meltdown, body zorb fight and tele-boxing) and bungee ejection.
Ramoji Film City also provides stay options for its guests. Good food and a great ambiance is something that would make a tourist stay longer here, so as to explore the vast property.
Mecca Masjid is not only the oldest mosque in the city of Hyderabad, but also has the distinction of being one of the largest mosques in the country. Apart from having religious significance for the Muslims, the mosque also has historical importance and is a heritage building protected by the state government.
The masjid is a popular tourist attraction since it stands quite close to other popular and historical destinations like Charminar and Chowmahalla Palace. Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah started the construction of the masjid in the 16th century. The bricks used for the construction were prepared using the soil brought from Mecca. These bricks were used to prepare the central arch. The masjid literally as well as symbolically is the central point around which Quli Qutb Shah built his empire. An interesting feature in the masjid is the room situated within the patio of the masjid. It is believed that a hair from the head of Islamic Prophet Mohammed is preserved here.
The Chowmahalla Palace belongs to the Nizams of Hyderabad and was the official residence of Asaf Jahis. The palace derives its name from Persian words 'chahar' and 'mahalat', meaning “four palaces”. The palace has been built on similar lines as the Shah of Iran’s palace in Iran. The construction of the palace began in the 18th century and it took almost 10 years to complete it. As a result, the design and architecture of the palace is a result of a combination of various styles and influences.
In olden times, the palace was used for conducting various functions including the coronation of the Nizams, as well as the welcome parties of the governors-general. In fact, all ceremonial functions were known to take place in the Chowmahalla Palace during the reign of the Nizams. There are two courtyards in the palace; the northern courtyard and the southern courtyard. Both the courtyards are surrounded by rooms unparalleled in design. The uniqueness of the palace lies in its grandeur and elegance.
Laad Bazaar or Choodi Bazaar is located in the old city of Hyderabad and is famous world over for exquisitely designed and colourful bangles. This is a very old market and has been in existence since the time the Qutb Shahi family took over the reigns of Hyderabad. The market is situated in an extremely busy part of the city that is always hustling and bustling with activity.
The market is hard to miss since it is located very close to some historical landmarks of the city like Charminar and Chowmahalla Palace. Each year plenty of would-be-brides come to this part of the city to do their wedding shopping.
In Laad Bazaar, you can find every item associated with making your wedding a grand success. However, the market is best known for the lacquer or laad bangles that are adorned beautifully with American diamonds. It would be a sacrilege to go to Hyderabad and not shop at Laad Bazaar.
Surendrapuri is a fascinating museum that is situated on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The museum is popularly referred to as Mythological Awareness Center as well. The museum was founded in order to create awareness and increase understanding of the Indian mythology. Surendrapuri Museum gets its name from Surendra, who was the son of Kunda Satyanarayan. It was the father who established the museum to keep his son’s name alive.
The museum is unique in its concept, and has miniature models of the most famous and important temples in India. Great care has been taken to reproduce the exact replicas of these temples. In fact, the art and architecture of the individual temples can also be seen in their models at this museum. Sculptures and paintings depicting the lives of Hindu gods are also on display at the museum. One can learn a lot about Hindu mythology with just one visit to the place.
The Snow World in Hyderabad was a first of its kind amusement park in the country. It was opened for the public in the beginning of 2004. It can accommodate around 2400 people in one day. Like the name suggests, one can have the experience of artificially produced snow and snowfall in this park. Tones of artificial snow is placed in layers on the floors of this indoor park and visitors can throw snowballs at each other or build snowmen with this snow.
The snow is prepared by filtering the water four times; thus, it is absolutely safe if small children even consume the snow. Before you enter the park, you have to wear heavy woollen clothes to protect yourself from the chill. As soon as you enter, you are given a cup of hot piping soup to warm your body for the experience. Inside the park are various facilities like snow tube slide, ice bumping cars, ice skating rink, snow war zone and sleigh slides.
The Hussain Sagar Lake is a major landmark in the geography as well as the history of Hyderabad. This man-made lake was constructed by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali during the year 1562. The lake has been built on an ancillary of the river Musi. The primary need for building the lake was to provide water to the city for irrigation purposes. This huge lake has the capacity to contain water perennially and forms the link between the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Around the lake is the famous Necklace Road, that lights up much like the diamonds in a necklace during the night. The Necklace Road with Hussain Sagar in its midst forms a mesmerising view especially at night -time. In 1992, a large and magnificent statue of Lord Buddha (carved out of a single stone) was erected in the centre of the lake. One can access the statue via a boat. If you are in Hyderabad, you cannot miss the Hussain Sagar and its adjoining tourist attractions.
