A melting pot of Muslim and Hindu cultures, the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh comprises the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Hyderabad owes its existence to a water shortage. The banks of the Musi River proved to be a preferable location for Mohammed Quli of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty, who founded Hyderabad in 1591. Meanwhile, separated from Hyderabad by the Hussain Sagar Lake is Secunderabad, the modern administrative city founded by the British.
Known for its rich history, culture and architecture representing its unique characteristic of a meeting point for North and South India, it is however Hyderabad, that visitors are drawn to. A cosmopolitan city steeped in Islamic, Hindu, Christian, Jain and Zoroastian belief and tradition; in turn the city’s architecture reflects this.
Sights of interest in the old city include the main landmark – the Charminar, or four towers built in 1591, which is surrounded by bustling bazaars housing Hyderabad’s pearl traders. Hyderabad is the centre of India’s pearl trade. Beyond here is the 16th century Mecca Masjid, the 6th largest mosque in India (the interior of which is closed to non-Muslims). The unmissable Salar Jung Museum houses a stunning array of items from the collection of a Salar Jung.
Views from the Birla Venkateshwara Temple built in 1976 are excellent, whilst the Golconda Fort and the tombs of the Qutb Shahi kings just west of Hyderabad are well preserved.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...