Hyderabad, a city where the old and the new cohabit peacefully, is one place that never tires explorers, even if they call the city their home. Let us show you how even a Hyderabadi can rediscover the city through the bewildered and ogling eyes of a tourist. By Shubhanjana Das
No matter how many times you may have seen it, locals often tend to take the things that define their city to outsiders for granted. In fact, you shouldn’t be surprised if you get to know that a friend from Mumbai has been to the Charminar more than you have. Surrounded by markets all around, the Charminar is one of the grandest and picturesque sites in Hyderabad. No wonder the city has been visually represented by the Charminar on multiple occasions.
2. Mecca Masjid
The architecture that Hyderabad boasts can be witnessed at Mecca Masjid, another gem in the Old City in Hyderabad, which is the second largest mosque in India. Besides its imposing size, the masjid is also a site of excellent architecture. If Mecca Majid has never made it to your weekend plans’ list, we hope it does now because, as you will find out, it surely is worth it.
3. Chowmahalla Palace
When we said Hyderabad boasts of awe-striking architecture, we also meant palaces which showcase the coming together of European and Mughal architectural styles. The Chowmahalla Palace, built by the Nizams over a few years’ time, this palace is now one of the city’s heritage buildings. Honestly, you could just spend a whole day strolling in and around the palace, it is that beautiful and calming.
4. Salar Jung Museum
The Salar Jung Museum along the bank of River Musi is the curation of a single man- Salar Jung III, who was the Prime Minister of the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad. The museum showcases only a minuscule fraction of the 50,000 books and 43,000 artefacts that the Prime Minister used to own while he was alive. It is safe to say that there aren’t many museums in the country which can boast of Tipu Sultan’s wardrobe, cultural antique pieces of jewellery, artefacts from Japan, China, Iran, and all over the globe.
5. Taj Falaknuma Palace
We understand that visiting a palace isn’t the most ‘daily’ plan a local Hyderabadi may make. But, the palace, built by the Nizams, is now a heritage hotel managed by the Taj group. ‘Falaknuma’ translates to ‘mirror of the sky’. The palace is located on the outskirts of the city, perched 2000m above the rest of Hyderabad. It is as grand as it gets.
6. Golconda Fort
This imposing fort located in the outskirts of the city is considered one of the most impressive forts in the country. What used to be the seat of the Qutub Shahi dynasty is now all ruins after the battles fought in the 16th and 17th century. The 11 square kilometres of space demands a whole day’s worth of exploring. The beautiful monuments, fountains, temples, mosques, palaces, and pavilions along with an extensive self-sufficient water-supply system — it is a marvel to experience Golconda Fort even today.
7. Paradise Restaurant
Hyderabadi biryani may be nectar for outsiders, but for the locals, it certainly isn’t part of their daily diet, as the rest of the nation may presume. So, when you revisit your city as a tourist, don’t forget to include a trip to the city’s best dum biryani place, Paradise Restaurant. After all that exploration and roaming around, you will have earned yourself a serving of heaven on a plate.