Monday, March 2, 2009

Places of Interest in Hyderabad
  • Birla Mandir
Overlooking the Tank Bund, the Birla Mandir presents an arresting sight when illuminated in the evening. This magnificent structure built entirely out of marble from Rajasthan, stands atop the Kala Pahad, the twin hillock of the Naubat Pahad. Built by Birla Foundation over a span of ten years, the main temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara.
  • B.M. Birla Planetarium
Science Museum In the heart of our city lies one of the most modem planetarium in the country. It is being developed into a centre for the study of astronomy. Sky shows are held daily at different timings in different languages. Planetarium closed on last Thursday of the month. 10.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Science Museum closed on last Tuesday of the month. 10.30 a.m. to 8.15p.m.
  • Charminar
Located in the heart of the old city, this magnificent edifice built by Mohd. Quli Qutb Shah, is the unique symbol of Hyderabad. A small mosque is located on the roof of the edifice. All around the Charminar is a bustling bazaar of pearl and jewellery shops, perfume and attar dealers. Close by is the Laad Bazar or the bangle alley with rows of shops selling lacquer and glass bangles.

  • Golconda Fort
Founded originally by the Kakatiyas in the 13th century, the existing structure was expanded by the Qutb Shahi kings into a massive fort of granite with walls and ramparts extending some 7 kms in circumference. The fortress city within the walls was famous for the diamond trade. The Koh-i-noor diamond, the Hope Diamond and the Orloff Diamond of Catherine the Great are said to have come from here. Through an amazing feat of acoustics, a hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the Bala Hissar, the highest point almost a kilometre away. A sound and light show in the evenings is an added attraction. High Court is a beautiful Mughal-style building laid out along the Musi River near Afzal Gunj Bridge. Built in 1916 of local pink granite with red sandstone carved panels and columns at an estimated cost of 2 million rupees, it is perhaps the most striking work of the British architect Vincent Esch.

  • Laad Bazar
Lies to the west of Charminar and has a very special Hyderabadi ambience. Along the narrow lane, the Burkha clad women, the glistening bangle shops, the old buildings with wooden jharokas make walking along this alley a worthwhile experience. South east of La ad Bazar lie the palaces built by different Nizams including the Chowmahalla Palace.
  • Mecca Masjid
The few bricks from Mecca which are embedded in the walls of this impressive mosque, gives it its name. Originally started by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, it was completed by the conqueror Aurangazeb. The largest mosque in the twin cities, second largest in India and seventh largest in the world, it can accommodate upto 10,000 worshippers. Its enormous colonnades are carved from single slabs of granite. Close to the mosque are tombs of the Nizams of the Asaf Jahi dynasty.

  • Ramoji Film City
The 2000-acre Ramoji Film City, established by the Ramoji Group amid the alluring grandeur of Nature, is the world's largest integrated film studio complex and one of Asia's most popular tourism and recreation centres. For the discerning filmmaker, RFC offers comprehensive and international-standard pre-production, production and post-production resources.
For conducted tours to the sprawling complex call 91-8415-246555 / 246333 .

  • Osmania University
Dominating the well laid out campus is the imposing Arts College building showing a blend of Ellora paintings on the first floor and Sarcenic-Moorish arches on the second floor. The huge gateway has been designed on the patterns of buildings in Damascus. Various colleges are situated on the campus along with a picturesque landscaped garden and an auditorium.

  • Paigah Tombs
Situated at Santosh nagar, these tombs belong to the Paigah nobles (tied by blood and marriage to the Nizams) and are about 200 years old. These unique lime and mortar tombs are beautifully carved and have marble inlay work on them.
  • Qutb Shahi Tombs
About a kilometer from the Golconda fort are the tombs of the Qutb Shahi rulers. The tombs are domed structures built on a square base surrounded by pointed arches. The galleries of the smaller tombs are of a single storey while the larger ones are usually two-storied. In the centre of each tomb is a sacrophagus which overlies the actual burial vault in a crypt below. The domes were originally overlaid with blue and green tiles of which now only a few pieces remain. 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Closed on Fridays.

  • Raymond's Tomb
Michel Raymond, a French mercenary, was a military commander in the service of the Ilnd Nizam and also his close friend. His tomb lies in Saroornagar off the Vijaywada Road about 3 kms from the Oliphant Bridge, in east Hyderabad. A commemorative Urs fair is held every year at his tomb which is 7 metres high, made of black granite bearing the initials JR. Rocks Nature lovers will enjoy the ancient Rock Formations around Hyderabad-a landscape of stony ridges and hillocks, shaped into picturesque balancing forms. Geologists date these granite rocks of the Deccan 2,500 million years back! Certain formations have been put under protection. Take a look at Durgam Cheruvu, a lake surrounded by sheer rocks, right behind the suburb of Jubilee Hills. Contact the Society to Save Rocks (Tel.3552923) for their monthly rock walks and other details.
  • Salarjung Museum
A collection of art objects by Nawab Salar Jung III, this museum houses magnificent exhibits of European and Indian paintings and statuary. Of special interest is the Jade Room containing priceless objects which belonged to ancient Indian rulers like Aurangazeb, Tipu Sultan, ShahJaban and the Asaf Jabs of Hyderabad. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Fridays

  • Shilparamam
Shilparamam is a crafts village set up at Madhapur beyond Jubilee Hills. It is spread over 30 acres and has annual bazaars where artists and artisans from allover the country participate. For programme details contact 3000688

  • Tank Bund
Hyderabad's most popular promenade, the Tank Bund dams the Hussain Sagar lake. It is lined with 33 statues of famous personalities of the state. Every Sunday cultural programmes are conducted in the evenings and admission is free for the public. Recently installed is the monolith of Buddha at the centre of the lake. This lake is the venue of many a water sporting event.

  • ZOO park
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