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Hyderabad’s Top 6 Sights

18 December 2014

The point where north and south India meet, Hyderabad is a city of stark contrasts combining historic monuments with ultra modern business complexes. Today, the capital of Telagana state competes with metropolises like Chennai and Bangalore as India’s IT capital, and with Google and Microsoft being based here it’s easy to see why.

However, Hyderabad has a lot offer any traveller, and on India’s Cup, it’s one of our first stops on this route round South India on the Southern Xpress. No sure what to see and do in Hyderabad? Read on!


Named for its four towering minarets, Charminar is the symbol of Hyderabad. The towers rise to a height approaching 50m above the ground, perched in the middle of a traffic island, the 16th century structure is the city’s most spectacular site. It was said to be the place where Quli Qutb Shah prayed for the plague to end, and some even believe it was a charm built to end the raging epidemic at the time.

Golconda Fort

One of India’s most famous forts, Golconda Fort was once the capital of Qutb Shah’s kingdom. Lined with a wall that measures up to 10km, it’s a vast complex that encloses palaces, cannons and an ingenious water supply. It was originally a mud fort, but the fort we see today is reflective of the Qutb Shah’s rule from 1518 to 1687. It’s easy to get lost in the vast complex when visiting, so best to hire a guide.

Qutb Shahi Tombs

Photo by Vamsi Varma

Photo by Vamsi Varma

You’ll come across quite a few places named after Qutb Shahi, and that’s because they are named so for the dynasty. Shah Quli Qutb was the founded most of the mosques in the city. About a kilometre away from the Golconda Fort, the tombs belonging to Quli Qutb Shah were designed by the dynasty members themselves, and are supposed to be the oldest monuments in the city. They embody a mix of architectural styles such as Hindu, Persian and Pathan. What also makes these tombs unique is that the whole dynasty is buried here.

Mecca Masjid

Photo by Suraj Garg

Photo by Suraj Garg

A stone’s throw away from Charminar, this mosque, whose name originates from the bricks used to built this 17th century mosque we brought from Mecca to construct the central archway. The mosque’s construction began in the Qutb Shahis dynasty, but was finished by Aurangzeb.

Taramati Baradiri

Photo by Arvind.vindhu

Photo by Arvind.vindhu

On the road towards Golconda, this complex spreads out over a 7 acre green plot with the famous fortress in the background. It might require a bit of driving in India to get to, but it’s worth the effort. The Taramati Baradari is a historic caravanserai and you can still find performances taking place in the local culture village, since there are two theatres used for concerts, events and plays.

Birla Mandir

Photo by ambrett

Photo by ambrett

This temple in Hyderbad is different from the classic South Indian temples in that it’s made from white marble. The temple blends different styles together, combining tradition South Indian styles with Rajasthani and Utkala architectural styles too. It’s definitely a prominent feature on the Hydrabadi skyline.