capital of Andhra Pradesh consist of the twin cities of Hyderabad
and Secunderabad and is famous as the former seat of the fabulously
wealthy nizams of Hyderabad. Built on the banks of the
river Musi, and surrounded by huge prehistoric rock formations
like petrified, gray elephants, Hyderabad is a blend of
the fairy tale and earthy, a potpourri of old and new. The domed
and minaretted monuments of the Qutub Shahi and Asaf Jah nobility
and cheek by jowl with massive grass and concrete high-rises.
Banjaran gypsies in swinging skirts and silver ornaments and black-veiled
burqa - swathed women dressed in churidars or jeans. The hilltop
pleasure garden where noblemen took their ease now boasts of a
brand new observatory. Like Bijapur
in neighboring Karnataka
state, Hyderabad is an important center of Islamic culture
and is central India's counterpart to the Mughal splendour of
the northern cities of Delhi,
India's fifth-largest city, was founded in 1590 by Muhammad Quli,
the fourth of the Qutb Shahi kings. They ruled this part of the
Deccan from 1512 until 1687, when the last of their line was defeated
by the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, following nonpayment of the
annual tribute to their nominal suzerain in Delhi. Before the
founding of Hyderabad, the Qutb Shahi kings ruled from
the forted city of Golconda, 11 km to the west. After Aurangzeb's
death in 1707, Mughal control over this part of India rapidly
waned and the Asaf Jahi viceroys who had been installed to look
after the interests of the Mughal Empire broke away to established
their own independent state. They give themselves the titles 'subadar'
and 'nizam'. These new rulers, allied to the French, became embroiled
in the Anglo-French rivalry for control of India during the latter
half on the 18th century. When Indian independence was declared
in 1947, the nizam toyed with idea of declaring, an independent
state and allowed and Islamic extremist group to seize control,
this led to his downfall. The Indian government, unwilling to
see an independent and possibly hostile state created in the center
of the Deccan, and mindful of Hyderabad. Now the time has
painted Hyderabad all over changing lifestyle and landscape.
Opel Astra and Maruti Zens have shoved aside clip-clopping horse-drawn
carriages. Elegantly tiled houses, giant archways and many-windowed
homes no longer dot the skyline. Flyovers criss-cross busy intersections.
The laid-back metropolis is now a science city. For the past 50
years, a lot of water has flown under the Musi.
Hyderabad is among the few Indian cities which has a well
preserved cultural heritage. Very much like the Nawabs of Lucknow
and of Awadh ( U.P.), Hyderabad invokes nostalgia among
old residents for its culture, fine arts and a certain sophistication
in manners. Much more than anything, Hyderabad presents
a true picture of secularism. There is no difference between
Islam and Kafir for me, declared Muhammad Quli, because
the basis of all religions is love. This secularism and
its composite culture, in due course created the ethos of Hyderabad.
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru described Hyderabad as a microcosm
of Indian culture and the famous poet Faiz compared Hyderabad
to the Garden of Eden.
of the Hyderabad
Altitude: 542 metres (1,778 ft)
Best Season: September to February
STD Code : 040