The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad have a past that sounds like a fairy tale, a history that reads like a love story and a present that truly inspires. The city was previously known for its pearls, Charminar, Salarjung Museum, haleem and of course Biryani. Not only tourist delight but twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are also known as a premier business destination.
The city has something to suit every taste and budget. There are some grand historical and architectural wonders, the world’s largest one-man collection, a Guinness Book of World record holder car museum, one of the largest Asia mosque, the world largest monolithic Buddha statue, beautiful temples, lakes, grand palaces, colorful bazaars, some of India’s largest malls, nature parks, theme parks and forest reserve.
Some general tips before you set out on exploring Hyderabad: wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as it can get very hot; and carry an umbrella, some sun screen lotion, water and lots of batteries for your camera. The best way to travel as a tourist in Hyderabad is to hire a car or a taxi for the duration of your stay.
Being a historical city, there is a lot that you can see; you can get an overview of Hyderabad by taking an AP Tourism guided tour for half a day or the full day. The tickets cost approx Rs 150 per person and can be bought from the Yaatri Nivas in Secunderabad or the AP Tourism office on Tank Bund. The absolute not to be missed area is the “old city” area of Hyderabad. The entire area is a heritage site. You must start with the Legislative Assembly and the Public Gardens, enjoy some ice cream at famous ice-cream parlour at the historic Mozamjahi Market, and then plunge into the heart of Hyderabad city.
Take a drive by historic buildings like the Osmania General hospital or the High Court and then spend a marvelous day at the Salarjung Museum, the world’s largest one man collection, pains takingly collected by Mir Yusuf Ali Khan the PM of the Nizam of Hyderabad. This museum is a delight for adults and children alike with rare and beautiful exhibits of books, toys, armory, paintings, clothes, china, weaponry, clocks and such. The museum is open every day except Friday and public holidays.
A visit to the old city is not complete without a visit to the Charminar. Legend has it that Quli Qutub Shah prayed for the end of a plague and vowed that he would build a mosque to honor God. The mosque became popularly known as the Charminar because of its four minarets, which possibly honor the four caliphs of Islam. There are 45 prayer niches and a mosque that occupies the upper floor of the four-storied structure. Next to Charminar are the Mecca Masjid and the Nizam Hospital. The Mecca Masjid is one of the largest mosques in Asia and can accommodate up to 11,000 worshippers.
There are plenty of other attractions of this twin cities like Golconda Fort, Chow Mahalla Palace, Ibrahim Bagh, local bazaar and many other.