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.
Deverakonda Fort is located in the town of Deverakonda (also a mandal) that comes within the Nalgonda district. The fort is built on the top of a hill which itself is surrounded by seven hills. The fort had a lot of importance during the times of the Recherla Velama Kings who had the fort built during the 14th century.
The main idea of building the fort was to provide the kings with a formidable stronghold. Today, the fort stands in ruins spoiled by centuries of neglect. The place holds interest only for archaeologists who are looking at finding the missing pieces of history by digging into the earth.
Unfortunately, the state government is not doing anything to preserve the remains of the fort and the place is being spoiled by miscreants and vagabonds. It is easy to reach the fort from Nalgonda, Hyderabad, Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar by road.
The Asman Garh Palace in Hyderabad stands majestically on a hillock and has, therefore, been aptly named Asman Garh or 'Sky Home'. The palace is now a museum showcasing archaeological relics. It also has within its premises the St Joseph’s Public School. Asman Garh Palace was designed and constructed by the then prime Minister of Hyderabad, Sir Asman Jah, in 1885.
The palace was a retreat of sorts for the family of Paigarh to which the prime minister belonged. He wanted to build a home that was close to the skies and thus, he chose the top of a hillock for constructing his dream home. The palace was designed to keep up with the popular styles and architecture of the times. The style in trend at the time was Gothic and the Asman Garh palace represents everything Gothic in terms of architecture. It has been built on the format of a European medieval castle.
The Andhra Pradesh State Museum was established by the third Nizam in the city of Hyderabad. The museum offers an incredible insight into the rich and magnificent historical past of the city. The museum was opened in the year 1928 and was built on the lines of Indo-Saracenic style that speaks high volumes of the artistic splendour of the times. The museum is built within the Public Gardens and receives hundreds of curious visitors everyday.
The State Museum has a gallery that showcases the life of Buddha and his disciples. In fact, there is an amazing antique collection on display in the gallery that is believed to belong to the times of Lord Buddha. The Museum has chambers built inside; each chamber represents the different phases of human civilisation. Each chamber houses a collection of items from a specific period of time. There are also galleries dedicated to Hindu as well as Jain religions. The galleries have items that show the structuring of the two religions along with the advancing times. There are also items that hold religious importance.
Chilkur Balaji Temple in Hyderabad is also famously known as the Visa Balaji Temple or Visa God. This is a very ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Balaji and his consorts, Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. This temple is famous all over the world for being the only temple that does not accept any money. In fact, there are no 'patr dan' or money boxes in the temple. All people are equal in the eyes of God and hence, no one including the VVIPs are given any special treatment.
The temple is not under the control of the state or the central government. It is believed that the temple is at least half a millennium old and this has been proven after studying the style and architecture of the temple. The temple is beautifully located on the banks of the Osman Sagar Lake and is about 33 km from Mehdipatnam. Because of the unique style of governance, the temple attracts thousands of devotees each year.
Bhuvanangiri Fort was built by Tribuvanamalla Vikramaditya who was a Chalukya king. The Fort was built sometime during the 12th century and was supposed to provide protection to the kingdom. The fort has been built over an area of 40 acres and is atop a hill. The fort is at a height of 500 m from the ground level.
The fort is a popular destination among tourists because of its unique construction and architecture. The fort is oval in shape and can be entered from two gates. Outside the fort were put tons of moat so as to make it absolutely inaccessible.
Inside the fort are underground chambers and long corridors that have secret passages, trap doors, a secret room for storing weapons and also a stable for horses. The upper level of the fort has two ponds and some deep wells to fulfill the water needs. One can easily reach the top of the fort by taking a dark stairway or by going up through a winding and steep track.
Bhadrachala Rama Temple, Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Rama and Devi Sita, is a popular religious spot in Bhadrachalam. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama is the seventh incarnation of Hindu god Vishnu. Devi Sita is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu’s consort, Goddess Laxmi.
The temple is located 35 km from the town of Bhadrachalam and has idols of other Hindu gods and goddesses. Another incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Narasimha, is also worshipped at the temple along with Lord Shiva.
