Hyderabad is well known as a historic city due to its historic significance and the most renowned heritage sites. The city was formed in the year 1591 and ruled by the Nizams till 1953. Later it was joined with Andhra Pradesh and served as the capital of the state. Now it serves as the capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It has diverse culture and known for its secularism where people from different communities live together without any communal disturbances apart from one or two negligible incidents. Though the city is fast developing, the heritage and historic monuments of the city still have not lost their past glory. Even today the historical places in Hyderabad draws huge crowds both domestic and international. The southern part of the city or the old city have many of the heritage sites and historical monuments. The places of interest are always busy with visitors and tourists resembling that of a daily carnival. So, here we go. Let’s have a glimpse of the top tourist destinations and historical places to visit in Hyderabad.
Historical places of Hyderabad
Talking about Hyderabad without talking about the icon of Hyderabad makes no sense isn’t it? One of the most happening and busiest places in Hyderabad and the most visited tourist destination of Hyderabad. The major tourist attraction in India and Hyderabad is considered as the famous and best historical place to visit in Hyderabad. It was built in the year 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth ruler of Qutub Shahi dynasty. It was learnt that there was a dreadful plague. After the end of this deadly disease, out of joy, Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah built this wonderful monument.
The monument derived its name from its four minarets, 56 meter high each. Char in hindi/urdu means four and minar stands for the minarets or pillars. The structure is made of granite, limestone, mortar and marble. The monument is surrounded by four arches known as charkaman. Each Kaman or entrance has its unique name. The Kali Kaman, Machli Kaman, Seher-e-Batil ki Kaman and the Charminar Kaman.
It is often visited by many local and foreign tourists and most particularly in the holy month of Ramadan. If you are planning to visit this place, do not forget to visit the nearby bazars of Ladbazar and Pathergatti. Coming to Ladbazar, also known as choodi bazar, is very old and famous shopping destination especially for bangles. It is one of the four lanes branching out of historic Charminar. This 1 kilometer shopping stretch derived its name from Laad meaning lacquer which is used to make bangles and bazar meaning market. Besides bangles, one can also find imitation jewelry, sarees and wedding items here. Pathergatti is known for its pearl trade.
Besides, there is lot more to visit nearby Charminar like Shadab Hotel, Nimrah Cafe which I will be covering about in the relevant tabs.
Type and best time of visit: Group, family, friends or even a singles can visit this place and the best time of visit is any time but Ramadan season is the most preferred one especially in the night times to enjoy the colourful lights and crowded markets
Distance from Railway Station: Nampally 3.9 Kilometers, Kacheguda 5 Kilometers, Secunderabad 11 Kilometers
Distance from Airport: 25 kilometers
Nearest Hotels: Rajdhani (2star hotel) 2.6 kilometers, Taj Falaknuma (5 Star) 6 kilometers, Quality Inn (3 Star Hotel) 5.7 Kilometers, Royalton Hotel (4 Star Hotel) 5 Kilometers
Kindly note that I have mentioned the nearest Hotels in each tourist destination just for your information. One may stay at any Hotel of their choice if you are visiting the city.
Also known as Golla Konda (shepherd’s hill in Telugu) is another important tourist spot in the city. It was treated as a trade Centre for diamonds. It was built by Kakatiya kings in 1600s which was later became the capital city of Quli qutub shahi dynasty. The fort was built on a granite hill which stands 120 meters high. The Fort complex and its surroundings are spread across 11 kilometers. It is an easy weekend getaway which is hardly 12 kilometers from the city centre.
It was built with many pavilions, gates, domes and entrances. It is very tedious and hard task to complete entire fort tour at a single go. There is also an extension to this fort called as Naya Qila (New Fort) which is now turned in to a golf club.
The main entrance called as Bala Hisar Gate. It is situated on the eastern side of the fort. Besides, Bala Hisar Gate, the palaces, water supply system and the Rahban cannon stands as the other major attractions of the fort. The ravishing light and sound show conducted here is another added attraction. The clap sound from the ground floor can be heard till the top of the fort.
Also, note that there is an entry fee for entering in to the fort and light and sound shows which is relatively high for foreign tourists compared to those of Indian.
Being one of the best historical places to visit in Hyderabad, Golkonda fort is considered as the most renowned and major tourist attractions in India as it hosts many visitors from foreign countries and Indians alike.
