Hyderabad is the capital and largest city of the South Indian state of Telangana and also the de jure capital of the state of andhrapradesh. It was ruled by the Qutub Shahis, Mughals and the Nizams which shaped its history. The city is noted for its monuments which includes the masterpiece of Charminar and the fort of Golconda. There are a multitude of masjids, temples, churches and bazaars in the city. The tourism industry forms an important role in the economy of Hyderabad. Tourism-related fairs are held regularly in the city. In 2010, the city was listed among the Beta- World City by the global city index produced by GaWC, and in 2011 the city was rated 19th in the world by The New York Times in The list of 41 Places to Go in 2011. It was ranked 3rd Best City to Travel in 2013 by Lonely Planet As of 2011, The tourism promotion budget for the city was increased to INR520 million. Andhra Pradesh, which is India's top domestic tourist destination, receives up to 157 million visits, and reached 1.5 million international tourists, which generated US$23 million in revenue. The city houses famous historical sites including Charminar, UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage site of the Chowmahalla Palace,Salar Jung Museum (among the world's largest private collection museums) as well as art galleries, libraries, sports complexes, museums and theatres.
Hyderabad is known as The City of Pearls, as once it was the only global centre for trade of large diamonds, emeralds and natural pearls. Many traditional and historical bazaars are located around the city. The Laad Bazaar situated near Charminar has shops that sell pearls, jewellery and products such as silverware, Nirmal, Kalamkari paintings and artefacts, bidriware, lacquer bangles studded with stones, saris, handwoven materials in silk and cotton. The following is a list of tourist attractions in Hyderabad,
- Mecca Masjid - A Symbolic Mosque, Mecca Masjid was built 400 years ago during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Qutub Shah, the 6th Qutub Shahi Sultan of Hyderabad. The three-arched facade has been carved from a single piece of granite, which took five years to quarry. More than 8,000 workers were employed to build the mosque. Muhammed Qutub Shah personally laid the foundation stone of the 'mosque'.
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, the French explorer, in his travelogue observed, "It is about 50 years since they began to build a splendid pagoda in the town which will be the grandest in all India when it is completed. The size of the stone is the subject of special accomplishment, and that of a niche, which is its place for prayer, is an entire rock of such enormous size that they spent five years in quarrying it, and 500 to 600 men were employed continually on its work. It required still more time to roll it up on to conveyance by which they brought it to the pagoda; and they took 1400 oxen to draw it"
- Charminar - a major landmark of Hyderabad with four graceful minarets located in the old city. It was built by Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah as a memorial for plague victims. Charminar, on most occasions, is used to represent the city and the state and is hailed as a unique Deccan monument. It is in the midst of Charkaman which are four archways to roads leading in all four directions from the Charminar monument.
was originally built by Kakatiya as part of their western defenses.
- Golconda Fort - Once abandoned by Qutub Shahis, Golconda Fort is one of the most magnificent fortress complexes in India. Seated on a hill on one side and spiraling fort on the other, its location and internal design made it one of the strongest forts in India.
- Qutb Shahi Tombs - home to various tombs dedicated to Rulers of Qutub Shahi dynasty, located at Shaikpet, near Golconda Fort. These are an example of Deccan architecture with large minarets, huge domes, delicate marble designs and multiple inner passages.
- Paigah Tombs - These are a recently discovered series of mausoleums with unique geometrical sculptures which were nowhere found in the world. These are located at Chandrayanagutta. Paigahs were noblemen under the reign of Nizams.
- Paigah Mosque Spanish Mosque, Begumpet : This is one of several mosques in Secunderabad/Hyderabad. The mosque is of Andalusi/Spanish Architecture and constructed by Sir Vicar-ul-Umra a Paigah Nawab in 1906.
- Falaknuma Palace - built by an Italian architect through one of the Paigah nobles, Nawab Viqar al-Umra', complete with Italian marble, Louis XIV-style decor, a Mughal ambience, Italian marble staircases and ornate fountains. It has now been undertaken by Taj group to develop this as a heritage hotel.
