City of Pearls!!
Recently had a chance of visiting Hyderabad, the beautiful capital city of Andhra. With the ancient yet enchanting monuments like the Charminar and Golkonda fort, the famous Ramoji film city and afcourse the mouth watering biryani, Hyderabad is a real treat. But my favorite place would be the eat street on the banks of the Hussain Sagar lake .. :D. Not so much for the eating options which are sadly just routine stuff you get anywhere else, but for the amazing view of the lake, the Buddha statue in the center and the city.
We started our trip with a visit to the Birla temple. Very nicely maintained and is slightly atop a small hill. Gives an amazing view of the city and lake. But the best part is the planetarium. Simply loved it!! Had been there earlier too, as a kid. But even now i'd like to visit it and enjoy the star gazing experience.
Charminar - the symbol of hyderabad is situated in midst of the super busy lad bazar area. The streets are lined with small shops mostly related to clothing and jewellery item. But unless you are with a local or have an extremely good eye for pearls and are a great bargainer only then venture to shop out here. The monument of Charminar is indeed overwhelming. The minarets and the intricate work on them is just amazing. Loved the old fountain at it's base.
Another must see in Hyderabad is the Salarjung museum. It houses loads of historic artifacts from the nizam-british period. It also houses some famous paintings and statues. One worth mentioning is the statue of Rebecca - a lady with a veil on her head.The folds of the veil are so beautifully made that you actually feel there is a delicate cloth on the statue. Don't remember the sculptor though .. :(
Another place worth mentioning is the Shadab house - a famous biryani place near Salarjung museum. Famous among the locals, its usually crowded and you need to wait to get a table. But the wait is totally worth it. One chicken biryani is so huge, both of us were not able to finish it. Aah!! ... how i wish i could have some now!!
I've always loved visiting forts and Golkonda does not dissapoint you. Although in ruins, it still has traces of the grandeur it once held. There are gardens, ruined palaces, prayer places and a lot more. The acoustics of the fort amaze us to this day. Clap under the entrance dome and it will be heard inside the fort, almost a km away from the entrance. There are certain rooms in the palace where even a whisper is magnified and certain rooms where even shouts cannot be heard outside.
Our final visit was to the Ramoji film city. It has loads of the typical movie sets like palatial houses, busy streets and railway station. It also has replicas of famous places like the Hawa mahal of Jaipur. It has a Texan street, a London street, a scary cave as well. Loads of landscaped gardens and pretty lanes to walk around makes you feel like you are in different world.
For shopping stick to the state government approved Leepakshi stores. Best options to buy are afcourse the pearls and a variety of south cotton cloths.