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Andhra Pradesh: Hyderabad and Secundrabad
Hyderabad and Secundrabad, the twin city of Andhra Pradesh, both look beautiful to the traveler’s eyes. Undulating lands and surrounding hills of Granite stones along with the soaring and well designed buildings create an eye soothing locale. At an elevation of 610 meters, the twin cities are separated from each other by the awe inspiring Hussein Sagar. These cities are well known as the “Budapest” of India as well.
Hyderabad, the booming industrial city, is the capital of Andhra Pradesh. One of the sought after tourist destinations of Hyderabad, Golkonda fort, has a cave which connects it to the central part of the city, Hyderabad.
The city is renowned as an important software hub of India. The high tech city, Hyderabad, is garnished and urbanized with the towering and fine looking edifices which appear excellent with their architectural modishness. Well thought out plans have helped the mega city to develop its infrastructures in a rapid pace and now it is the 5th largest city of India. More than 27 lakhs citizens are living around the rambling area of 259 square km. Most of the city dwellers speak Urdu here. But it is a city where the diversified communities assemble and create a rich culture. Islamic cultures and customs are predominant but other communities like Hindu and Christians are also breathing in large numbers.
Hyderabad is striking and looks marvelous when it glows at night. The twin cities attract crowds for their modern amenities, perfectly designed concrete roads, well decorated edifices, dotted water reservoirs and fascinating gardens. The Persian architectures on the lofty buildings are quite prominent.
Even though the emperors of Andhra Pradesh have dominated the state for long time and they were wealthy but it really didn’t reflect on the overall conditions of the general inhabitants of Andhra Pradesh. Indwellers are still very poor. The kingly lifestyles and foods are the fortes of Hyderabad.
Durga pujas are celebrated at various corners of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. ISCON temple is also there. Even though the Muslim cultures are predominant in the city but it shows the existence and prominence of the Hindu cultures.
Sought after destinations of Hyderabad like Sulur Jung museum, Charminar, High Court, Kutub Shah Garden, Aamin Baag and Zoo are located on the southern banks of Musi River.
A number of normal hotels are there near to the Hyderabad railway station which is also known as Namapally. The rich area of Hyderabad, Banjara hills, was the homelands of Bunjara tribes. Begumpet is another rich area of Hyderabad. A comparatively new town, Secunderabad, is on the banks of Hussein Sagar, the grand lake of the place.
Golkonda fort: Golla and Konda both of these are Telugu words. The name of Golkonda has come from the Yadav deity, Gollas. The fort is located at a distance of 11 km towards the west of the city. The huge and remarkable fort is standing atop the granite hills. The fort has enlisted its name in the list of historical monuments for its well built structure of soil. Later the structure was rebuilt by stones. The fine looking fort was built by the king of 12th century, Ganapati. It was one of the mysterious forts of India. The secret places of the fort were inaccessible by the throng who didn’t know the fort well. After the Mug hall empires took over the control of the fort, the fort had been reconstructed and revamped many times. The impressive artistic creation of the fort depicts a majestic architectural grandeur.
The fort has a circumference of 11 km and 8 entrances of the fort are adorned with the granite stones. 5 km long and 15 to 18 meters tall wall is protecting the fort. The weapons of Kutub shahi are still decorating the museum of the Golkonda fort. A water reservoir was also there which was protecting the fort along with the wall.
Ardent tourists can watch the astonishing three storied building, Tana Shah Ki Gadi, climbing 360 stairways. Don’t miss the sight of the bari bawri or the well decked fountain, on the way to the Darbar hall or Tana Shah Ki Gadi. The well festooned fort houses different palaces, Janena palace, temple, mosque, Turkish bath, dark jails and beautiful orchard Nagina Baag.
The main entrance is shielded by the wall. Get into the fort through the main entrance and stand in front of Fhate Darwaja (door) to watch it minutely. A sound of the clap from Fhate darwaja can be heard from the top most peak of the fort, Darbar Mahal (128 meters). A cave was there which used to take the king to Gosa mahal, about 8 km from Darbar Mahal, from Darbar Mahal. But now that cave is closed. A telescope is placed on the top of the Darbar hall. The access into the palace was only allowed through the royal bedroom, Shahi Mahal due to the security reasons. The ruins of the fort still surprise many. The scenic beauty around the fort is also incredible.
Diamonds were very popular then. Diamonds were found mainly on the banks of the Krishna River. People used to come from faraway places like Arab, Persia and Turkey to buy these diamonds. The Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light) which embellished the British crown was there in Golkonda.
Get to know the history of the marvelous fort in one hour show called, Son-et-lumiere. The show is organized in three languages, English, Hindi and Telugu, but at different time and on different days of the week.
You can avail a conducted tour to Golkonda fort but you will not get sufficient time to look at the details of the fort. So, it is better and wise to avail a bus or hire an auto to Golkonda fort. To understand and know the history of the fort thoroughly, it is wise to hire a guide alongside.
