India is rich with culture and history. The vibrant colors and exotic sights you can encounter here are unmatched. And one place that is particularly packed with historical beauties is Hyderabad, also known as the Pearl City. And it’s not hard to picture why with the many awe-inspiring sites this place has to offer. The well-preserved buildings dating back centuries offers a glimpse into the past much like that of my experience of Siem Reap in Cambodia which I wrote about here.
Jampacked with attractions that are conveniently close to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, it is easily an accessible tourist destination. And the sites are definitely a must-see if you’re taking a trip to India.
The hilltop temple made of white marble is an astonishing sight from the get-go. But the closer you get, the more closely you will spot the careful details. Statues and images of various Hindu deities adorn the premises. And on the walls, there are images depicting the Ramayana epic.
It was built by the industrial Birla family, and there are many “Birla” temples scattered throughout India. But each one is unique. And the pure white spectacle of Birla Mandir, Hyderabad, is something to look forward to especially at night, as it is lit up beautifully. You also have a breathtaking view of both Hyderabad and Secunderabad City. Down below, you’ll have a great view of the heart-shaped Hussain Sagar Lake, situated right between the two cities.
Ramoji Film City
Designed specifically as a sort of Disneyland for film sets, several Bollywood movies are shot here. It’s one of the largest film studios on Earth. There’s a variety of different sets you can find here — from majestic buildings to peaceful gardens. There’s something for everyone. And if you’ve seen Bollywood films, this place truly reflects the grand spectacle and splendor of those films. The entry fee per person for Ramoji Film City is Rs.1250 (USD 19.17).
Considered an architectural masterpiece, Golconda Fort is huge and breathtaking. To think that it has been standing for centuries, dating back to medieval India, is tribute to its majesty. Bring comfortable shoes and refreshments though. You’ll be doing a lot of walking here. But to truly understand what makes Golconda Fort so special, even among India’s many forts, it’s best if you get a guide. You’ll have a much more in-depth experience that way. Also, check out the acoustics in this place. It’s one of the things that make it so special, for a structure made so very long ago. The fee for foreign tourists is Rs. 100 (USD 1.53). But you’ll have to pay an extra Rs. 25 (USD 0.38) if you want to take pictures with a still camera. And better yet, if you plan on seeing the light and sound show, the fee is Rs. 80 (USD 1.23 ) or Rs. 140 (USD 2.15) depending on what class you plan on getting. Of course, the higher rate has better seats.
Charminar is definitely a must-visit if you find yourself in Hyderabad. The intricate detail put into this mosque is what makes it practically synonymous with Hyderabad. Just like how one should at least visit the Eiffel tower when in Paris, definitely visit Charminar when in Hyderabad. It’s also close to Laadi Bazaar, which is an ideal place to go shopping for accessories. Definitely try the world famous Hyderabadi Biryani, a local cuisine unique to Hyderabad.
Salar Jung Museum
One of the most impressive museums you can find in Asia, the Salar Jung Museum collection was originally the work of one man: Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III. He was formerly the Prime Minister of the Hyderabad State. The artifacts and relics in this museum reflect Hyderabad’s long and storied past, with pieces dating back from the 1st Century onwards. It’ll surely take you on a trip back to the many Hyderabad dynasties that governed the area. And even if you’re not fond of museums, this one’s definitely worth the trip if only for the many unique, exotic, and colorful antiques ranging from carpets and fineries to chandeliers and statues. Entrance to the Salar Jung Museum costs Rs. 500 (USD 7.67).
This is just the tip of the iceberg! There is so much more to do in Hyderabad. The sprawling palaces and temples are reminiscent of my trip to Seoul. Special mention to the Hussain Sagar Lake and its impressive Buddha statue. One day simply isn’t enough to explore all that Hyderabad has to offer. The rich history and picturesque sceneries are everywhere. And with an international airport right in the city, you can literally hop off the plane and start your exploring as fast as you like! You can check out flight details and book here.
There are so many breathtaking historical attractions that are Instagram-worthy. It’s really well worth the trip.