12 Feb 2013

Hyderabad : Off the beaten path

Hyderabad is an attractive city and draws many people not only by virtue of being the city of Nizams historically, not only because of the food and neither only for its excellent city planning. Sure, Hyderabad was home to Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, who was the richest man in the world during the early 1900s. And when in Hyderabad, the recommended tourist spots will likely be:
The Beautiful Hussain Sagar Lake (Photo Courtesy: WikiPedia)
1. Charminar and Chudi bazaar 
2. Mecca Masjid  
3. Golconda fort
4. Salar Jung museum
5. Nizam's palace
6. Hussain sagar lake

But besides these well known Hyderabad sights to see, what are those that are a little different and yet defining of Hyderabad? Experience Hyderabad by taking the road less travelled, and have a whale of a time. Make sure you visit these sights:
Bhongir Fort, Hyderabad  (Photo Courtesy: populartemplesofindia.blogspot.in)
- Bhongir fort: Also known as Bhuvanagiri fort, is about 50 kilometres from Hyderabad city. The fort is located atop Bhongir hill and one can see some breathtaking views of the city from the hilltop and the hill also has a Hanuman temple on it. The fort is known for its association with Queen Rudramadevi's rule and her grandson. It is believed that an underground tunnel connected this fort to Golconda fort.
Qutb Shahi Tombs Hyderabad (Photo Courtesy: incredibleap.com)
- Qutb Shahi tombs: Not far from Golconda fort are the seven tombs of the kings of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. The place is peaceful and one can spend a few hours looking through all the tombs and marvelling at the architecture.
Birla Mandir  in Hyderabad (Photo Courtesy: aztux.com)
- Birla Mandir: Constructed by the Birla foundation, this temple is built in white Rajasthani marble. While the chief deity of the temple is Lord Venkateshwara, other Hindu deities are also represented here.

- Chowmahalla palace: A palace that once belonged to the Nizams of Hyderabad, its construction began in 1750 and was completed sometime between 1857 and 1869, making the construction time over a hundred years. Visitors can also take a tour of the museum and other surrounding rooms to experience a bit of the Nizam culture and history. It is a beautiful place to see, particularly at night when it is beautifully lit, bringing to life the intricate chandeliers. 
The Famous Paradise Hotel in Secundrabad (Photo Courtesy: virtualtourist)
It goes without saying that one must try the food in Hyderabad, particularly the non vegetarian food. Make sure to visit Paradise restaurant in Secunderabad for Hyderabad's best biryani! Make your way to this city around Ramzaan and try the haleem that's available at Pista house. Visit Famous Ice Cream for something to cool you down. 

With so much to do in this city, the next step is hop on a Hyderabad flight, enjoy one of the best international airports in the country - the Rajiv Gandhi international airport, and have a great time!