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Hyderabad

Hyderabad was founded in 1586 by Mohammed Quli, fifth Sultan of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty of Golconda. Today, it is the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh.The city has had its ups and downs. After the fall of the Qutb Shahis to the Mughal power, it was ruined and neglected. Between 1687 and 1724, it remained under Mughal control. In 1724 the Mughal Governor, Nizam-ul-Mulk started building the city wall. In the same year, as the mighty Mughal empire began to disintegrate, he assumed autonomy in the Deccan and founded the Asaf Jahi dynasty that was to rule for two hundred years. But Nizam-ul-Mulk's capital was Aurangabad. Hyderabad's revival began after 1763 when Nizam Ali Khan, Nizam-ul-Mulk's son and successor, shifted the capital back to where it had been in Qutb Shahi times.Hyderabad has grown enormously over four hundred years. Originally sited on the south side of the Musi river and built to reflect Sultan Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah's splendor and style of governance, the city has spread widely in all directions - north across the river, eastwards and westwards. Today it has a population of over four million.

Location: Northeastern Part of State Andhra Pradesh

Founded By: French

Founded In: Mid-Eighth Century

Prime Attractions

Birla Mandir - Hyderabad?: One of the best ways to wake up is perhaps to mellifluous hymns in praise of the Lord, and that is one thing that you'd enjoy if you live anywhere in the vicinity of this architectural beauty that is such a splendor to behold. Kausalya supraja Rama poorva sandhya pravartate… the chanting mantra to arouse the Lord can be heard every morning at around 5.30am. And as for the evenings, they are a treat to your ears at this hilltop temple. Sweet melodies of cuckoos and the kirtans of Annamayya, Tyagaraja and Ramadas at the backdrop of the orangish-red sky pleasantly soothe your soul.Any by-lane falling on the same side of the road as the Forest Department, Saifabad, can lead you to the Birla Temple. The marble-structure is called so because it has been built by the Birla Foundation over a period of time. The temple was constructed with white marbles from Rajasthan. A blend of North and South Indian temple architecture, the place dedicates the main temple in its precincts to Lord Venkateswara. Away from the hubbub of the city, the temple is located on top of the erstwhile Kala Pahad, the twin of Naubat Pahad. It overlooks the Tank Bund and makes an excellent spectacle when illuminated lavishly during the evenings.

Charminar?: You've heard about it, you've read about it, you've seen umpteen photographs and sketches of it, and now it's time for the real thing! Any tourist who steps into this 400-year-old city eagerly awaits a glance of this monument, which is to Hyderabad what the Statue of Liberty is to the USA and the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Built in 1591-92 by the Qutb Shahi king Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, this magnificent edifice that epitomises the pride of our city is a structure of char (four) huge minars (pillars). For the etymologists, the word minaret has originated from minar, rendered by the sweet sounding Urdu zabani. Enter the area and you can smell the fragrances of Persia, the attars of Afghanistan and the scents of Saudi Arabia as you jostle among crowds that seem to be hardly aware of this architectural splendor. You’ll also find a whole lot of pearl dealers seated in shops around the structure. It even has a small mosque located on its roof.

Golconda Fort?: Ever experienced any of the astounding marvels of acoustics To have a first-hand experience, just stand at a particular point at the entrance of the Golconda Fort and clap. It reverberates and the sound can be heard clearly at the Bala Hissar, the highest point on the hill, which is almost a kilometer away.The Golconda Fort provides a majestic backdrop to Bhagyanagar, as Hyderabad was called once. Though the Kakatiyas, the Andhra rulers in the 12th Century, are credited with the original construction of the Fort, it was actually the Qutb Shahi kings that expanded the building. They used granite stones to reconstruct the Fort and fortify the massive structure with granite walls and barricades extending to nearly 7 kms in circumference.It is said that the Hope Diamond, the Koh-i-Noor Diamond, the Orloff Diamond, etc. originated from this place. While the Nagina Bagh, the guard barracks and the Taramati mosque represent the splendor of the Fort even in its ruins, the Fateh Darwaza, the Madanna Temple, the Ramdas jail, the Rani Mahal and the Jama Masjid are the other major attractions. The Baradari atop the hill offers a clear view of the city.The Golconda Fort, which was once famous for its trade in diamonds and precious stones, has a sound-and-light show organized by the AP Tourism Development Corporation every evening.

Nehru Zoological Park?: One of the largest and the best zoos in Asia, the Nehru Zoological Park has nearly 1,500 species of animals, birds and reptiles. Situated in the Bahadurpura area on the way to the N G Ranga Agricultural University in Rajendranagar, the zoo is ahead of Afzalgunj, the Osmania General Hospital and the High Court of AP.The popular ones among the different species are white peacocks, mynahs, chimpanzees and rhinoceros. The major attraction within the zoo, however, is the Lion Safari. A van barbed with wrought iron takes you through the gates of the safari — opening one gate at a time — into a completely different world of wild animals where lions, tigers, rhinos, wild oxen, panthers, etc. are left freely in the wilderness of a simulated jungle.Apart from the animals, a nocturnal zoo, the pre-historic dinosaur park, a natural history museum, parks, a mini-train and animal rides make the place ideal for a picnic. The nocturnal animals and the reptiles form a particularly interesting part of the whole. A must visit for all those who can walk around for 6-7 hours to cover the entire zoo which is on 300 acres of land.