Sunday, January 19, 2014

Part I: 5 ‘Little-known’ things about Hyderabad

The best part about travelling with family when you are not yet a bread earner is, perhaps, that you don’t spend anything and enjoy everything!

It worked out after many years.

‘Isn’t this the first trip in so many years that the four of us are taking together?’ I asked my mom.

‘Yes. If we ignore the Vaishnodevi trip. It was more of a ‘religious’ trip rather than a family holiday trip!’

Feels great when you are a train lover and there is a railway station right next
to your hotel. Lakdikapul Railway Station, Hyderabad
And so, as a treat from my father, we were off for a 3-day trip to Hyderabad the very next day of my arrival at home for my Winter vacations. Cutting the long story (of our arrival in Hyderabad) short-

Train delayed by 3 hours. Arrival at Secunderabad past midnight. Pre-booked hotel check-in. Sleep.


My father told me that he had visited Hyderabad many years ago in his engineering days for an internship. And the Hyderabad then, in the early 80s, was so different. Back then, when you stood on top of the Golconda Fort and looked around, you could just see vast stretches of forest in every direction. It’s a complete concrete jungle now.

Our itinerary for the trip was something as follows:

Day 1, Wednesday, 25th December
Arrival. Charminar, Breakfast, Mecca Masjid, Chowmahalla Palace, Lunch, Salar Jung Museum, Dinner

Day 2, Thursday, 26th December
Breakfast, Birla Temple, Sudha Cars Museum, Lunch, Golconda Fort, Hitech City’s InOrbit Mall, Dinner

Day 3, Friday, 27th December
Ramoji Film City, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Departure

Places like Hussain Sagar Lake, Lumbini Park, NTR Garden were all on our ‘if-time-is-left’ list and as you will learn, time wasn’t left. Just 3 days for the whole city of Hyderabad are just not enough. Looking at our 3-day trip in this itinerary makes me feel we didn’t see anything at all because actually we saw quite a lot of things! If you are visiting Hyderabad, take note of these 5 little things which otherwise you are bound to miss:

1. Sudha Cars Museum- No Ferraris, Aston Martins or vintage cars here. This is a whacky car museum. I came across this during my pre-trip research and yes, I wanted to see a burger shaped car. Cars of all different shapes and things from everyday life can be seen in this museum- all in proper working condition. Not to forget there is the Guinness Record holder world’s largest tricycle! [Do pay the camera fee and take your camera inside, it’s worth it]

(Clockwise) Lipstick and Heels, Sofa, Stationery, Double Bed, Cup and Saucer, Burger- All Cars! Sudha Cars Museum, Hyderabad
More Cars; See what all you can recognise! Sudha Cars Museum, Hyderabad
Sitting inside a shoe car- Sudha Cars Museum, Hyderabad
World's largest tricycle- Guiness World Record Holder- Sudha Cars Museum, Hyderabad
2. The famous clock at the Salar Jung Museum. We apparently saw the clock strike 3. Having no idea what all the fuss was about, we craned our necks to see what’s happening. Someone is going to come and strike the bell when the hour chimes, Dad told us. Something happened. People made a roar. And it was done. The crowded area cleared within a couple of minutes. I went for a closer look. Apparently this is a world famous clock that Salar Jung bought from Cook and Kelvey of England. There is a timekeeper inside the clock who emerges every hour to strike the gong- the only clock of its kind in the entire world!

Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad
Visitors gathered to see the world famous clock chime the hour- Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad
The clock. I realise it's not a very great picture with the unwanted reflection. Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad
3. The panoramic view of the city from top of the Birla Temple. The Hussain Sagar Lake dominating the background with the traffic moving on the arterial roads, ancient structures, tall buildings, hillocks in the distance, this is quite a view!

Entrance to the Birla Temple, Hyderabad
Hussain Sagar Lake from Birla Temple, Hyderabad
4. The walk up to top of Golconda Fort and the view of concrete Hyderabad from there. Okay, I should rather put this as a warning- the walk up to Golconda Fort’s top isn’t easy if you have been visiting other places and walking all day round. There are less than 200 steps to the top but they are good big steps. If it’s a guided tour, it might not seem as daunting, as the guides would keep you engaged with the sheer ‘amazing tales’, the validity of which only they know. Anyways, try and you shall reach the top of the fort and find the 360 degree view of Hyderabad city and adjoining areas.

The signboard, Golconda Fort, Hyderabad
Golconda Fort, Hyderabad
View of the walking path and stairs leading up the Golconda Fort, Hyderabad
Panoramic View from Golconda Fort, Hyderabad
'Been a tiring day and we have not reached the top yet'; Golconda Fort, Hyderabad
5. The McDonalds’ menu. It’s different from what we have in Delhi! Ok, not so different. But they have double burgers. Double McAloo tiki, Double McChicken and so on. I thought about it. The East and North India operations of McDonalds are different from South and West India- I knew this of course and so the difference! Okay, now that I think of it, probably this is not a ‘little-known Hyderabad’ thing! But still, I got to realise this at the InOrbit Mall in Hyderabad and so it’s here! [;)]

It was nice spotting a Christmas Tree on Christmas. This one was at Inorbit Mall, Hitech City, Hyderabad
And I presume this is 'Inorbit Mall' written in Telugu. Probably my Telugu readers can confirm! :)
I wanted to go for the IMAX theatre which was less than 2 kms from our hotel. But in December when you are expecting to see The Hobbit, the films that are running there is Man of Steel and Pacific Rim! I mean 6-8 month old films, seriously? Also we didn’t actually have time to devote for a film and so, the idea was dropped. Why can’t they open an IMAX theatre in Delhi?

A tip: Most (but not all) of the tourist places in Hyderabad are closed on Fridays. Do check your calendar while planning a trip

I know I haven’t talked about the major things which you might say are a must-do in Hyderabad that might include the world famous Hyderabadi biryani. Well, I am not done with my trip. I would say this entry was just a tease, a very basic intro which I wanted to write for the big posts that are going to come up next. Oh yes, this is going to be a good series. Come back for the next post in a few days- 5 Must-Do’s when in Hyderabad. Till then, tada!

PS: All the photos have been taken by my Digicam and phone. So obviously no DSLR quality. You can click on the pictures to open an enlarged viewing window.

Other posts in this series: 
Part II: 5 Must-Do’s when in Hyderabad 
Part III: The Amazing Autowallahs of Hyderabad
Part IV: The Autowallah with the Most Inspirational Story
Part V: Ramoji Film City- A Pictorial Journey

1 comment :

  1. Great Captured! Golconda fort is a majestic monument, which lies on the western outskirts of Hyderabad city. It speaks of a great cultural heritage of 400 years and is regarded as a place worth visiting. Tourist across the seas comes here to visit the amazing location and for many travelers who prefer to stay at hotels in Hyderabad.

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