Our India travel guide has to include Hyderabad considering its historical importance as well as technological importance! So we present here our Hyderabad travel guide! Read on!
Hyderabad was an impromptu choice for a family vacation with kids. Initially, we were hooked up on Ramoji Film city and biryani. But travel to Hyderabad is so much more than that. The Hussain Sagar lake bang in the middle of the city was our first pleasant surprise! And then the city surprised us at every step of the way. Easy to travel, plenty of options to stay, a plethora of activities for kids and pearl shopping for me!! What more could I ask for?
Hyderabad – city of chants and charms, happiness and brotherhood, of pearls and biryani
– Majaz Dilkash
Read about this wonderful city and its top restaurants which you should not miss in our special Hyderabad travel Guide!
History of Hyderabad
Hyderabad has a long list of dynasties starting with Mauryans ruling it around 3rd BC. They were succeeded by Satvahanas for around 4 centuries. Later Ishkvaku dynasty and Chalukya dynasty also ruled over Hyderabad area.
However, when Delhi Sultanate finally defeated the last of the Hindu kings, Qutb Shah became the ruler of the province in 16th century. It is said that he named the city as Hyderabad after his lover Hyderabai. He built the Golkonda fort and constructed Charminar which are still known as central attractions of the city.
When finally Aurangzeb captured Golkonda fort, he appointed Nizam of Asaf Jah dynasty to look after the princely state of Hyderabad. So, Nizams ruled over the city from 17th century to the end of British Raj in 1947.
The city has a lovely blend of modern India as well as traditions carried forward from the Persian heritage of Qutb Shah and the Nizams, and you can easily fall in love with both the cultures!
How to travel to Hyderabad
Hyderabad is well connected with Mumbai and Pune thanks to the IT evolution. Major domestic cities are connected with NT Rama Rao domestic airport, which is situated approximately 20 kms away from the city. There are well connected flights flying to the major international cities from the international airport too. Booking your tickets through Clear Ticket is very simple.
There are overnight buses and trains as well to reach Hyderabad. The train journey via the Pune- Secunderabad Shatabdi express is very comfortable and almost as good as a flight.
Within Hyderabad, you can opt for an auto rickshaw, buses, taxis and even Metro Rail!
Where to stay in Hyderabad:
There are plenty of options of hotels, hostels and homestays available in Hyderabad and the neighboring Secunderabad.
Hyderabad attractions are spread over the city and hence a central location suits better for a hotel stay. In any case commute is easy and not very expensive so you can chose to stay anywhere per your budget. The best areas to stay are Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills.
You can search on Trip Advisor or Make my trip or Booking.com to get the best deals in hotel.
Places to visit in Hyderabad:
There are so many places to visit in Hyderabad
Qutb Shah borrowed the persian architecture and city layout and brought it to India and set Hyderabad. So many structures in Hyderabad follow Persian architecture. Like this place, Charminar, which was constructed like a central place to the entire city. It is surrounded by marketplace for vegetables, food joints, bangles and other jewelry and so much more. Do visit the place, to know more about Hyderabad culture and people and of course shopping.
Golconda Fort :
Golconda, redeveloped in 16th century by Kutb Shah, is an early citadel and capital of the area. It was originally built in 1143 by the ruling Hindu dynasties. The meaning of the name Golconda comes from the word Golla Konda that is Shepherd’s Hill. It was originally a mud fort on the hill, later on fortified into its current structure.
The fort is known for its architectural intelligence, especially certain acoustic effects. For example, someone clapping at the entrance can be heard till the inner sanctums of the fort. Although quite entertaining for the tourist, this specific effect served as an alarm for the upcoming danger.
The fort is easy to climb and entertaining for children and adults both alike. Take a guide to know more about the history of the place. Don’t miss the light and sound show as history comes alive in the sound of none other than Amitabh Bachchan!
