tourist information

Hyderabad, a city with a deep-rooted past lies on the banks of river Moosi. It's language and mannerisms still exude it's rich and legendary past. The Nizam's of Hyderabad were known to be one of the wealthiest royal's of the past. The elegant buildings, marbled temples and monuments stand testimony to it. This 400 year old city was named after Hyder Mahal wife of the ruler Quli Qutab Shah. Today Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh and is a cosmopolitan city on the fast track.

Area : 260 Sq. Km
Population : Approx 7 million (1991 Census : 3,145,939)
Growth Rate : 9.5%
Land Use : Urban 93% [including industrial]; Agriculture 1.7%; Water Spread 5.3%
Altitude : 536 metres above sea level
Languages : Urdu, Telgu, Hindi, English
Industries : Cotton and silk textiles, cigarettes, paper, pottery, glassware and more recently information technology and call centres.
Character : The area exhibits undulating topography with number of tanks and hill ranges. The elevation ranging between 500 to 600m. While Banjara, Jubilee, Golconda, Nawabat Pahad, Tirumalagiri and Moula Ali are prominent hill ranges, Hussain Sagar and Mir Alam are prominent tanks located within the city. Hussain Sagar located in the heart of the city bifurcates it into Secunderabad and Hyderabad. The Musi river passing through the middle of Hyderabad city flows in an easterly direction.
Weather : Summer temperatures range from a mean maximum of 40 deg centigrade to a mean minimum of 30 deg centigrade. Winter temperatures range from 22 deg centigrade. to 14 deg centrigrade. The monsoon season normally occurs from June to December. Registers rainfall of about 89 cms.


Visas : Six month multiple-entry visas are now issued to most nationals regardless of whether you intend staying that long or re-entering the country. Only six-month tourist visas are extendable. Be careful to check whether your visa is valid from the date of entry or the date of issue. [Check with your local Indian embassy before travelling]

Health Risks : Cholera, dengue fever, dysentery, hepatitis, malaria, meningitis (trekking areas only) and typhoid. Many of India's larger cities are highly polluted and travellers with respiratory ailments may wish to take precautionary measures.

: GMT + 5 hours 30 minutes

: 230-240V, 50 HZ

Weights & Measures : Metric

Currency : You are not allowed to bring Indian currency into the country, or take it with you when you leave.

Changing Money : You can change most major foreign currencies and brands of travellers' cheques - but you'll widen your options and save yourself hassles if you stick to US dollars or pounds Sterling and either Thomas Cook or American Express travellers cheques.

: Available at most major banks.

Credit Cards : Credit cards are widely accepted, particularly American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa.

Travel Insurance
: Highly Recommended. UK based travellers should try for one of the most competitive online travel insurance deals

Dialing Code : +91 40

By Air : Local/International Airport : Begampet Airport [map]

By Rail :The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderbad are connected to all the major cities of India.

By Road : Hyderabad lies on National Highway No. 7 and 9, hence is connected by the rest of the country

Charminar : Charminar is the symbol of Hyderabad and was built by the ruler Quli Qutab Shah in honor of his Hindu wife. The monument is surrounded by a very busy market place and falls in what is known as the old city.

Mecca Masjid : Lies next to Charminar. The entrance arches are made of single slabs of granite.

Golconda Fort : This fort, originally built by the Kakatiyas, the rulers of the neighboring state, was made with mud. Later, the Shahis converted it into a marvelous piece of architecture using advanced acoustics wherein sound signals could pass from the entrance of the fort to the top without the use of any electric gadgets. There is a sound and light show in the evening which is quiet popular.

Naubat Pahad : These are two hillocks from where announcements were made during the olden days. Nowadays there is a hanging garden.

Nehru Zoological Park : This is a 300 acre park filled with various species of birds and animals.

Tank Bund : This is a dam on the Hussain Sagar lake and is famous for the 33 statues of statesmen and a huge monolithic statue of Buddha.

Hussain Sagar : Hyderabad spreads around this lake which is the largest lake in the city. It is surrounded by well maintained parks.

Nagarjuna Sagar : This is the world's largest masonry dam and lies on the river Krishna. There is a museum which houses ancient Buddhist sculptures, carvings, and terracotta. 149 km from Hyderabad.

Kolanupuka : It is a 2000 year old Jain temple with a 1.5 m tall jade statue of Mahavira. It is 80 km from Hyderabad.

Tirupathi : A town housing several temples. The black idol of Balaji which stands 2m high and decked in gold can be found here. It is one of the richest temples in India. 740 km from Hyderabad.

Kondapur : Excavations here date back to 3000 B.C. Copper, lead and silver coins of Roman, Satachana era and Buddhist period were excavated from here. 90 km from Hyderabad.

Osmansagar : An artificial lake off the river Moosi. Complemented by well kept gardens and swimming pools.

