Hyderabad is the ideal starting point to begin a tour of South India. The museums, temples, lakes, gardens, culture and crafts of South India wait to be discovered by you, as you arrive in Hyderabad.
TOURIST DESTINATIONS OF HYDERABAD
Charminar, the hub of the city, has four wide roads radiating in the four cardinal directions. The four minarets command the landscape for miles. The structure is square, each side measuring 100 feet, with a central pointed high arch at the center. The whole edifice contains numerous small decorative arches arranged both vertically and horizontally. The prominently projected cornice on the first floor upholds a series of six arches and capitals on each façade, rising to the double-story gallery of the minarets. The projected canopy, ornamental brackets and decoration in stucco plaster add graceful elegance to the structure. On the upper courtyard, a screen of arches topped by a row of square jali or water screens lends a fragile charm to the sturdy appearance of Charminar. This courtyard was used as a school and for prayers from the nearby mosque. The minarets, their domed finials rising from their lotus-leaves cushion, rise to 180 feet from the ground.
AP State Museum
A visit to the Andhra Pradesh State Museum is a delight for art lovers. Located in the picturesque Public Gardens, the museum boasts of one of the richest repositories of antiques and art objects in the country. Built in 1928 by the Nizam VII, the museum building itself is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The museum contairns a Buddhist gallery, Bahmanical & Jain gallery, Bronze gallery, Arms & Armour gallery, Numismatics gallery, Ajanta gallery and more. Adjacent to the State Museum is the Contemporary Art Museum. Timings: 10:30am to 5pm Close: Fridays
The documented history of Golconda goes back to the Kakatiya Dynasty in 11th century when they built a mud fortress on a hill called Golconda. During the span of 800 years from Kakatiya to Qutub Shahi rulers, the fort-city grew and prospered. During the reign of Qutub Shahi rulers, espically at time of Mohammed Qutub Shahi the culture reaches its zenith. Most of the places of interest in the area pertain to Qutub Shahi Era.
The Mecca Masjid
Near the Charminar stands the Mecca Masjid, begun by Muhammad Qutb Shah in 1617 and completed by Quranzeb in 1693. It is a grand edifice with a huge courtyard which can accommodate nearly ten thousand men at prayer. Tavernier has provided a graphic description of the mammoth boulders cut to size and carted for use in the building of the mosque. The minarets look rather stunted in comparison with the grandeur of the whole massive structure. But it looks more Mughal then Qutb Shahi in its perfect granite finish and vast courtyard. A particular stone brick in the mihrab is believed to have been brought from Mecca. Other Mosques - The other two mosques--the Jami Masjid and the Toli Masjid-are small and modest structures. Muhammad Quli Shah built the Jami Masjid in 1592, after founding Hyderabad. Musa Khan, a supervisor of works at the Mecca Masjid, levied a damri for every rupee spent on the building of the Mecca Masjid. With these collections he built the Toli Masjid, near the Purana Pul. Two buildings, the Badshahi Ashur Khana and Darul Shifa-built in 1594-are much dilapidated and in need of large scale repair
Asman Garh Palace
The palace was designed and built by Sir Osman Jah, a noble belonging to the Paigah family and one time Prime Minister of Hyderabad State. The granite turrets and arched windows of Asman Garh stand atop a hill some distance ahead of the Hyderabad TV tower. The palace now houses an archaeological museum.
Other Sites Of Interest
The Nizams did not build any great mosques or palaces. The last Nizam built the Falakuma palace which housed the most expensive art objects, tapestries and carpets, in addition to the largest single-man collection of diamonds. Here the Nizam had received their Majesties, the late King George V and King Edward VIII of England. The Chowmukha palace, built after the Shah palace of Teheran, is closed to visitors. James Kirkpatrick, who married a Hyderabadi lady, built the Regency Mansion, in 1803. Husain Sagar Lake, a large artificial lake lying between Hyderabad and Secunderabad, was built by Ibrahim Qutb Shah around 1550, in gratitude to Husain Shah Wali, who had cured him of a disease. In the lake on an island is a statue of the Buddha. Boats take tourists across the lake to the island, on which the statue rests. The Lake also attracts a number of water birds.