Hyderabad is the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a very popular city for tourism. Over 400 years old, this city has some of the best maintained tourist attractions in the south. From old forts and monuments to newer museums, this city has it all. Some of the attractions would require a visitor to spend an entire day at them, if one is really interested. Let us look at the top 10 most popular tourist attractions in Hyderabad. Those who live in India must have visited these places but those who are coming from outside India will find these places interesting. These places are very much popular among Indian tourists.
10. The Charminar
Built in 1591by Qutb Shah, this is the monument most people associate with Hyderabad. Charminar translates to the combination of two Urdu words. The word char means “four”, and the word “minar” means a tower or a minaret. This monument has four minarets supported on four arches. The four minarets are also connected by a gallery at an upper level. Though the structure is built in the Indo Islamic style, it has Persian influences. The ornamentation on the walls and minarets is very detailed and makes this monument attractive.
9. Golkonda Fort
This 13th century fort was earlier a minor fort which belonged to the Rashtrakuta dynasty. It is built around a hillock. It eventually was ruled by the Qutb Shahi dynasty who developed it an expanded the fortifications. Golconda was not just a fort but had an entire city behind its fortified walls. One of the interesting features of this fort is the communications system set up by the builders. They set up a signaling system using hand claps from the main gate which could be heard right on top of the hillock.
8. Salar Jung Museum
This museum is located on the banks of the river Musi. It has one of the largest collections of artifacts and antiques, ever collected by a single man, in the world. It has a total of 38 galleries. Each gallery hosts a collection on a different subject, or has artifacts from a different region of the world. One of the main attractions is a clock by Cook and Kelvey of England.
7. Hussain Sagar Lake
The Hussain Sagar Lake is a man-made lake situated in Hyderabad. It was built by the Qutb Shahi dynasty. The wall that dams the lake is locally known as the Tank Bund. This wall has a motorable road over it. This road was once considered to be the connecting road between the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Several parks have been developed on the periphery of this lake. There is an 18 m tall Buddha stature in the middle of the lake.
6. Birla Mandir
This temple funded by the Birla family of industrialists is situated on a hillock in the middle of the city. It is constructed in white marble and gives you a grand view of the city. It looks especially beautiful at night. It is well lit in the night. Because it is situated on top of an almost invisible hill, at night, it appears to float in the sky.
5. State Archaeological Museum
This is the oldest museum in Hyderabad. It was started in 1930. It was started in a palace the Nizam had built originally as a gift for one of his daughters. The largest gallery this museum has is the Buddhist gallery. Buddhist artifacts dating back to the first century A.D. are kept here. The main attraction in this museum is the Egyptian mummy. It is one of the six mummies currently in India.
4. Ramoji Film City
Spread over 3000 acres, this is the largest film studios in India. It has different sets for film shootings such as a railway station, an airport and residential neighborhoods. It also has theme based sets such as streets of the old American west, the Mauryan Empire and streets from the Mughal Empire. One can tour the place using their tour buses that shuttle visitors between attractions.
3. Lumbini Park
This park is situated on the side of the Hussain Sagar Lake. It has several attractions. A lot of play areas for kids are available with standard playground equipment such as swings and slides that are available for free. Additionally you also have paid for activities and rides. This park has a musical fountain which is the main attraction. It also hosts a laser show in the evening. Additionally boating is available on the Hussain Sagar from this park.
2. Falaknuma Palace
Situated on a hillock this palace is built in the Italian and Tudor styles of architecture. Originally built by the Paigahs, who were noblemen to the Nizams, it was later presented to the Nizams. This palace was famous for the dining hall with a table that could seat a hundred guests at a time.
1. Chowmahalla Palace
This palace was the official palace of the Nizams, the erstwhile rulers of Hyderabad. It is built in a blend of Persian and European styles of architecture. With three palaces and a collection of cars, it is a must see.
The best time to visit this city is from June to February. Summer in Hyderabad is usually very harsh. It is not recommended for tourists to visit Hyderabad during summer. Summer usually begins around March with April and May being the hottest. Temperatures peak in May and can shoot up to as much as 45 degrees Celsius. The onset of the monsoon in June usually brings down the temperatures.