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Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Hyderabad, the fifth largest metropolis of India, is the state capital of Andhra Pradesh, known for its rich history and culture with monuments, mosques, temples, a rich and varied heritage in arts, crafts and dance. The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderbad are separated by the Husain Sagar, an artificial lake constructed during the time of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah Wali in 1562 A.D.

Geography of Hyderabad

The city is nearly 400 years old and is noted for its natural beauty, mosques and minarets, bazaars and bridges, hills and lakes. It is perched on the top of the Deccan Plateau, 1776ft., above sea level, and sprawls over an area of 100 Sq. miles. (Interactive map of Hyderabad) Birla Temple, Buddha Statue, Himayatsagar lake

A multitude of influences have shaped the character of the city. Its palaces and buildings, houses and tenements, gardens and streets have a history and an architectural individuality of their own, which makes Hyderabad a city of enchantment.

History of Hyderabad

Hyderabad was founded on the River Musi five miles east of Golconda, in 1591-92 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. 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. Gradually the city grew.

The Qutb Shahi dynasty founded the Kingdom of Golconda, one of the five kingdoms that emerged after the break up of the Bahamani Kingdom. The Qutb Shahis ruled the Deccan for almost 171 years. All the seven rulers were patrons of learning and were great builders. They contributed to the growth and development of Indo-Persian and Indo-Islamic literature and culture in Hyderabad. During the Qutb Shahi reign Golconda became one of the leading markets in the world of diamonds, pearls, steel for arms, and also printed fabric.

The glory of the Golconda kingdom ended in 1687, after a valiant struggle. Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal ruler, captured Golconda after a siege that lasted eight months. Abul Hasan Tana Shah, the last king of Golconda, was imprisoned at Daulatabad, where he died after twelve years in captivity.

With the conquest of the Deccan and the South, Aurangzeb succeeded in expanding the Mughal Empire to cover the entire sub-continent. However, after his death in 1707, the Empire rapidly declined.

At that time , the Deccan was administered by a Subedar or viceroy of the Mughal Emperor. Mir Quamaruddin, the Governor of the Deccan, declared his independence from Mughal rule in 1724. He thus became the first Nizam and the founder of the Asif Jahi dynasty.

In 1769, Nizam Ali Khan Asif Jah II, shifted the capital to Hyderabad. The seven Nizam's of the Asif Jahi dynasty ruled the Deccan for nearly 224 years, right up to 1948.

During the Asif Jahi period, Persian, Urdu, Telgu and Marathi developed simultaneously. The highest official positions were given to deserving persons irrespective of their religion. Persian was the official language up to 1893 and then Urdu up to 1948.

When the British and the French spread their hold over the country, the Nizam soon won their friendship without bequeathing his power. The title "Faithful. Ally of the British Government" was bestowed on Nizam VII. The British stationed a Resident at Hyderabad, but the state continued to be ruled by the Nizam.

The rule of the seven Nizam's saw the growth of Hyderabad both culturally and economically. Huge reservoirs, like the Nizam Sagar, Tungabadra, Osman Sagar, Himayath Sagar, and others were built. Survey work on Nagarjuna Sagar had also begun during this time.

Hyderabad, under the Nizam's, was the largest princely state in India. Area wise it was as big as England and Scotland put together. The State had its own currency, mint, railways, and postal system. There was no income tax.

Soon after India gained independence, Hyderabad State merged with the Union of India. On November 1, 1956 the map of India was redrawn into linguistic states, and Hyderabad became the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Hyderabad Tourist Attractions

Charminar

Built by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah,  the Charminar is a magnificent square edifice of granite, built upon four grand arches facing north, south, east and west with 56 meters high slender minarets and spiral staircases. These arches support two floors of rooms and a gallery of archways. It is these four (char) minarets (minar) that give the building, its name 'Charminar'. Each minar stand on a lotus-leaf base that is a recurrent motif in Qutub Shahi buildings.

Mecca Masjid

It is a grand mosque of South India. The construction of  this masjid was started in 1614 by the 6th Sultan Abdulla Qutb Shah and completed by Aurangzeb. This vast mosque can accommodate 10,000 people during prayer time. It was built of enormous black granite slabs.  The clay from Mecca mixed with red colour were used for stucco decorations at the entrance of the Masjid. 

Golconda

The majestic ruins of Golconda Fort stand as a backdrop to the sprawling city of Hyderabad. Built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1525, the Golconda Fort epitomises the opulent nawabi culture of the time. A new attraction at the fort is a sound and light show that brings the legend of Golconda to life. 

Qutb Shahi Tombs

The Qutb Shahi tombs are made of black granite or green stone with a shape of square or octagonal base. Its dome is in onion shape and arches are with fine sculptures.  The road from Golconda fort  goes to the north has the tomb of Abdullah Qutb Shah. The tombs of Abul Hasan Tana Qutb Shahi, Princess Hayat Baksh Begum, Muhammad Qutb Shah and Pemamati, one of the mistresses of Muhammad Qutb Shah are also situated near to the tomb of  Abdullah Qutb Shah. There is a 'Badshahi Hammam' (the 'bath' where the body of the king was washed before burial) in the compound. A series of major tombs are seen at the south of the Hammam. The tomb that belongs to Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah is the most striking with its 54 meters high mausoleum.  