- Chowmahalla Palace - It was the seat of Asaf Jahi dynasty, where the Nizam entertained his official guests and royal visitors. Initiated in 1750 by Nizam Salabat Jung and designed along the lines of the Shah's palace in Isfahan, this actually consists of a group of palaces each used as a Durbar Hall. It has now been aesthetically renovated and is also a venue for conferences.
- Asman Garh Palace - It was designed personally and built by the erstwhile Prime Minister of Hyderabad state Sir Asman Jah in 1885 on a hillock for his leisure. It is based on Gothic architecture and is in the shape of a European medieval castle. The palace presently hosts a museum displaying archaeological relics.
- Taramati Baradari - Taramati Baradari is a palace located near Gandipet lake, that was built under the reign of Abdullah Qutb Shah, the Seventh Sultan of Golkonda as an ode to his favourite courtesan, Taramati. The baradari with 12 doorways were to allow cross ventilation, considered to be the most ingenious technique at the time. Similar structures like Premavati and Bhagmati can be seen from here.
- Purani Haveli - It was the official residence of the Nizam's parents.
- King Kothi Palace - The last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan lived here.
- Bella Vista Bella Vista, Hyderabad is a royal palace of the Nizams built in 1910. Drawing Room of the Bella Vista Palace, Bella Vista is the Indo-European building standing on a 10-acre (40,000 m2) verdant campus. The building's French architect christened it as Bella Vista, meaning beautiful sight, since it overlooks the Hussain sagar lake. It is located at Saifabad suburb. It was modelled on Henley-on-Thames in England. It now houses the Administrative staff college of India.
- Makkah Masjid - a stone-buiue , which lies immediately southwest of Charminar. This Hyderabad mosque is remarkable for its architecture, size and its royal splendour. It is famous for its symmetry and the gateway bricks that are believed to be from Makkah.
- Charminar - It is not well-known that this is a mosque(masjid). It used to have a fountain on its roof, like Gulzar Houz, nearby.
- Shahi Masjid: Is one of the oldest mosques built by Nizam - I(Nizamul Mulk) which is a part of a public garden.
- Hebron House of Worship - established by the Indian Evangelist Bro. Bakth Singh in Hyderabad, a city famous for its many ancient churches.
- Ananda Buddha Vihara - It is a Buddhist tourist destination. Located at Mahendra Hills, it houses a meditation hall, a museum and rest houses for monks etc.
- Birla Mandir - a Hindu temple made of white marble located on top of a hill overlooking the city.
- Sanghi Temple - A temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara graces a promontory overlooking Sanghi Nagar, near Ramoji Film City.
- Chilkur Balaji Temple - It is located at himayat nagar, west side of the Gandipet. It is a temple of Lord Venketeshwara.
- Jagannath Temple - located near Banjara hills Road no.12 in Hyderabad. It is famous for its annual Rathyatra festival.
- Ratnalayam Temple - located at Aliabad X Road, Shamirpet which is 26 km from Secunderabad Railway Station. The temple has replicas recreated in the form of Tirumala Lord Venkateswara. The temple is fully landscaped with gardens and the Shanku, Namam and Chakram which are very significant to the Lord is structured in the form of a fountain. A fountain depicts the divine scene of Lord Vishnu resting on Adishesha with his wives. The temple facilitates Yagashala, Kalyana Katta, Pravachanam Hall, lawns for resting, a cafeteria, huge parking facility and playpen for children.
- Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy Temple - Located 60 km from Hyderabad is the Hindu Temple of Narasimha Swamy, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The annual brahmotsavam held in March includes Yedurkolu, The Celestial Wedding and Divya Vimana Rathotsavam. The birthday of Lord Narasimha is celebrated on 28 April. Lord Narasimha is also known as Yadagiri, hence the name.
- Wargal Saraswati Temple - Located 52 km from Hyderabad is a temple of Goddess Saraswati, the deity of education in Hinduism.
Museums and planetarium
- Salar Jung Museum - The museum houses the largest one-man collection of antiques in the world. Collections includeThe Veiled Rebecca and other huge collections of artefacts dating back several centuries. Apart from galleries, there is a reference library, reading room, publication and education section, chemical conservation lab, sales counter, cafeteria etc.
