When people think of India, they probably think of Mumbai or Dehli, but there are so many other incredible cities to explore in India that don’t get talked about enough. Hyderabad is one of those cities.
By population, it’s actually the fourth largest city in India, and it’s the capital of the southern region of Telangana, so it’s definitely worthy of some attention. What makes Hyderabad so much different than other Indian cities is the Muslim influence that can be found in every corner of the city. So if you want to explore a part of India that is often overlooked, you have to hit up Hyderabad.
What to Do
One of the most iconic symbols of Hyderabad is the Charminar. This monument is also a mosque and was built at the end of the 16th century for reasons no one can quite agree upon. Some say it’s because of the founding of Hyderabad, others say because of the second Islamic millennium, but no matter the reason, this stunning structure cannot be missed, and you really cannot since it’s right in the middle of the city.
Golconda Fort is such a cool excursion just slightly out of the city center, but so worth it. The fort is actually a fortified citadel which was built and rebuilt several centuries ago, and though it was used as the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, it is now a large diamond buying center because of it’s proximity to diamond mines. With many acoustic and architectural feats, it should not be missed.
One of the most unique parts of the city is Hussain Sagar, which is a lake that was built in the shape of a heart at the end of the 16th century. Not only is the lake beautiful in and of itself, but about 25 years ago the city built a giant statue of Gautama Buddha inside the lake, which makes it even more of a special site.
If you’re interested in seeing more of the artsy side of Hyderabad, you have to check out the Maqtha Art District. This is a relatively new revamped area that’s very close to Hussain Sagar, so there’s no excuse not to see it.
Maqtha is popular for the incredible street art decorating the buildings and side streets and gives you a totally different perspective of Hyderabad.
What to Eat
Though biryanis are popular all over India, a lot of people say the ones in Hyderabad are the best. This is because they’re made differently than other places in India, as the meat and rice are cooked together not separately. One of the best places to get it is at Meridian Café and Restaurant which is known for serving the most excellent biryanis in massive portions.
Lukhmi is a street food that you can’t miss out on. It’s similar to a regular crispy, fried samosa, but it’s square and filled with delicious spiced meat that you will surely get addicted to.
The street food you’ll probably see the most is papdi chaat, which is basically a deep-fried dough shell that is filled with potatoes, chickpeas, onions, spices, and more. It’s delicious and crispy and the perfect snack.