Hyderabad, nicknamed City of Pearls, is made up of two parts: the gleaming modern city and the multi-layered old Muslim Quarter.
Once an important centre for Islamic culture, Hyderabad is southern India’s counterpart to Delhi. Dotted throughout the city are many architectural gems dating back to different rulers and religions: century-old Islamic monuments, ornate tombs, enchanting mosques and grand palaces.
Historically the city was the seat of the powerful Qutb Shahi and Asaf Jahi dynasties. Modern-day Hyderabad is the powerhouse of India’s software dynasty, reflected in its air-conditioned, contemporary buildings on the west side. The cyber industry generates jobs, wealth and the trappings of luxury lifestyles, from swanky restaurants and bars to opulent lodges.
A sizeable percentage of Hyderabad’s population is Muslim and the city graciously combines Hindu and Islamic traditions under the watchful eye of a 17.5m-high Buddha statue.
The Hyderabadis are welcoming, fun loving and generous. The city is a surprisingly attractive and interesting modern Indian metropolis.
A tour of the old city | Staying at the magnificent Taj Falaknuma hotel | Prayer calls echoing from the mosques at dawn and dusk
Bengaluru (Bangalore) shares the software industry with Hyderabad