Hyderabad boasts of preserving so much to see that you will need to visit a number of times to cover all of them. Be it Historical Monuments, or Lakes and Gardens or even religious destinations, Hyderabad is full of tourist attractions.
Mecca Masjid: A Symbolic Mosque, Mecca Masjid was built 400 years back during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Qutub Shah, the 6th Qutub Shahi Sultan of Hyderabad. The three arched facades have been carved from a single piece of granite, which took five years to quarry. More than 8,000 workers were employed to build the mosque. Muhammed Qutub Shah personally laid the foundation stone of the ‘mosque’.
Charminar: It is a major landmark of Hyderabad with four graceful minarets located in the old city. It is built by Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah as a memorial for plague victims. Charminar in most occasions is used to represent the city and the state and is hailed as a unique Deccan monument. It is in the midst of Charkaman which are four archaways leading to roads in all four directions of the Charminar monument.
Golconda Fort: Once abandoned by Qutub Shahis, Golconda Fort is one of the most magnificent fortress complexes in India. Seated on a hill on one side and spiraling fort on the other, its location and internal design made it one of the strongest forts in India.
Qutb Shahi Tombs: Home to various Tombs dedicated to Rulers of Qutub Shahi dynasty, located at Shaikpet, near Golconda Fort. These are an example of Deccan architecture with large minarets, huge domes, delicate marble designs and multiple inner passages.
Paigah Tombs: These are recently discovered series of mausoleums with unique geometrical sculptures which were nowhere found in the world. These are located at Chandrayanagutta. Paigahs were noblemen under the reign of Nizams.
Paigah Mosque Spanish Mosque: This Mosque is one of the marvelous mosques present in Secunderabad/Hyderabad. It’s well known among the people because of its amazing architecture. The architecture followed in this mosque is the Andalusi/Spanish Architecture. The mosque was constructed by Sir Vicar-ul-Umra a Paigah Nawab in 1906.
Chowmahalla Palace: It was the seat of Asaf Jahi dynasty, where the Nizam entertained his official guests and royal visitors. Initiated in 1750 by Nizam Salabat Jung and designed along the lines of the Shah’s palace in Isfahan, this actually consists of a group of palaces each used as a Durbar Hall. It has now been aesthetically renovated and is also venue for conferences. These sentences were taken from the website www.chowmahalla.com.
Asman Garh Palace: It was designed personally and built by the erstwhile Prime Minister of Hyderabad state Sir Asman Jah in 1885 on a hillock for leisure. It’s based on Gothic architecture and is in the shape of a European medieval castle. The palace presently hosts a museum displaying archaeological relics.
Falaknuma Palace: Built by an Italian architect through one of the Paigah nobles, Nawab Viqar al-Umra, a complete in Italian marble. Louis XIV-style decor, a Mughal ambience, Italian marble staircases and ornate fountains. It has now been undertaken by Taj group to develop this as Heritage Hotel.
Taramati Baradari: The palace is located near Gandipet lake, that was built under the reign of Abdullah Qutb Shah, the Seventh Sultan of Golkonda as an ode to his favorite courtesan, Taramati. The baradari with 12 doorways were to allow cross ventilation, considered to be the most ingenious technique at the time. Similar structures like Premavati and Bhagmati can be seen from here.
Purani Haveli: It was the official residence of the Nizam’s parents.
King Kothi Palace: The last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan lived here.
Bella Vista Bella Vista: is a royal palace of the Nizams built in the year 1910.
Drawing Room of the Bella Vista PalaceBella Vista is the Indo-European building standing on a 10-acre (40,000 m2) verdant campus. The building’s French architect christened it as Bella Vista, meaning beautiful sight, since it overlooks the Hussain sagar lake. It is located at Saifabad suburb. It was modeled on the Henley-on-Thames of England.
Charminar: Very few people know that Charminar, apart from being a tourist destination is also a mosque. It used to have a fountain on its roof, like Gulzar Houz down the street.
Makkah Masjid: It is a stone-built mosque, which lies immediate southwest of Charminar. Remarkable for its architecture, size and its royal splendor, this is one of the most beautiful mosques in Hyderabad. It is famous for its symmetry and the gateway bricks that are believed to be from Makkah.
Shahi Masjid: It is one of the oldest mosque built by Nizam – I(Nizamul Mulk) which is a part of Public Garden. Indeed, it is a very beautiful building and quite a peaceful place.
