Hyderabad is a charming metropolitan city and also the state capital of twin states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This ‘City of Pearls’ rightly offers an intriguing panorama of the regal past and modern times. It is famous for its grand palaces built by Nizams, its delectable ‘Hyderabadi’ cuisine, beautiful temples, majestic mosques, and other historical spots, as well as, awe-inspiring modern-day structures.
Following is our-list of top 7 must-see places in Hyderabad that you should add to your travel itinerary and definitely visit. Of course, you can visit them in any order you want!
1. Golconda Fort
This is a one-of-its-kind, mud and boulder-built medieval fortress that still houses remnants of royal palaces, granaries, armories, mosques, and audience halls. The word ‘Golconda’ means Shepherd’s Hill and this magnificent fort ruins sits atop a 400ft hill that you can easily navigate. Some of the most striking features of this place are its innovative water-supply system, embedded signaling device, and the legendary cannon. ‘Fatehh Rahben’. If you happen to visit this famous tourist spot in the evening, then don’t forget to enjoy the Sound & Light show and to become enthralled by the grandeur of this world-famous Indian fort!
2. Char Minar
Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah built this picturesque landmark of Hyderabad, around 1591 A.D. According to the historians, this imposing structure served as a founding memorial as well as a good-luck charm for warding off a deadly plague at that time. With its four 50ft-high minarets and a sprawling mosque, Char Minar is a visual treat for anyone who ventures in to the central part of Hyderabad’s old city. If you are a tourist and a shopper rolled into one, then do visit the nearby Laad Bazaar to buy some pretty mementos!
3. Salar Jung Museum
Considered as one of the country’s premier museums and spread over three buildings, it boasts of mind boggling 38 galleries. You will always find this place packed with both foreign and Indian tourists and students. The Salar Jung Museum houses many artifacts of historical significance and related to human evolution, dating from 2nd century BC to early 20th century AD. This illustrious tourist hotspot is situated in the prime location of old Hyderabad region, near Mecca Masjid, Char Minar, and State Central Library.
4. Nehru Zoological Park
It’s truly unique zoological park that proudly accommodates about 1500 specimens of reptiles, birds, and animals and has a one-of-its-kind butterfly park that will leave you spellbound. This premier zoo runs many ecological programs and research facilities and covers about 380 acres of land. It offers variety of recreational facilities to the visitors and families with kids, such as boating, jungle safari, children’s park, toy train, and house-sized aquariums. You can also rent a bicycle to roam around for a nominal charge. The major attraction for all visiting kids is its Jurassic Park where the stunning life-size models of the dinosaurs and other wildlife of that era might scare and amaze an adult too!
5. Hussain Sagar Lake
Situated between the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, this enormous manmade lake draws hordes of tourists and locals, all year round. However, the best time to enjoy its scenic beauty is around dusk when the surrounding air becomes cooler and more pure. You can also go for a boat ride and enjoy water sports by paying a small amount as fee. Other major attraction of this place is the gigantic statue of Lord Buddha, right in the middle of the lake. What’s more! You can spend your leisure time in the Lumbini Park, an adjoining amusement park.
6. Birla Mandir
This is a modern-era temple located on the top of Kala Pahad, meaning ‘Black Mountain’ and is at the south end of well-renowned Hussain Sagar Lake. This beautiful temple’s walls are made of marble stones and carved with intricate drawings of figures and scenes from Indian mythology, especially Ramayana and Mahabharata. Its architecture is a surprising mix of both Odisha and South Indian architectural styles. It houses an 11-feet tall striking replica of Tirupati Venkateswara, an enchanting statue of Buddha and beautiful statues of other deities.
7. Ramoji Film City
It is, unarguably the largest film city-cum holiday destination in the world and sprawls over a whopping 2000 acres of land. It offers different categories of entertainment suited for all ages and types of visitors. It has a large performance arena named Eureka, where you can enjoy live shows akin to that of royal forts. For families with kids, there is a wonderful bird park and a bustling children’s park. If you are a foodie, then you should visit the multi-cuisine restaurants to try out various delicacies. For shopaholics like us, there are numerous shopping centers to lighten our purses. For the eager movie-buffs, there is a guided tour of all film-studios in this integrated film city. Who knows, you might catch a glimpse of the celebrity actors giving a shot there!
There other great tourist-sites such as Qutub Shahi Tombs and Shri Jagannath temple where the latter is an awesome replica of the original temple in Puri, Odisha. You can also walk through the Natural History and Art galleries of ‘Birla Science Museum’ and revel in the artifacts on display there. It houses a planetarium, Dinosaurium, and Science Projects wing and these are a huge draw, all year round. During summer, you should visit ‘Snow World’, an indoor artificial snow-filled arena and a great place to chill-out with your family and friends!