- City Museum, Hyderabad - This museum is newly inaugurated. Muffakham Jah, the grandson of the last ruler of Hyderabad State, said that "The history of Hyderabad was always over shadowed as most historians tended to focus on Moghul rule". The museum has brought nearly 4,000 years of history of the city, through archaeological evidence such as the neolithic pots, megalithic sites, European styled terracotta figurines, coins of Satvahana period among others.
- AP State Archaeology Museum - This is an archaeological museum located inside public gardens.
- Surendrapuri - Surendrapuri is a museum located about 60 km from Hyderabad. The museum is also known as Mythological Awareness Centre. As the name indicates, it was established to create an awareness of Indian mythology.
- Birla Science Museum - The science centre reflects the advances made in science and technology. The interior décor matches the architectural exterior of the centre built over 10,000 sq ft (930 m2). The centre is host to a number of divisions such as the Planetarium, the Science Museum, and the centre for Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences.
- Birla Planetarium - The Planetarium is a building with a big dome resembling that of the Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur and some of the earliest government structures in New Delhi. A special attraction are the shows which unveil the mysteries of the cosmos and the origins of the universe, comets, eclipses, unidentified flying objects and the clash of titans. The latest addition is the Dinosaurium, which houses a collection of dinosaur egg fossils. The highlight of the museum is a mounted Kotasaurus yamanpalliensis, the remains of a 160-million-year-old dinosaur.
- KiDiHOU Children's Play Museum - The museum provides a creative platform for young and old alike, in Hyderabad.
- Purani haveli, Hyderabad - located near afzal gunj bridge, is a single-storied building with European architecture. The museum's attractions include the nizam's walk-in wardrobe, hand-operated lift, etc. This was the residence of a peshwa of Quli qutub shah, which was later taken over by the Asaf Jah (the second nizam)
- Chowmahalla palace - Renowned for its architectural beauty and intricately crafted walls, this was a building where the guests of the Asaf Jah dynasty were entertained.
Lakes of Hyderabad
- Hussain Sagar - It is a man-made lake famous for the 19-metre tall statue of Buddha in the middle of the lake. Located on its banks is Tank Bund which consists of gardens and statues of famous personalities. Boating and water sports are a regular feature at the lake.
- Osman Sagar, Gandipet Lake - Osman Sagar was created by a dam constructed in 1920 on the Musi River to provide a drinking water source for Hyderabad, and also for saving the city from floods; the city had witnessed a flood in 1908. It was constructed during the reign of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Osman Ali Khan, hence the name. Its parks, resorts, amusement park are a major attraction. Today, the lake is used for public recreation only.
- Durgam Cheruvu - also called The Secret Lake, it is a peaceful boulevard near the bustling Madhapur.
- Himayat Sagar - It is the twin lake to Osman Sagar, Gandipet Lake.
- Shamirpet Lake - is situated 24 km north of Secunderabad. It attracts bird watchers and weekend picnickers. There is also a deer park belonging to the state government near the lake.
- Rukn ud Daula Lake - The lake is named after Sharukh Khan, Nawab Rukn ud-Daula, the 10th Prime Minister (1765-1775) of The Nizam, Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikander Jah, Asaf Jah III of Hyderabad Deccan.
- Mir Alam Tank - located adjacent to Nehru Zoological Park on the Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway. It provided drinking water to Hyderabad for 125 years before the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar were built. Mir Alam laid the foundation stone for the tank on 20 July 1804 and it was completed on 8 June 1806.
- Saroornagar Lake - From the year of its creation in 1626 AD, the lake remained largely clean until about 1956 when Hyderabad expanded. Spread over 99 acres (40 ha), the lake was restored by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority in 2003-04 at a cost of (US$3.1 million). After the restoration of the lake, migratory birds returned to the lake in large numbers within a few years.
Parks and gardens
- NTR Gardens - This leisure spot is located beside the IMAX theatre. Situated on 36 acres (150,000 m2) adjoining the Hussain Sagar, these gardens provide entertainment and recreation. There are tree-top restaurants and architecture.
- Indira Park - Indira Park is situated in the Lower Tank bund of Hyderabad city. This newly-built park is spread over 76 acres (310,000 m2) of lush green area and it lies alongside the Hussain Sagar.
- Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy Botanical Gardens - These gardens located at Kondapur are spread across a sprawling area of 130 acres (0.53 km2), housing different varieties of herbs, plants, trees etc. with water bodies, meadows and rich grasslands. Night Safari Park is adjacent to the gardens.
- Lumbini Park - is a small public, urban park of 7.5 acres (0.030 km2; 0.0117 sq mi) adjacent to Hussain Sagar lake in the busy Necklace Road area. It is being maintained by Buddha Purnima Project Authority since 2000. The main attractions of this park are the boat rides across the lake to give a closer glimpse of the Buddha statue of Hussain sagar lake and the 1500 seater Laserium, the first of its kind in the state. A major terrorist act took place here on 25 August 2007 in which 44 people were killed.
- Lotus Pond - is a garden built around a pond situated in Jubilee Hills, said to have been designed by an Italian designer. This garden is currently maintained by the Municipal Corporation. It is also home to a few rare species of birds.
- Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park - Located near Vanasthalipuram, previously it was a hunting (shikari) spot for Nizams; it is now a picnic spot. Nischalvan Eco-tourism project is located here.
- Nehru Zoological Park - This zoo is a natural habitat housing a large variety of animals, birds, nocturnal species, aquatic and amphibian species. Located close to the zoo is the Mir Alam Sagar, which is proposed to be converted into an Aquarium similar to that in Sentosa, Singapore. Its unique feature is the 21 in-built masonry dams that are jewel-shaped, which were built in 1804 by Henry Russle, a French engineer in British service.
- Mrugavani National Park - A sanctuary for deer and leopards, it is located en route to Chilkur. The Outer Ring Road is a flyover through this national park.
- KBR National Park - A sanctuary for peacocks and anteaters along with many other species including monkeys and snakes, the sanctuary is the green space of the richest area of the city, Jubilee Hills.
is an arts and crafts exposition at Madhapur
- Ramoji Film City (RFC) - It is the world's largest integrated film studio cum theme park, covering 1666 acres. It is also one of Asia's most popular tourism and recreation centres. Recently, it made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest film studio in the world. Opened in 1996, it is about a 20-minute drive from Hyderabad on Vijayawada Highway.
- Ravindra Bharati - The stage for all performing arts, especially for those enhancing the state and Indian cultures. Shows are held almost every evening throughout the year which include musical and dance performances, drama, award ceremonies and special government events.
- Necklace road - This boulevard lies on the other side of the lake, linking the IMAX theatre and Sanjeevaiah park. This has become the-place-to-be for the Hyderabadis in the evenings. This strip has lush lawns and long rows of flower beds. The latest addition to this strip is the Jalavihar, a mini water world designed to soothe the senses. PV Ghat is also situated here - in memory of the late Shri PV Narasimha Rao.
- Laad Bazaar - Also called Chudi Bazaar is on the west of Charminar, and known for its bangles, jewellery and pearls.
- Hyderabad Pearls - Hyderabad has always been referred to as the "city of pearls" even though it is far away from the sea. Some of the famous pearl shops in Hyderabad are in Charminar, Begumpet and M G Road.
- Shilparamam- located opposite Cyber Towers, HITEC city, it is an arts and crafts village conceived for the preservation of traditional crafts such as sculpting from stone, weaving in cotton, silk and gold thread, Dhaka muslin, Kondapalli toys, Bankura horses, gudda-guddis of Punjab, temple arts and other Indian arts and crafts. Close to this is the Shilpakala vedika, a conference hall built with ethnic decor as well as with all state-of-the-art facilities.
- Keesara - located east of Hyderabad. One can see the ruins of Chalukyan Era on the hill and in the museum located here. It is presently famous for its Shiva temple.
- Rachakonda - Located 30 km from Hyderabad, it was once the capital city of Velama kings who ruled during and after kakatiyas up to the rise of Qutubshahis. An old ruined fort is worth visiting for historical interest and for trekking. It is about 40 km from Golkonda fort.
- Hyderabad is home to many other tourist resorts such as Pragati Green Meadows, Golkonda Spa cum Resort, Lahari Resorts, Alankrita Resorts, Leonia Holistic Resort, Dream Valley and recreation spots such as Treasure Island, Runway 9, Ocean Park, Mount Opera, Dhola-ri-Dhani.
- Sudha Cars Museum
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