Hotels in Hyderabad, India
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Hyderabad, the City of Pearls
The capital of southern India's Telangana state and a giant of the Andhra Pradesh region, Hyderabad, for all its bustle and sprawl, exudes an old-world charm. Today, the city is known as a centre for technology, but Hyderabad boasts a truly regal pedigree. Once home to a princely state and known for its diamond and pearl trade, Hyderabad is dotted with an array of monuments and mosques. For visitors, these sights – set against a cityscape dappled by hills and jewelled by lakes – delight and intrigue, making it a pleasure to unravel both Hyderabad's past and present.
Layout and Cityscape
Located on the northern portion of India’s Deccan Plateau, Hyderabad sits on the banks of the Musi River. The city rests on a bedrock of granite and is noted for its sloping terrain as well as for the many small hills that dot the area. In addition to these elevations, Hyderabad is laced with numerous artificial lakes and ponds. Many of these were dug in the 16th Century at the behest of the sultans of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, who ruled this part of India for well over a century. Modern Hyderabad is bisected by the waters of the Musi, with the area on the river’s south bank termed the “Old City” and the district to the north referred to as the “New City”. The former area contains the core of Hyderabad’s main historical sites while the latter is home to the bulk of the city’s residential and industrial areas. The halves of Hyderabad are linked by multiple bridges across the Musi.
Exploring the “Old City”
The architectural heritage of Hyderabad’s “Old City” showcases the historical pedigree of this once royal seat. Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, who founded Hyderabad in 1591, is responsible for the construction of one of the city’s landmarks, the Charminar. A flourish of arches and domes, this monument is decorated in classical Persian style. Nearby, guests will find the Makkah Masjid, one of the city’s largest mosques, plus the ruins of the Golkonda Fort. While this latter structure was used to house the gems with which the city is associated, the city’s Qutb Shahi tombs serve as the final resting place for members of this eponymous dynasty. Commissioned under Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, these monuments blend local architectural styles as well as European and Mughal influences. But once you’ve had your fill of these sights, be sure to stop by the quarter’s Laad Bazaar to pick up a few of the bangle bracelets for which the city is famed.
Hyderabadi Cuisine: A Fusion of Flavours
Just like its architectural heritage, the city’s famous cuisine is a fusion of different influences, some local and some foreign. While the city’s royal court had a considerable input on Hyderabad’s palette, hungry travellers will note that there are strong Turkish, Arabic and Iranian elements here, as is shown by the use of dried fruits and nuts in many dishes. If you’re keen to taste local flavours, keep an eye out for the city’s famous biryani as well as its haleem . The former is a dish of rice and meat – normally goat – steamed with spices while the latter is a calorific stew of Arabic origin featuring ghee and dried fruits. The city also offers an array of sugary delights, including the fruit-studded double ka meetha and the Qubani ka meetha . Many eateries can be found on the Abids/JN/Charminar Road, the thoroughfare that runs from Hussain Sagar in the “New City” across the Musi down into the “Old City”.
Hotels and Sleeping Options in Hyderabad
As a sprawling city of millions, travellers will be relieved to know that it won’t be difficult to find a place to stay in Hyderabad. There are hotels, lodges and B&Bs here, so Hyderabad offers something to fit every budget. If you’re after a modern, western-style hotel or property, new arrivals would do well to look in the area surrounding Hyderabad’s Hussain Sagar, the city’s famous heart-shaped lake. Here, you’ll find a wide selection of familiar global hotel chains as well as a fair few of Hyderabad’s independently run properties. While the “New City” might be the preferred option for those here on business, visitors keen to see sights south of the Musi might want to be more selective when choosing their hotel or lodging in Hyderabad. If you want to stay close to Hyderabad’s Charminar or Laad Bazaar, any of the hotels dotted along the Falaknuma Road make a wise choice for exploring the city’s old core.
Price rangefrom €7to €2,992
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