Top Things to do in Hyderabad – Best places to visit in Hyderabad
The aircraft started taxiing. The crew hurriedly took their positions for take off and the lights went off. In a short, while the Jet Airways flight that we were on was airborne. I looked out of the window as the city of Hyderabad slowly shrunk to the size of a Toyland as the plane quickly gained height. Soon we were flying high above the clouds.
I watched some huge fluffy clouds rushing towards some unknown rendezvous in haste as I reflected on the past few days. My mind became occupied by myriad thoughts of the city that I was leaving behind. Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana state which is in southern India.
Hyderabad was indeed an intricate mosaic of sights and experiences. If Charminar rose iconically from the midst of a busy area in the city, the Salar Jung Museum with its quiet elegance took you into another era of grandeur and style. If the famed Hyderabadi Biryani can excite your palate, the mysteries of the Golconda Fort will awe and intrigue you. I watched my own thoughts traipse around and slowly fall into place as I visualized my latest blog which would be, about the top experiences in Hyderabad – the best places to visit in Hyderabad. Though there are many popular places to visit in Hyderabad, we present to you here the most incredible places to visit in Hyderabad.
Top Things that you must do in Hyderabad – Best places to visit in Hyderabad
Be Charmed by the Iconic Charminar
Cholera had assumed epidemic proportions. People were falling victim to the dreaded disease like ninepins. The king in his desperation to seek relief for his subjects and Kingdom prayed fervently to God and vowed that he would build a grand mosque in that very place as soon as Cholera was eradicated from his kingdom. Cholera did get eradicated and a beautiful structure came up in the very place that the King had prayed. The king was Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah and the structure that rose from the ground in majestic style was the Charminar. This is one of the widely accepted theories of the origin of the Charminar.
The walk towards the Charminar is through a street which is literally a riot of colors. Shops that line the street are choc a bloc with colorful bangles including Lacquer Bangles which Hyderabad is famous for.
Ethnic footwear in colorful shades reminds you of the grand past of the region. This street which is also known as the Charminar Bazaar is also the place where you will find the famed Hyderabad pearls including the popular Basra pearl. The pearls are usually embellished with gold and silver and are an epitome of beauty.
Four ornate minarets rise to the sky supported by four magnificent arches in four directions. The Charminar which was constructed in 1591 has a mosque on its top floor. The Charminar is one of the iconic structures of India and has become synonymous with Hyderabad and it is definitely one of the best places to visit in Hyderabad.
Be Awed by the Mysteries of the Golconda Fort
As I thought about the Golconda Fort, it mysteries seemed to haunt me. The fort which has stood the test of time and been a silent witness to the passage of history has buried deep in its womb many an untold story. Of course, the fort is one of the most important of the heritage forts in India, but what really fascinated me was its association with the famed Kohinoor diamond.
Did you know that Golconda Fort in its heyday had a vault in which resided in sparkling splendor the most expensive diamond in the world, the Koh-I-Noor! Also giving the Koh-I-Noor company was another famous diamond known as the Hope Diamond. The Koh-I-Noor now is part of the crown jewels of the British Monarchy and is on display at the Tower of London while the Hope Diamond resides in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., United States.
Apart from its association with diamonds, another facet of the Golconda Fort that appealed to me was the ingenuity of its architecture which incorporates amazing acoustic engineering. A clap sounded in the Fateh Darwaza which is so named as to commemorate the forts conquest by Aurangzeb, can be heard at a pavilion situated a mile away. This ingenious piece of engineering served as an early warning system to the inmates and soldiers of approaching invaders. The Golconda or Golkonda fort was a citadel of the Qutb Shahi dynasty and the name literally translates to ‘Shepherd Hill’, in the local language. The fort is built on top of a granite hill that stands about 480 feet high. The Golconda fort is actually made up of four forts with an outer wall that runs for 10 kilometers. The fort originally consisted of drawbridges and gates and had within it the living quarters of the royal family, stables, temples, and other buildings. The fort sprawls over an area of 11 kilometers and as I thought about it I vowed to myself to return back to explore its secrets further as I consider Golconda Fort as one of the best places to visit in Hyderabad.
Get Carried away on the wings of time at the Salar Jung Museum
Every time I am in Hyderabad, I make it a point to visit the amazing world that the Salar Jung Museum unveils. The Fascination of this museum goes back to my childhood when as a kid I listened to my father telling about a bearded man coming out of a clock and striking a gong every hour. Much later when I visited the museum for the first time, the first thing I wanted to see and saw was the musical clock which I came to know was manufactured in England and assembled in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) in the late 19th century and consists of 350 parts. I waited with many others just before the hour struck, people were breathing heavily with excitement, when exactly 3 minutes before the hour a small door in the clock opened and a small toy figure, that of a bearded man appeared and at exactly at the 60th minute of the hour struck the gong three times. It was three times because it was 3’O’ clock. The number of times the gong is struck depends on the hour.
This musical clock does hold a special place in my heart but by no means is the most important exhibit of the museum, though it definitely is a popular one.
The Salar Jung Museum is home to the largest one-man collection of antiques in the world. The museum is a tribute to the passion of one man, Nawab Mir Yusuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III who lived from 1889 to 1949 and was a Prime Minister to the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad. The prized antiques in the museum are his personal collection acquired over a period of thirty-five years. The museum will enthrall visitors with its mind-boggling collection that includes carvings, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, clocks, textiles, furniture, and many other artifacts from all corners of the world. Some of the notable exhibits include the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, a sword that belonged to Aurangzeb, and one of my favorites, a sculpture of Veiled Rebecca by the Italian Sculptor G.B.Benzoni.
These were my top three experiences that gave a glimpse of the history and heritage of Hyderabad and for sure THE best places to visit in Hyderabad. Of course, Hyderabad offers many more experiences that are an indulgence for the senses. When in Hyderabad there is no option but to yield to the seduction of its famed Biryani. Though being a vegetarian, I could still experience the ecstasy of the Hyderabadi Biryani through its vegetarian variant.
A walk on the promenade around the Hussain Sagar Lake and a visit to the make-believe world of Ramoji city are some other experiences that awaits one at Hyderabad.
The Cabin lights dimmed. The crew took their positions for landing. The Jet Airways flight circled above the city and slowly but surely swooped down on the airport like a giant eagle. Another flight, another voyage of discovery was coming to an end.
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Having read this post, do you now know what to do in Hyderabad? Have you been to Hyderabad or done a day tour to Hyderabad? What according to you are the best places to visit in Hyderabad? Which is your favorite Hyderabadi experience? Do share your thoughts with us and as always they are bound to make our day.
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