The rulers here were once among the richest in the world, and now it is on the way to becoming one of India’s most prosperous cities. Meet Hyderabad, the fresh face of emerging India – the city where history meets hi-tech, food meets fashion and culture meets cosmopolitan.
Established in the 16th century by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Hyderabad was ruled by the Shah dynasty for nearly a century before being annexed by the Mughal Empire. Soon after, Asif Jah I, a Mughal viceroy, declared his sovereignty and formed the Jahi dynasty or the Nizams of Hyderabad. They ruled the princely state of Hyderabad as a subsidiary of the British Raj for more than two centuries. In 1948, a year after India attained independence, the then Nizam signed an agreement, making Hyderabad a part of India.
Since then Hyderabad has been transformed into one of India’s prime economic regions. Boasting of a cyber city and state-of-the-art medical facilities, it is home to several of the world’s largest corporations, a huge film city and even a dedicated ‘edu’ city.
Hyderabad is truly a gourmet’s paradise. Known for its biryani – a rice dish with succulent melt-in-the-mouth pieces of meat cooked delicately with the best Indian spices. Top the taste with a spoonful of Qubani ka meetha – a delicious dessert of apricots and cream and feel the charm of the Nizams overcome you.
Shopping here is a unique experience too. Head to the old city and explore the lanes of the colourful marketplace. Bright, beautiful bangles, pearls of all shapes and sizes, exquisite Indian embroidery, you’ll be spoilt for choice! For the more urban shoppers, there are of course swanky malls and designer boutiques.
The magnificent palaces and the forts still stand tall, inviting you to experience the glorious history of the past. The royal legacy of the city of Hyderabad waits to embrace you with its warm hospitality and myriad attractions. Add to that a brilliant platform for exchange of knowledge and interaction.
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Business and Shopping Hours
Banks: 10.00am – 4.00pm (Monday – Friday)
Offices and businesses: 10.00am – 5.30pm (Monday – Friday)
Shops: 10.00am – 8.00pm (Monday – Saturday)
Main shopping centers: Daily 11.00am – 9.00pm
Currency and Foreign Exchange
Indian Rupees: INR
Notes: Rupees 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000
Coins: Paise 5, 10, 20, 25 and 50, Rupees 1, 2 and 5
Please use authorised money changers and banks to change currency. You must present your passport whenever you change currency or travellers cheques. A certificate of exchange will be issued at the time of re-conversion of any unused currency. It is illegal to exchange foreign currency other than through authorised money changers or banks. The current exchange rate can be found from www.xe.com.
24-hour ATMs are all over the city. International credit cards are widely accepted.
GMT + 5 ½ hours
English is the official language
Food and Drink
Avoid food and drinks from street vendors. Drink only bottled water and check that the seal is intact when you receive it.
For international flights, passengers are usually required to check in 3 hours prior to flight departure and 2 hours for first or business class.
March is pleasantly warm with temperature varying between 20°C to 36°C. Days are sunny and clear, and are suitable for sightseeing and outdoor activities in Hyderabad.
The voltage in India is 220 volts. In case you wish to use appliances of 110 volts, please check with your hotel if they can provide adaptors on request.
On your return, as accompanied baggage, you may take back souvenirs including silk, wool, handicrafts (without any limits), and gold and silver items up to a value of INR 100,000.
Please note that the export of antiques and art objects more than 100 years old is restricted, and the export of wildlife products is prohibited.
Hyderabad City Code: 40
Mobiles are 10 digits: 91 XXXXX XXXXX
Local landlines in Hyderabad are 8 digits: 91 40 XXXX XXXX
Hyderabad is a large and widespread city, and we advise participants to use tourist cars or metered taxis when required.
There is no compulsion to tip anyone for any service rendered. If you choose to do so, the traditional tip is 10%, rounded off.
Smoking in public places is illegal in India
Attractions around Hyderabad
Hyderabad is almost synonymous with the Charminar. Build by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad, in 1591 at the centre of the original city layout. Charminar lies in all its splendour in the middle of Lad-Bazaar – Hyderabad’s famous bangle destination. The monument is illuminated in the evenings.
Golconda is one of the most famous forts of India. The name comes from the Telugu words “Golla Konda” meaning “Shepherd’s Hill”. Golconda was originally a mud fort, which was rebuilt by the first three Qutub Shahi kings over a period of 62 years. The fort is well known for its ingenious water supply system and acoustics among other attractions like the palaces and the famous Fateh Rahben gun. The exclusive Sound & Light Show takes you right back in time.
The tombs of the legendary Qutb Shahi kings are at a distance of a kilometre from Banjara Darwaza of the Golconda Fort. These tombs are said to be the oldest historical monuments in Hyderabad. The uniqueness of the tombs lies in the fact that they are the only tombs in the world where the entire dynasty has been buried at one place.
Mecca Masjid is located at a stone’s throw from the Charminar. The Masjid is so named because the building blocks were brought from Mecca to build the central arch. The Qutb Shahis started building the mosque, which was completed later by Aurangzeb in 1694.
This museum is one of the largest collection of antiques by one man – Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III. The display includes Persian carpets, Moghul miniatures, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquerware, famous statues like the Veiled Rebecca and Marguerite and Mephistopheles, a superb collection of jade, daggers belonging to Queen Noor Jahan and the Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb’s sword and many other fabulous items.
One of the heritage buildings in Hyderabad. The Chow Mahalla was built by the Nizams over a period of 1857 to 1869. The complex comprises four palaces in Moghul and European styles – hence the Chow Mahalla. All the palaces are single-storeyed blocks with the exception of the main palace, which is double storeyed.
This completely white marble temple of Lord is built on the hillock, the Kala Pahad. The temple has exquisite sculptured and carved ceiling. The temple looks down on Hussain Sagar Lake and is illuminated at night.
Pochampally Handloom Park Ltd is an integrated textile park that houses designing, dyeing and weaving facility for textiles under a single roof. It was inaugurated on 16th November, 2008 and has been operation for the last three years. It is located in Kanumukkala Village, Pochampally Mandal, 40 km from Hyderabad.
Falaknuma Palace is one of the finest palaces in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. It belonged to Paigah Hyderabad State, and it was later owned by the Nizams. It is on a 32-acre (13 ha) area in Falaknuma, 5 km from Charminar. It was built by Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, the then-prime minister of Hyderabad. Falak-numa means “Like the Sky” or “Mirror of the Sky” in Urdu. It is now a heritage hotel in the Taj Group.