Hyderabad is classic blend of royal history and modern technology. This city of pearls has delicious cuisine influenced by Arabs, French, Turkish, Iranian, Telegu and Marathwada. Jewelry, paintings, artifacts, kalamkari handcrafts look spectacular with the use of bright colors, history and natural landscape. This article will give you insights to plan your 2-3 days visit to Hyderabad. Customized maps at the end of article will help you in quick planning.
Visit to Hyderabad can’t complete without visiting this charming masterpiece. This architectural treasure built in 1591AD is at the heart of Hyderabad surrounded by local markets, ittar (perfumes from essential oils), Karachi biscuits and street food. Visitors can walk up to the top of Charminar and enjoy beautiful surrounding. It is open to visitors till 5pm for minimal entry fee. Delicate designs on Charminar represent culture of Hyderabad. It gets lightened up beautifully at night.
2. Chowmahalla Palace
This magically ornate palace is recognized cultural heritage by UNESCO. Every corner of the palace portrays architectural miracle of Mughal era. The palace has collection of Rolls Royce used by Nizams. Huge chandeliers, watch tower gate, intricate artwork windows, pure marble platforms are fascinating. Best part of the palace is Grand Dharbar hall. This beautiful palace on 10 minutes’ walk from Charminar is must visit. It is open 10am-5pm and entry fee is ₹50-₹200.
3. Falaknuma Palace
This architectural marvel is located on hill. There are almost 22 halls and 60 rooms. The palace has impressive library, paintings, venetian chandeliers, marble staircase and many alluring features which make it attractive for tourists. Taj has renovated the palace to luxury hotel by keeping its essence. Tours are held by Telangana tourism costing ₹2,000 to ₹3,100. It’s on 15 minutes’ drive from Charminar.
4. Salar Jung Museum
This is one of the 3 national museums of India. It has great collection of ancient India. Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III a nobleman of Salar Jung Family spent a substantial amount of his income, over a period of 35 years, collecting artifacts from all across the world. What makes it one of the largest museum is exquisite sculptures, paintings, textile, carpets and clocks in 38 galleries spread on 2 floors. You need 2-3 hours minimum to visit all sections of this grand museum. It is must visit place when you are in Hyderabad. It is open 10am-5pm and entry fee is ₹10-₹150.
5. Hussain Sagar Lake
It is heart-shaped lake at the center of city. There is huge Gautam Buddha’s statue in middle of the lake. You have to take 15 minutes ferry service from Lumbini Park to the rock of Gibraltar costing ₹40 per adult. The Buddha statue gets beautifully lightened up in night visible from any corner of the city.
It is unique Hispanic (Moorish) style of architecture located in Begumpet. The stand-out feature is the spires instead of the usual minarets or domes. It is also known as Spanish Mosque. It is on 10 minutes’ drive from Hussain Sagar Lake.
7. Shri Jagannath Temple and Birla Temple
It is a modern temple built by the Odia community of the city of Hyderabad dedicated to the Hindu God Jagannath. This temple is known for its architecture replicating Jagannath Temple of Odisha. Birla mandir is another modern temple constructed in marble which manifests a blend of Dravidian, Rajasthani and Utkala architectures. It is on 10 minutes’ drive from Hussain Sagar Lake.
8. Qutb Shahi Tombs
They are structured with delicate stonework and surrounded by gardens. These were built in 16th and 17th centuries and their restoration started in 2013. The architecture shows great blend of Persian and Indian tradition. It is on 10 minutes’ drive from Golconda fort.
9. Golconda Fort
It is archeological treasure under The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. The fort is famous for its acoustic effects. Clapping of hands at Fateh Darwaza at the base of fort can be heard clearly at the highest point of the Golconda Fort; this was an effective security measure in those days. Most famous diamonds like Kohinoor, the blue hope, Jacob, Daria-I-Noor are produced in Golconda region. There is a 430 years old tree in middle of the fort. Visitors get amazed by its volume. Light & sound show depicting history at the base of fort is must see.
10. Sudha Cars Museum
This place is to have off-beat experience for car lovers. It has crazy collection of cars handmade by Kanyaboyina Sudhakar. For example; cars shaped like handbag, stiletto heels, shivlinga, camera, toilet, burger and list goes on.
11. Ramoji Film City
Your visit to Hyderabad is unfinished if you miss visiting world’s largest film studio. You can spend one full fun day at Ramoji by visiting film sets, gardens, amusement parks. Its main attractions are Film City tour, Japanese Garden, Bhagavatham Set, Kripalu Caves. Ticket cost is ₹1,150 timings are 9am-5:30pm.
Best season: November-February
Budget: $5,000-$50,000 depending on where you choose to stay. Hotels are available for all budgets.
Cuisine to try: Hydrabadi Biryani, Double ka meetha, Sheer Korma, Firni, Karachi sweets, Haleem and Irani chai.