Baradari, about 2 km away from the Golkonda fort, was a place where musical concert of Taramati, the student of Kutub Shahi, was arranged earlier. Musical concerts are still organized here today as well.
Kutub Shahi Mausoleum: In Ibrahim Baag, about 1 km towards the northern side of the Golkonda fort, houses 7 mausoleums of 7 Kutub Shahi kings (Sultan Quli Qutb Shah, Ibrahim Qutb, Jamshid Quli Qutb, Muhammad Quli Qutb, Abdullah Qutb, Abdul Hassan Tana Qutb). Apart from the 7 Kutub Shahi mausoleums a lot of mausoleums of the members of the Royal Family are dotted in the adjoining area. The astonishing mausoleums, decked with the Hindu-Muslim (Persia) and Pathan architectures are kept open for six days a week (closed on every Friday).
A cremation ground is also there inside the premise. A small mosque, built with granite stones, is there. The door of the mosque was built with Basalt stones.
An excavation in Ibrahim Baag has revealed a number of clothes of the kings. Arguably, this is the place where the king Ourangzeb used to pray.
Silparamam: Silparamam or Silpa village, lies at a distance of 14 km from the city, is covering 30 acres of lands. The manor, adorned with fountains, has innumerable stones engraved on the soft green carpet. It looks like a village which is a created by the God with lot of care. A number of artists congregated on the village to display their cultural diversities on their arty creations and innovations. People, who come to witness the aesthetical vista, can buy some interesting items to remember the artistic touch of the creators. To promote the artists and their creations, a festival is observed every year in the month of March. The carnival attracts crowds in large numbers. The theatre hall and HITEC city, located at the opposite side of Silparamam, deserve a visit at least once.
Cherubhu, about 3 km towards the north of Golkonda fort, located adjacent to Silparamam, is a Lake which is well shielded with hills. 63 Bigha Lake used to supply water to the Golkonda fort.
To welcome tourists in Cherubhu Lake, APDTC has built a Lake Resort and restaurant. Holiday makers who want to spend sometime in the serenity can enjoy the fishing and a boat ride on the Lake.
Osman Sagar: Osman sagar is situated near to the Makka darwaja (door) of the fort. This artificial Lake was formed when the dam on the Isha River was installed in Gandhipet in 1908. 5.8 million rupees were spent to build the dam which is spreading over 46 square km. Located at a distance of 22.5 km away from the city of Hyderabad; it is the main source of water supply to the city. The groove around the Lake is beautiful.
The Dream Valley Resort, covering 15 acres of lands, houses assortments of amusement facilities like Golf course, water sports and many more.
Treasure Island, stretched over 60 acres, is another amusement park in the locale.
Holiday makers can stay at Sagar Mahal and Yatrinivas.
Himayat sagar: Himayat sagar, about 20 km from Hyderabad city, is another artificial Lake which has a volume of 85 square km. 9.3 million rupees were spent to build the Lake.
This is an awesome place to spend a week end. Rest House and DB are there for the tourists.
Interested and ardent holiday makers should visit Banasthalipuram deer Park, situated at a distance of 13 km from the city. 3500 acres of lands of the park has deer, chinkara, blackbuck and boars. More than 100 species of birds sing in a concert.
Don’t forget to watch the mausoleum of Musa Ram on the way to the deer park.
Phalaknuma Palace: Falaknama, built by SriBhikharul Umar in 1873, depicts a combination of Italian and Tudor cultures. As much as 35 lakhs were spent to build the well decorated palace. Star of the heaven, Fhalaknuma palace, is well known all over the world. The palace looks captivating with its surrounding natural environs. It is placed atop the Kohitur pahar or Kohitur hills. The library of the palace upholds numerous ancient and atypical scriptures. The affluent reception room is festooned with diamonds and variety of rich items. The collections of the lights and pictures hanged on the walls are worth seeing. It was a family palace of the kings and the cultures and customs of the family can be seen on the various items of the palace.
The palace has been converted in Taj hotels.
Silver Jubilee museum, located towards the north-eastern side of the Charminar, on the banks of the Musi River, houses awards and the assortments of various items maintained by Nizam, the king. The wooden wardrobe looks splendid. Choumahalla palace of Sulur Jung museum, consisting four palaces, resembles the palace of Tehran Shah of 18th century. Innumerable palaces are also there around the museum.
You should also consider touring Ramoji film city, which is at a driving distance from the city. Ramoji film city is a dream land created for shooting films and covers acres of land. It is at a distance from Hyderabad, and taxis and buses ply from the city. To reach early, take early morning buses or start early in a taxi, and book the return journey in the same taxi.
Hydrerabad is well connected with the rest of the country by Air, Rail and Roads. Just check our transport links.