Trip to Hyderabad
23.03.2014 20 °C
I was given the change to travel to our Hyderabad office and took this change to visit some local attractions, These are the few places where I have been to. Although this is not the magical Taj Mahal that i have been looking forward to, but a trip there is on the agenda and will will write about it if i get there
Charminar (and adjacent Mecca Masjit)
Surely one of the icons of Hyderabad. This is one of the must visit places. This structure was built as a prayer against the plague. The structure is a magnificent piece of Hyderabad architectural and one can just stand there staring at it, mesmerized by its beauty. However, the building has been desecrated by graffiti although it is not as bad as situation at Qutub Shahi tombs. Commercialization means the structure is located right smacked in the middle of the road. Around Charminar is a buzz of trading activates selling souvenirs for visitors.
Across the street is Mecca Masjit, the oldest mosque in the city. This is another structure worth visiting. However, beware of pesky touts.
One of the parks that I would recommend visiting. The visit is not so for the park but as a stop to travel by boat to Hussain Lake for a view of a giant Buddha statue. There are rides for both adults and kids to enjoy. This is also a nice place to just find a place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Bags are strictly not allowed and have to be deposited at the enterance. That is the only annoying part.
Qutub Shahi Tombs
Also known as the Seven tombs, these are elaborate tombs built during the Qutbshahi dynasty. The beauty of the tombs here do match the charm of and beauty of Charminar but for one big flaw – they are in really poor condition due to wear and tear as well as vandalism (lots of graffiti on the walls). It is really a sorry sight to see such grand structures in decline due to neglect, human desecration and poor restoration works. I really hope something can be done otherwise it is only a matter of time before irrevocable damage to the structures will force them to be torn down, alongside a significant part of this area’s history.
This is a large fortress which is another highlight of Hyderabad. There is a lot of walking to do, so do wear a pair of comfortable shoes and spend at least 2 hours exploring. In fact I went there twice as I ran out of time to explore the fort in depth during my first visit. There are guides eagerly offering their services so do hire one if you want to know more of the area’s history. This is also an area where many locals will come to spend time relaxing. Outside there are shops selling souvenirs and food.
One of the places that a visitor can plan to go if there is spare time. Houses a large collection of animals that will keep visitors occupied. Highlight being an elderly resident tortoise and white tigers. There are also a large collection of birds if one likes feathered friends. There is also a sarafi park where wild animals roam.
Birla Mandir Temple
This is located in a uphill location so it is pretty tricky to reach by car. But it still worth to visit. The white temple is very well maintained and squeaky clean with some wonderful carvings. Sadly, no cameras are allowed inside – it would have been magnificent if I could have taken some pictures of the interior. Also like most temples and mosques, no shoes are allowed so do go early before the floor becomes burning hot and the crowd gathers.
This is a art and craft cum leisure park. There are several shops selling handicraft items and paintings. Locals also come here to relax, have a picnic and just hang out. Especially a favorite hangout for courting couplesThe area I really enjoy is the sculpture park with some impressive works. There is also a night bazaar.
Hydrabard is not really a place for tourist shopping.
For the shopping crazy, there are a few shopping malls in Hyderabad area I have explored that are listed below. Hovever, I can’t help but comment that India seems to sell nothing but clothes 4 of 5 shops sells clothes and the ratio is up to 9 in 10 if you include shoes, bags and accessories.
Hyderabad Central – This is basically a one stop single owner mall, very much like your OG or SOGO. Basically if you are looking for clothing and related items, this will be a good one stop shop. Unfortunately if you are not into clothes, there is nothing much here. There is also a good food court as well as a supermarket to cater to day to day needs.
Inorbit – this will be what I call one of the more decent malls in town. In it you have everything under one roof to satisfy to different needs. There is also a giant hypermart – the only one I can find in town. The third storey has an assortment of foods from your everyday fast food to local and Chinese food. There is a also a cinema to keep movie goers happy and a small amusement park to keep the little ones occupied.
IMAX – As the word suggests, this is a mall more suited for movie goers. I have not tried the 3D effects yet but basically you are there for only one purpose. So if you do not plan to catch a movie, you can skip it. Another major drawback – bags are strictly not allowed in this mall and have to be deposited at the security post before entry. IMAX is also a within walking distance to Lumpini Park.
City Centre Mall – More of a clothing and related accessories mall. The only thing I like is that it is not so crowded. The only 2 places I will go here is the foodcourt for a drink (price here is cheaper than other malls) and the Crossworld bookshop.
GVK One – Within walking distance from City Centre Mall. This is one mall to rival Inorbit except for one major drawback – it does not have a hypermart. There is a spa (price not cheap though) as well as a 15-min 4D (feels more like a 3D theater) movie theatre. This is also where hard Rock café is located.
Some notes for India trip
Brings lots of small change of Rs 10. Along the way they will come in useful when giving tips, paying for parking (driver expects you to pay) and auto rickshaw. You could be ripped off if you have no small change.
For those who are not used to walking barefoot, wear comfortable socks. Upon entry to locations like temples and mosques, they expect you to take off your shoes. Especially at Birla Mandir temple where the floor could be scorching hot.
Footing in certain parts of India could be slippery, especially when climbing Golcondor Fort. So be careful and make sure your soles are slip free. The last thing you want is to slip and fall on some nasty ground.
I noted that bags are frowned upon in most location. Probably due to the fear of hidden bombs, which is still a concern in India. So if possible, do not carry bags around. If really necessary, leave them in the car when visiting the tourist spots. Otherwise make sure no valuables are in the bag should you be required to deposit bags at the counter. Expected to be asked for tips in tourist spots when doing so, especially if you are a non-indian
Bring water. Weather is hot, especially at Golcondor fort
Touts and guides and widespread. Actually they are harmless, they just want some money. So be wary and make your own judgment when paying them to ward off their advances should you require their services, whether willingly or unwillingly
Traffic may not be as chaotic as I expected but still we need to look out for traffic. Horns are a constant menace and may prove to be an irritation.
Weather is good all year round. Is can be cooling towards the end of the year but there is no harm to bring an umbrella along wherever you go.