Ananda Buddha Vihara: It is a Buddhist tourist destination. Located at Mahendra Hills, it houses meditation hall, a museum and rest houses for monks etc.
Birla Mandir: It is a Hindu temple made of white marble located on top of a hill overlooking the city.
Sanghi Temple: A temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara graces a promontory overlooking Sanghi Nagar, near Ramoji Film City.
Salar Jung Museum: The museum houses the largest one-man collection of antiques in the world. Collections include the Veiled Rebecca and other huge collection of artifacts dating back to a few centuries. A mere day isn’t enough to cover the whole museum. Apart from galleries, there is a reference Library, reading room, publication and education section, chemical conservation lab, sales counter, cafeteria etc.
AP State Archaeology Museum: This is an archeological museum located inside Public gardens.
Birla Science Museum: The science center is another beautiful structure, reflecting the advances made in science and technology. The interior décor matches the architectural exterior of the center built over 10,000 sq. ft. The center is host to a number of divisions such as the Planetarium, the Science Museum, and the center for Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences.
Birla Planetarium: The Planetarium is another magnificent building with a big dome resembling that of the Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur and some of the earliest government structures in New Delhi. The special attractions are the shows which unveil the mysteries of the cosmos and the origins of the universe, comets, eclipses, unidentified flying objects and the clash of titans. The latest addition is the Dinosaurium, which houses a collection of dinosaur egg fossils. The highlight of the museum is a mounted Kotasaurus yamanpalliensis, the remains of a 160 million old dinosaur.
Osman Sagar: Osman Sagar was created by dam constructed on the Musi River in 1920, for providing drinking water source for Hyderabad, and also for saving the city from floods, which the city witnessed in 1908. It was constructed during the reign of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Osman Ali Khan, hence the name. It is a popular tourist destination, especially after the rainy season when the reservoir is full, and its parks, resorts, amusement park are a major attraction. This lake had served drinking water for Hyderabad city but due to increase in population it is now unable to provide sufficient water supply to Hyderabad and so it is now just used for public recreation.
Durgam Cheruvu: Also called ‘The Secret Lake’, it is a peaceful boulevard near the bustling Madhapur.
Himayat Sagar: It is the twin lake to Osman Sagar, Gandipet lake. It comes along the way on Outer Ring Road en route to airport which provides a beautiful view.
Hussain Sagar: It is a man-made lake famous for the 19-metre tall Buddha statue present in the middle of the lake. Located on its banks is Tank Bund which consists of beautiful gardens and statues of famous personalities. Boating and water sports are a regular feature at the lake.
Shamirpet Lake: The lake is situated 24 km north of Secunderabad. Its distance from the city is an incentive for the weekend picnics. It offers a serene location. It attracts a lot of birds, hence a destination for bird watchers. There is also a deer park belonging to the state government near the lake.
Rukn ud Daula Lake: The lake is named after Musa Khan, Nawab Rukn ud-Daula, The 10th Prime Minister (1765–1775) of The Nizam, Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikander Jah, Asaf Jah III of Hyderabad Deccan.
Mir Alam Tank: Located adjacent to Nehru Zoological Park on the Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway. It has provided drinking water to Hyderabad people for 125 years before the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar were built. Mir Alam laid the foundation for the tank on July 20, 1804, as a plaque still lying in a corner shows. It was completed in about two years on June 8, 1806.
Saroornagar Lake: From the year of its creation in 1626 AD, the lake remained largely clean until 1956 when Hyderabad expanded. Spread over 99 acres, the lake was restored by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority in 2003-04 at a cost of 20 crore. After the restoration of the lake, migratory birds returned to the lake in big numbers a few years later.
Nehru Zoological Park: This zoo is a natural habitat housing a large variety of animals, birds, nocturnal species, aquatic and amphibian species. Located close to this is the Mir Alam Sagar, which is proposed to be converted into an Aquarium along the lines of Sentosa, Singapore. Its unique feature is the 21 in-built masonry dams that are jewel shaped, which were built in 1804 by Henry Russle, a French engineer in British service.
NTR Gardens: This leisure spot is located beside the IMAX theatre. Situated on 36 acres of land adjoining the Hussain sagar, these gardens provide of entertainment and recreation to families and youth alike. It also houses a memorial of Late Shri N.T.Rama Rao, former Chief Minister. It is renowned for its creative design which includes tree-top restaurants and architecture.
