Monday, November 14, 2005

Aadaab Hyderabad!

During the month of August we planned a 2 day holiday as a way to combat mid- year boredom.Since travelling always leaves one knowledgeable and people-wise, I was more than geared up for it when we decided the destination as Hyderabad, also known as "The Pearl City" and "Cybercity", thanks to the city's foray into the IT domain.Little did I know then, that the pearl city would open up pearls of information in terms of it's culture, people, places, food and hospitality.

After getting off at the travel agency's office in Hyderabad, a friendly looking man, around 40 yrs of age helped us into his auto and off we went to the lodge we had booked. Enroute, laid on one side is the vast strech of water bearing the name Hussain Sagar, a lake constructed in 1562 AD.It has bejeweled the heart of twin cities, Hyderabad and Secunderabad with the Necklace Road.Boating and water sports are a regular feature here.Emerging right in the middle of the lake is the magnificent 18 metre tall, 350 tonne monolithic statue of Buddha on the rock of Gibraltar.The other side of the road is equally eye-catchy with about 33 statues of Andhra Pradesh's famous personalities.

Once at the 3 star lodge, we unloaded our luggage and were on our heels to go city-trotting.The Qualis we had hired for a day was spacious enough for us to strech our limbs and I struck a conversation with the driver.He enlightened me with tips on the best places to visit and take-home gifts from this culturally strong city."Khana bole to aap zaroor biriyani khayiye madam.Aur yaha ki nahari( a special Hyderabadi soup made of paws of lamb) saare tourist logon ko acchi lagti hai.Yaha hum sab naan aur nahari se kaam chalalete hain" was his advice on food.

Our first stop was at Salarjung Museum, a unique art collection of a single connoisseur of art, Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, better known as Salarjung III.The artefacts that adorn the eyes in this fantabulous, visually appeasing 5km wide museum are, Persian carpets,a beautiful collection of jade, daggers belonging to Nur Jahan,the veiled Rebecca,Aurangzeb's sword,amazing silver,bidri and brocade work and many more.It is a real museum in every sense of the word,the collection adorned with both beauty and historic appeal.

Understandably,the local taxi-wallahs have an updated knowledge of the tourist spots and ours took us to Char Minar next.This edifice was built by Quli Qutub Shah and marks the city's 400 yr old history.It stands a proud 180 ft in height and is supported by four minarets. Inside this are around 45 prayerspaces and a mosque.A popular place for visitors, it also provides a wonderful back-drop for photographs.Here we shopped for the elegant and famous Hyderabadi bangles and dupattas which,when bargained are available at a reasonable price.By now, hunger had raised it's torturing head and we headed to a local restaurant.One piece of advice about the cuisine:If you are not used to hot and spicy food,play safe and opt for the less-hot dishes.For Hyderabad rules the roost for spicy food.And for unsuspecting victims like me,who ordered for meals,everything from sambhar to rasam with the exclusion of curds made my eyes water and I had to gulp down large quantities of water!

Post lunch we headed towards the Golconda Fort.It spreads 3 km wide and now stands deserted as the reminder of a bygone era.This fort is the proud producer of the world-famous and much sought after Kohinoor diamond,which now decorates the Queen of England's crown.It is protected all around by eight gates.Originally belonging to Kakatiyas,it's legendary reign includes the likes of the Bahamanis and the Qutb Shahis.The most fascinating aspect of this edifice is it's acoustic effects, whereby clapping of hands at the entry gate can be heard on top of the fort, roughly around 61mts high.
That was the end of Day 1.

A trip to this city is never complete without visiting the IT boosting section of Hyderabad! A well planned city in itself,with intelligent infrastructure and such wide roads that aid good transportation, no wonder the city has earned the distinction of being one of the IT giants.
Madhapur opened up yet another facet of Hyderabad in the form of HITEX (Hyderabad International Trade Expositions Limited). It spreads over a sprawling 100-acre land and houses 3 indoor exhibition halls,a trade fair office building and an exclusive building for conferences, among other facilities.

The remaining part of the day was invested in shopping,which is a wise investment considering the fact that it is the 'Pearl City'.Pearls are to be purchased only at authorised shops that ensure it's authenticity.We shopped at Abids,Patthergatti,Koti and other adjoining places for pearls,jade,hyderabadi chappals,bags and other accessories that adds a dash of the Nizam style elegance to the regular metro-look!

The evening was meant for relaxing in the lodge and enjoying conversations with the family, sipping the famous Hyderabadi chai (the Irani chai), relishing pastries and packing up.That was the end of the 2 day trip to Hyderabad.Though there were many other places we could not visit, as they say, 'There is always a next time'.

Photo courtesy:


At 2:56 AM, Blogger preethi said...

It is visible from ur post that u must have enjoyed yourself ta hyderabad!!!

It is very interesting to know about hyderabad from a "travel freak's " view!!!

with its facts and details this one is a sure 'pearl' among ur blogs!!!

good job come with many many more!!

At 3:07 AM, Blogger VineethaAthrey said...

Thanks Priti! I'm going to travel a lot more and will come up with many more such articles...u know, hope floats!!!

At 10:45 PM, Blogger avagdro said...

Thanks for sharing VineethaAthrey .It's a great city indeed.Wish you n all Hyderabadians a joyful Christmas n New Year eve ahead.

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