Sight Seeing in Hyderabad
Situated in the heart of the old walled city, this edifice is the best known land mark with bustling bazaars all round, where a variety of articles like pearls, jewellery, bangles, chandeliers, silks are displayed. It was built in 1591 A.D. by Quli Shah, as a form of talisman to ward off the dreaded epidemic that was ravaging the city. As the name suggests, Charminar has four minarets rising 49 metres high, typical of Qutb Shahi architecture.
It is the largest mosque situated close to Charminar. It was begun by Qutb Shah in 1614 A.D., but was completed only in1687 A.D. by the Moghul Emperor - Aurangazeb. Granite has been used in the construction of colonnades and door arches.
Eleven kilometers from the city, this fort was originally built by the Kakatiya rulers of Warangal in the 13th century. It became the capital of Qutb Shahi rulers from 1518 A.D. to 1687 A.D. They laid out splendid monuments and parks and designed wonderful accoustical systems. Such is the ingenuity of the system that a clapping of the hand sounded at the entrance gate is echoed in the Durbar hall of the citadel at the very top of the hill. The tombs of Qutb Shahi kings are nearby.
Golconda was once famous for its flourishing trade in diamonds, which has now become a legend of the past. Today tourists visit this palace only to see the ruins.
The Salar Jung Museum
This treasure house of art is located on the bank of the river Musa. Acclaimed as one of the finest one-man collections in the world, this museum is named after Mir Yusuf Ali Khan- Salar Jung III- the prime minister of the Nizam, who was a great connoisseur of art. It houses 35,000 exhibits collected from all corners of the world including illuminated manuscripts, bejewelled armories, wood carvings, exquisite cut glass collections etc. Of the many artifacts, some of the sculptures in marble like the "Veiled Rebecca", "Mestophiles" and the "Lady with the lamp" are some irresistible pieces of art with classic workmanship. The oil paintings acquired from France, an array of vases and pewters, numerous watches and clocks, rich Persian silks and wall hangings, floor coverings, and Chinese tapestry are some of the prize exhibits.
Visiting hours 10.00 A.M. - 5.00 P.M. Fridays Holidays.
Government Archaeological Museum
This Government museum has a small collection of archaeological finds which include ancient coins, arms, illuminated manuscripts, an Egyptian mummy and copies of Ajanta frescoes. This museum is open on all days except Mondays from 10.30 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.
Popularly called Birla Mandir this temple built of pure white marble atop a hill and dedicated to Lord Balaji is a very popular tourist attraction. One can get an excellent view of the twin cities and the lake joining them.
Open from 8.00 A.M. - 12 Noon and 4.00 P.M. to 8.00 P.M.
Nehru zoological Park
Located near the Mir Alam Tank, it is one of the largest parks in India. Spread over 120 hectares of landscaped garden, it houses about 250 species of animals.
Open from 9.00 A.M. - 6.00 P.M. Weekly holiday - Monday.
The Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar
These are ideal picnic spots with well laid out gardens. Osman Sagar is 29 kms and Himayat Sagar is 20 kms from Hyderabad.
Nagarjuna Konda and Nagarjuna Sagar
Nagarjuna Konda which is 149 kms south east of Hyderabad, has a history dating back as early as the 2nd century B.C. to 3rd century A.D. It is named after Sage Nagarjuna Acharya - an exponent of the Mahayana form of Buddhism. Known as "Vijayapuri" in the early days, it was one of the important Buddhist centres of South India. Today only the ruins of the lost city lie in the shadow of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. Some outstanding remains of Stupas, marble carvings, sculptures are excavated and preserved in a museum in the nearby island which can be reached by a boat. The site on which Nagarjuna Konda stands was excavated in 1926. Also worth visiting are the sites Ashwamedha Yaga, Queen's bathing ghat and the Buddhist monasteries.
Is an artificial lake created by a dam across the river Krishna. This dam is one of the largest masonry dams in the world at a height of 124 metres. The lake has an area of 380 sq. metres.
One hundred kilometers from Hyderabad is the historical city of Warangal, which was once the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty. The Kakatiyas were the Hindu kings who were patrons of art and architecture. Warangal is described as the "Metropolis of the Kakatiya Dynasty", and the temples built during their reign are fine examples of the Chalukyan style of architecture. The best known among them is the 1000 pillared temple on the slopes of the Hanumakonda hill and the Bhadrakali temple.
Another important monument in Warangal is the fort built by the the Kakatiyas. It has four decorative gateways of remarkable beauty. The outer walls are built of mud bricks, and the inside is fortified by stone walls in which many carved stones are found. These carved stoned are believed to have been taken out of the destroyed Chalukyan temples.
Warangal is also well known for its engraved brass ware which is in great demand abroad.
Excursions from Warangal
The Ramappa Temple: This temple situated at Palampet 77 kms from Warangal is a splendid fusion of the Chalukyan and Hoysala architectures.
Wildlife Sanctuary at Pakhala: 64 kms from Warangal. Buses are available from Warangal to these places.
230 kms from Hyderabad is the famous pilgrimage centre of Srisailam dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity Lord Mallikarjuna is believed to be one of the 12 jyotirlingas of the country. Goddess Bhramaramba is one of the Ashtadasa Mahasakthis. The main temple with four lofty towers built by the Vijayanagar king Harihara Raya (1404-1405 A.D.) has a beautifully carved mandapa and a huge monolithic bull (Nandi).
Also, at Srisailam is the Sikharan peak at an altitude of 2835 ft. Srisailam is in Kurnool district.
To the south of Hyderabad, 240 kms away, is the town of Kurnool. It has the ruins and remnants of old Muslim fortresses, mausoleums and mosques.
About 148 kms from Nagarjuna Sagar is Amaravathi the old capital of the Andhra Sathavahana kings who ruled 2000 years ago. It was another Buddhist centre of ancient times which flourished between the 3rd century A.D. This place is well known for its marble stupa which is exquisitely carved with lamps decorated all round.
Most of the other stupas were largely destroyed at the end of the 18th century by vagrants and whatever remained has been housed in the archaeological museum. Admission to this museum is free and is open from 9.00 A.M. - 5.30 P.M.