Paigah Tombs : These are 200 year old tombs of the royal nobles made out of lime and mortar with carvings.

Pakhal : This is an old wildlife sanctuary and retreat built around 1213 A.D. Approx 900 sq. km. The sanctuary has wildlife like tigers, leopards hyenas, and deer. 200 km from Hyderabad.

Raymond's Tomb : A tomb for a French soldier who served in the Nizam Army 1786 A.D.

Lumbini Park : A new amusement park near Hussain Sagar. This park has a musical fountain show at 6.30pm and 8.00pm. The park is open from Tuesday to Sunday 9.00am to 9.00pm.

Ocena Park : Ocean park is located at Gandipet in 20 acres of landscaped gardens. The park provides a number of amusement and water rides. The park is also equipped with fast food restaurants offering a variety of cuisine.

Ramoji Film City : The Ramoji Film City is a colossal creation. This is Hyderabad's answer to Universal Studios - nearly 2000 acres, a complete world created for assisting the dream merchants of cinema. Luxury hotels, Japanese gardens, Parisian boulevards, lavish palaces, make-believe airports/railway stations and a host of other fantastic creations.

High Tech City : One of the modern monuments of trade and technology, it embodies the new found attitude of Hyderabad and today finds a place of pride. Situated on the outskirts of the city, it is the nucleus of Cyberabad, the IT destination in these parts of the world.

Krishna Oberoi 5*
Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500034
Tel: + 91 40 3392323

Holiday Inn Krishna
Road No., 1 Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500034
Tel: + 91 40 3393939

Taj Residency
Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500034
Tel: + 91 40 3399999

Ramada Hotel Manohar
Airport Exit Road, Begumpet, Hyderabad 500016
Tel: + 91 40 819917

Kakatiya Sheraton and Towers
5* Deluxe

Palace Heights (off Abids Road) - One of my personal favourites. Serves traditional Hyderabadi, European and Chinese cuisine. Excellent panoramic views of Hyderabad are visible from the restaurant.

Madina (near Charminar), is one of the oldest and best examples of old Hyderabad dining. It was opened in 1947, and was situated on the premises of the Aladdin Wakf. At one time, when Hyderabad was richer than Saudi Arabia (the oil still not having been discovered there), the proceeds used to go to Saudi to help poor Muslims there! Serves traditional Hyderabadi Biryani, Haleem, Nahari and many more.

Irani Hotels include Cosmopolitan in Narayanguda and Olympia in Abids. The place to go for a good Hyderabad Biryani is Shadab opposite Madina. Shadab has recently modernised the restaurant above the original hotel where you can dine in air-conditioned comfort. Ambience can be found at Irani Cafe. One Irani hotel that has retained its original interior is Grand in Abids, with mirrors on the walls, woodwork and traditional furniture. For a large bustling hotel there is the Garden in Secunderbad which probably sells more tea than any other hotel in the twin cities, or Embassy which occupies a strategic location on the Basheerbagh crossing or Alpha in Secunderbad opened in 1950.

Apart from the original Irani restaurant there are the Deccani Hotels which are similar in every way to the Iranis, but for the fact they were started by local Hyderabadis. One such cafe is the Rainbow on Abids, started 20 years ago. Mohammad Yousuf, one of the owners says, "Ours is the only hotel outside the Old City which serves haleem, a traditional Hyderabadi dish made of ground wheat and mutton, throughout the year, and not just during Ramzan when it is traditionally eaten. Haleem takes at least three hours to prepare. We start making it around 11am and its almost 2pm before its ready."

Main shopping areas are Abids, Basheerbagh, Nampally and Sultan Bazar in Hyderabad and MG Road and Rashtrapati Road in Secunderbad. The markets around Charminar are favoured for bangles and pearls. Hyderabad is synonymous with pearls. Cultured pearls studded in gold and silver jewellery of exquisite design are a specialty. Pearls come in many shapes and of particular interest is the �rice-pearl� � a tiny variety. The precious "Basra", a pearl unmatched in lustre, colour and price and is available in select stores. Pearls are sold in strings or raw by weight.

Laad Bazaar : This famous, colourful shopping centre of the old city, is tucked away in one of the streets leading off from the Charminar. Bridal wear, Pearls, Attar (perfume) and the traditional Hyderabadi glass and stone studded bangles are sold here.

The areas surrounding Charminar like 'Charkaman' and 'Mitti-ka-sher' are famous for antique kundan and enamel jewellery, temple sarees, old bidri and silver, crystal and pearls. "Darushafa" is famous for the tissue-thin silver leaf that decorates Indian sweetmeats, and bidri ware. The appliqu�d patchwork skirts, bags and belts, set with sparkling mirror and tiny beads of the Banjara gypsies; Nirmal lacquer ware, ornate brass from Pembarthi, Kondapalli carved toys, leather puppets and Warangal carpets combine to make Hyderabad, truly a shopper's paradise.