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Inhabited since the Iron Age (500 BC), Hyderabad is a city rich with history and culture. Through the intervening centuries, the city has been home to a number of dynasties, rulers, and kingdoms, among them the Hindu Chalukyas, the mighty Mughals, and finally, the British. Under the British, Hyderabad was transformed into a teeming, modern metropolis; indeed, so prosperous was the city that it became known as "The City of Pearls." Now home to about 7 million inhabitants, Hyderabad is among India's top IT enclaves, and is an emerging megacity.
As with many other areas of India, Hyderabad has a tropical climate. Therefore, the best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from November to February. At other times, Hyderabad is humid and muggy, especially during the monsoon season that runs from July to October.
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Our co-founder Jay Tindall is a regular visitor to India, where he loves staying in the palace hotels of Rajasthan. His favourite experience? The amazing Kumbh Mela festival.
Known as the “Bagh-e-Aam,” or “Garden of the Commoners,” these neatly manicured, comfortable grounds are ideal for an outing. Nearby lie the State Legislative Assembly, State Archeology Museum, and a slew of other administrative buildings.
Bodhi Sampanna is a center for the study of Buddhism, meditation techniques and the various teachings of the religion.
Tomb of Michel Raymond
Visit the tomb of Michel Raymond, a famous French mercenary and military commander who served under a local ruler of the Kingdom of Nizam. Prior to their defeat at the hands of the British at the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the French exerted considerable influence over the Indian subcontinent, particularly in the area near Hyderabad.
Once home to a series of kingdoms, including the Turkic Qutb Shah dynasty, the Kakatiyas, and of course, the Golkondas (best known for producing the Hope Diamond and the Koh-i-Noor), the Fort is located some 7 miles (11 kilometers) outside Hyderabad. Today, Golkonda consists of four separate forts over a series of hilltops, all of which offer commanding views of the surrounding countryside.
Hyderabad is a major film making hub of India, specializing in films shot both in Hindi (spoken primarily in North India) and Telugu (spoken in Hyderabad's parent province of Andhra Pradesh). Home to Ramoji Film City, believed to be the largest film studio in the world, Hyderabad also hosts the Hyderabad International Film Festival and the Children’s Film Festival. For a closer look at this fascinating industry, distinct from its more famous cousin, Bollywood, visit a studio and speak with actors, actresses, writers, and directors.
Due to the many empires, dynasties, and peoples who have populated the area, Hyderabad is home to a fine culinary tradition that blends a variety of influences. Chief amongst Hyderabad’s dishes is the Central Asian-influenced biryani, a dish of rice wherein meat is marinated in saffron, cumin, and other rare spices, mixed with basmati rice, sealed into a vessel, and slow-cooked over hot coals. Another highlight is kheer, a thick, fragrant, and decadently sweet rice pudding made from milk, cardamom, almonds, saffron, rice, and pistachios.
The largest mosque in Hyderabad, it was begun in 1617 and finished in 1694. The sounds of the prayer calls at various times throughout the day are enchanting, while immense granite structure, which can hold up to 10,000 devotees at a time, is also a favorite of photographers.
Some of the bricks used to build the mosque were made with soil carried to India all the way from Mecca - hence the name, "Mecca Masjid," or Mecca Mosque.
The plague was turned back in Hyderabad, according to local legend, via a special prayer offered by Quli Qutb Shah. The spot of the prayer is now the Charminar Mosque, marked by four minarets.
Board your own private jet to travel in sheer luxury through India’s best leisure spots on this remarkable 10-day journey. You’ll explore Cochin’s colonial wonders, cruise Kerala’s backwaters on a luxury Kettuvallam, and enjoy refreshing poolside cocktails at your five-star beachside resort on Goa’s white-sand beaches.
Take a journey through Central India, passing through Mumbai, Hampi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad on this 11-day luxury journey. You’ll sleep in some of India’s most luxurious hotels, including the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, spend time in Bollywood, visit the ancient ruins of Golkonda, and rock climb in Hampi.
Built in the 19th century as a guesthouse for visiting dignitaries, the Faluknama was once one of India's finest palaces; today, it is one of the country's most luxurious hotels. Local artifacts, Italian marble, and fixtures & fittings from around the globe make the Taj Faluknama a fascinating attraction in and of itself. Its sixty rooms and suites combine contemporary amenities, such as high-speed internet access, in-room safes, plush beds, and DVD players, with classic design features including hardwood floors and colorful, hand-painted walls. The Royal Presidential Suite, the most luxurious of these rooms, even has its own private swimming pool. The Taj’s culinary options include Adaa, which serves slow cooked, traditional Hyderabadi cuisine such as biryani, or rice slow-cooked with meat, vegetables, spices, and saffron; Celeste, an Italian and Mediterranean eatery that is open all day; Jade Verandah, a breakfast only venue; and a hookah lounge and a poolside bar. Amenities include a spa, pool, library and billiards room, as well as an in-house historian who will walk guests through the property's fascinating history.