Travelogue – Series 1 … Hyderabad

Starting with my Travelogue Series…

I have discovered “Incredible India” travelling extensively and took the opportunity to share my awesome experiences of the rich Indian Culture through my blogs…..

A few months ago; visited HYDERABAD….

Hyderabad is capital of southern India’s Telangana state- Major attractions being  Golconda Fort, Zoological Park, a former diamond-trading center that was once the Qutb Shahi dynastic capital;  Charminar, a 16th-century mosque whose 4 arches support towering minarets, is an old city landmark near the long-standing Laad Bazaar and RAMOJI Film City

Hyderabad  also known as the “The Pearl City” is the capital of Telangana in Southern India, located on the banks of the Musi River and on the Deccan Plateau.

Hyderabad and Secunderabad are “twin cities” near Hussain Sagar Lake (also known as Tank Bund in local parlance) but both cities have grown so much that now they have become one big metropolis. The city and district of Hyderabad are coterminous. Hyderabad district is entirely contained within the Ranga Reddy district of Telangana. Many of the suburbs of Hyderabad were recently merged into the city, now called Greater Hyderabad.

A city rich with history and tradition, Hyderabad now competes with Bangalore and Chennai for the crown of India’s IT capital; Microsoft and Google have their India headquarters here.Hyderabad is well connected to all parts of the country by air, rail and road.

Telugu (the state language of Andhra Pradesh and one of India’s six living classical languages) and Urdu are widely spoken in Hyderabad, and most educated people speak Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and/or English. English signs are common.  The city is one of the main places where Urdu developed, and the dialect spoken primarily by the large Muslim population is known as “Deccani Urdu” or Dakhani Urdu” (which both translate to Urdu of the Deccan). Because of the influence of Urdu, a dialect of Hindi is also spoken in the city

The city is split into north, west, east and south of the central district. There are differences in culture visible throughout the city.

Central Zone (King Kothi, Abids, Lakdikapul, Mehdipatnam, Tolichowki, Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Ameerpet, Punjagutta, Himayat Nagar, Kacheguda, Narayanguda, Chikkadpally and Nallakunta.) – The center of Hyderabad has upscale neighbourhoods along with several venues of entertainment and dining. There is lots to see and do as well.

South Zone (Charminar, Patthargatti, Afzalgunj, Shalibanda, Falaknuma, Dabirpura,Yakutpura and Purani Haveli.) –  This is where most of Hyderabad’s famous historical sights are. Also called Old City or Purana Shahr, the South Zone is home to Hyderabad’s most lively and authentic shopping experience. The Taj Falaknuma, an erstwhile palace now converted into a luxury hotel, is in the South Zone.

North Zone (Begumpet,Secunderabad,Malkajgiri, Trimulghery, Alwal and Kundanbagh.) – The North Zone is the erstwhile British Cantonment area of Secunderabad. Completely different from the South Zone, this zone is far more cleaner and organised than the former.

West Zone (Kukkatpally, Miyapur, Bharat Nagar, Gacchibowli, Nanakramguda and HITEC City.) – This is home to the newer CBD of Hyderabad. If you’re in Hyderabad for a business trip, you are most likely to end up here.

East Zone (Uppal, Kapra, Dilsukhnagar, LB Nagar, Gaddiannaram and Saroornagar.) – Home to a lot of educational institutes, this region will be the first to see a Metro line run through.

If you are traveling to Hyderabad on business  it is easy to miss the 400-year-old Hyderabad. The city that immediately hits the eye is a sprawling metropolis of shopping malls and office buildings with glass facades. The whole of the city seems to be under construction or renovation. It is a magnificent city in many senses.

The “old city” that was once the seat of the Nizam, the ruler of the largest “princely state”, and the twin city of Secunderabad where the British maintained a cantonment to keep the army within striking distance of the Nizam can be seen only if you take the time out to see them.

 Hyderabad’s many epithets include the City of Pearls, the City of Nawabs, the Biryani City and, because of its high-tech draw, Cyberabad.

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The best way to orient yourself to Hyderabad is to think with reference to two water bodies – the Musi river and the Hussain Sagar Lake. The Musi river flows from the west to the east, a few kilometers south of Hussain Sagar Lake.

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The Old city lies mostly on the south bank of the Musi, though this guide will treat the Golkonda, which lies on the north bank, as part of the old city. Most historical attractions, including the Charminar lie on this bank.

Secunderabad lies to the north-east of Hussain Sagar lake. This has historically been a military cantonment, which means that the roads are better maintained and broader. It has nice parks, open spaces and some excellent restaurants.

The New city, which contains the administrative offices of Andhra Pradesh lies on the north bank of the Musi, to the east and south-east of Hussain Sagar.

Punjagutta to Gachibowli is a vast region to the west and north-west of Hussain Sagar, on the north bank of the Musi.  Areas of interest here are Punjagutta and Ameerpet, which are enormous shopping areas. Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills is where Hyderabad’s rich class reside, contain some good parks and restaurants. The newly developed “Hi tec city” and Gachibowli are 9 km to the west of the new city. This is where most technology and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms have their campuses.

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Hyderabad is the meeting ground between North and South India, in many senses. The city has a culture that is distinct from the rest of Andhra Pradesh, showing Islamic influences. This is more evident in the old city. The new city resembles many provincial state capitals in India. Secunderabad is more cosmopolitan, as the Cantonment area is located in this part of the city.

Due to a recent influx of young men and women from various parts of the country for better job opportunities, Hyderabad’s culture and attitudes have taken a turn towards “modernity”. However, it is good to keep in mind that the city is still a deeply conservative place and to dress appropriately, especially in the old city. Note that people have a very indifferent attitude towards time and a very laid back attitude.

 

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