From tombs to art galleries, here’s a quick guide to making the most of your day in the City of Pearls. Soaked in history, and blessed with culture, Hyderabad is one of India’s most underrated tourist destinations. From gorgeous Islamic architecture to lakes, parks and museums, and arguably the best biryani in the country, Hyderabad has it all. Popularly known as the city of Nizams, Hyderabad is a must-visit for travelers.
Hit the classic spots
Despite so many new offerings, one must pay homage to the classics, especially in a city so rich with them. Begin your visit to the City of Pearls with a trip to Charminar.
The Charminar Pedestrianisation Project has finally freed the area around the 427-year-old monument of vehicular traffic. The project will cover a large portion of the Old City; at the moment, the first phase, which includes Laad Bazaar, Hyderabad’s famous bangle street, is complete. Soon, Charminar, as well as Charkaman (the four gates that lead up to it), will be restored.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture has completed the restoration of the Qutb Shahi Tombs, built in the 16th and 17th centuries. The project took five years of painstaking effort and is totally worth it.
Artist Swapna Mehta and writer Shalini Sharma’s The Golconda Collective launched in October 2018 with a talk on Golconda diamonds by Pramod Kumar KG (MD of Eka Cultural Resources and Research) and insights into the lives of India’s former royal women by Fulbright scholar Deepthi Sasidharan. In the year ahead, you can go listen to many more talks and seminars, and browse beautifully curated EXHIBITION on various aspects of Hyderabadi culture, textiles and history, as well as, architecture.
Or go for the cool
One of the most beautiful ways to get to know Hyderabad is on foot, and now, the city offers some unique, well-curated heritage walks. Filmmaker Gopala Krishna’s Hyderabad Trails conducts weekly storytelling walks, sometimes in collaboration with experts from ASI and INTACH.
Some of the collective’s recent events also include a dance trail in the Qutb Shahi-era Taramati Baradari, poetry readings at the painstakingly restored medieval-era Qutb Shahi Tombs and a heritage walk around the historic Nizamia Observatory in Ameerpet, which was established by Nawab Zafar Jung Bahadur in 1908 and is now part of the historic Osmania University.
Then there’s Chetna Ramachandra’s Reboot Escorted Tours, which offers a deep-dive into the city’s art, history, architecture and culture with Asghar Ali Khan, an architect and descendant of the Salar Jung family. The city is also becoming a hub for the visual arts.
State of the Art, established in 2018 by concert pianist Timothy Marthand, hosts a number of artist series, as well as the annual Résonance Festival that brings world-class western classical music to Hyderabad. And then there’s Gallery78, set up by veteran photographer Srinivas Ch as a cultural, idea-sharing space for artists and photographers. Besides regular exhibitions, the gallery also hosts an annual art festival called Confetti, which showcases works ranging from ceramic pottery to calligraphy. #KhabarLive