The Osman Sagar Lake is also called Gandipet by the locals of Hyderabad. This is another man-made lake in the city (like Hussain Sagar) and was built during the construction of a dam over the Musi river. The lake was built in 1920 and since then has been the source of drinking water for Hyderabad and the surrounding villages. The lake also provides insurance from floods like the one in 1908 that nearly destroyed the city.
The Osman Sagar Lake was built during the reign of Osman Ali Khan who was the last Nizam of Hyderabad. The lake has been named after him. There is a splendid and royal guest house that overlooks the lake. This guest house, Sagar Mahal used to be the summer resort of Osman Ali Khan, but is now a magnificent heritage building that offers an amazing view of the magnificent lake. The royal guest house is now used as a luxury resort.
The Falaknuma Palace was designed by an English architect and the construction of the palace began in 1884. The palace initially belonged to Nawab Viqar-ul-Umra who was the then prime minister of Hyderabad. Later, the palace was given to Nizams. The palace derives its name from Urdu and means “mirror of the sky”.
The Falaknuma Palace is located 5 km from Charminar and is easily accessible by road. Interestingly, the palace has been built to resemble the shape of a scorpion. The two stings of the scorpion are the extended wings of the palace towards the north.
The body of the scorpion that forms the middle portion of the palace contains the main building as well as the kitchen. The Zenana Mahal and the harem are situated on the south side of the palace. The palace is a unique blend of Tudor as well as Italian architecture. The glass used in the windows is stained keeping in with the Tudor style.
The Birla Planetarium in Hyderabad gathers nationwide attention for being the first planetarium to be opened in the country. The planetarium was inaugurated by the late N. T. Rama Rao in 1985. If you are with children, then you must definitely make it a point to visit the Birla Planetarium since it has the distinction of being the most visited wing of the Science Center. Inside the Birla Planetarium, you can go on an exciting journey of our universe and discover so many of its mind-boggling secrets.
The planetarium offers you an experience that is unmatched and unparalleled. The modern technology allows for a mesmerising visual treat of the universe. The planetarium has the latest equipments that are also trendy to make the visit worthwhile for you and your family. The entire experience makes you believe you are actually on your way to a thrilling and exciting journey of the universe. The Birla Planetarium is truly educational while being entertaining.
The Hyderabad Botanical Garden, also named Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy Botanical Garden, is very popular among the locals as well as tourists. The garden is located near HITECH City and is only 16 km from the Hyderabad railway station. The garden is ideally located on the Hyderabad-Mumbai highway. The botanical garden in Hyderabad was built with the main aim of conserving and developing germplasm and the garden is well-equipped with the latest techniques and gadgets to fulfil this function successfully.
The garden has also been built to educate people about nature and to encourage them to help preserve the flora and fauna surrounding the city. As of now, there are five sections of the botanical garden that are open to the public. These sections house medicinal plants, ornamental plants, aquatic plants, timber trees, bamboos, fruits trees and more. Even if you are not a hardcore environmentalist, a visit to the garden is recommended since it has been beautifully built over a large area. The garden has beautiful meadows, waterbodies and small rolling hills that are a treat to sore eyes.
The Birla Mandir is located adjacent to the Birla Planetarium in Hyderabad. The mandir is built on the Naubat Pahad and is a venerated place among the Hindus especially those who are devotees of Lord Venkateshwara.
The temple took 10 years to be built and was commissioned by Swami Ranganathananda, who belonged to the Ramakrishna Mission. The unique feature about the mandir is that it has been built using only white marble that was specially brought from Rajasthan. Also, the mandir has no bells so as to not to disturb the peaceful and meditative atmosphere of the temple.
Along with the main idol of Lord Venkateshwara, there are other deities enshrined in the temple. The mandir has separate wings for the deities of Shiva, Ganesh, Hanuman, Brahma, Sai Baba, Shakti, Lakshmi and Saraswati. One can also see on the walls of the temple the teachings of holy men including Guru Gobind Singh.
HITEC City or Hyderabad Information Technology Engineering Consultancy City is now a major township area situated in Hyderabad. The township is very close to the suburbs of Madhapur and Gachibowli. After Bangalore first emerged as the IT centre of India in the beginning of the millennium, the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu wanted to make Hyderabad into a major IT hub. He invited several IT companies to set up centres in Hyderabad after offering the best infrastructure facilities.
The first phase of the HITEC City project was the Cyber Towers after which the second phase, the Cyber Gateway, started. Cyber Towers was the office for several multinationals like GE Capital and Oracle Corporation. Today, the HITEC City, also known as Cyber City, houses companies like Satyam Computers, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Mindspace, L&T, Infosys, APIIC, IBM, Google and more. Many major companies, like Infosys, have set up their self-sufficient campuses in HITEC City to meet the daily requirements of the company and its employees.