Type of visit: It is recommended to visit with your family, group instead of solo visit. Best time to visit this place is any time till 5:30 PM.
Distance from Railway Station: Nampally 9 Kilometers, Kacheguda 14 Kilometers, Secunderabad 15 Kilometers
Distance from airport: 27 kilometers
Nearest Hotels: Taramati (3 star hotel) 3.4 kilometers, Golkonda Resorts (4 Star Hotel) 11 Kilometers, Sheraton (4 Star Hotel) 13 Kilometers, Hyatt (5 Star Hotel) 14 Kilometers
Taramati Baradari (Taramati’s building) is a caravan or a historical building/sarai near to Golkonda fort which is linked to lot of fables. One such being Abdullah Qutub shah at Golconda fort which is two kilometers away from this building used to listen to the songs that were sung by his courtesan Taramati which was carried all along by the cool breeze.
As a tribute to the dancing sisters, Taramati and Premamati, after their demise, they were cremated in the cemetery of Qutub Shahi Kings
Type of visit: The monument will be open till 6 PM all days and it is noteworthy that you have to visit this place with your family, group or friends as solo visits to these historical places are boring.
Distance from Railway Station: Nampally 14 Kilometers, Kacheguda 14 Kilometers, Secunderabad 15 Kilometers
I am not mentioning the nearest hotels as this place is itself renovated as a hotel and distances as it is the same as that of Golkonda fort
Qutub Shahi Tombs
Another historic place near Golkonda. These are royal cemeteries of the Quli Qutub Shahi kings. There is a huge garden and the tombs are spread all over the garden. They are domed structures which were once decorated with carpets and Chandeliers. They are constructed in blends of Persian and Indian style. 7 out of the total 8 rulers were cremated here. It is another unique construction and a masterpiece. It is an easy weekend getaway and one of the most visited historical places of Hyderabad.
In the year 1543, the royal tomb of Sultan Quli Qutub Mulk was constructed. The tomb is situated on the terrace measuring 30 metres from all sides. The great Sultan Quli Qutub Shah was honoured with a title Bade Malik (Grand Master). The inscriptions on the tomb in Nashk (smaller and round Islamic calligraphy) and Tauk scripts. His son, Jamsheed’s tomb was built in the year 1550. This is the only tomb that appears different from the other tombs. There are no inscriptions either on the tomb. In between the tombs of Sultan Quli Qutub Mulk and Jamsheed, there exists the tomb of Subhan Quli Qutub Shah without any inscriptions. He is the son of Jamsheed and grandson of Sultan Quli Qutub Shah. He is also honoured with a title Chote Malik or Little Master like his grand father.
The standalone tomb of Muhammed Quli Qutub Shah is the greatest attraction in the entire premises. The tomb was constructed in the year 1602 with inscriptions of Nashk and Persian. Fatima sultan, the sister of Muhammed Quli Qutub Shah exists in the entrance of the premises. The last tomb belongs to Abdullah Qutub Shah. Each tomb has its own uniqueness either in inscriptions, interiors or external architecture. The premises looks so elegant as the tombs with beautifully structured domes are scattered in the garden premises. The tombs were neglected during the beginning of 19th century . But Sir Salarjung III put in all his effort to restore the original charm of the monuments with a little modernization. The garden was laid and compound wall was built in his reign. This completes a gist of the heritage structure of Quli Qutub Shahi tombs.
Built by Salabat Jung but completed by Asaf Jah V. The palace has two court yards; southern and northern courtyards and a darbar hall called grand Khilwat. The palace was the official residence of the nizams and depicts the life style of the then rulers. This palace is divided into four palaces namely Afzal mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat mahal and Aftab mahal. All these four mahals are now converted in to a museum.
Besides these, there are fountains, gardens, clock tower, a council hall and Roshan bungalow. It has the collection of vintage cars used by the Nizam rulers. It is open to public since 2005. This palace is situated just 1.5 kilometers south of Charminar.
The unique construction and the royal look makes the palace one of the major tourist destinations in India and best historical place in Hyderabad. A must visit!
Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM Monday to Sunday
Type of visit: Group, Family, Friends and Solo
Distance from Railway Station: Nampally 6.5 Kilometers, Kacheguda 5.9 Kilometers, Secunderabad 13 Kilometers
Distance from Airport: 25 Kilometers
Nearest Hotels: Rajdhani (2 star hotel) 3.6 kilometers, Taj Falaknama (5 Star) 7 kilometers, Quality Inn (3 Star Hotel) 4.7 Kilometers, Royalton Hotel (4 Star Hotel) 5.4 Kilometers
Nawab Abul Fateh Baig Jung Bahadur was honoured by the nizam of Hyderabad with a title Paigah. Thus he became the founder of the paigah family. The family is disciplined, noble and hard working. Most of the family members worked as the ministers in the Nizam reign and are known for their loyalty. The members of the family are wealthier and led a royal life. There are several constructions of the royal family. Vicar- ul- Umarahi, Asman garh palace, Kursheed Jah Devdi are the palaces in which they lived in and left their royal mark. Their paigah palace is one among them from where US Consulate operates. Renowned Falaknuma palace was also built by the royal family which was later gifted to the Nizam of Hyderabad. All these palaces reflects their passion for art, architecture and interiors. They preferred their to be roofless.
Maqhbara Shams ul- Umara, another name for paigah tombs were the great royal family rests in peace. The tombs are considered as one of the wonders of Telangana and best historical places to travel in Hyderabad. It falls under Pisalbanda, Owaisinagar which is 6 kilometres to the south east of Charminar. As the royal family preferred the roofless graves, you will not find the roofs for any of the grave in the premises. The design and architecture is a blend of Deccani- Moghul style. The carved marble grabs your attention and so are the arches. Built 200 years ago with tombs of Asman Jah and Begum Khurshid being the centre of attraction. The other architecture includes floral carvings, fruit carvings, cravings of musical instruments such as drums and many other carvings.
Moazzam Jahi Market
The initial fruit and flower market was built in the year 1935 by the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan and was named after his son Moazzam Jah. The markets were relocated to different parts of the city. Now, there is an ice cream shop called Famous Ice cream which is located in this market. Another world famous bakery, Karachi Bakery also stands on the other side of the road.
Osmania University was constructed in the year 1918. The architecture especially Arts college depicts the unique style of Nizams. You will be finding the beautiful university buildings scattered on the 6.4 kilometer stretch with greenery on the either side of the road. This is also worth a watch.
The single storied building consists of 16 rooms including a dining hall, darbar hall, Morning room, cinema hall etc. This is the place where the president of India resides in winter season for at least two weeks and conducts his official work. It is situated in the extreme north of the city in a well-organized locality amidst military area.
The premises consist of wide variety of seasonal flowers, nutritional plantations giving a spectacular landscape to its visitors. Herbal garden, which was inaugurated in December 2009 is spread across 7000 square meters, has 116 species of medicinal plants. It is also considered as one of the heritage buildings as it was constructed in the year 1869 by the then nizam ruler Nazir-ud-Dowla and also one of the famous historical places of Hyderabad.
Timings: varies from time to time
Type of visit: Group, Family, Friends and Solo
Distance from Railway Station: Nampally 15 Kilometers, Kacheguda 15 Kilometers, Secunderabad 9.6 Kilometers
Distance from Airport: 45 Kilometers through the city and 84 kilometers if you take the outer ring road
Nearest Hotels: The purple Leaf (2 Star Hotel) 6 kilometers, Vivanta by Taj (5 Star Hotel) 12 Kilometers
A 5 minutes walk from the Icon of Hyderabad, Charminar, exists another landmark, a heritage and royal palace- The Purani Haveli. It was once served as the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad before they shifted to Chow Mohalla palace. Masarrat Mahal or Haveli Khadeem are the other names of Purani Haveli. As the name indicates, Purani Haveli is an old mansion or palace and a renowned tourist destination. Influenced by the Europeon style of construction from the interiors, architecture, wood work, furniture to the exteriors. The mansion is U- shaped with two wings on the either sides joined by the residential palace. World’s largest wardrobe is located in the palace in one of the two wings. Later it is converted to a museum and a school. The Nizams’ valuables such as their furniture, crockery items, sculptures and many more are preserved in the mansion. The other attractions are ayina khana (mirror house) and Chini Khana (Chinese mirror house). Hand cranked wooden lift stands as a special attraction. One of the remarkable historical places to visit in Hyderabad