Indira Park: Indira Park is situated in the Lower Tank bund of Hyderabad city. Indira Park is the newly built park of Hyderabad. Indira Park is spread over 76 acres of lush green area and it lies alongside the Hussain Sagar. It is a pleasant entertainment park for not only the tourists but also the people residing near the Park.
KBR National Park: A sanctuary for Peacocks and Anteaters along with many other species including Monkeys and Snakes, the sanctuary is the green spot of the richest area of the city, Jubilee Hills.
Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy Botanical Gardens: These gardens located at Kondapur are spread across a sprawling area of 130 acres, housing different varieties of herbs, plants, trees etc. These gardens provide a complete visual treat to the eyes with water-bodies, meadows and rich grasslands – nature at its best. Night Safari Park is adjacent to this.
Lumbini Park: Lumbini Park is a small public, urban park of 7.5 acres adjacent to Hussain Sagar lake in the busy Necklace Road area and is one of the popular parks in the city. It is being maintained by Buddha Purnima Project Authority since 2000. The main attractions of this park are the boat rides take you across the lake to give you a closer glimpse of the Buddha statue of Hussain sagar lake and 1500 seater Laserium, the first of its kind in the state. One of the major terrorist acts took place here on 25 August 2007 in which 44 people were killed.
Lotus Pond: A beautiful garden built around a pond situated in Jubilee Hills, said to have been designed by an Italian designer. This garden is currently maintained by the Municipal Corporation. It is also home to a few rare species of birds.
Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park: Located near Vanasthalipuram, previously it is a hunting spot for Nizams it is now a picnic spot for the city people. Nischalvan eco-tourism project is located here.
Mrugavani National Park: A sanctuary for deer and leopards, it is located en route to Chilkur. The outer ring road passes over through this national park which is a thrilling experience.
Public Gardens: Located adjacent to the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, the gardens host the Horticulture department of Andhra Pradesh, the state museum of history and archeology and a sprawling park. Beside this is the Lalithakala Thoranam, which is a venue for various cultural activities.
Ramoji Film City: It is the world’s largest integrated film studio cum theme park, at nearly 3,000 acres. It is also one of Asia’s most popular tourism and recreation centers. It has made its way to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest film studio in the world.
Ravindra Bharati: The stage for all performing arts, especially for those enhancing the state and Indian cultures. Shows are held almost every evening throughout the calendar year which include musical and dance performances, drama, award ceremonies and special events of the government.
Necklace Road: This popular boulevard lies on the other side of the lake, linking the IMAX theatre and Sanjeevaiah park. This has become the-place-to-be for the Hyderabadis in the evenings. This strip provides a scenic atmosphere with lush lawns and long rows of flower beds. Eat-Street, Water Front are popular restaurants located on this strip. The latest addition to this strip is the Jalavihar, a mini water world designed to soothe your senses. PV Ghat is also situated in memory of Late Shri PV Narasimha Rao.
Laad Bazaar: Also called Chudi Bazaar is on the west of Charminar, and known for its exquisite bangles, jewelry and pearls.
Shilparamam: Located opposite Cyber Towers, HITEC city, it is an arts and crafts village which was conceived with an idea to create an environment for the preservation of traditional crafts such as sculpting wonders from stone, weaving in cotton, silk and gold thread, Dhaka muslin, Kondapalli toys, Bankura horses, gudda-guddis of Punjab, temple arts and a motley of Indian arts and crafts. Close to this is the Shilpakala vedika, a conference hall built with exquisite ethnic decor as well as with all state-of-the-art facilities.
Keesara: Located on east of Hyderabad, it was once the capital city of Vishnukundin dynasty. One can see the ruins on the hill and in the museum located here.
Rachakonda: Located 30 km from Hyderabad, it was once the capital city of Velama kings who ruled during and after kakatiyas up to the rise of Qutubshahis. Old ruined fort is worth visiting for historical interest and for trekking.
Besides, many resorts like Pragati Green Meadows, Golkonda Spa cum Resort, Lahari Resorts, Alankrita Resorts, Dream Valley and recreation spots like Treasure Island, Runway 9, Ocean Park, Mount Opera, Dhola-ri-Dhani make Hyderabad a enjoyable destination for tourists.