Postcards from Hyderabad - A mixture of old & new

Hyderabad is a 400-year old city founded in 1591 on the River Musi five miles east of the ancient city of Golconda. In the 16th century the city grew spontaneously to accommodate the surplus population of Golconda, which was the capital of the Qutb Shahi rulers. Many buildings sprang up along the River Musi. The city quickly grew into a major trading crossroad on the Deccan Plateau in South India.

When India became independent in 1947, the British colonial provinces became part of India immediately. Other native states, like Hyderabad, became effectively independent. Some of them combined to form new states in the Indian Union, others merged with existing provinces. Hyderabad merged with Andhra to form the larger State of Andhra Pradesh. Today Hyderabad, its capital, is the fifth largest and the fastest growing city in India. Despite rapid urbanisation, fueled by software-led growth in the past 15 years, it retains it rich heritage. Here is a sample.

Golconda Fort, ruins of the 800-year old city that preceded Hyderabad. This is one of the most magnificent fortress complex in India, and sits on a granite hill 120 metres high.

The CharMinar was built by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah as the centrepiece of this lovely city in 1591

Hyderabad without Charminar is like New York without the Statue of Liberty. Built by King Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah in 1591, shortly after the capital moved from Golconda, this beautiful colossus in granite, lime, and mortar, was at one time the heart of the city. From the ground to the apex, the minarets are about 49 metres tall.

One of the finest palaces in the country. It was built by Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, the fifth Emir of Hyderabad, and was purchased by Nizam VI in 1897 to be used as a royal guest house. The Nizams were among the richest rulers in India. The palace was designed by an Italian architect and follows a western architectural style. It is laid out in the shape of a scorpion with two stings spread out as wings on the north. The middle part is occupied by the main building and the kitchen and harem quarters stretch to the south.

Birla Mandir:
Sri Venkateswara Temple (Birla Mandir) Night time view, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Ramoji Film City
Ramoji Film Studio entered in to the Guinness Book of World Records

View of Old Fruit Bazaar from atop Charminar. Pomegrenates, Grapes, and Custard Apple are most popular fruits in these markets. Shopping in Hyderabad is a lifetime experience. Strolling in the bazaars of Hyderabad is like moving through time. The bazaars have a mix of ancient, medieval and modern character.

Stone-studded lacquer bangles in 'Laad' Bazaar. Laad Bazaar is on one of the four main roads branching out from the Charminar. Laad is a term in urdu, approximately translates in English to "to love" or "to pamper". You can buy a most beautiful hand embroidered cloth, zardosi, which is silk, silver or gold thread work, with pearls, stones, sequins and other fine items intricately worked in design.

It is said Hyderabadi Food is created with fursat and mohabbat, -- with time and love. Hyderabadi cuisine is far more non-vegetarian than vegetarian, and very spicy. Hyderabadi Biryani (spiced rice) and Haleem (minced lamb) are very popular.

The Buddha Monolith stands in the center of Hussain Sagar, the city lake. This is probably the largest monolith of Buddha in Asia. (Day time view).
Buddha Statue near Tank Bund

The Buddha Monolith stands in the center of Hussain Sagar, the city lake. This is probably the largest monolith of Buddha in Asia.(Night Time view)

Pre-historic rock formations form a unique landscape around Hyderabad. Spectacular ancient rock formations dot suburban expanses. Geologists date these rocks to 2,500 million years, amongst the oldest and hardest rocks in the world.

MMTS of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Cybertowers was the first state-owned information technology industrial park. Today there are four more such IT centers and many more private ventures.

The software revolution has brought with it new architecture to the Hyderabad skyline. Here is one.

The Indian School of Business is among the globally top-ranked and distinctive business schools in Asia. The school is visited by some of the best minds from the industry and academia, from India and rest of the world.

Airport infrastructure is under pressure from a booming economy, followed by an explosion in domestic and international air travel. Hyderabad's new International Airport is gearing up. Here are two views of the plan.

New International Airport, another view.

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