Birla Mandir

This modern enchanting temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, the Birla Mandir stands in all its grandeur on the hilltop of Kalapahad. The intricately carved, tiered tower at the base is typical of the southern Indian shrines while the smooth dome at the top is in the north Indian Rajasthani style. Made of pure white marble from Rajasthan, the Birla Mandir overlooks the serene and placid waters of the Hussain Sagar lake. The Birla Mandir presents a colorful spectacular sight when illuminated at night. 
 

Hussain Sagar Lake

Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it connects the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. On  the banks of the placid waters of the Hussain Sagar a water front or bund was constructed to arrest the flow of water on the other side. A major attraction at the Hussain Sagar is the 16 meter high, 350 tonne monolithic Buddha statue on the Rock of Gibraltar. Hussain Sagar has other attractions for lovers of water sports. The yatching and sailing clubs at the lake are active and the annual regatta draws a good number of sportspersons and lay people alike from all around the country.

Falaknuma Palace

It is believed that the Falaknuma palace was gifted to the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Mehboob Ali Khan by the generous Nawab. The palace was constructed over a period of seven years and it covers a total area of 9,39,712 square meters. The Falaknuma palace is a rare blend of Italian and Tudor architecture. The palace is laid out in the shape of a scorpion with two stings spread out as wings on the north.

Birla Science Centre

It is located in the heart of the picturesque city of Hyderabad on the panoramic hillock of Naubat Pahad, surrounded by gardens. The Birla Science Center houses a number of sections such as a Planetarium, a Science Museum, the Center for Applicable Mathematics and Computer Sciences, a Science projects division and so on.

Himayat Sagar

The verdant part by the dam is a ideal picnic spot, while the stretch of road atop the dam is a pleasant drive or walk if it is not too sunny.

The Salar Jung Museum

One of the largest private collections in the World. Situated at Afzal Ganj, the museum has a collection of more than 43,000 art objects and 50,000 books in the 38 rooms spread over three floors of the building.

Health Museum

Exhibits include models, charts, specimens and photographs meant primarily for children.

State Archeological Museum

A general collection of sculpture, painting, arms and artifacts from different period, some dating back to the 2nd century BC. Major collections, however are from the Asaf Jahi period.

Indira Park

This is the cities most recent park. Several small ponds amid the trees make the park a good spot for in - city picnics. Boating facilities are available.

Lumbini Park

This amusement park at Tank Bund has a musical fountain show.

Nehru Zoological Park

This extensive park on the Hyderabad - Bengaluru highway is one of the largest Zoos in India. There is a Safari Park where visitors can go on a conducted tour in protected vans and see a variety of animals in their natural surroundings. A natural history museum, an aquarium and a children's amusement park are the other attractions of the Zoo. Also of  massive models of dinosaur in pre- historic park.

Deer Park

Located in Vanasthalipuram, about 15 kilometers from the center of the town, the Deer park is a tourist's attraction. The deer park, has an undulating terrain, of 189 hectares dominated by acacia trees. The park looks picturesque in the monsoon with the golden and white flowers of these trees on the lush green carpet of grass.

Public Gardens

The city’s largest and oldest park is located in a busy area in Nampally. To the right of the main gate is a small beautifully constructed Mosque, where the seventh Nizam is said to have prayed every Friday. Flanking the mosque are two old buildings now occupied by the Abul Kalam Institute of Oriental Studies. To the left is the Jawahar Bal Bavan, a small auditorium where exhibitions and contest for children are held. Further down the road is a large patch of open lawn. Around this lawn are arranged the Jubilee hall, Jawahar Bal Bavan, Ajanta Pavilion, the India Priyadarshini auditorium, health museum and the State archeological museum.

Ramoji Film City

 Ramoji Film City, a tribute to the bewitching magic of cinema, is the dream destination for entertainment and relaxation. Spread over idyllic 2,500 acres and studded with hills, woods, lakes and striking architectural triumphs, Ramoji Film City is one of Asia's fastest growing tourism destinations. There are many attractions in the region.  Some of them are

  •       Eureka, the power-center of delight and wonder, contains three distinct worlds within its boundaries -a stately Mauryan kingdom,  a rugged Wild West town, and regality of the Mughal era.

  •    Magadha, Meena Bazaar, Frontierland and Black Cat Warehouse – A remarkable array of exquisite products is available at Ramoji Film City. The selection encompasses the finest objects of desire from across the world.

  •    Shangri-La, Ramoji Film City’s exclusive nursery, is the home to infinite varieties of exotic flowers, plants and shrubs.

 

 
 
 
 
 

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