When you visit a city with your family, then visit to its zoo is kind of mandatory. But Nehru zoo in Hyderabad is special in many ways! May it be its variety in animals or the open butterfly park. May it be the oldest elephant waving at you or the Galapagos tortoise crawling at its own pace. This Nehru zoo offers many things that it makes it one of the essential places to visit in Hyderabad. Recently the Zoo has gone online and has its own website – nehruzoopark.in.
The zoo is extremely wide spread and it might get difficult to cover everything in one day. Do take the battery operated vehicle ride if you think the kids will get tired walking.
Hussain Sagar lake:
If you are tired roaming around, take a break and enjoy the boating in the calm waters of Hussain Sagar lake. This lake at the center of the city enhances the beauty of the city. There is a beautiful walkway around the lake and many food stalls. You can pick up your favourite food and enjoy your walk around the place. I still remember the walk and awesome time spent alongside the lake! Its a not to miss experience!
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This lake, holding the water from Musi river, was built by Qutb Shah in 1563 to provide irrigation to the city. The monolithic Buddha statue in the middle of of the lake standing on the Gibraltar rock at the center of the rock is another attraction. And a trip here is a must to watch the shear beauty of the gigantic statue. There are few water sports available other than boating depending on the season.
Lumbini park show:
Very close to the Hussain Sagar lake is the Lumbini Park. There is an entertainment park which attracts kids. But the musical fountain and the 3D laser show is a bigger attraction. The timings for this are limited and do check before you plan a visit. Please do not compare it to the one in Singapore, you would still like!
Birla Science center and Birla planetarium:
And after the zoo what better place to teach science to your kids than the actual science museum! The B M Birla Science center has a science museum, a planetarium, and the latest hit of 2020 the ‘Dinosaurium’ with 160 million years old dinosaur fossils is a must visit place. The planetarium is amongst the best in the world and the cosmic presentation given here is better than those in the other parts of the world. You can also book your place in advance by visiting their website – birlasciencecentre.org.
Sudha Car Museum:
Sudha car museum a hidden gem in Hyderabad is a treat for the car lovers. You must have seen museums with antique cars. But here you can see cars in every possible shape like a bridal dress car or a jewelry car or even a car in shape of a commode. There are bicycles of 30 different designs. The cars are prepared from waste materials and the best part is that they are operational too!
Ramoji Film City:
Ramoji film city is the Indian version of the Universal Studios. The movie sets, shows, amusement park makes the whole package for day entertainment. Finding the movie sets from the famous Bollywood and Tollywood movies is very entertaining. And clicking photos here during your film city tour can be your highlight of the day.
There is also an adventure park called ‘Sahas’ , where you can participate in various fun adventure sport based on your risk appetite. Check out its website here and plan your adventure for the day – sahas.ramojifilmcity.com
You can stay at the in-house hotels Tara and Sitara to witness the royalty and see the beauty of place at night!
A word of caution though – do not plan your visit on a national holiday as the place gets extremely flooded with local and outstation tourists!
Hyderabad is again an absolute delight for the shoppers! The shopper in you can go totally crazy as you get options to buy in all budgets.
So if you have the likes of Mangatrai for best quality pearls, you can have Zaveri bazaar where you can shop at dirt cheap rates. If you have Nalli for buying expensive sarees, you also have Chennai Silk to buy sarees at cheap rates. Charminar bazaar is also for glittery jewelry shopping. There is an Antique market taking you back to Nizam era and the Abids street for crafty items. So isn’t Hyderabad an absolute treat for us girls too!
There are many other things to see in Hyderabad like the Salar jung museum, Birla temple, Snow world, etc. You can plan your trip on Tripoto app.
Use our ‘Travel planning guide‘ to plan your trip effectively!
Of course we had to create a separate blog on places to eat in Hyderabad! You can read it here – About Hyderabadi cuisines and places to eat!
Let us know whether you found this guide useful in planning your next visit to the place!