Hyderabad was the city I was longing to visit since many years. My wish came true last year. On the chilly morning of 20th December I along with my family departed from Durgapur. On 21st December evening we reached Hyderabad.

Next day morning I got up early. It was not at all cold. The weather was very pleasant. This was exactly what I wanted. We began our day by seeing the Birla Mandir (also called Naubat Pahar). This Mandir was built by the Birlas. It is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara, the Lord of Tirupati. There are also some smaller shrines dedicated to various duties. Once we reached the top we got a very wonderful view of Hyderabad city.

After having darshan of the lord, we visited the Salar Jung museum. It showcases the rich life of the Nizams of Hyderabad. And really, you can’t imagine how lavishly they lived. The star attraction is a musical clock where every hour a puppet-man comes out and hit the drum as many number of times as number of hours. This clock is more than a century  old and its still working! We saw Nawab’s swords, armours, guns , clothes, lifestyle stuff, ivory stuff and so much more. Marvelous, awesome were the only words I could utter. I hadn’t seen such a museum till yet. One stunning fact is that all this is a one-man collection. I think I could even spend a whole day admiring the items kept on display there.

Coming out of the old age charm that Salar Jung museum had cast on us we went to the Charminar. The Charminar is the enduring image of Hyderabad. You would find something written about it in every history book. Charminar gives a panoramic view of old Hyderabad. With a huge market surrounding, you can find here hawkers, stalls, petty traders, shops of shoes, sherwanis, bangles, more bangles and yet more bangles.

Nearby is the world famous Mecca Masjid where thousands of Muslims gather to say their prayers. As it was noon time there was almost no crowd in the Masjid and so I could see the buildings very nicely. I liked the architecture of the Masjid.

After seeing the Charminar I went for lunch. There is no dearth of restaurants in Hyderabad. You can find anything from Chinese to continental cuisine. We had a heavy lunch. Then we went back to our hotel to rest.

Next day, we went to Shilparamam situated in High-Tech city 10-15 kilometres away from our hotel. The roads in high-tech city are super smooth and you won’t feel that you are in India. On the way you can see the offices of many IT companies. Coming back to Shilparamam, it is a permanent craft exhibition with some amusement areas and food courts .I was impressed by the variety of handicrafts available here. Handicrafts from all over India were kept for sale. The star attraction of Shilparamam is the sculpture gallery where there are sculptures made of waste materials like motorcycle parts, bicycle parts etc. I marvelled at the creativity of the sculptors. There was a fish made out of motorcycle parts along with trees, musicians and other sculptures made of steel.

On the final day, we went to Yadagirigutta temple which is 70 kilometres away from Hyderabad on the way to Warangal. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is situated on the top of a hill. As we went early in the morning the temple was not very crowded and we had darshan of the Lord easily. The sanctum sanctorum is inside a cave and so few people can get inside at a time. The architecture is very beautiful just like most other South Indian temples. On coming out of the temple you will find shops selling a variety of goods like books, ornaments, puja materials etc.

At the base of the same hill, there is an open air mythological museum called Surendrapuri. Inside the museum are life size statues showing the events of the Mahabharata and Ramayana – the two greatest epics of India along with statues of almost all Hindu deities and their abodes. The models and statues are awesome .For those who do not know much about the Ramayana and Mahabharata this would be a greatly enriching experience. In Surendrapuri you can have darshan of almost all the deities of the important temples of India. Surendrapuri is something very special and a place you must not miss to see when you visit Hyderabad.

After seeing Surendrapuri we returned to Hyderabad. We took some rest and the next day morning we took the train back to Durgapur. I enjoyed every bit of my stay in Hyderabad and would love to go there once again.

– Saravanan Rajesh, TIF

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