Hyderabad is one of India’s largest cities, famous for its mosques, historical ruins and man-made lakes. The capital of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh is a hybrid of cultures and styles dating back to the 1500s. Ruling dynasties including the Asaf Jahi and the Qutub Shahis have influenced this lively city.
Visit one of Hyderabad’s oldest sites, Chilkur Balaji Temple, west of the city. Enjoy its stunning lakeside views and tranquil ambiance.
On your return to Hyderabad, stop at Golconda Fort. Walk along its many paths beside ancient walls. Travel to the nearby Taramati Baradari to learn about romantic fables surrounding the origins of this Persian-style pavilion. The old building now sits within a modern complex with restaurants, bars and a hotel.
Enjoy observing the 160 animal species at Nehru Zoological Park. Take a safari to see the big cats roaming free in a 380-acre (150-hectare) habitat.
No trip to Hyderabad is complete without a visit to the Charminar, one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The breathtaking temple and monument lie just south of the Musi River. In the same region, see the Chowmahalla Palace, which has scenic gardens and a collection of antiques, including vintage cars.
Spend an evening in the center of the city at Lumbini Park to enjoy its lake, auditorium and musical fountains. Watch a 3-D laser display to learn about the city’s history. Attend one of the evening water fountain displays with songs from Hindi movies and rent a boat on the Hussain Sagar. Next to this lovely lake, find the hilltop Birla Mandir Temple, where you can enjoy picturesque sunset views.
Hyderabad lies 400 miles (700 kilometers) east of the coastal city of Mumbai. Fly into the international airport 14 miles (22 kilometers) outside the city or come by train from elsewhere in India. The easiest ways to get around are by bus, autorickshaw or taxi. The area around Charminar is a maze of alleyways best explored on foot. Be prepared for year-round hot weather.