Hyderabad is the capital and largest city of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The name Hyderabad means "Hyder's abode" or "lion city", derived from the Persian/Urdu words "haydar" or "hyder" (lion) and "ābād" (city or abode). According to John Everett-Heath, the author of Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place Names, Hyderabad was named to honour the Caliph Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who was also known as Hyder because of his lion-like valour in battles.
I visited Hyderabad in the month of August 2010. It was to attend a week-long official training programme. And I went with three colleagues. Everyday, we would wait for the training to get over by 5 p.m. (or 5.30 p.m., I don't remember now) and rush to explore the city. We all had an awesome time. It was also the month of Ramadan, so there were all kinds of delicacies available and also festival sales were going on. For me and my friend Madhusmita, it was cherry on the cake. We did lots of shopping and helped the two guys to shop for their wives. Towards the end of the training programme, the training institute organized a tourist tour for the trainees.
Some well-known places in Hyderabad are:
Charminar: The Charminar, built in 1591 CE, is a monument and mosque located in Hyderabad. The landmark has become a global icon of Hyderabad, listed among the most recognized structures of India. The English name is a transliteration and combination of the Urdu words Chār and Minar, translating to "Four Towers"; the eponymous towers are ornate minarets attached and supported by four grand arches.
|The Charminar at night time|
The Charminar area is basically the old market area, and in the evening the market becomes alive with all the bright lights and brighter people. During the first few days of our training, in the evenings we four people would rush to this market. Hyderabad is famous for its pearls. And as the festival sale was going on, all bought pearls for the ladies in our families.The bangles market near Charminar is simply gorgeous. We spent a lot of time there. Whatever I bought there are still as good as new and I wear them all the time.
|A gorgeous painting of the gorgeous bangles market|
Golconda: Golkonda, also known as Golconda or Golla konda ("shepherd's hill"), a ruined fort of Southern India and capital of medieval Golconda Sultanate (c.1518–1687), is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad. The region is universally famous for the mines that have produced the world's most famous and coveted gems, including The Hope Diamond, Idol's Eye, The Koh-i-Noor and Darya-i-Noor.
|That's me at Golconda in 2010|
The day we visited Golconda, it was already late afternoon and also the sky was dark with clouds. It even started raining when we were still there. I wish we could spend a longer time exploring the fort. Due to lack of daylight, we could not see the entire place.
Hussain Sagar Lake: Hussain Sagar is a lake in Hyderabad, built by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali in 1562, during the rule of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah. It is spread across an area of 5.7 square kilometers and is fed by River Musi. A large monolithic statue of the Gautam Buddha, erected in 1992 stands in an island in the middle of the lake. Maximum depth of the lake is 32 feet.
We did not exactly visit the Hussain Sagar Lake but saw it from outside.
Apart from the above, we also visited the Birla Temple, the Salar Jung Museum and the GVK One Mall. My friends also visited the Shilpgram. We four people had a good time in Hyderabad and also made some great memories. One night, we lost our way. One evening, we went to have the famous hyderabadi biriyani in a famous restaurant, but it was all crowded. So we packed dinner and came back to the institute. One morning I woke up with a swollen eye, it was some kind of an allergy I got. But at the end, it was all fun.
There are loads of places to see and visit, and many delicacies to try. I would love to visit Hyderabad again and explore the city and stuff my tummy as much as possible.