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Also dubbed as the City of Pearls and Cyberabad, Hyderabad is a major tourist destination in India. Presently, it is the twin capital of the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in India. But as proposed by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra will soon have a new capital in the Vijaywada region. Set up in 1591, the city is one of the major metropolitan cities of the country. It is famous for its IT industry, biopharmaceutical sector, and the Telugu film industry.
Hyderabad represents a confluence of the old and the new - it is known the world over for its 400-year-old Charminar as well as for its pearls, bangles, silks, IT companies and mouth-watering cuisine. Though a cosmopolitan city, it has retained its glorious past. Hyderabad is home to people from diverse cultures and traditions.
The history of Hyderabad goes back to the period when Quli Qutub Shah seized power from the Bahamani Kingdom in 1512 and established the city of Golconda and the Qutub Shahi dynasty. However, lack of water supplies and frequent epidemics like plague and cholera forced Mohammed, the fifth Quli Qutub Shahi to found a new city and thus Hyderabad was founded. Asaf Jah-I proclaimed himself the Nizam and established independent rule of the Deccan as the Mughal Empire started to crumble. In 1798, under the subsidiary alliance agreement signed between the Nizam and the British East India Company, the territory north of the present-day Hussain Sagar Lake was established as a cantonment. It came to be known as Secunderabad. Successive Nizams of the Asaf Jah dynasty ruled it until the state was merged into the Indian Union in 1948.
Located at an altitude of 536 metres or 1,607 feet over sea surface, the mean summer temperature in Hyderabad fluctuates between a maximum of 40 degrees celsius and a minimum temperature of around 22 degrees celsius. Winter temperatures range between a maximum of around 22 degree celsius and a minimum of around 12 degrees celsius. You may need to wear light woolens during early mornings and late evenings. It forms a part of the Deccan Plateau. Banjara Hills is the tallest point in the city. The city of Hyderabad is famous for its distinct landscape and houses a number of lakes including Hussain Sagar, Himayat Sagar, Osman Sagar, Shamirpet Lake, and Saroornagar Lake. The principal river passing through the city is the Musi River which has its source at the Anantagiri Hills. The city has a mostly warm and arid climate round the year.
Area of Hyderabad: The city covers a total area of 650 sq km or 250 sq miles.
Population of Hyderabad: As per census 2011, the population of the city is 6,809,970.
The economy of the city is dependent on industries like tourism, information technology, banking and finance, pearl culture, silk, biopharmaceuticals, and real estate. Hyderabad is a business hub. It is competing with Bangalore for the title of the cyber capital of India and is already sometimes mentioned as Cyberabad. Many top-notch Indian and multinational software firms have set up shop in Hyderabad. The state government is offering many sops to the IT companies. Hyderabad is home to the Telugu film industry. The other major business sectors in the city include pearls, glass manufacturing, textiles, railway coaches, paper products, silverware, saris, paintings and artifacts, handicrafts, bangles and pharmaceuticals.
By Air: Hyderabad is well connected to various parts of India as well as foreign countries. The Hyderabad airport at Begumpet provides connectivity to all major destinations in India, as well as flights to Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, North America and other places. A new airport is being constructed at Shamsabad in the outskirts of Hyderabad. Click here for Hyderabad Flight Schedule
By Rail: Hyderabad is connected by rail to Bangalore, Chennai and all other major Indian cities. There are three railway stations in Hyderabad - Hyderabad Railway Station (Nampally), Secunderabad Railway Station and Kachiguda Railway Station
By Road: Hyderabad is well connected to other major Indian cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Warangal, Pune among others by National Highways. The city shall be a part of the North-South Corridor.
Getting around in Hyderabad is very easy. Auto rickshaws are by far the easiest and most economical mode of transport. Taxis are another option. There are two types of city bus services available in Hyderabad. The APSRTC (Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) operates two kinds of buses - the ordinary road transport corporation buses and the Metro Liners in the city. Hyderabad has the Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) connecting Serilingampally with Nampally on one route and Falaknuma via Secunderabad on another. It is also scheduled to develop a Metro system.
Hyderabadi cuisine incorporates Mughal, traditional Andhra and Telangana influences. Hyderabadis love to relish their food. In terms of popularity, Hyderabadi Biryani wins hands down. Besides the Biryani, Pheni and Haleem are also popular dishes. Apart from this, Hyderabadis also swear by 'Irani chai' and 'Osmania biscuit'.
If you are game for shopping, Hyderabad will not let you down. Here you can shop for world famous pearls, jewellery, bangles, traditional arts & crafts, handicrafts, sarees, clothes from reputed international brands, what name you! The main shopping areas comprise Basheerbagh, Abids and Nampally. Other favorite haunts are Begum Bazaar (for brassware), Laad Bazaar (for diamonds, pearls, bangles and precious metals), Sultan Bazar and Mahatma Gandhi Road. Begum Bazar is the largest market in the city. If these are not enough, you can also rummage through Ameerpet, Himayatnagar, Begumpet, Somajiguda and Punjagutta. Besides, for the benefit of toursists, Andhra Pradesh Tourism has opened souvenir and handicraft shops christened 'Gnapika'.
Hyderabad has something for everybody. It is a city, which is marching ahead to the future, while retaining its historical roots. If you are not stumped by the flavours of Hyderabadi cuisine, its grandiose monuments will floor you. It is a city that pulsates with life and is sure to make you come back for more.