Sep 10, 2013

One day in Hyderabad

When I read this post on one of my favourite blogs recently, I thought it would be fun to make a similar list of things to do in Hyderabad if you have just a day to spend here :) Obviously, it is full of things I personally enjoy, and I hope you will enjoy them too!

6:00 AM: Start your day at the gorgeous KBR National Park.The perimeter of the walkway is about 5 kms - walk around it and see if you know the names of the exotic flora and fauna that the park is home to. If you tend to get tired easily, don't walk about too much - just hang out on one of the benches, because it is going to be a long day.
(Photography is not allowed inside)

7:30 AM: Enjoy an awesome South-Indian breakfast at Chutneys. They are famous for the assortment of SIX different chutneys they serve - the sweet white one is THE BEST! I invariably finish at least a cup of it even before my food arrives :) My favourite dishes are the 'Babai Hotel Idli' and all the dosas.

Six kinds of chutneys - sorry about the crappy phone picture!

9:30 AM: I hope you've managed to squeeze in a shower by now :P Go straight to the Golconda Fort, the seat of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty that ruled this region for close to two centuries. Wear sensible shoes, because you'll want to climb up to the Bala Hisar at the top! The view from there is breathtaking - try to spot the golf course, Taramati Baradari and Premamati Mosque nearby.

During or right after the monsoons, the Golconda Fort is at its greenest :)

11:30 AM: Although the Qutb Shahi Tombs (very close to the fort) deserve at least an afternoon to themselves, make do with a quick visit to these stunning examples of Qutb Shahi architecture. Read about the tombs and the Qutb Shahi dynasty in my earlier post here

One of the Qutb Shahi Tombs

1:00 PM: Head to Charminar taking the Karwan route. This ancient highway is dotted with very very old buildings on both sides, including some beautiful mosques. So keep your eyes open and enjoy all the colours and the beauty. You will reach Charminar via the historical Hussaini Alam road that I described at length here and here:) Buy a ticket and climb up the Charminar and check out the view of the surrounding monuments (the government Unani hospital, the Jama Masjid, the Mecca Masjid) from the top. If you'd rather shop, Laad Bazaar (Hyderabad's famous bangle bazaar) is right there - go play :) Orrrr do both if you are super-fast.

Hyderabad's symbol

2:30 PM: Half a day in Hyderabad and you haven't had any biryani yet! I recommend Hotel Shadab for a late lunch. Their biryani is sensational, and you'll enjoy the local dining experience. But remember, the place is NOT fancy, so skip it if you are fussy!

Hotel Shadab

3:30 PM: The clich├ęd thing to do now would be to go to the Salar Jung Museum, but I totally think you should go to the Chowmahalla Palace instead. The museum in the palace is definitely not as impressive as Salar Jung, but the sprawling palace is so so so so beautiful! Also, photography is allowed in the Chowmahalla Palace but not in the Salar Jung Museum - that makes the choice easy for me :P It wasn't allowed until recently, but apparently it now is allowed - let me check and update this. Thank you Anonymous commenter for the tip! Although I personally still prefer the Chowmahalla Palace on this list :) Here is a post I wrote about it long ago.

Chowmahalla Palace, the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty

5:00 PM: I didn't explicitly mention it because OF COURSE you stopped several times for Irani Chai, right? Good. Now stop for one more and then head to the Hussain Sagar and walk about Tank Bund and Necklace Road and watch the sunset. If you want to ride on a boat to the Buddha Statue in the middle of the lake, the Lumbini Park nearby is where you need to go, but it might take a long-ish time.

The iconic Buddha statue in the Hussain Sagar Lake

6:30 PM: It's been a long day, and you probably cannot wait to unwind. Hang out at the Hard Rock Cafe in the GVK1 Mall in Banjara Hills and follow it up with dinner at one of the fab restaurants in the area - Khan Saab, Saheb Sindh Sultan, Tadka, Angeethi, Ruci & Idoni, Our Place - the list is endless, and they are all awesome.

Hard Rock Cafe

So this was my list of things to do if you have just one day to spend in Hyderabad. I tried to choose a mix of Qutb Shahi (Golconda Fort, the tombs and Charminar) and Asaf Jahi (Chowmahalla Palace) monuments and also some newer parts of the city.

Please note that many tourist places in Hyderabad are closed on Fridays and the rest on Sundays, so this list doesn't apply to those two days and national holidays :)

Do you agree with the places I have chosen? What would you pick instead? Let me know in the comments!

16 comments:

  1. Nice post! I would have added Birla Temple since its at the center of the city, for its architecture and the fact that it was built on top of hill, and the view of the city that one gets from there.

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    1. Thank you Prasad! A couple of my friends also said they would've included the Birla Temple - breakfast can be at Kamat maybe :)

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  2. Very nice post!! Summed up well in terms of what to see! A visit to Salarjung Museum would also be a good way to understand the Nawabi culture of Hyderabad! Just incase anyone can squeeze in extra few hours! :)

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    1. Thank you raMmY! Yeah, the Salar Jung Museum is amazing, and I felt very sad to leave it out lol :) Even if someone has half a day extra, they could fit it in! Or if they aren't keen on taking pictures, they could do Salar Jung instead of Chowmahalla.

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  3. Agrim Asthana4:53 AM

    Really nice post!.. it was a pleasure reading it.. however how can a hyderabadi day start at 6am? :P

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    1. Hey Agrim! What a lovely surprise to see you here! Thank you, glad you like the post :) LOL @ 6am - what was I thinking, right? :D

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  4. breakfast should be at Govind Bandi in charminar

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  5. Loved your post, except can not recommend Chutneys - I think their food is simply pathetic.

    I would also include Birla temple.

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    1. Oh you don't like Chutneys? Most people I know (including everyone in my house)love their food lol :D In that case, Birla Mandir+Kamat instead of KBR+Chutneys maybe?

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  6. Have had really bad experience at Chutney's...Except that the list of places looks very good...

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  7. Awesome list Madhu...being a true blue Hyderabadi I have taken this city for granted. I have been away for 17 yrs now. I have never been to the Chowmahalla Palace. Neither have I had the Biryani at Shadab. Every visit back home once in 2 yrs has become a rush these days. Hope next time I get to visit the palace with the kids. Keep writing. I always enjoy my Hyderbad through your lens and words. And Birla Mandir is a must in the evening to relax and enjoy the breeze ofcourse after waiting in the line to see the god:-). And then head to dinner and drinks.

    -Sudha

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    1. Thank you so much Sudha! So glad you enjoy my blog! You must definitely go to Chowmahalla and Shadab. Many people have suggested adding Birla Mandir to the list. Maybe I should make another alternative list :)

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  8. And while you're at Charminar, stop at Nimrah Cafe and Bakery for Irani Chai and arguably the best Osmania biscuits in town!

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  9. Fantastic !! This post has made me nostalgic.. A day like this couldn't be any better !

    And from this blog ( http://anuradhagoyal.blogspot.in/ ) I can say along with the Irani Chai stops , a Kesar Chai at Nayaab would be awesome !

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