The temple is immensely popular among the devotees of Lord Rama and each year the place sees a large influx of people during the time of Ram Navami. In fact, the festival of Ram Navami or Dussehra is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show at the temple. Many people throng to the temple from all over India to participate in the festivities that last for 10 days and culminate with the burning of Ravana’s effigy.
Bhadrakali Temple is one of the oldest temples made in devotion to Goddess Bhadrakali in the country. Believed to have been constructed by King Pulakesi II of the Chaluka dynasty around 625 A.D, it is located on the banks of the Bhadrakali Lake.
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Bhadrakali (or Kali) is revered as the Mother Goddess and the deity worshipped in the Temple can be seen adorned with armours in all eight arms.
During the rule of Ala-ud-din Khilji and his successors, the temple fell into a dilapidated state, but renovation work done in the middle part of the 20th century has ensured that one of the most important surviving monuments that showcase the Chalukya architectural style remains intact.
A number of natural rock formations surround the temple and help add to the visual beauty of the place of worship, especially during the time of sunset.
Basara Saraswathi Temple is situated at an idyllic spot where the Rivers Godavari and Mangira converge. The temple is located in the village of Basar. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati who is believed to be the goddess of knowledge and wisdom.
The temple is one of the oldest temples in the country that enshrines Goddess Saraswati. According to Hindu mythology, the temple is constructed on the site where Rishi Ved Vyas performed his penance.
The Rishi made idols of three Goddesses namely Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. He made the idols using sand. The temple was constructed by the Chalukya Kings to honor the Goddess Saraswati.
Today, the festivals of Panchami and Navaratri are celebrated on a large scale at the temple. The famous ritual of Akshara Gnana is also performed at the temple. The ritual denotes the start of formal education in a child’s life and is a very important Hindu ritual.
Archaeological and Heritage Museum in Nizamabad is a must visit during your trip to the town because it is one of the best places to learn about our history including the evolution of humans from apes.
The museum was opened in 2001 and has been divided into three sections – the Archaeological Section, the Sculptural Gallery and the Bronze Gallery. Each section shows in detail how the town has contributed in the history of ancient and modern India.
In the Archaeological one can see the tools and equipment that were used by the humans between 50000 and 5000 B.C. There are many tools that are from the Paleolithic, Neolithic as well as the later Stone Age as well.
Pottery from the Megalithic Age is also kept in the Archaeological Section, and has been dated as belonging to human civilization, which flourished between 1000 B.C and 3rd century B.C. While at the museum, be sure to check out the coin collection from the Medieval Period that includes coins from the reign of the Satavahanas, the Kakatiyas, the Qutub Shahis and the Ikshvakus.
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.
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.
Ananda Buddha Vihara is a quaint Buddhist temple located on a small hillock in Hyderabad. The first sight of the temple is sure to take your breath away. Once you have managed to climb the hillock, you can take in a splendid view of the entire city from this great height. The temple has been beautifully built keeping in mind the Buddhist form of style and architecture. The temple has a huge hall that is naturally lit by the sunlight that streams in through the life-size French windows.
What strikes one at this time is the calm and peace that seems to be oozing out from the walls of the temple and is everywhere around you. The moment you enter the temple you are bound to forget the hustle and bustle of the city life. A large and golden statue of Lord Buddha is placed in the centre of the hall and you will find many devotees sitting around here meditating.
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.
The 101 Darwaja House is an interesting piece of heritage building in the town of Pochampally. The building is believed to be at least 150 years old and was constructed by the Village Revenue Chief. The house has been named so because of the 101 doors and windows built in the building that all open to scenic views.
The building is a favourite with the tourists who are keen to see for themselves a house with so many openings. However, for security purposes not all doors and windows are left opened. If you are lucky, you can coax the security guard to open a few more of them for view.
Each and every opening in the house gives you a pleasant view of the surroundings. This is the uniqueness of the house. The building has now been converted into a school, Shanthi Nikethan, for the local children. Visitors are allowed into the building only on certain days of the week and between fixed timings.